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 Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #1
Joni 492
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oakmont PA
Posts: 7
My Ride: 323i 2000
Head gasket or coolant problems

Hi, I bought a used 323i (2000) that had 164,000 miles. I have had nothing but problems. I replaced many parts (clutch arms and bushings, sway bars, transmission pan..) adding up to about 2K.
Then the head gasket blew. The mechanic replaced a lot of parts, hoses, thermostat, water pump before he decided that it was the head gasket. I don't know why it took so long.
Then I paid to have those parts taken off the old engine, put on the new (used) one. Then he put the new engine in. This all added up to $4 K. He also had to replace a hood release cable that had broken. (I don't know the charge for that yet)
Then coolant started to leak. . There was no sign of overheating; no smoke needle didn’t move. I wouldn't have known except there were lots of leak spots on the driveway all the way down the driver side of the car and in the front on the driver's side after it was parked for awhile. Then I checked the coolant and it looked empty. There was nothing leaking when idling.. but there was steam coming from the radiator cap. I replaced the cap. Filled it and drove short while... empty again (but no leaks on driveway) Filled again and the same thing... empty but no leaks on driveway. Drive 5 miles and coolant is gone... where it went I do not know. But it is gone... filled it, same thing. SO, now it needs another head gasket (different motor... $4K and I am back where I started from. The mechanic says everything else is good.
It has been like a slot machine. I keep thinking it is the last repair and I will get 250K miles.

I have 10K in this car. Do I replace the head gasket for another 2K. The body looks good. Interior by the gear shift rubber is old looking.
Oh yes, heater/air conditioner doesn't work. Nor does driver side door lock.
I overpaid for the car to begin with 4K just about 1 1/2 years ago. It has spent since last July in the shop.
I am at my wits end, not to mention pocket book. Any advice. Anyone in the Pittsburgh area want to buy this? (I am a 64 year old grandmother!

I forgot to ask: Is there always the smoke with the head gasket breaking. I didn't see any smoke. Also the car never seemed to overheat (but the weather has been in the 20s). Does the K sealant work. IS there a way to check myself to see if it is a radiator crack or something else other than the head gasket. It just seems too much of a coincidence 2 headgaskets in 2 different motors. SOrry for the long post. But any suggestions?
Joni 492 is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-15-2017, 08:56 PM   #2
BaliDawg
Keepin' it real stock
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 5,520
My Ride: E24 E32 E46 E39 E84
Wow, so sad to hear about your bad luck with that car. You're definitely being taken advantage of by your mechanic!

You cannot pay someone to maintain these cars. It just costs way more than the car is worth (as you've seen). Cut your losses, sell it, get a Toyota or Honda. Or, fix it all yourself.
__________________
///Mmmmmm...
BaliDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 10:19 PM   #3
SHALANG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: CA
Posts: 320
My Ride: BMW 330I
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Wow, so sad to hear about your bad luck with that car. You're definitely being taken advantage of by your mechanic!

You cannot pay someone to maintain these cars. It just costs way more than the car is worth (as you've seen). Cut your losses, sell it, get a Toyota or Honda. Or, fix it all yourself.
Agreed on both points. Sad that there are swindlers taking advantage of older people.
SHALANG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 10:34 PM   #4
Jason325xi
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Sterling Massachusetts
Posts: 904
My Ride: 2004 325xi 5speed
Yeah I'm sorry to hear about all that trouble.....and like balidawg and shalang said it sound like that machanic is either a HORRIBLE mechanic or he's just trying to get as much money as possible out of you... It really is horrible that there are such dishonest mechanics out there
__________________
Adjustable koni yellow front struts, Rob43 9-way adjustable rear shocks, Special Rob43 lowering springs, supreme power drop hats, billet aluminum rear shock mounts, poly RTAB, G.A.S. Disa kit, G.A.S. 1.2bar expansion tank cap

I run 6010 overhead in a t-shirt!


Jason325xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 10:48 PM   #5
JFM330i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: new York, Orange County
Posts: 142
My Ride: 2002 330i
Sorry to say, but I agree with the fellas. The E46 at this point is pretty much a DIY type of car. If you can't do most of the work yourself you are better off with a Honda or Toyota. Hate to hear someone getting taken advantage of. If you weren't over 6 hrs away, I would come over and take a look.

Good luck!
__________________

2002 330i auto
1999 323i 5 speed
2013 élantra 6 speed
2010 rogue AWD
2003 eclipse GTS 5 speed
1995 celica st 5 speed

2007 gsxr 750.....track weapon!
JFM330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 11:27 PM   #6
Infamousredrum
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Kent wa
Posts: 48
My Ride: Murdered out 330
Obviously you have a shitty mechanic what scum, have a man take it to a mechanic for you sorry to say mechs seem to take asvantage of womanoften as most dont know much about cars. Second yes its worth a try to use some head gasket sealant. Third obviously there is something else going on here my guess bad heater core or leaky one causing over heating in both engines along with a faulty either engine temp sensor or your not paying attention to temp enough an letting it over heat. Read the obc dash codes digital temp trick to see exact engine temp and by a $20 infared thermometer gun an point it at upper and lower radiator hoses to see if its off, but definetely find a mechanic that a man you trust will vouch for. Also i would take the two grand and buy a honda accord, they run forever and dirt cheap to fix. I would post this car for private sale an get yourself a grand for it as is or find a mechanic you can trust to fix it an then sell the car. Selling as is. Is prob best bet tho dont trade it in. Also the honda you buy always do a pre purchase inspection at a trusted mech and opt to buy private party its cheaper.
Infamousredrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 02:38 PM   #7
Joni 492
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oakmont PA
Posts: 7
My Ride: 323i 2000
Thank you all for the replies. First time something broke, my grandson told me to get rid of it then, boy do I wish that I had listened. I think I know someone who will give me 1,500 for it.... I owe that mechanic $3,950!!! And I paid $1450 for the new engine. I think I will try the sealant... Is there one that is the best one? and I just paid $1450 for the engine I out in on top of that! Is a Honda with 175,000 worth $1500?

Last edited by Joni 492; 03-16-2017 at 02:42 PM.
Joni 492 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 04:13 PM   #8
BaliDawg
Keepin' it real stock
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 5,520
My Ride: E24 E32 E46 E39 E84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joni 492 View Post
Thank you all for the replies. First time something broke, my grandson told me to get rid of it then, boy do I wish that I had listened. I think I know someone who will give me 1,500 for it.... I owe that mechanic $3,950!!! And I paid $1450 for the new engine. I think I will try the sealant... Is there one that is the best one? and I just paid $1450 for the engine I out in on top of that! Is a Honda with 175,000 worth $1500?
Do not put any sealant into the coolant. It will clog everything up.
__________________
///Mmmmmm...
BaliDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 04:18 PM   #9
speavler
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Leandro, CA
Posts: 84
My Ride: 2004 330i sport smg
Cut your losses
speavler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 04:57 PM   #10
jfoj
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fairfax, VA USA
Posts: 22,857
My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
This really should not be that hard.

The 2 most common leak areas beyond the water pump and expansion tank on these cars are:

The O-ring for the temperature sensor located in the lower radiator hose. These O-rings only last about 5 years and usually only leak when the engine is cold. The O-ring in only like $3-$5 and can be replaced without any tools.

The other problem area are the hard plastic heater pipes located under the intake manifold, these should have been replaced when the head gasket was replaced.

I would suggest if there is a leak, you do not just add a sealant, although some do work fine, but you need to know what ones to use if you need to use anything. The best approach is to correctly solve any leaks.

You should either get a 2nd opinion or go back to the original shop, but before you commit to spending any more money you want a clear, written estimate with the explanation of the problem.

You can then post the estimate with the description of the problem as this may help us understand what is really going on.

Very hard to repair cars over the Internet, pictures, data and details are important.
__________________
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, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
jfoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 05:41 PM   #11
JFM330i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: new York, Orange County
Posts: 142
My Ride: 2002 330i
I would advise against any type of sealant at this point. First you have to find the leak and FIX it. How do you know if the water pump, tstat, radiator, expansion tank, hoses etc are good. Or if the cooling system has been properly bled? One or more of these might be causing your over heat.

I assume the mechanic who changed the engine, should have been able to bleed the cooling system properly. How do we know he actually removed and installed the other engine?

Anyway, some of these head gasket sealers require draining the cooling system and replacing with water. Some not all. Again if there is a leak the "stuff" can't do its job.

If you have a buyer for 1500......unload it, even 1200. A running 2000 323 in GOOD condition is worth maybe 2500.
__________________

2002 330i auto
1999 323i 5 speed
2013 élantra 6 speed
2010 rogue AWD
2003 eclipse GTS 5 speed
1995 celica st 5 speed

2007 gsxr 750.....track weapon!
JFM330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 10:25 PM   #12
Joni 492
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oakmont PA
Posts: 7
My Ride: 323i 2000
Hi again, Today the mechanic said that he did a compression test (I don't know why he didn't do this before) and most of the things were 120 which was good but two (#3 and 4 I think) were lower but ok. I asked about the oil and he said no antifreeze in it. He insists the hoses and tank are ok. I am pretty sure he already said no air or bubbles. He said fans are ok. He said maybe something about the heater, which has been broken. Some of the things mentioned above -- o ring, pipes, he didn't mention. I am going to take the list to him. He is a one person shop and he did put a new water pump on the motor, thermostat etc. The new engine seems to run well, it is just this leak. If those pipes are under the head gasket (not replaced on the engine, the engine is new (used) that sounds really expensive. Is it. I'll try to get a written estimate. I am afraid he is charging me for all of the fishing around he is doing.
Joni 492 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
coolant, head gasket, help pittsburgh area

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 08:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2016 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use