E60 525i/528i/530i N52 Radiator Differences
The difference is with a hose that runs from the engine oil cooler (heat exchanger) to the water pump. On the early models this hose also had a third connection to the radiator. On the updated design, BMW did away with this third connection.
If your 525i/528i/530i had a radiator replacement at a BMW dealership it likely got the updated radiator and hose. However, if an independent shop did the work it could have either. Aside from receipts and detailed service records, the only sure way to tell is by inspecting the parts on your car.
Early style with hose connection:
Early N52 radiator.
Late style without hose connection:
Late N52 radiator.
Hoses and Connections:
And here is the hose layout. You can see how both hoses are routed to the heat exchanger and to the pipe going to the water pump. But the early hose also branches off to the radiator while the later one does not.
The early hose (#999) branches off to the radiator. The late hose (#494) does not.
Note: if you decide to update to the newer design by buying the radiator and hose, you will also need two small spacer blocks (BMW calls them compensators, part #17117520335). These are to fill in a gap because the newer radiator is slightly narrower.
E60 N52 Radiators, Hoses, and Kits:
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