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What Does the Radiator Support Do?
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What Does the Radiator Support Do?
The radiator plays a critical role in your engine's performance and overall function. The radiator is ultimately responsible for keeping your engine at the optimal running temperature. When the radiator becomes damaged, it can cause serious engine performance problems. The radiator support, naturally, is there to keep your radiator intact and performing well.

Just like the engine has its own mounts and supports, the radiator also needs a mechanism to keep it supported and protected. Without the front radiator support, the radiator can be in significant danger of becoming damaged. Not only does this mechanism keep the radiator held securely under the hood, but it also adheres the radiator to the engine. When this support becomes damaged, it compromises the integrity of the engine-radiator assembly line where the cooling system is able to efficiently maintain the engine temperature.
How to Fix the Issue
Repairing the issue of a bent or damaged front radiator support is complex, and greatly depends on the nature and severity of the issue. Sometimes the support can be repaired and restored, but those cases typically require a considerable amount of effort in labor and time, which usually means more money for the job. When the front radiator support is damaged or bent significantly, the part needs to be replaced, which can be pretty expensive—it is an intensive project that takes a long time. Furthermore, it requires special tools and equipment, access to the right OEM parts, and specialized knowledge in MINI frame repair.
How Much Will it Cost?
As we’ve previously mentioned, the cost of fixing the front radiator support is completely subjective to the nature and severity of the problem; however, the cost will also depend on the automotive shop you bring your MINI to. Since the problem is likely due to an accident, other damages must be fixed alongside repairing the radiator support, driving up the cost further. Often insurance companies total out cars that encounter this type of frame damage, but the issue can certainly be fixed.
How To Replace A Radiator
SAFETY FIRST
Your radiator has electrical connections. Disconnect the battery before proceeding. You'll need to raise the vehicle so you can access your radiator. You can use a car jack and stands to keep the vehicle up, but remember to put a chock behind the wheels and engage the parking brake. Wait until the engine is cold before proceeding.

This job can be dangerous, so be extra careful. You will encounter sharp edges and other circumstances that could cause injury. Protect yourself by wearing quality safety gloves and goggles. Be watchful of any moving items while working.
And, to repeat, make sure the car, engine, and coolant are NOT hot!
INSPECT OR REPLACE
Before jumping in and replacing a whole radiator, take a minute to inspect your entire coolant system. Examine the radiator (or overflow) cap. Check the belts and hoses for damaged, cracked rubber or any leaks. Find the fan clutch between the radiator and the water pump motor (on some vehicles) and make sure there is no play in the bearings.
Don't forget about your engine thermostat. If your cooling problem has caused the engine to overheat, your thermostat may have been damaged. You may want to replace this small part when replacing the radiator.
DRAIN THE RADIATOR
There are two ways to drain radiators. Remove the radiator cap for either way. Once the cap is removed, you can either open the petcock valve or remove the bottom radiator hose to drain the coolant. Drain the coolant into a plastic reservoir.
DISCONNECT THE RADIATOR
With the coolant drained, you can start removing hoses, clamps and the radiator bolts keeping the radiator in place. You'll have to disconnect the following parts on most vehicles:
• Radiator reservoir hose
• Upper radiator hose
• Lower radiator hose
• Cooling fan connector
• Cooling fan mounting bolts
• Cooling fan
• Cooling fan shroud
• Transmission cooler lines (many vehicles require special tools to disconnect)
• Engine oil cooler lines (these appear in many high-heat vehicles like 4x4 and Deisel trucks)
• A/C Condenser mounting bolts
• Radiator mounting bolts
Remember to keep all the hoses, connectors, bolts, and components organized. You'll have to reinstall the parts in reverse order.
REMOVE THE OLD RADIATOR
With all the hoses, bolts, and lines removed, you should be able to remove the radiator from the vehicle. Many radiators can be removed by lifting up and out of the vehicle, but some need to be removed from underneath the vehicle.
Signs of a Bad Radiator
Bad Radiator Symptoms: Common Signs that Your Radiator is Failing

When the radiator isn't working properly, you might notice several symptoms. While this isn't an exhaustive list, here are the most common complaints.
Overheating engine
A common sign that something is wrong with the radiator is when your engine starts to overheat. This can be caused by a faulty thermostat. When a defective thermostat no longer opens, the engine will overheat and cause a breakdown.
Leaks
You might notice coolant leaking under the vehicle. It can be a red, yellow, or green fluid. When the radiator is leaking, coolant levels become too low, and when there isn't enough coolant to reduce the heat, the engine might become too hot.
Radiators are made of metal and plastic. And because plastic isn't as durable as metal, it's typical for these components to become brittle and start cracking—hence the leaks.
Shifting issues
If you have an integrated transmission cooler, you might notice trouble with shifting as the fluid becomes contaminated with coolant. This problem stems from cracks and faults in the system.
Fluid discoloration
Vehicle coolant is commonly bright yellow or green. Sometimes it can be pink or red. It flows freely between the radiator and the coolant passages located in your car's engine.
If you have a bad radiator, deposits and sludge can contaminate the coolant and turn it into a rusty color—it may even look like oil.
Look in your coolant overflow tank and inspect the color. If it's contaminated, it may also appear thicker. This causes trouble with the flow and leads to a clogged radiator.
A radiator flush might be a solution in this case.
Your Guide to Yellow Fog Lights
What Are Yellow Fog Lights?
Yellow fog lights are specially made to help drivers navigate the road carefully in foggy conditions. Yellow lights are the best among fog light colors because they hit your retina in a way that enables you to focus on the road. Staring constantly at white light can frustrate the eye, and darker colors like blue and green have limited wavelength.

In addition, yellow fog lights penetrate foggy weather better than other light colors. Fog tends to reflect the color of the driver's lights directly in front of their eyes. Staring at white light is already a difficult task, and having the white color reflected close to your retina when you are driving might destabilize your focus. In the same way, looking closely at blue lights can make your sight fuzzy. Yellow lights are the only light color most drivers can withstand in the fog.
LED Fog Lights
LED fog lights are one of the most durable light types. Although these fog lights can be quite expensive, they compensate for their price with their energy-efficient capabilities. Also, the light-emitting diodes in LED fog lights provide higher visibility for drivers on foggy roads.
Should I Get a Car with Fog Lights?
When we start writing about Thanksgiving around these parts, you know that winter isn't far behind. With winter's inevitable onslaught of snow, freezing rain and fog, we are going to use our blog to discuss things drivers should know before heading out on roads with less-than-stellar traction.

The first thing we're going to take a look at is fog lights. Available on many different types of vehicles, fog lights are a recognizable part of a vehicle's front bumper and fascia. Usually, fog lights are mounted low on a vehicle, often directly in front of the wheel well.
They look like small headlights, and can be stylishly incorporated into the exterior front-end design of a vehicle. While the design may differ, their purpose is the same – to help you, a driver, gain visibility in poor weather.
What do Fog Lights Do?
All exterior lights are usually beneficial in poor weather. We say “usually” because there are times when standard headlights, and even high beams, can be a detriment to safe driving and visibility. What's even worse about this, is it that the better the headlights are (HIID or LED for example), often the worse they become under certain circumstances.
Those circumstances involve heavy fog or snow. In these situations, headlights – both standard and high beam – can limit visibility. What happens when fog accumulates, or when snow is falling densely, is that the light put out by your headlights reflects off of the fog or snow. This creates less visibility, and makes it harder to see oncoming traffic, or even the road in front of you.
It can be especially bad at night when you are counting on the reflection of your lights to provide a path forward. Fog lights allow you to see in these circumstances, illuminating the road in front of you but not the fog or snow.
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