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: 119 votes, 4.01 average.
Old 01-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #801
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,823
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScandiHooligan View Post



Cooling System Overhaul Advice Requested. (Mango, thanks very much for taking the time to provide the above parts list. I'm new to BMW's and this forum, though I have been studying both of them for 3 weeks. About 3 weeks ago, I purchased a 2002 325Ci, (JW52135) with 153K. The service records for the first 64k came from BMW since this was a Lease vehicle. The next owner had it for about 10K, then the guy I bought it from had owned it from 75k till I bought it from him. The guy I bought it from had it serviced by the same Indy BMW Garage, (with receipts) till I bought it. The car has been pretty well maintained with regular oil changes. The only issues are the typical BMW issues I've found on this forum and the car is in need of a Cooling System Overhaul to include a radiator, since there is a hairline crack around the neck. None of the receipts I have indicate the cooling system has ever being touched, except for 20k ago, the Indy BMW Garage replaced the Thermostat, a Radiator hose and the belts. I will be driving this car btw Tampa and Miami at least once a month. I want to minimize my chances of a breakdown, so I'm trying to look at what could possibly give me a problem. The one thing I have not seen addressed with regards to the cooling system are the Heater Hoses and Pipes, (RealOEM. com schematics) in the system. So my questions:
1. As you well know, there is a lot of plastic on these cars, so I have to believe these heater pipes are plastic as well and suffer from the same heat/pressure related failures as the rest of the system, or are they more robust? Every vehicle I've purchased in the past the first thing I do is flush the system and replace the cooling system hoses, to include the Heater Hoses etc. What would be your advice for this BMW?
2. And with regards to the above post about the Expansion Tank mounting plate, should that be a wait and see or should I just go ahead and replace it?
3. I have a Hydraulic Tensioner for the WP/ALT/PS. Should I replace the entire Tensioner assembly or would the Tensioner alone be enough? The A/C Tensioner is Mechanical and independent of the rest of the system and looks to be pretty accessable and functioning properly for the time being. I think I'll leave it alone for now unless you're of a different opinion.
4. Voltage Regulator. Someone posted, (might have been you) that while you're down in the bowls of the engine compartment you should go ahead and replace the VR since these cars are particularly voltage sensitive. Your opinion?
Thanks very much for taking the time to address my questions.
Welcome to the forum! WDE is correct, I haven't seen those heater pipes and hoses fail. You should be fine.

You will be fine replacing just the tensioner pulley and not the whole assembly (as long as theres no obvious signs of play or failure)

Replace whatever is in my thread and you should be fine. The hard cooling pipes are good to replace but usually people don't see problems with those. And if they do its usually over 200k. They usually require the intake manifold to come off so it'll set you back a few more hours of work.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #802
ScandiHooligan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 2
My Ride: 325Ci
Thanks everyone for your input. I stopped by my local BMW dealer today to order a missing alternator duct and while there I asked about the water pipes. As luck would have it, they had one in stock that I was able to peruse. Pretty stout stuff. I'll inspect mine when I get stuck into this overhaul and if I see something wrong, I'll replace it, if not I won't. Also, if I run into any snafu's I'll let you know.
On another note, I've done some price shopping the last few days for the items I'll need for this overhaul. Though they don't have the best prices for everything, they do have the best price for many OEM items I was looking for, for this overhaul. And that would be BMWPartsSource.com an online source for Faulkner BMW in PA.
Thanks again everyone.
ScandiHooligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #803
BBBoy323i
All show no go!
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,462
My Ride: 2000 323i Black/Gray
Got this in the mail today
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1357263978.530780.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	78.0 KB
ID:	484511  
__________________
 photo 01bea680-7313-4e36-9aab-9072b1a50daf_zps5308f8f8.jpg
BBBoy323i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #804
G-Train
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2000 323i
Hey all, longtime creeper. just made an account to post some questions. Really quick, working on a 2000 323i automatic transmission with about 90k miles. Previous owner never performed maintenance so i'm getting a crash course in it. Noticed a steady antifreeze drip coming from the expansion tank area under pressure so i started doing some snooping. Found this hose attached to the bottom of the expansion tank with a steady drip coming out of it.

Due to the location of the hose I had to remove the expansion tank to get in and pull it loose. Followed an excellent DIY found here supplemented with EdzGarage videos off youtube and eventually made it happen. The expansion tank was incredibly hard to remove, eventually pried it out by leveraging a screwdriver against the cap on top. It finally popped loose and this is where things get dicey. There is now an interesting rattle inside of my expansion tank, and I found pieces of the thermostat laying in my driveway (spring and copper colored metal piece). At this point I stood up and reached for my metaphorical emergency whistle while yelling "I need an adult!"

Is my sneaking suspicion correct that now I also need to purchase a new thermostat instead of just the leaking hose?

Any advice or insight is welcome, posted pictures of the pieces I removed.
G-Train is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #805
G-Train
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2000 323i
Working on getting the pictures uploaded. Hope this is in the right location.
G-Train is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #806
WDE46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Old Greg's Cavern
Posts: 9,036
My Ride: 2004 330Ci OBM
Since your cooling system is falling apart, you should do the overhaul that Mango describes at the beginning of this thread.

For future reference, you can easily remove the expansion tank by using a long socket extension (10"). Put that up against the bottom of the ET and then put the other end on your jacks lifting pad. the jack will pop it right off.
WDE46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #807
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,823
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
Since your cooling system is falling apart, you should do the overhaul that Mango describes at the beginning of this thread.

For future reference, you can easily remove the expansion tank by using a long socket extension (10"). Put that up against the bottom of the ET and then put the other end on your jacks lifting pad. the jack will pop it right off.
you don't even need to do that. i just used a long screw driver and a little muscle. pops right off. Lower radator hose.. now that's a different story.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:53 PM   #808
WDE46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Old Greg's Cavern
Posts: 9,036
My Ride: 2004 330Ci OBM
Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
you don't even need to do that. i just used a long screw driver and a little muscle. pops right off. Lower radator hose.. now that's a different story.
Oh. Where exactly do you pry? I didn't do that because I was worried about breaking the filler neck. I removed my tank and reinstalled it about 5 minutes before a 300 miles trip hahaha.
WDE46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:57 PM   #809
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,823
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
Oh. Where exactly do you pry? I didn't do that because I was worried about breaking the filler neck. I removed my tank and reinstalled it about 5 minutes before a 300 miles trip hahaha.
I pry at the bottom of the expansion tank. I think against the plate. when i did this job last a couple months ago on an automatic e46, the tank would not pry off for the life of me. took a screwdriver and edged it at the bottom of the tank (closer to the front of the car) and pried up and it came off easily. make sure you use a larger screwdriver so you have more contact area so you don't poke holes in things. (common sense)
__________________
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; 01-04-2013 at 03:57 PM.
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 04:02 PM   #810
7xWDC-MSC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Peoples Republik of Massachusetts
Posts: 218
My Ride: 2005 325xi
To anyone who has used compressed air to purge their system after flushing with tap water, what pressure was optimal?
7xWDC-MSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 04:03 PM   #811
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 7,851
My Ride: '04 330Ci
If it's any consolation, virtually everyone who takes off the ET breaks the auto trans thermostat. So they usually start the job with a new one on hand and just replace it.
Better yet, if you're working on part of your cooling system knowing that nothing has been done for so many miles, why not just replace it all to prevent the dribble of breakdowns spread out over the next couple years. This is what most of us here do.
Cooling system is the most vulnerable one and has the potential to wipe out the whole engine in a few minutes if you're not on alert for just a short while.

Last edited by Stinger9; 01-04-2013 at 04:05 PM.
Stinger9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 04:14 PM   #812
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,823
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7xWDC-MSC View Post
To anyone who has used compressed air to purge their system after flushing with tap water, what pressure was optimal?
Also in addition to what I said over PM, the effectiveness and pressure of the PSI setting you use to blow the water out will depend greatly on how many holes you've opened up in the cooling system. As I mentioned, just do enough to evacuate all the tap water. you don't want to blow anything. i used a reversed shop vac with 3 ports on the engine open and all went well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
If it's any consolation, virtually everyone who takes off the ET breaks the auto trans thermostat. So they usually start the job with a new one on hand and just replace it.
Better yet, if you're working on part of your cooling system knowing that nothing has been done for so many miles, why not just replace it all to prevent the dribble of breakdowns spread out over the next couple years. This is what most of us here do.
Cooling system is the most vulnerable one and has the potential to wipe out the whole engine in a few minutes if you're not on alert for just a short while.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 08:51 PM   #813
7xWDC-MSC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Peoples Republik of Massachusetts
Posts: 218
My Ride: 2005 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Also in addition to what I said over PM, the effectiveness and pressure of the PSI setting you use to blow the water out will depend greatly on how many holes you've opened up in the cooling system. As I mentioned, just do enough to evacuate all the tap water. you don't want to blow anything. i used a reversed shop vac with 3 ports on the engine open and all went well


Mango what did you use as your inlet?
7xWDC-MSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 09:04 PM   #814
G-Train
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2000 323i
Luckily I only broke the thermostat (I assume its broken because I was picking pieces of it up off the sidewalk) instead of going for a home-run and breaking the sensor also. This forum has been a lifesaver for all the DIY information, I started out with 0 BMW mechanical knowledge and a grim determination to not pay close to $500 in labor. So far I can destroy at least 10 more parts at this rate and still come out ahead of going to my local mechanic.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to document their work!
G-Train is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 09:08 PM   #815
G-Train
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2000 323i
This is the original reason why I tore into everything. It was the lowest hose coming out of the expansion tank near the thermostat, runs into the engine. What is it for?
[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by G-Train; 01-04-2013 at 09:10 PM.
G-Train is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 09:24 PM   #816
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 7,851
My Ride: '04 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Train View Post
It was the lowest hose coming out of the expansion tank near the thermostat, runs into the engine. What is it for?
Just another coolant path to take the coolant around and into behind the water pump.
See #5
Looks like a twelve year old hose!

Last edited by Stinger9; 05-08-2014 at 05:40 PM.
Stinger9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 09:27 PM   #817
G-Train
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2000 323i
Do you think that is normal wear and tear that caused the hose to pull away from the seal or is there a problem with pressure buildup at that end of the hose? The other side looked fine. Also that hose felt like it was cemented into the bottom of the ET, had to stand on one end while yelling profanity and summoning Hercules like strength to pull at the other before it finally pulled free.
G-Train is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 09:28 PM   #818
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 7,851
My Ride: '04 330Ci
All you describe is normal for your age.

That's why it's best to replace everything.

Last edited by Stinger9; 01-04-2013 at 09:29 PM.
Stinger9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #819
minde238
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
My Ride: bmw 323i 99
Greetings to everyone! Happy new year too!
first of all, very very many helpful posts here somehow i dont really trust the mechanics in the uk, dont know why, maybe cuz they seem to go to the most expensive part of repair when i go and ask them about a problem in my lovely bmw
Problem i've got is more likely the same everyones posting here has
Lets start. Biggest nuisance i had with my bmw, was the exploding expansion tank. oh boy that was scary (considering that is my fisrt bmw and a second car in my life time). Big exploding sound and a lot lot fumes under the hood. I reacted immediately and turned the engine off. I didnt start it no more that day...had it towed to the garage (what else could i do? ). The mechanic says its a head gasket straight away no other thoughts. Really? after reading these posts i started to doubt him very much so.
OK so what seems to worry me too much is that the upper hose after some drivig or even when the car is idle gets very very hot and all swolen so hard i cant even press it with my hands. When i tried losening the ET cap the pressure in the hose seems to go away, BUT then the coolant goes out of the ET when im driving ( not to fast but still u know its coming out and thats not good i guess..).
So please guys help me. Is it really a head done or..? Should i have it tested for pressure leaks or whatever u call it.

Oh and i've recently changed a water pump so maybe the mechanic didnt bleed the system properly? Im gonna try bleeding it out with the metods described above. Thanks everyone in advance for helping cheeers!





ok, i've just tried to bleed the system as instructed on the first page. Dont think it helped though, cuz after taking it for a spin the hose was still prety tight and when i took the ET cap of the water just started pouring out of the water tank with loads of bubles together and then it stopped (and it seemed like the water was boiling if u know what i mean it was really hot with loads of bubbles again). please help me? :} thanks.

Last edited by minde238; 01-05-2013 at 09:24 AM.
minde238 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #820
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 7,851
My Ride: '04 330Ci
So far your logical thinking is fine. You've just not done enough to your cooling system to build confidence back into it.
If you were truly a student of this board, you would have done a complete cooling system refresh.
And you've not given us enough of a complete history of the repairs you've done to your car? What is the mileage on this car and service history?
And perhaps most importantly for now, did you replace your thermostat?
And learn how to use the hidden OBC functions and set it to monitor your coolant temperature. Report back to here.
And verify that your fan is functioning properly?

Last edited by Stinger9; 05-08-2014 at 05:40 PM.
Stinger9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bleeding, coolant, cooling system, diy cooling, expansion tank, lower hose sensor, overheat, radiator, radiator hose, temp sensor, temperature sensor, thermostat, waste of money, water pump

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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 07:47 PM.


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