E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 12-26-2012, 08:36 PM   #21
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
Coolant lost

Updated information:

My car has around 115000 km.

Upon replacement of the new thermoset, this morning I started my car and it only take about 5 min to reach the operation temperature of 97 c. Before, I need at least 15 min for the above and I believe the old thermoset is stuck for half open and you could see the broken plastic tap in the previous picture.

Now there is no coolant leak and the liquid gasket seems to do the job at least for this moment. The corrosion of the head seems not block the passage of the coolant and the engine running strong again now.

The coolant will be monitored for a week or two and I will had the car flushed for the cooling system.

Next time maybe 1 year from now, if I need to replace the thermoset, I would do the aluminum one.
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 08:42 PM   #22
Zell
Registered User
 
Zell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Such City
Posts: 5,682
My Ride: '02 Dogemobile Shibe
Do not do the aluminum one. It has a cheap thermostat in it and that tends to break very, very easily. Go with OEM: Behr or Wahler. The plastic thermostat housing is pretty robust, and it does not tend to break or crack. You'll have more problems with the aluminum one.
__________________
Zell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 09:13 PM   #23
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Do not do the aluminum one. It has a cheap thermostat in it and that tends to break very, very easily. Go with OEM: Behr or Wahler. The plastic thermostat housing is pretty robust, and it does not tend to break or crack. You'll have more problems with the aluminum one.
Thanks for your advice.
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 09:21 PM   #24
flashmeow
Banned User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,220
My Ride: E30-E46-E90-E90M-F30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Do not do the aluminum one. It has a cheap thermostat in it and that tends to break very, very easily. Go with OEM: Behr or Wahler. The plastic thermostat housing is pretty robust, and it does not tend to break or crack. You'll have more problems with the aluminum one.
+1 on the alum thermostat

Also...e46 alum thermostat aren't electronically controlled. Some are but most are not

The oe thermostat are very durable. It is made out of engineering thermplatic (nylon glass reinforcement)

plastic reinforced glass


sent from my HTC EVO+ using Bimmer App
flashmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 12:23 AM   #25
Angelic0-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Innri-Njaršvķk
Posts: 65
My Ride: BMW E34, E46 & E38
Send a message via MSN to Angelic0- Send a message via Skype™ to Angelic0-
Am i the only one lucky enough to live in an area with tap water that is the same as distilled water....



Here is a picture of Dexter drinking Icelandic TAP water :') hehehehe




This is what i get from my tap.... but distilled water will still corrode, just at a much slower pace than your tap water...

Last edited by Angelic0-; 12-27-2012 at 12:25 AM.
Angelic0- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 03:28 AM   #26
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
corrosion by tap water

I suspect that the corrosion made is also due to the thermostat ??? since the outlet area is all coated with white powder....
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 04:42 AM   #27
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,827
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
I'm glad the liquid gasket is holding you, OP. I also hope that the shop tried to polish off that gunk before putting the WP on.

I suspect that this is not only just tap water, but probably a bit of the wrong coolant over many years too.

At some point, if you haven't done so already, you'll have some hard pipes under the intake mani that join to two of the engine cooling hoses...those leak also. Mine failed just recently. Anyway, monitor your coolant level very accurately...same place, same time...so you can notice minor changes and take care of them before it becomes a big issue.

97 degrees is just where you want to be...so glad you're running cool now!

Get a good led flashlight (like 100 lumens) and you'll be able to see leaks you couldn't see before.

+1 on NOT getting that aluminum therm...they have a very bad reputation here!
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set

dmax on the radio every Wednesday 7-9 p.m. NYC time. Call in! (661) 449-9340 watsonnwatson.com
dmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 05:24 AM   #28
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
Electrolysis

Electrolysis ??

http://www.ve-labs.net/electrolysis-101/how-to-test

I am going do the test sometime but with the new thermostat though.
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 08:08 AM   #29
flashmeow
Banned User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,220
My Ride: E30-E46-E90-E90M-F30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelic0- View Post
Am i the only one lucky enough to live in an area with tap water that is the same as distilled water....



Here is a picture of Dexter drinking Icelandic TAP water :') hehehehe




This is what i get from my tap.... but distilled water will still corrode, just at a much slower pace than your tap water...

not sure if kidding. tap water or any natural water will NEVER be the same as distill water. do they still teach this in science class nowadays?
flashmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 08:19 AM   #30
flashmeow
Banned User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,220
My Ride: E30-E46-E90-E90M-F30
Natural water usually contains a number of microscopic contaminants, along with dissolved minerals, such as calcium and iron. One way to remove these elements from water is to boil it until it changes to steam, a process known as distillation. When this steam is allowed to cool down and condense into liquid form again, the result is a purified form called distilled water. This water should ideally be nothing but hydrogen and oxygen molecules, with a pH level of 7 and no additional gases, minerals, or contaminants.

source: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-dist....htm#slideshow
flashmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #31
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
Electrolysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by cc1080 View Post
Electrolysis ??

http://www.ve-labs.net/electrolysis-101/how-to-test

I am going do the test sometime but with the new thermostat though.
Updated information:

I checked the voltage as detailed in the procedure of the above link. The reading is fine with the new thermostat.

Since the thermostat is electrically controlled. I wonder the old thermostat which was broken in pieces would result in the electrolysis which cause the corrosion of the cylinder head. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 12:43 PM   #32
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,680
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc1080 View Post
Updated information:

I checked the voltage as detailed in the procedure of the above link. The reading is fine with the new thermostat.

Since the thermostat is electrically controlled. I wonder the old thermostat which was broken in pieces would result in the electrolysis which cause the corrosion of the cylinder head. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
I'm not sure where the confusion is. Use distilled water and genuine bmw coolant to replace the entire cooling system fluid every two years and you'll never have a problem. what's done is done
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS

Last edited by Mango; 12-28-2012 at 12:43 PM.
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 07:36 AM   #33
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
Cooling System

Do you guys know what kind of materials as seen in yellow color around the thermostat housing on the enclosed pictures ?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0531.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	118.4 KB
ID:	483858  
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 08:19 AM   #34
jfoj
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fairfax, VA USA
Posts: 10,085
My Ride: '06 330CiC, '03 M5
Likely you had an electrolysis problem, but not likely from the electrical thermostat.

In the "old" days of the copper radiator, you could use your Voltmeter to determine the PH of the antifreeze! One electrode on the filler opening, one electrode in the antifreeze. You could actually measure DC Voltage!


I agree that a few things likely happened here:

1. The coolant was diluted out with tap water over time. So there was likely little to no antifreeze in the final solution in the engine. This meant that corrosion inhibitors and stabilizers were basically leaked out of the cooling system.

2. The local tap water likely had a high mineral content with calcium and other hard minerals. It could be likely that sea water was also converted for drinking water? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_s...n_in_Hong_Kong it seems that there is a sea water infrastructure of some sort as well as desalination?

3. For electrolysis to occur, you need dis-similar metal and usually an acid based PH. The higher the acid content and the more minerals in the water the more severe the electrolysis is. If you think about the BMW cooling system, the only real dis-similar metals other than aluminum are likely to be the water pump shaft and thermostat. Most everything else is plastic and aluminum. So for the corrosion to occur only around the thermostat is not unusual. You have the steel spring that you could see the rust on, the fact that the thermostat spring was rusted indicates how corrosive the coolant (water) really was.

If you have never seen electrolysis you should go back to the last 70's-mid 80's and look at some of the US cars that had aluminum bumper cores that were wrapped with chrome plated steel outer skins. These cars that were driving in the snow belt in the US would get road salt spray up inside these bumpers. After about 8 years the 1/4"+ thick aluminum bumper core had totally converted to what appeared to be flaky, rusted iron. If you every had someone run into you or had to use the bumper jack to change a tire, watch out!!! The bumpers would just fall off the cars. A really dangerous situation.

4. It is possible you may also have a questionable engine to body ground straps as well? Worth checking, on the passenger side under the car near the passenger side motor mount. Strap usually has issues where it connects to the lower frame rail.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Measusing Coolant Voltage.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	4.3 KB
ID:	483860  
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 12-29-2012 at 08:24 AM.
jfoj is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #35
tcphoto
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 977
My Ride: '01 325Cic TiAg
This should illustrate to everyone what not to do to their car. The OP did not use distilled water to refill his ET but used tap water instead. On top of that, he allowed his engine to get so dirty that it caused other issues. One does not simply put in gas and drive.
tcphoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 03:38 AM   #36
cc1080
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 18
My Ride: E46 325ci
Flushing cooling system

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Likely you had an electrolysis problem, but not likely from the electrical thermostat.

In the "old" days of the copper radiator, you could use your Voltmeter to determine the PH of the antifreeze! One electrode on the filler opening, one electrode in the antifreeze. You could actually measure DC Voltage!


I agree that a few things likely happened here:

1. The coolant was diluted out with tap water over time. So there was likely little to no antifreeze in the final solution in the engine. This meant that corrosion inhibitors and stabilizers were basically leaked out of the cooling system.

2. The local tap water likely had a high mineral content with calcium and other hard minerals. It could be likely that sea water was also converted for drinking water? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_s...n_in_Hong_Kong it seems that there is a sea water infrastructure of some sort as well as desalination?

3. For electrolysis to occur, you need dis-similar metal and usually an acid based PH. The higher the acid content and the more minerals in the water the more severe the electrolysis is. If you think about the BMW cooling system, the only real dis-similar metals other than aluminum are likely to be the water pump shaft and thermostat. Most everything else is plastic and aluminum. So for the corrosion to occur only around the thermostat is not unusual. You have the steel spring that you could see the rust on, the fact that the thermostat spring was rusted indicates how corrosive the coolant (water) really was.

If you have never seen electrolysis you should go back to the last 70's-mid 80's and look at some of the US cars that had aluminum bumper cores that were wrapped with chrome plated steel outer skins. These cars that were driving in the snow belt in the US would get road salt spray up inside these bumpers. After about 8 years the 1/4"+ thick aluminum bumper core had totally converted to what appeared to be flaky, rusted iron. If you every had someone run into you or had to use the bumper jack to change a tire, watch out!!! The bumpers would just fall off the cars. A really dangerous situation.

4. It is possible you may also have a questionable engine to body ground straps as well? Worth checking, on the passenger side under the car near the passenger side motor mount. Strap usually has issues where it connects to the lower frame rail.
Thanks. It is very informative.

by the way, today I had my shop again flush out all the coolant and pour 5050 mix of BMW coolant with distilled water.
cc1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use