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 07-21-2006, 03:16 PM   #41
kingkassis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Orlando
Posts: 55
My Ride: 2000 323 Ci Dinan 3
The verdict

Sorry I really appreciate all your input and i meant to post earlier but i was away travelling.

So here's what happened:
Because of the mixed diagnosis i got here, i decided to try the cheapest thing first. I bought some of that radiotar cleaner stuff from Autozone and flushed with it and left in the radiator per the instruction and ran the engine etc... then i flushed. I decided to refill only with distilled war. I ran for a couple of days and checked the water and it was clean no foamy stuff. I then flushed once more and this time added 50/50 mix with bmw coolant. I drove the car to work and at lunch time i went to check on it and NO FOAM! the coolant level was a little low though so i topped it off with some more.

So far so good. So far it seems it was the chemical reaction diagnosis that won!

I will post again in the next couple of days if things change.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Me Women
What is the verdict?

I still believe that I am correct on the diagnosis!
kingkassis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2006, 06:24 PM   #42
bikergeek
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Belmont MA
Posts: 283
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
For once I'm glad to hear I was wrong about something. Glad it worked out ofr you.
bikergeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2006, 07:56 PM   #43
IxNay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New England //M Posts: 56,959
Posts: 1,251
My Ride: 2000 328Ci 5sp SP
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikergeek
For once I'm glad to hear I was wrong about something. Glad it worked out ofr you.

Yeah, me too. Glad I was wrong, but it sure looked like oil in your coolant. Good luck!
IxNay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2006, 11:14 PM   #44
wkay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 286
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
You dont necessarily have mutual oil/water contamination with a blown head gasket. There are only a few oil ports thru the gasket and if they're not next to the cylinder that blows then you wont see water in the oil or vice versa. The leak path is one direction away from the cylinder so cylinder gas is forcing an oil channel into a water channel (or worse, the engine is cracked but that's pretty unlikely these days). Your pressurized overflow tank is the indicator - compression gasses leaking out of the cylinder pressurize the cooling system so high that it blows out the overflow tank. Pull the plugs, I'm sure the culprit will be pretty fouled. Topping off the reflow tank had nothing to do with it, if you overfill then excess coolant will just exit the overflow tube and the system will find its own level.
Unless it's just sludge from running pure water in the cooling system for a long time..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler@UniqueDesign
How often do you check your oil? Basically, do you know the timeframe that the oil leaked to .5 quart low? My first thoughts were blown headgasket, but its weird for the oil to be coolant free still. I would try emptying the whole thing and putting some fresh coolant in, run the engine (idling) for a bit, and see if it changes color, maybe even just try distilled water...if the gasket's gone the coolant isn't that important (BMW vs just water).

If you have limited mechanical skills (maybe run a compression test if you know how) then you might be better off taking it to a shop to begin with and having them diagnose it. Like other said....warped head, sludge, etc. etc. can come from a blown head gasket being driven on.

The M52 is notorious for overheating and blowing the gasket though...
wkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2006, 11:19 PM   #45
Bring Me Women
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Great Pacific Northwest
Posts: 119
My Ride: 328i
Give Me the Prize!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess my BSME, MSME and Profesional Engineer (PE) credentials spanked this problem in the butt

Glad I could help...I just did not want to see you spend money on the wrong diagnosis like a blown head gasket.
Bring Me Women is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2006, 11:46 PM   #46
Alex323Ci
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Huntington Beach -Surf City USA
Posts: 17,036
My Ride: M3 & 323Ci (sold)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Me Women
Give Me the Prize!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess my BSME, MSME and Profesional Engineer (PE) credentials spanked this problem in the butt

Glad I could help...I just did not want to see you spend money on the wrong diagnosis like a blown head gasket.
haha..ya you're the only one that guessed it. lol
Alex323Ci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2006, 12:16 PM   #47
kingkassis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Orlando
Posts: 55
My Ride: 2000 323 Ci Dinan 3
Update

Car still running nice and clean, I check the coolant every morning

Nice work BringMeWomen you were indeed the first one to refute the blown head gasket argument.

Though i still would like to recognize the other winners, alex323ci, tyler@uniquedesign, jlbogenius and rooneym!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci
haha..ya you're the only one that guessed it. lol
kingkassis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2006, 02:59 PM   #48
Tyler@UniqueDesign
Car Junky
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Posts: 1,791
My Ride: has a torn subframe
Send a message via AIM to Tyler@UniqueDesign
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingkassis
Though i still would like to recognize the other winners, alex323ci, tyler@uniquedesign, jlbogenius and rooneym!
Thanks, but the real winner is you...you didn't have a blown head gasket which saves you major $$.

I had a horrid squeak coming out of my rear end the other day. I swore it was the subframe, it would creak, moan, shift on corners, etc. I limped it to my mechanic's shop, put the car on a lift. Looked and noticed that the outer bolt on the control arm (where you adjust the alignment) was loose on my driver's side. I had adjusted it when I dropped the car a few weeks before and must not have gotten it tight enough (was working alone under my car so I was a bit scared to jerk too much and pull the car off the stands).

Its bad when you mess something up like that and feel really dumb, but it sure is nice to discover that its a simple fix instead of a $2k nightmare.
Tyler@UniqueDesign is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2006, 05:44 AM   #49
midgetg0at
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 48
My Ride: BMW 323i Sport Wagon
Send a message via AIM to midgetg0at
This thread is an absolute inspiration.....I've got a very similar problem only my expansion tank blew out all of a sudden. Only indication was the coolant lite coming on/off for a week prior. I've ordered a ton of parts (96k miles) to, if nothing else, revive my cooling system..i was hoping to see a pic of your water pump all sledgy thou. mine is quite nasty.

Any of you guys care to take a stab at my dilemma @ http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...38#post5024838

I'd be very much interested in your opinions.
midgetg0at is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2006, 06:20 AM   #50
Paper_Sack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 90
My Ride: A Rickshaw & E46 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Me Women View Post
Give Me the Prize!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess my BSME, MSME and Profesional Engineer (PE) credentials spanked this problem in the butt
You learned about troubleshooting coolant systems in school, amazing. I've got fancy titles too but I did mostly lots of intense theory. Glad someone actually learned something from a school.

Glad to hear it was a simple fix. I messed up a car I had a long time ago, thermostat. White and sweet exaust was the tell tail sign I should take it to the junkyard.
Paper_Sack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2010, 02:42 AM   #51
mujjuman
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 3,339
My Ride: not an E46
wow thank god it was fixed easily and cheaply
__________________
mujjuman

2003 325xi 5MT
Jet Black, ZSP, ZPP, ZCW, OEM Xenon ^^RIP
sig by Solidjake
mujjuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2011, 06:08 PM   #52
i330i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48
My Ride: 330i
bump, i had the same exact crap in a 2000 e39... coolant system presure test was good, compression was good... idled the car to operating temp with coolant cap off and let the goo seep out as i refilled it with water.

seems to be OK now for like 3 weeks. freaking crazy
i330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #53
Zeekster64
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 494
My Ride: 2004 325i premium
I am having this problem now. My girl told me that the coolant light came on and then turned off after a few minutes of driving. I went to go check the coolant and found beige crust around the coolant expansion tank lid. When I opened it, a crap load of brownish goo came leaked out of the bottom(as you can see in the image). When I looked into the expansion tank, I saw nothing but foam and it smelled awful. I forgot to check my oil but I am concerned that there is a leak at the bottom and that I won't even be able to fill the tank with water so I can drive it to the shop down the street.

I had my entire cooling system changed two years ago and the indy shop I went to put in a yellow coolant. They also gave me about half a canister of the same coolant just to have. Over the past two years, here and there, I'd add some as the coolant light would sometimes come on. I concluded that my car must have been burning coolant but I didn't think it was a huge deal since it was an 8 year old car and the amount that were being burned were tiny.(I had to put in a cup worth every few months).

Thoughts?










__________________
Zeekster64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 10:57 PM   #54
peytonracer4
:D
 
peytonracer4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Posts: 6,461
My Ride: '00 328i
What is that last picture? You can't burn coolant.... If you're loosing some it's a leak
Coolant dries brown. So the area around the cap just looks like dried coolant. However inside is also brown which is a problem. Read this thread and do what he did to see if it helps.
__________________
choose to click or forever hold your peace ;)
peytonracer4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 11:14 PM   #55
Zeekster64
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 494
My Ride: 2004 325i premium
The last picture is what leaked out from the bottom when I opened the cap. I am not sure where it leaked out of since I had to go to work(I had to take a bus like some commoner!). Not that it's possible to see sh#t, there is nothing to see but hoses and plastic. I am pissed because I did what everyone tells you to do; replace cooling system before it causes you problems. And now I take a look and see butterscotch pudding.


UPDATE:

Just in case anyone cares or comes across a similar problem.

I took the car to a shop and they pressure tested the system. It didn't loose a single PSI of pressure even after 20 minutes. This suggests that the cooling system is in good shape. Tech concluded it was the expansion tank cap that was the problem because it appeared worn and since as you can see in the photos, most of the coolant residue was around the cap.

He replaced the cap, got the system up to temperature after flushing it and things seem ok...for now. The reason the coolant was a foamy yellow/brown was because that was the color of the coolant(I know, I know, not BMW blue but it's worked all these years).

There was nothing out of the ordinary found in the oil nor was the oil level depleted which could suggest a gasket problem. No performance problems or excess smoke from the exhaust system. He concluded that the coolant's anti-foaming properties may have worn out over the last couple of years and that I experienced a boil-over. Looked very dramatic but he doesn't believe there is any oil in the cooling system or coolant in the oil. End of story.
__________________

Last edited by Zeekster64; 07-09-2012 at 08:43 PM. Reason: update
Zeekster64 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 12:13 PM.


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