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-   -   Lucky Escape (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=960980)

TitanSilverE46 12-15-2012 07:45 PM

Lucky Escape
 
Just bought a 2001 318i to complement my wife's 2001 325i and replace my aging 1993 525i (394,000km).

Picked up car Thursday and drove 80km home. Car drove well.

Friday morning, washed and cleaned car and checked oil and water - all normal. Fixed a few minor issues and went for a short drive. Yellow low water light came on for 10 secs - curious, perhaps a faulty sensor.

Changed and went out for lunch, 20km away, all good. Did some errands and noted low water light came on again, this time for 30 secs. All the time the temp only rose to 12 o'clock position. Raining now, arrived home and switched off while I moved the 525 out of garage to make room for 318i. Only then saw steam coming from around the bonnet. Thought it might be heat from engine steaming the rain drops off the bonnet. Backed into garage, temp still at 12 o'clock, and switched off. Water everywhere. Let it cool off and looked for problem. Hoses seemed OK, radiator and electric fan dry.

In the morning proceeded to refill system. Massive split in expansion tank!

Waiting for a new tank from Clickable (thanks Lucas) and it should assemble and be all good again.

A lucky escape as it seemed to have blown during the 5 mins it was sitting in the drive.

Davconelectric 12-15-2012 09:50 PM

Cool story bro

Jall 12-15-2012 10:15 PM

Don't just replace the expansion tank, do everything at the same time and not worry about the cooling system for another 100k km.

TitanSilverE46 12-15-2012 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jall (Post 14983005)
Don't just replace the expansion tank, do everything at the same time and not worry about the cooling system for another 100k km.

I do agree with this approach ... Thermostat is definitely new and both hoses look like they have been replaced relatively recently.

Water pump is definitely the original, rust on shaft and oxidation on the aluminium housing. At least on the 4cyl M43TU engine it is easy to get to.

Next job, change the DISA valve which is getting noisy and get window regulators ready for the inevitable!

When I bought the 325i two years ago, I found the thermostat not working and changed it, both hoses and expansion tank. Water pump was removed, checked and replaced with new gasket.

DamoBMW 12-15-2012 11:08 PM

Cooling guide:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109

TitanSilverE46 12-17-2012 02:14 AM

Well, I have had an even luckier escape! When I pulled the old expansion tank, I noted a spring and bronze valve sitting in the socket that the expansion tank plugs into. Not knowing what to expect I thought this was normal. The spring appeared to seat in the bottom of the expansion tank.

While waiting for my new expansion tank to arrive, I had a look at a few Youtube videos when I came across this:-

BMW Expansion Tank Diagnosis.

While I don't necessarily agree with the guys thoughts on expansion tank failures, I could see that the spring and valve I had were supposed to be part of a larger assembly. No sign of the top part at all. When I tried to remove the lower part, the plastic disintegrated and I had one hell of a job getting the rest of it out.

The part is called the Auto Transmission Thermostat, part # 17111437362 and is $90 at Clickable. Lucas is express posting one to me so I can install it with the expansion tank.

Any of you have a similar trashed thermostat?

TurnersInOz 12-17-2012 02:27 AM

This is one of the common points of failure in the cooling system.
So is the temperature sensor on the lower radiator hose (the o-ring, specifically).
There are a few main reasons why many believe that replacing everything in one go is the best way... After you buy all the parts that did or most likely will go bad, you've bought most of the system. And it's better to do it once and be done.
Unless, of course you like taking it apart....

TitanSilverE46 12-17-2012 02:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TurnersInOz (Post 14985784)
.... Unless, of course you like taking it apart....

I always like to see if I can do a DIY quicker the second or third time :pimpin:

TurnersInOz 12-17-2012 02:50 AM

Truth be told, I've gotten pretty good at it too!

trive2 12-17-2012 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TitanSilverE46 (Post 14985760)
Well, I have had an even luckier escape! When I pulled the old expansion tank, I noted a spring and bronze valve sitting in the socket that the expansion tank plugs into. Not knowing what to expect I thought this was normal. The spring appeared to seat in the bottom of the expansion tank.

While waiting for my new expansion tank to arrive, I had a look at a few Youtube videos when I came across this:-

BMW Expansion Tank Diagnosis.

While I don't necessarily agree with the guys thoughts on expansion tank failures, I could see that the spring and valve I had were supposed to be part of a larger assembly. No sign of the top part at all. When I tried to remove the lower part, the plastic disintegrated and I had one hell of a job getting the rest of it out.

The part is called the Auto Transmission Thermostat, part # 17111437362 and is $90 at Clickable. Lucas is express posting one to me so I can install it with the expansion tank.

Any of you have a similar trashed thermostat?


Yup. Common problem. Mine nearly destroyed my transmission.

TitanSilverE46 12-19-2012 01:32 AM

Fitted Auto Transmission Thermostat and then new expansion tank. I checked the operation of the low coolant sensor. Interestingly, the sensor itself does not enter a water gallery. It is a reed switch operated by a float with an attached magnet in a fluid passage alongside the sensor pocket. So for anyone's benefit, you can change the sensor without loosing any fluid. ... neat!

Clipped up the bottom of the expansion tank and the two clips on the upper radiator hose and proceeded to bleed the system using the standard procedure mentioned many times elsewhere. When no further bubbles came out I closed the bleed screw and replaced the cap. On starting the car and giving it a few revs, I heard a couple of gurgles from the heater, so leaving the car idling, I opened the bleed screw and got a few more bubbles out. A short drive and the gauge sits in the middle and no more gurgling so I think I have it licked ... :shhh: Hope so anyway.

So for Auto owners, replace the Auto Transmission Thermostat when doing an expansion tank replacement.

Cheers and a Merry Christmas to all. :thumbsup:

spacemaster 12-19-2012 08:50 PM

Could not agree more on the Auto tranny thermostat. Sound like you good for another while ;)


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