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MINI Radiator Expansion Tank

Reasons Behind a Radiator Expansion Tank Failure in Your Mini From Experts in Louisville

Posted on June 7, 2021 by smikyautomowp

Mini makes powerful, fun cars that provide drivers with superior performance and enjoyable driving experiences. Regular maintenance and repairs are required. Sometimes parts fail, including the radiator expansion tank.

The Radiator Expansion Tank (RTE) is also known as the radiator overflow tank. This is a vital part of your Mini. The primary purpose of this tank is to provide extra storage for coolant when it expands. In addition, the expansion of the coolant recycles it to keep your engine functioning at optimal temperatures for an extended time. Recycling the coolant back and forth will also save you more money in the long run.

Warning Signs of Radiator Expansion Tank Failure

Suppose you are looking to avoid the radiator expansion tank failure from getting worse. In that case, it is essential to understand what signs and symptoms indicate failure. Below are five signs that your RTE is failing:

  • Your engine overheats: The whole point of the coolant is to regulate the temperature of your engine. When you notice your engine overheating, this is a big sign that there is something wrong with your coolant system. This could include a problem with the radiator expansion tank in your MINI. If your engine is not receiving the proper amount of coolant, it will overheat. If this happens, turn your car off and contact your mechanic immediately. You do not want to risk this issue turning into complete engine failure.
  • Coolant levels are low: Your coolant should be topped off per the manufacturer’s specifications. You might notice that you need to fill your coolant more often than before. If this occurs, there is a strong possibility that your RTE is failing. You might even notice that the low coolant level light becomes illuminated on your dashboard. If your coolant is low, this could either be an issue with the RTE system or a possible leak.
  • Your coolant is leaking: If you noticed that your coolant levels were low and you tried to fix the problem by topping it off, and the light on your dashboard did not go off, you may be facing a leak. Even if you do not notice a sizable leak on your driveway, the crack may be along a seam causing the coolant to leak out slowly. You might also see dried residue on the sides of the tank. This is an indication that the coolant has leaked from the container. Another common way to notice this is that there may be a puddle underneath your Mini.
  • Rust has formed in the radiator: If you have rust forming on your radiator, this is a warning sign as rust will eat away at the metal parts and cause leaks. The rust formed due to a buildup of oils.
  • You can smell the coolant: If you can smell the scent of coolant, you have an issue with the RTE. Coolant has an unmistakable sweet smell.

Causes of Radiator Tank Expansion Failure

Even if your RTE is already damaged, you may want to know how this happened and how to avoid this in the future. Below are three causes of radiator tank expansion failure:

  • Damage to the reservoir: Something has damaged the reservoir, including some kind of break or crack.
  • Damage to the radiator cap: There is some kind of damage to the radiator cap. Usually, this is a crack or an unsealed cap. The system will fail due to the inability to flow from the RTE to the radiator.
  • The passage of time: Sometimes the reason it broke has more to do with normal wear and tear and time than anything else. But, unfortunately, no car parts last forever, and many will need replacement over time.

Can I still drive my car if my radiator expansion tank is failing?

This is highly inadvisable. When you drive a car with a damaged radiator expansion tank, you run the risk of causing further damage to your engine. If your RTE is damaged or failing, you should contact your mechanic immediately for an appointment.

MINI Radiator Expansion Tank Check

St. Matthews Import of Louisville Will Help

St. Matthews Imports has multiple locations to serve you. We specialize in German brands of automobiles, including Mini, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, and Audi. We also service Asian imports as well as domestic cars.

Call our Hubbards Lane location for automotive service and repair today. We are the area’s largest independent garage, which provides the most comprehensive maintenance and services for whatever car you drive, including the Mini.

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