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
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.