E36 radiator problem

Hi all,
A while ago I posted on here about an over heat problem with my BMW E36 325i on a UK K' registered plate, to which I was advised to have a new water
pump fitted, as well as thermostat and housing.. which was all done without problem.
Ever since then the coolant warning info on the computer has been on, yet the needle on the dash has always remained at 1/2 way, which is normal.
The car gets little mileage so maybe about 300 miles a month, and since then I've had to add coolant to the system, when I spoke to the mechanic he couldn't remember how much water or coolant he put it, and I was led to believe that he only filled the expansion bottle up, and ran it for a bit ! and never charged it ?
Any how, out side of that the car runs fine, no flat spots, still does 120Mph + (on a private road), there's not one ounce of smoke out the exhaust, from start up or under load. The oil is clean, no traces of water in it.. Also the heater works 100% fine and doesn't smell of coolant at all...
Well today I went on a 20 mile trip, first time in 5 weeks, took it easy, but when I returned I found that the car smelt of coolant when I got out...
I popped the bonnet looked around, couldn't see a thing, then I heard a little hiss, I thought it was the expansion bottle lid, but it wasn't it was coming from where the plastic expansion bottle meets the radiator... now is this repairable or would it be better to get a new radiator.. and do the new radiators come with the expansion bottle fitted to the radiator all ready...?
German Swedish French car parts do the radiator for 95... which isn't bad...
B17336 RADIATOR-MAN TRANS E36 320i 91>98 M50/52 Manual CORE WIDTH 440mm
What would you all recommend, as your all so helpful
;-)
Thanks
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I seem to understand, provided your radiator is built like my old E30 316i, that the clips maintaining the transparent plastic box pressed against the radiator come became loose. I had this problem just after the waranty expired in 1993 and decided to crimp all the metal clips around the plastic box. I removed the radiator and aided with lock-grip pliers I processed every one after I adjusted the plier. During the following 11 years I repeated this operation two or three times. I replaced the radiator last year at nearly 200000 km of service because the upper intlet broke ! I got a used radiator in a junky yard for 50 Euros. It was marked E36 but was identical to mine. Yes the radiator comes with the expansion bottle already mounted. The assembly can't be done by a standard mechanics.
My radiator didn't leak all the time, only when the engine was warm but not too much, before or just after the thermostat opened. When hot, the metal expansion was probably enough to deal with the pressure. At cold, the pressure wasn't enough to produce leaks. At least it's the analysis I made concerning the failure.
If you decide to replace the part by a brand new one, make sure it corresponds to the equipment fitted to the car (A/C, cold country car equipped, ...) otherwise, if you can't compare the parts with your own eyes, you may be surprized ;-(
Good luck
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Thanks,
I looked at the clips, but have decided to order a new radiator.. at least then I will know for sure...
Here's hoping !

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Well, now you have a new radiator coming, but I doubt it includes the expansion tank. The normal failure mode on an E36 is the expansion tanks get brittle and leak. At least you will have peace of mind when you replace both.
Bob

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