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Old 09-22-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
sergg
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losing ONLY about a liter of coolant. HELP!

Hello fellas,

Replaced the radiator (1yr ago), hoses, thermostat and the expansion tank was replaced about 2 yrs ago.

Last month I started to lose coolant from somewhere, cant find the spot but I lose it enough to set off the dashboard light intermittently and it does not lose any more than that, so basically I am losing coolant until the ET is empty and it looks like it stops. I have also noticed that most of the time I lose the coolant at once , meaning, after driving it for a while I stop, park the car and it sort of vomits it (about half of a liter or maybe more)

any thoughts?

( already took it to the mechanic, replaced the aux switch fan sensor but it didn't fix anything but his pocket)
thanks for your time!
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #2
ApolloTheGod
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Originally Posted by sergg View Post
Hello fellas,

Replaced the radiator (1yr ago), hoses, thermostat and the expansion tank was replaced about 2 yrs ago.

Last month I started to lose coolant from somewhere, cant find the spot but I lose it enough to set off the dashboard light intermittently and it does not lose any more than that, so basically I am losing coolant until the ET is empty and it looks like it stops. I have also noticed that most of the time I lose the coolant at once , meaning, after driving it for a while I stop, park the car and it sort of vomits it (about half of a liter or maybe more)

any thoughts?

( already took it to the mechanic, replaced the aux switch fan sensor but it didn't fix anything but his pocket)
thanks for your time!
I do not mean to come off as a dick, but your first problem you stated yourself. You took it to a mechanic to fix a sensor? If you have to source that out I am afraid you will never know the source of the leak because you obviously arent looking for it. Its not hard. Get on the ground with a flashlight, get under the car, pull any panels off you may need to, and then observe the car, study it, come to love the E46 from the underside. Dont ever source out work. Do you know how abusive other people are with your stuff?
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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I took it to the mechanic to fix the leak prob, HE determined the O ring of the fan switch was the culprit, if you don't mean to come off as a dick then don't be one.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:56 PM   #4
ApolloTheGod
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I took it to the mechanic to fix the leak prob, HE determined the O ring of the fan switch was the culprit, if you don't mean to come off as a dick then don't be one.
A fan switch wont leak that much coolant. Slap your mechanic with a dildo
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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I bet it is the lower hose that attaches to your expansion tank. Get under your car and push on it and you should see the hose being wet. It's like the metal clamp that attaches the plastic piece to the hose looses up over time. Since its a crimp on clamp you just have to replace the hose that already has it attached.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #6
TurnersInOz
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If the leak seems to stop when the ET is empty, then the ET (or a connection on it) is a good place to start looking. Keep in mind that the ET can develop hairline cracks that are very difficult to see.

You mention that it has leaked after a drive... Where was the leak? Left side or right?
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
lszlszx
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The mechanic should've done a pressure test.
It may be the headgasket?
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:28 PM   #8
BimmersGarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sergg View Post
Hello fellas,

Replaced the radiator (1yr ago), hoses, thermostat and the expansion tank was replaced about 2 yrs ago.

Last month I started to lose coolant from somewhere, cant find the spot but I lose it enough to set off the dashboard light intermittently and it does not lose any more than that, so basically I am losing coolant until the ET is empty and it looks like it stops. I have also noticed that most of the time I lose the coolant at once , meaning, after driving it for a while I stop, park the car and it sort of vomits it (about half of a liter or maybe more)
any thoughts?

( already took it to the mechanic, replaced the aux switch fan sensor but it didn't fix anything but his pocket)
thanks for your time!
You need to remove your splash shield/pan and take a good visual inspection to see where the leak is occuring.

Double Check your ET and waterpump.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
ICEMANBU
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Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
The mechanic should've done a pressure test.
It may be the headgasket?
Had to bring mine into the shop this week to run a pressure test on the system....held up fine, so if the coolant is disappearing on me, the shop said I could be burning the coolant and then it could be a headgasket issue....

Good luck, buddy, hope it doesn't turn out to be too bad....
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:45 PM   #10
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You need to remove your splash shield/pan and take a good visual inspection to see where the leak is occuring.
+1. If you see white residue on the crank pulley, it's probably a water pump. It won't show up anywhere else (except on the front of the engine, which you can't really see without a mirror). Ask me how I know.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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+1. If you see white residue on the crank pulley, it's probably a water pump. It won't show up anywhere else (except on the front of the engine, which you can't really see without a mirror). Ask me how I know.
I posted in another thread but am trying to track down a leak that is spotting the driveway (a little) after the car is turned off. I have a brand new expansion tank and new thermostat. The indy didn't replace the water pump.

I let the car run for about 30 mins tonight and looking down from top I don't see any active drip on the splash shield.

There is some white spots on the ET that must have blown from the fan. I've been watching and watching below the front of the water pump and can't see anything dripped below.

Does a water pump leak somehow go behind where you can't see from top? The leak is coming out of the open square in the splash shield where the center jack point is (XI). It's a few drops enough to make a 2 or 3 inch spot on the concrete.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:22 PM   #12
David McMahon
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Originally Posted by Hogan773 View Post
I posted in another thread but am trying to track down a leak that is spotting the driveway (a little) after the car is turned off. I have a brand new expansion tank and new thermostat. The indy didn't replace the water pump.

I let the car run for about 30 mins tonight and looking down from top I don't see any active drip on the splash shield.

There is some white spots on the ET that must have blown from the fan. I've been watching and watching below the front of the water pump and can't see anything dripped below.

Does a water pump leak somehow go behind where you can't see from top? The leak is coming out of the open square in the splash shield where the center jack point is (XI). It's a few drops enough to make a 2 or 3 inch spot on the concrete.
When you ran it had you just returned from a good drive? Maybe try scrubbing the entire system and checking for new white spots.

If you're unlucky it may be the head gasket as stated above.

Have you removed the splash shield to check?
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:20 AM   #13
sergg
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The leak appears to be Right under the ET area but I can't seem to figure where exactly from.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
Mr Podman
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My Honda Pilot behaved in the manner you spoke of, doing ceremonial one time pukes of coolant onto my garage floor.

It was the lower large radiator hose. I could see the clamp area was all rusty. In the case of the Pilot, all it took was a $2 worm clamp.

When the water pump on my E46 started puking coolant it was pretty obvious because there was blue/green goo sprayed on the underside sections of the motor.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:25 PM   #15
scarede46er
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It may be just your expansion tank cap. Happened to me. New one fixed it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #16
Hogan773
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Originally Posted by David McMahon View Post
When you ran it had you just returned from a good drive? Maybe try scrubbing the entire system and checking for new white spots.

If you're unlucky it may be the head gasket as stated above.

Have you removed the splash shield to check?
I will need to remove the shields and I'll also hose out the engine bay. The exhaust had noticeable vapor and when I kicked the pedal some water shot out of the exhaust. I can't tell if that was because it was a cool (55 degree night) or not. Still, does a headgasket leak under the front of the car? I thought it just burns the coolant into the cylinders?
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #17
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Channel inexpensive thoughts first.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #18
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The leak appears to be Right under the ET area but I can't seem to figure where exactly from.
It could be the ET or the automatic transmission cooling block. Replace the ET and buy O-rings for the cooling block. $70 plus $20 gallon of BMW coolant plus $1 gallon of distilled water. Done. Actually you need to replace the AT thermostat under the ET as well. Another $80, BUT this can all be done yourself easily.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:58 PM   #19
Hogan773
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Channel inexpensive thoughts first.
Yep! If it is the you-know-what it might drive me to just dump the car at this point. I'm not sure I can swallow throwing $2500-3000 into fixing something like that.

How do I see whether it is the water pump leaking.....I mean where does it leak from....the front side I assume? Like I said I didnt see any real liquid leakage on the splash pan directly below the water pump pulley. It's just strange since everything had been fine since most of the cooling system was replaced on July 1, so I was surprised to see a leak again.

Last edited by Hogan773; 09-23-2013 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #20
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Could be the rad too- they like to leak near the top mounting screw on the driver's side (usually right after motor mounts are replaced).

Start with the rad cap though.
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