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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-13-2011, 06:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Chocolate Lab View Post
Well, hope you guys don't mind my bumping this, but I went ahead and towed it the easy three blocks from our office to the Stealer and he just quoted me $395 to install the new tank alone! Unbelievable! Does that even sound right? I know the tank is like $54 and the new coolant is only around $20 per gallon. WTF!

The kicker is that this is my old car, and usually I might really try this myself like you guys are saying because I could take my time with it. But my current driver, an X3, has some kind of serious compressor problem and it's literally 105 degrees here in Texas. So I'm kind of desperate to get it fixed ASAP.


Seriously, where do you guys learn how to do all this? I'm handy enough and willing to try, but when I'm talking about my engine I get kind of skittish. I need to go to BMW mechanics school for adults! (Maybe seriously, I assume these things exist...)

Definitely sounds like your expansion tank exploded.. Good thing you Didn't continue driving/idling (quick reflexes/good reaction response on your part.)
$395 is the standard "bend-u-over" labor price from stealerships.

Check out some of my YT vids, to get you started on the DIY process. At least how to access/maneuver around the engine bay.

Side Note: bite the bullet and get a OEM expansion tank (about $80-100), those cheap knock offs may/will have fitment issues/problems. Also get yourself a new Upper Radiator Hose. And, yes you'll need a gallon of BMW coolant.

The most important thing to remember is to BLEED your system after any cooling system install.

Yeah, too bad you're not here in DFW.. could've given you a hand.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:17 PM   #22
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I've had my engine "blow up" 3 times now...

E46 Expansion tanks. You gotta love them.

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Old 06-13-2011, 07:59 PM   #23
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Good luck with the DIY. I agree that some dealerships are complete ripoffs.

I wouldn't do this completely alone though. I did mine with my brother and it wasn't too bad, just a bit involved. There isn't any technical complexity to it.

Maybe you can find a forum member around TX that can give you a hand.

Good luck!

Last edited by SYT_Shadow; 08-07-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:15 PM   #24
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #25
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^ That's an epic ET failure.

That certainly sounds like the expansion tank. It's been about a week - what happened?

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Old 06-14-2011, 10:26 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TitaniumCranium View Post
^ That's an epic ET failure.

That certainly sounds like the expansion tank. It's been about a week - what happened?
Heh... That's exactly what mind did. Actually, mine was probably even more dramatic because I was sitting still when it happened, so I didn't drive past any of the steam -- it just blew straight up in a big cloud. And the sound was probably magnified by being underneath the bank canopy.

The dealer is doing it today, to my chagrin.

I really need to learn to do these things myself. I'm lucky in that I do have a nice big space at our office to work, so that isn't an issue. They're only doing the tank itself, so it sounds like I'll need to replace the hoses and even the radiator at some point.

BimmersGarage, I'll check your Youtube (I might have already seen it with all the ones I watched) but I'm thinking I really need to find someone I can work with on this on person. There are actually a couple of independent mechanics down the street who have done work for me in the past, but they've never wanted to work on my BMWs. The second guy, especially, works primarily on Japanese cars, but I think he might be willing to work on mine if I provide the parts. He's laid back enough that I'm pretty sure he'd let me watch and learn, too.

Thanks again for the help, everyone. This board is great.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:44 AM   #27
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You just gotta start somewhere man. Before I owned this car all I could do was plugs, oil change, and filter change... This car changed that QUICK.
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Originally Posted by Roxlo View Post
Class of '03, yet you're still an idiot. Whats your point? Do you really think that you're somehow a god because you joined a site before someone else? ****ing nerd.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:32 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
Good luck with the DIY. I agree that dealerships are complete ripoffs.
You sure about that?

Not all dealerships are the same.

Stop making hasty generalizations.

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by southpaw View Post
You sure about that?

Not all dealerships are the same.

Stop making hasty generalizations.
you're right. I edited my original post.

Not all dealerships are ripoffs and some do good quality work.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:59 PM   #30
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I noticed some- including myself- never experienced ET problems (knock on the wood) and some go through like 3 in a course of few years!

Had the first 330 at around 63K miles, took it to about 125K miles on the original tank, no problem.
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