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Old 10-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #1
bun911
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325i coolant issues (another one)

Hi peeps ,

About 6 months ago i bought an old nail of a 325i , 2001. its done 125k so its well aged!
Anyway , i love it !
In that time ive driven halfway across europe in it and have been the length of the UK a few times in it.
About 2 months ago it started "using" a little water. At first i thought it was the water pump , so i replaced it . But i get the same symptoms still.
I basically get a "low coolant" light on start up from cold , which goes out within half a mile of driving .
Last week i drove down to the coast in it (150 miles), but before i went i put some kalemex in it. I dont beleive in the stuff , but i also really really dont wanna replace the head gasket!
Anyway , i have a feeling it may have bumped the coolant a little high because at chucked a load out somewhere on route. I think it came from the ET bottom union, but cant be sure.
However , i stopped , let it cool then topped to minimum and drove 150 mile back with no issues.
I personal think there is a little too much pressure in the system , but this is my first bmw so im not as familiar with there behaviour.I also think the exhaust is a little "steamy" but it does do alot of very short journeys , followed by weeks of doing nothing , so this may be condensation!
But here's the real thing. IT NEVER GETS HOT, EVER.
It starts everytime , runs great , and behaves all the time. If it wasnt for the low coolant light , i would never have suspect anything was wrong.
The oil is also clean as a whistle , and has never used any at all.

Any suggestions , would be appreciated , the doom merchant in me says the head gaskets failing and pressuring the system , but reading post on here , i get the impression the cooling system runs more pressure the other vehicles.
The coolant is not venting through the cap , so im guessing its not too bad.

Help!!!!
Im probably skilled enough to do the head , but i really really dont want to !

Thanks
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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You're going way too quickly to conclude head issue.

Try a thorough proper bleeding first. Look well for leaks...and if you do any parts replacement, flush after the drain and assembly with just pure distilled to get that stuff you poured in there out...keep using distilled until the drained fluid is clean...maybe even two flushes.

Fill with water, drive a bit, drain completely from engine drain plug.

Clean up any residue you see...check temp sensor on lower radiator hose...check side of radiator and around ET too (looking for very fine cracks).

Read Mango's sticky cooling thread above and about 3-5 long cooling threads--search 'cooling' in thread titles.
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Last edited by dmax; 10-21-2012 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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^ what he said, check the ET could be the culprit
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
You're going way too quickly to conclude head issue.

Try a thorough proper bleeding first. Look well for leaks...and if you do any parts replacement, flush after the drain and assembly with just pure distilled to get that stuff you poured in there out...keep using distilled until the drained fluid is clean...maybe even two flushes.

Fill with water, drive a bit, drain completely from engine drain plug.

Clean up any residue you see...check temp sensor on lower radiator hose...check side of radiator and around ET too (looking for very fine cracks).

Read Mango's sticky cooling thread above and about 3-5 long cooling threads--search 'cooling' in thread titles.
+2


I had replaced my cooling system a few weeks ago, and bled it "thoroughly"

Last week it got cool enough in the early morning to turn the heat on...upon doing so, I got the "Mango light" aka low coolant light.

So I let the car completely cool down, and started it up revved it a bit to get some pressure, then turned engine off, with key on, Heat set to max, and re bled the system.

All has been well for a week now.

Best of Luck!
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:44 AM   #5
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Definely sounds like the ET unless your heater core leaking inside the car.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
bun911
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I hope i'm jumping the gun, but im concerned about the pressure in the system . I will flush and bleed . but im tempted to replace the ET first as i think the origanal escape was from that bottom seal on the ET.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
///MPR77
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I hope i'm jumping the gun, but im concerned about the pressure in the system . I will flush and bleed . but im tempted to replace the ET first as i think the origanal escape was from that bottom seal on the ET.
Could be the level sensor leaking its down there where you suspect a leak...Replacing the whole system will give you peace of mind, and keep you from having to revisit the same system for ala carte, piece by piece replacements.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:50 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. I've just had the ET off ond cleaned and inspected it. It looked fine , i think it's been replaced at some point. Anyway it's now spotless so I'm hoping I will be able to spot any leaks now. I bled the system using the continuous top up in the cooling post. Then set the level. I also left the cap off over night (don't know if this helped). But the level had dropped a little this morning.
Fingers crossed , it either works or I can now spot the leak !
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:29 AM   #9
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You took the ET off and reseated it? If you were doing that, I would have said it's a good idea to just replace it anyway...along with a few other things like therm, and at 125K miles, the WP too...just because I like low-hanging fruit.

Be careful. I wouldn't drive it yet, you know. Just get it to op temp, but be in the driveway so you can monitor what's going on.

Have the underskirt off so you can find leaks. If you have none and drive, monitor temp gauge and turn the car off at the first sign of the needle rising immediately.

Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:47 AM   #10
bun911
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It was Sunday night. No where to buy an ET. . Did the water pump 2 months ago. There was residue behind the pulley so I changed it.
It's fine at the mo. I ran it up to op temp before work. No leaks obvious.
Drove 2 miles to work where it will no doubt sit til Friday. I'm not convinced anything has changed but at least it bled up properly so that's another thing to eliminate.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
bun911
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Ok , well I've found where the coolants going !!!
It's coming out of the union with the blue screw in it that the ET sits on .
I think it's coming out of the really small pipe half way up .
Is this a pressure relief valve of some description ?
And does anyone know where I can get that part from .
Cheers
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #13
bun911
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This is it ,there is a small "neck" half way up on the other side of the downtube.
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