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Old 10-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
hi its me alec
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Who else still has the original cooling system?

I feel like I'm definitely one of the few at this point.. It's a 1999 with 113k miles..

So the only thing I've done is flush my coolant at 50k miles, and I did the fuel filter at the same time.

I bought a new water pump and thermostat before I hit 100k, expecting them to die swiftly since my car is such an early build date.

This morning, my 'check coolant' light popped on for the first time ever. It went off after about a minute and did that twice on my way to work. I dropped it off at the shop and had them do a pressure test and leak check, expecting the expansion tank to have a nasty crack or something, and I was ready to go ahead and do everything.

To my amazement, there were no leaks and no seepage. Since there's nothing going on, I can't get myself to do any of it yet.

So I have to wonder, is anyone else doing just fine in the coolant department? Should I still be worried even though it all seems dandy?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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Don't worry 1999-2000 e46 have more sturdy water pumps than later year OEM ones.
Your thermostat might be worn but still works.
I did my first cooling system at 200,000 km. It was largely unneccessary. The Water pump and expansion tank and the two hoses were in good condition.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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I just passed the 100k mark, and all my cooling system is still 100% OEM. I've had it tested and I always keep and eye on the pump pulley, expansion tank, hoses, etc. But everything is good so far.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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Like you I just changed the water pump and thermostat and fluid. Got 110k miles.

Need to change hoses and et soon
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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My previous 2000 323i had about 101,xxx miles on the original cooling system.

The M3 has about 30,000 miles on the original cooling system.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
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Yes you should be worried. Rolling the dice every time you start your car. Comes down to how lucky you feel. your low coolant light came on for a reason. your expansion tank has a crack on it. pressure drop test wont reveal anything if your car is cool. once up to temp, crack expands and water comes out
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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128K... Not sure if it's been replaced or not... Yup, I'm gonna end up on the side of the road.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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221K and I'm still on my original water pump...
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #9
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221K and I'm still on my original water pump...
bought your car brand new in 1999?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #10
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bought your car brand new in 1999?
he assembled one from two junkyard e46
the guy knows his car inside out

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Old 10-04-2012, 02:52 PM   #11
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160k and still on stock water pump. Ticking time bomb...
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:54 PM   #12
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160k and still on stock water pump. Ticking time bomb...
you bought your car brand new?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #13
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you bought your car brand new?
I bought it low mileage CPO'd. Have all of the service records from new.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:56 PM   #14
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your low coolant light came on for a reason. your expansion tank has a crack on it. pressure drop test wont reveal anything if your car is cool. once up to temp, crack expands and water comes out
i agree the coolant light came on for a reason.

did you really just say his "pressure test" done at a the shop won't reveal anything unless hot? umm...the test is under Pressure


as a matter of fact you are suppose to do the test first when cold and then started if you are to find some head gasket leaks.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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i agree the coolant light came on for a reason.

did you really just say his "pressure test" done at a the shop won't reveal anything unless hot? umm...the test is under Pressure


as a matter of fact you are suppose to do the test first when cold and then started if you are to find some head gasket leaks.
The test is under pressure, but the sum of heat + pressure is greater than just pressure alone. Remember, we're talking cracks invisible to the naked eye
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:03 PM   #16
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If you've changed parts, then I'd say you do *not* have the original cooling system.

Period.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #17
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A flashing coolant light is like a gift.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:09 PM   #18
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1000 miles ago I was pretty much original.
Then my radiator took a crap.
I'm at about 102k miles.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:16 PM   #19
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he assembled one from two junkyard e46
the guy knows his car inside out
While I do know my car inside out, it is not a result of two junkyard E46's. Lol.

My first E46 donated it's engine/transmission to the second after the first one was in a accident.

Metal waterpump FTW.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:23 PM   #20
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The test is under pressure, but the sum of heat + pressure is greater than just pressure alone. Remember, we're talking cracks invisible to the naked eye
Sorry but you are incorrect that it should or has to be hot.
You lost your self appointed 4 stars there 'Cooling System General'.

Pressure is all that is needed. Pressure is invisible too.
Pressure is large enough to break any good system, that's why it's monitored and must not go much over each car manufacturers specs. It'll find any crack in the plastic expansion tank.
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