Any problem that comes up with your trusted BMW can be disconcerting, but the fact that most issues are harmless if fixed right away should put your mind at ease. A broken radiator cap is an example of a problem that isn’t too severe, but should still be fixed as soon as it’s discovered.
The radiator system as a whole is complex, and the cap is simply a small part of that system. To actually understand the importance of fixing the radiator cap when it breaks, you need to understand what the radiator does and what the cap itself is covering.
To start, the radiator is what allows heat to be transferred out of your vehicle to protect the engine and its intricate parts. Without a radiator, your engine would almost surely overheat, which would lead to additional problems to develop under the hood. This heat exchanger takes the heat from the hot coolant and mixes it with radiator fluid to cool the entire mixture down, keeping your engine and everything under the hood safe.
The coolant is reused and recirculated as you drive. So keeping it cool is important. The radiator itself can get extremely hot during this process, so the radiator fluid, otherwise known as coolant, also serves to keep the radiator cool.
As you may have guessed, the radiator cap ensures that no radiator fluid leaks. However, the cap also serves a more important purpose within the radiator. The radiator cap actually does open automatically at certain points when driving. This cap keeps the radiator and the fluid within at an optimal pressure level. When the pressure hits this peak level, it opens a valve to allow pressure to escape.
If your radiator cap breaks, this can lead to problems such as too much pressure within the radiator. This can cause the whole system to fail. If there is no cap, however, the coolant within may all spill out when it expands naturally as it heats up.
As you can see, the radiator cap serves an important purpose in keeping your engine cool and the pressure within the radiator optimized.
It’s important to look at the signs of a broken radiator cap and know where you should get it fixed. If you spot any of the below common causes, don’t wait to take your car into the shop, as it could lead to more serious issues and a much more costly repair.
As mentioned, the radiator cap helps to ensure that no coolant splashes out of the system and overflows. If the cap is broken and has fallen off, you may notice large pools of coolant forming beneath the hood of your car. Check occasionally under the hood to see if there are any colorful coolant stains.
There is a radiator fluid reservoir tank that is a failsafe to the cap, but if your cap has failed dramatically, this reservoir tank will soon overflow, and coolant may splash onto the ground. This should be easy to spot. It is an obvious sign of a failed radiator cap.
The coolant within the radiator is responsible for cooling your engine. However, if the radiator cap isn’t releasing pressure and allowing the coolant to release its heat, or if the cap is allowing coolant to leak, your engine may begin to overheat. If this is the case, pull over as soon as possible, turn off the engine, and call for a tow to your trusted BMW service center.
At Ultimate Bimmer Service, we understand your desire to keep your BMW in excellent condition for your driving experience and the pride of the BMW brand. The radiator cap isn’t a difficult piece to fix, but it does require expertise and the right parts, both of which are our specialties.
We happily serve clients in the areas of Carrolton and Dallas, TX and promise the best customer service and a highest level of attention to your vehicle. Give us a call or come in to see for yourself why you we are the best BMW service center in the area.