The reason why you wont see me using valeo radiators or wipers ever again. (radiator almost exploded)

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Yesterday my car threw a low coolant warning, after checking out what it could be i spotted coolant on the underpannel and also some drips under the car. After checking the radiator through the lower grill i could see that it was bend downwards compared to the AC condensor.
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This valeo radiator is now 3 years and 1 month old. It traveled 52k miles.
I replaced this myself back then.
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No idea how this happened but i am no too happy about this, stuff like this can cost you an engine. These bmws run hot, in certain modes up to almost 120 degrees celcius so the pressure will be pretty high, but it should be designed to cope with this.
Also 2 years ago i replaced my 30k old good wiping bosch aeroblades with valeo wipers (supposed to be oem on BMW e90) these shuddered and scraped like hell from the beginning till 10K, then i threw them out and went back to bosch.
I sent valeo a mail back then that i was disstatisfied but they blamed that my windscreen was dirty and i should clean it with alcohol, i did that but did not help at all.

On the other hand my starter motor and blower motor still perform fine after 70k miles. But i am starting to lose my confidence in the brand, which is strange because together with bosch its probably one of the biggest OEM's for EU cars.
 
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It looks like an over-pressure situation to me. Your radiator cap may be suspect. Also, check for a blown head gasket (a fairly common problem on e90 engines with miles on them).
 
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If your radiator cap is good, releases pressure like it should, then the Chineseum radiator is junk. That thing is blown up like a balloon!! I've never seen one do that, only a couple tubes inflated, the rest of them look normal. Aluminum radiators can fail in exciting ways, I once had one blow a plastic tank completely off when a cooling fan failed (my stupid fault, but the cap never released either!).
 

Flyingdutchman

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It looks like an over-pressure situation to me. Your radiator cap may be suspect. Also, check for a blown head gasket (a fairly common problem on e90 engines with miles on them).
Actually i almost never read/heard from anyone having a headgasket blow on n52.

Maybe i will replace rad cap just to be sure. However in normal non overheating situations the pressure release should not be neccasary. Cooling system etc.. is working all fine, its winter here and it never threw any codes.

This engine uses electric waterpump and thermostat and is computer controlled to run at the correct temps and different driving modes. In economy mode this can go as high as 120 degrees celcius.

Also my car needs next to no coolant topped up each year, maybe every 2 years.

Maybe i will order a new oem cap just to be sure. But i expected the 17 year old plastic tank to blow before the alluminium 3 year old rad does.
 

Flyingdutchman

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If your radiator cap is good, releases pressure like it should, then the Chineseum radiator is junk. That thing is blown up like a balloon!!
If it was a cheap chineseum radiator that would make some sense, but as i said its a 3 year old Valeo one. Valeo is listed in top 10 worlds largest oem automotive suppliers toghether with bosch and denso and i think almost every EU manufacturered car has at least one valeo part on it and most of the time multiple.
 

D60

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Yep, Valeo OEMs a ton of stuff - GM wiper motors and Dodge radiators are two I've seen recently.

I just yanked the original radiator from our '98 Ram 1500 with 225k miles and it was a Valeo. I only replaced because it was leaking a little at the side tanks -- and had been for at least a couple years -- and I had the system empty for timing cover re-seal
 

Flyingdutchman

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Yep, Valeo OEMs a ton of stuff - GM wiper motors and Dodge radiators are two I've seen recently.

I just yanked the original radiator from our '98 Ram 1500 with 225k miles and it was a Valeo. I only replaced because it was leaking a little at the side tanks -- and had been for at least a couple years -- and I had the system empty for timing cover re-seal
Yeah so i am amazed by how or why this happened. But if the pressure in my cooling system where really extremely high i can tink of 3 different 17 year old plastic parts that should fail instead of this metal rad. Would 2 bars (i think thats max pressure) would be enough to deform it like this? I guess if its almost alluminium foil that would be possible. But also the upper and lower frame of the rad is pretty thick but it still bend.

One thing to note is that i drove over a piece of wood debris like material at around 100mph beginnig this week, there was a car besides the road with a flat tyre probably because of it. 5 days later i got this coolant warning. I find it hard to believe that driving over it would cause this kind of damage. Theres maybe 3 4l so 3 4kg of water in it and offcourse a shock like impact would sling that mass up/down verry fast but i dont think it would actually cause this.
 
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One thing to note is that i drove over a piece of wood debris like material at around 100mph beginnig this week, there was a car besides the road with a flat tyre probably because of it. 5 days later i got this coolant warning. I find it hard to believe that driving over it would cause this kind of damage. Theres maybe 3 4l so 3 4kg of water in it and offcourse a shock like impact would sling that mass up/down verry fast but i dont think it would actually cause this.


You do have to consider that this caused your issue. No telling at that speed how that wood or whatever it was bounced up and around underneath.

So it seems it is not the fault of Valeo then.
 

Flyingdutchman

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You do have to consider that this caused your issue. No telling at that speed how that wood or whatever it was bounced up and around underneath.

So it seems it is not the fault of Valeo then.
The wood did not jump up or anything, only thing is i drove over it. I was expecting maybe a flat tyre or something. There are multiple plastic undershilds before anything can actualy hit the rad. So the only thing the the radiator endured was a shock motion. No physical impact.
 
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Valeo DOESN'T make radiators in China? Their website shows 28 manufacturing facilities there, and I wouldn't want to bet against at least the core being built there. Seems like a weird shock failure, I still don't get the tubes inflating like that without the cap releasing or something else failing. Thought Nissens is considered a better M-B radiator manufacturer (although they also have China plants)?
 
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I too would be disappointed to find a recently replaced radiator in that shape. But I'm not fan of click grabbing titles like "radiator almost exploded".

I was almost kidnapped by aliens this morning. But that didn't happen, either.
 

D60

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I wouldn't be surprised if Valeo manufactures in China, seems you almost have to these days to be competitive. And unless they've got a rep (or 10) standing in every plant every second of the day, quality fade is always a possibility. The Chinese view business practices and quality far differently than we do.

I can tell you Motorcraft and AC Delco definitely make some parts in China, with their labels clearly stating so.

I HIGHLY recommend:

I'm not attempting to bash another culture, simply saying different cultures view things, well, differently.

None of this helps with the radiator at hand, but my ASSumption is this is just a case of poor QC
 
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i forgot who was the original supplier for them probably behr

if they weren’t the OE when they were new their aftermarket solution is going to be whitebox or just one step above
 
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