Author Topic: Radiator blocked by dirt  (Read 1829 times)

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Offline Mattfox762

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Radiator blocked by dirt
on: November 19, 2021, 11:41:08 AM
On a recent service my dealer mentioned that the radiator on my 2019 XR was blocked (33%) with road dirt and that if it couldn’t be cleaned, it would need replacing! Unsurprisingly I’m not happy with this as the bike has done less than 9000 miles and has been cleaned (garden hose) after every trip.

This is my second XR, the first of which I had for four years and never had any dramas like this. Has anybody else been in a similar situation? As I said to BMW customer service if it was twice the age and mileage I wouldn’t be that fussed, but to replace a radiator this early on is not something I am keen to do or pay for!

They’re saying it’s an external influence so it’s not warranty, which kind of makes sense but not in the first couple of years / low mileage. So I’ve said to them I’d be interested in seeing how many XRs (15-19) have suffered a similar fate.

Cheers

Matt
Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 12:05:29 PM by Mattfox762

#1

Online af1-windy

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 11:59:08 AM
*Originally Posted by Mattfox762 [+]
On a recent service my dealer mentioned that the radiator on my 2019 XR was blocked (33%) with road dirt and that if it couldn’t be cleaned, it would need replacing! Unsurprisingly I’m not happy with this as the bike has done less than 9000 miles and has been cleaned (garden hose) after every trip.

This is my second XR, the first of which I had for four years and never had any dramas like this. Has anybody else been in a similar situation? As I said to BMW customer service if it was twice the age and mileage I wouldn’t be that fussed, but to replace a radiator this early on is not something I am keen to do or pay for!

Their saying it’s an external influence so it’s not warranty, which kind of makes sense but not in the first couple of years / low mileage. So I’ve said to them I’d be interested in seeing how many XRs (15-19) have suffered a similar fate.

Cheers

Matt

Been riding a long time and never heard anything like this.  :084:

I wonder if a gentle jet wash from the rear would solve the problem, or maybe even a low pressure air line.  :187:

It'll be interesting to see the outcome from this.

 :821: windy

#2

Online BobT

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 01:01:15 PM
Would you name the dealer? The one in Dorchester closed and I am not surprised with their crap customer service. The one in Oxford has not got a great reputation either.

#3

Online brickit

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #3 on: November 19, 2021, 02:33:17 PM
I have had a problem with blocked radiators, with my 2017 XR
The oil cooler sprang a leak at 18k miles and was replaced under warranty but it was pretty congested and the airflow through it was severely restricted despite my efforts to keep it clear. The radiator was also blocked and the BMW garage (Ocean) did their best to unblock it by soaking it overnight with Jizer. That did help, but to clean it properly without damaging the fins the rad needs to be taken out completely, soaked and carefully cleaned.
There are a number of problems:-
The front end design of the Mk 1 is poor, in that the radiators are set low and are very exposed to dirt thrown up by the front wheel. The front fenders are far too short to be effective and even the standard add-on extenders don't come down far enough.
After-market guards don't do much good, as they are set too close to the radiator and crap gets through. There should be at least a 3-6 inch gap between guard and radiator in my view, to keep the dirt away from the fins.
Also, it isn't possible to flush dirt out from the back of the radiator using air or water because access is blocked by the fan and housing.
The answer of course is to stay on clean dry roads, but this is an adventure bike isn't it?  :187:
Could anyone tell me what the maximum safe running temperature is for the XR? Mine will go to 106C on a hot day. Never had to top up the coolant, though have renewed it.

#4

Offline SimonUK

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #4 on: November 19, 2021, 04:03:47 PM
I had this issue on my K1300S where dirt grime just got baked in over time. Dealer did a fairly decent job of cleaning it, but not 100%. I think I have a similar issue right now on my S1000R, which runs at least 10-15f warmer than my XR, so I am thinking over the winter to remove the radiator and get it cleaned.

I would be interested in what part is blocked??, is it the whole width of the radiator, or just the centre 3-4 inches???

I think calling the XR an 'Adventure Bike' is a bit far fetched!  :001:

#5

Offline lospsi

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #5 on: November 19, 2021, 04:42:33 PM
I saw the same thing on my bike too. Road grime stuck inside the fins, in the lower center part of the radiator. I'm sure its the spray from front wheel.
I did my best to clean it but I think it needs a bit more TLC...
Maybe a winter project or when I change coolant I might try and remove it for proper cleaning.

#6

Online Warree

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #6 on: November 19, 2021, 04:57:06 PM
My 18 XR rads with AM guards suffered the same fate from spray of dirt build up baked on. I soaked it for days and kept carefully brushing until most was gone. Then went to a Gen2 with OEM guards and it has not had that problem so far.
Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 04:58:27 PM by Warree

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Offline Salem

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #7 on: November 19, 2021, 09:10:15 PM
Road grime is the least of the worries. One can try to blow and wash that out from the backside with mild pressure. But more than likely all the front side fins are bent beyond reasonable repair due to impact of stones and insects. Insects are just sliced up, and their remains seem to stay for light years. Simply does not compose. A radiator protector helps a lot. Keeps stones out, or reduces the speed of impact. Large insects are disintegrated, so the smaller bits go thru the radiator

#8

Offline Antares

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #8 on: November 20, 2021, 12:21:38 AM
*Originally Posted by Salem [+]
Road grime is the least of the worries. One can try to blow and wash that out from the backside with mild pressure. But more than likely all the front side fins are bent beyond reasonable repair due to impact of stones and insects. Insects are just sliced up, and their remains seem to stay for light years. Simply does not compose. A radiator protector helps a lot. Keeps stones out, or reduces the speed of impact. Large insects are disintegrated, so the smaller bits go thru the radiator

True during the summer I had to take bees/wasps/bumblebees out of my rad guard on the daily. Interestingly i've not really had any issues. I have the evotech guards and also some fender extenders, you can definitely see a slight "bell curve of dirt" on the bottom of the radiator but i'd say it takes up less than 5% of the surface of tha radiator and like 20% of the oil cooler and hasn't been an issue with cooling at all... I clean the bike every 2-3 weeks but I haven't tried getting behind the rads yet.

#9

Offline Mareng1

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #9 on: November 20, 2021, 09:04:07 AM
I’ve kept a close eye on the radiator condition, but will maybe give it a soaking with a foaming cleaner and a blast with the power washer before it goes for service.   

I used to use an R&G fender extender, which was huge and ugly - but it certainly stopped all the debris off the front wheel. 

It used to flap about a bit, and ultimately came loose on holiday a couple of years ago, and I replaced it with a nicer looking (smaller) one.