In order for our vehicles to run smoothly and at their full capabilities, all aspects need to be functioning properly. This can range from something as vital as the engine to something as small as the connectors on hoses. On some BMW models, there is a plastic coolant fitting that connects a hose from the cylinder head to the thermostat. However, there are other possible locations that have a plastic coolant fitting, such as the expansion tank, or anywhere that the coolant hose may be connecting to something.
It is somewhat unusual for the fitting that connects vehicle parts to be plastic, but many BMW models use plastic fittings. The BMW models that are equipped with the plastic coolant fittings are experiencing issues with the plastic fittings. On most vehicles, these fittings are aluminum, which are much more durable than plastic. The issue associated with plastic BMW coolant fittings is that because the plastic is much weaker than aluminum, they are therefore more susceptible to leaks and eventually breakage.
Why are Coolant Fittings Important?
The coolant fittings in any vehicle are one of the things that ensures that the engine is receiving the proper amount of coolant while running to prevent the engine from overheating. It connects the hoses, and the hoses circulate the coolant to various parts of the engine.
If the coolant fittings happen to be leaking or if they are not in place at all, then the hoses can be left without the coolant to circulate throughout the engine. This can cause a variety of issues within the engine itself, and will be discussed in more detail later in this article.
Possible Issues with Coolant Fittings
The primary issue with the BMW coolant fittings is simply the material that they are made of: plastic. Plastic being the material causes problems, because when the engine heats up the plastic will expand, and then when the engine cools down it will then contract. When the plastic experiences this expansion and contraction over and over again with temperature changes, it becomes very brittle.
Since the BMW coolant fittings are made of a less durable material than something like aluminum, the fittings may more easily leak and then eventually break. Aluminum fittings will still experience this expansion and contraction due to the change in engine temperatures, but since it is a more durable material it is able to withstand these conditions for much longer periods of time. It is a very soft metal which allows it to handle the constant temperature changes much better than a material like plastic that becomes brittle over time when exposed to those temperature fluctuations.
Signs and Symptoms of Coolant Fitting Issues
When your BMW begins to experience issues with the coolant fittings, it is possible that the coolant fittings will first develop cracks and begin to leak fluid. You will probably be able to see that there is a leak when the vehicle is left parked overnight or for an extended period of time. There may be a visible spot on the ground where the vehicle was parked.
Once a coolant fitting is completely broken, then the coolant will simply be unable to properly circulate through all aspects of the engine. This lack of coolant will result in possible engine failure due to the engine overheating. You may be able to avoid engine failure if you notice your engine is overheating on the temperature gauge, but there is still a possibility of damage to the engine when it overheats for any period of time.
Leave it to the Experts
If you need to have the coolant fittings replaced on your BMW, you may want to inquire about having aluminum fittings instead of plastic to avoid the same issue in the future. This can help you to avoid the possibility of the coolant fittings having any issues, so even if you don’t need new fittings at the moment, you might consider getting this replacement if you’re having other work done on your coolant system. If you are living in or around Pineville, Charlotte, or Greensboro, North Carolina, A&M Auto Service will be able to answer most any question in regards to your BMW. Call or stop by today to make an appointment with our skilled mechanics!