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Old 04-27-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
HighPod
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BIG Problems ahead for me...

ok first off I DID SEARCH. i searched for hours today. found lots of infor and DIYs Heres whats going on.

no.1 small coolant leak at top of radiator where around where you pour it in at. possivle crack or hopefully something easily fixable?

no.2 (the fun part) so Ive owned my BMW for a month now and have been doing small things to it so i figured spark plug time. so i go under the hood to see how bad they are and what kind they are so i can get new ones. so i remove the coil plugs?(not sure of exact name) and notice a dried up trail of oil up the slot and think hmmm thats not normal. meaning the last peson new about this and thought **** i better sell this car. so i took out plug 2 and it looked like my engine is running on oil rather than gas! the spark plug was drenched in oil!!!then i pulled off another coil plug and saw the same trail of dried oil down the slot. i dont know how the engine has been running at all. it actually has been driving great and great mpg. the exhaust hasnt been white and no smells of burnt oil.
Through searching forums it seems to be the head gasket seal and possibly piston ring seals. also read it could be valve cover gasket. there is no way i can afford the dealership to fix this. should i drain my collant to see if there is oil in it? and under theoild cap look rusty i thought that was kinda odd.

Well if anyone has any ideas or input let me know
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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I would say start by replaced your Valve Cover Gasket and all the gromets. It comes as a kit and runs about 50-80$. Search replacing VCG and you will a ton of DIY's on it. Its takes a few hours, and is pretty easy to do, 3/10.

Now oil on the spark plugs, that might be something else. I am not a expert on this, so i will save it for someone who is.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:55 PM   #3
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#1 - The leak is your expansion tank, its a part that commonly fails.

#2 - Oil on the spark plugs is usually indicative of a failing CCV.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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ahh the expansion tank i have read bad things about it but easy to DIY. from all the reading it seems BMW cooling systems arent very reliable at all.

just did some reading on the CCV and seems like you could be right about that, seems much easier and cheaper to fix, thanks for the input. and wouldnt a head gasket leak also cause oil leaking out of the engine into the engine bay aswell
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:37 AM   #5
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Valve cover gasket and could just be the radiator cap?
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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juat got back from the dealership. they said valve cover gasket needs to be replaced. how does this gasket keep oil from getting in the spark plugs it looks like it would only keep oil from leaking out of the engine area. and i also need a new radiotor. any one where i can get good radiotor at a decent price
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:45 PM   #7
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juat got back from the dealership. they said valve cover gasket needs to be replaced. how does this gasket keep oil from getting in the spark plugs it looks like it would only keep oil from leaking out of the engine area. and i also need a new radiotor. any one where i can get good radiotor at a decent price
If you really need just a radiator they're about $140 for Behr brand.

You an auto or manual? If auto, need one extra tool or to read another diy on how to get your fan off.

As said, all the diys are here...I did both vcg and ccv and both are easier than you'd think from all the horror stories. Not easy, but pretty easy if you study up, have right tools, and a back up car for extra parts...oh, and time. I did CCV along with other stuff but wasn't so bad.

That said, I think the poster that said that oil was filling up your spark plug holes knew what he was talking about; I don't, but he just seemed that way, you know! Anyway, already I don't like that dealer said do radiator and didn't suggest what you'll find suggested here often if you read any cooling threads (which you should). Radiator is first in...so if you're going in, it's worth every penny to spend as much as you can on parts...they're almost all coming out...or your coolant has, so much easier to install everything with new parts...and you'd need them eventually. Make this critical system of car work properly.

Favorite parts to replace (check sponsors...many have kits...think oem kits too...but think my radiator was either Pelican or Bavauto.

ET
Up/lower hoses (get IAT o-ring for your otherwise working temp sensor on lower hose)

Thermostat
Water Pump (what's your mileage?)
Belts
Of course, OEM coolant/distilled water 50/50 mix

I added heater hoses to mine, but my radiator just started leaking at 195K or so...and I drove prolly 30-45 days with it seeping coolant...about an oz. or so a week at first...increased to 3 oz a week...but I could've kept on going.

The side of the rad...the plastic part, is held firmly into a rubber gasket just inside where all the little bended aluminum tabs hold onto the black plastic tube. I think that's undoubtedly the failure point...and you could relax a bit...monitor fluid loss...and get to it a little more leisurely. Just check coolant level every day, in a.m. (listen for a little pressure releasing...means you've got time left to panic!), carry 50/50 mix in trunk.

Having said that, I haven't seen your leak, but sounds like you drove to the dealer, so figured you're still going.

Just monitor closely...oh, keep filled to between top and bottom mark...buy a new ET cap for $9 too...cheap insurance and new ET doesn't come with anyway.

Finally,

Given mileage or prior work...VCGs fail often...usually the symptom is smelling burning oil inside car while idling. CCV failure is also common...one simple thing you could do is take her for a long drive...and see if you can clean her up a bit. A guy here, I believe a bmw mech, would clean out ccvs...though often it's just a hose failing. And often from VC to valve...the first hose to go in, usually attached to valve already...but the parts are just $140 or so for all the hoses.
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #8
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thankls

its a manual. i currentls have 160,000 miles
i read sooo many threads and bmw's cooling system seems to suck ass. I never had it over heat. the leak i have now isnt bad but i'm sure it will only get worse. i will be replacing the radiator, expansion tank, hoses, dont feel like doing water pump but probably will, thermostat was done at 30,000 miles. belt looks good but guess i'll do that too while im in there. and i definately use oem coolant.
what is and how many IAT o-rings are there.
Guess i'll be doing the CCV as well.
im so excited...all my tax return money was supposed to go into my saving account but now its fix fix fix woohoo
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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Welcome to high mileage german cars.
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:31 PM   #10
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thankls

its a manual. i currentls have 160,000 miles
i read sooo many threads and bmw's cooling system seems to suck ass. I never had it over heat. the leak i have now isnt bad but i'm sure it will only get worse. i will be replacing the radiator, expansion tank, hoses, dont feel like doing water pump but probably will, thermostat was done at 30,000 miles. belt looks good but guess i'll do that too while im in there. and i definately use oem coolant.
what is and how many IAT o-rings are there.
Guess i'll be doing the CCV as well.
im so excited...all my tax return money was supposed to go into my saving account but now its fix fix fix woohoo
The thermal sensor on the lower radiator hose has an (just one) o-ring. BMW doesn't sell the 0-ring by itself for this sensor, but it does for the Intake Air Temperature sensor...so I've read and remembered...just haven't used myself...but trust the fanatic who discovered this.


Oh, and lubricate the cap with anti-freeze...makes it go on much easier...and don't crank it overhard...once o-rings are down, it's basically sealed...but you can hurt it with overtightening...again, I've heard that can cause it not to bleed itself at 2 bar pressure.
Doug
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:58 PM   #11
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Welcome to high mileage german cars.
and thats why i love my dirty work truck 2000 250,000 mile Toyota Tundra, drives so damn good. never done anything big to it just usual maintenance. which i am now realizing that the previous owner of my BMW didnt do much. even the air cabin filter had never been changed.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:01 PM   #12
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The thermal sensor on the lower radiator hose has an (just one) o-ring. BMW doesn't sell the 0-ring by itself for this sensor, but it does for the Intake Air Temperature sensor...so I've read and remembered...just haven't used myself...but trust the fanatic who discovered this.


Oh, and lubricate the cap with anti-freeze...makes it go on much easier...and don't crank it overhard...once o-rings are down, it's basically sealed...but you can hurt it with overtightening...again, I've heard that can cause it not to bleed itself at 2 bar pressure.
Doug
cool thanks, i think i might be doing the coolant this or next weekend my sisters friend is a mercedes technician. he said hed help out! i just need to gather all the parts now. thanks for all the info everybody...if you have any more let me know.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #13
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are there gaskets for the water pump? and i read somewhere the is a better/more efficient water pump...cant find it now. and also some people say use "distilled water" when mixing with the collant, is this necessary?
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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are there gaskets for the water pump? and i read somewhere the is a better/more efficient water pump...cant find it now. and also some people say use "distilled water" when mixing with the collant, is this necessary?
Don't think you need more pump than bmw...check sponsors, many oem manufacturers sell same part without bmw stamp that are the same...some not.

Check sponsors...many good prices there.

Yes, oem coolant/distilled water...really necessary...or read the thousands of posts I've read about cooling issues...it's $1/gallon and a trip to the supermarket and dealer (or online) for coolant. 50/50 not worth the risk to do anything else...and if your coolant isn't blue, then buy 4 more gallons of distilled and cycle through and drain until it comes out mostly clear (also, don't overfill...the mark between min and max is about a cup...and there's no mark for overfull...you want that airspace in ET...

Doug
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:35 PM   #15
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Get a coolant system overhaul kit from Tischer BMW @ getBMWparts.com and either do it yourself and take it to an independent mechanic that specializes in German vehicles... this is something you'll have to do sooner or later and if you haven't already now's the perfect time. I'll get you the link for that here in a second if you want. Second thing to do is stay away from the dealership for any work unless it can't be done by either you or another shop. Third, I'd go to the independent shop and have them replace my Vanos seals & VCG, unless you're comfortable doing that yourself.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:38 PM   #16
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http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462 <--Coolant System Overhaul

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462 <---VCG

http://beisansystems.com/
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:48 PM   #17
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hm good to know about the water. its the Stewart water pump, its supposed to be more reliable, more efficient and 20% better flow than oem. another member here is selling a new one for 140 think i might get that even tho the oem is like 70. i got the VCG from the dealer today 70 beans. i know more expensive but didnt feel like waiting for it to come in the mail. i want to do it tomorow the weather is going to be nice.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #18
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hm good to know about the water. its the Stewart water pump, its supposed to be more reliable, more efficient and 20% better flow than oem. another member here is selling a new one for 140 think i might get that even tho the oem is like 70. i got the VCG from the dealer today 70 beans. i know more expensive but didnt feel like waiting for it to come in the mail. i want to do it tomorow the weather is going to be nice.
I would just go OEM. When I replaced mine I bought OEM but with a metal impeller. When I switched it out at 90,000mi the original plastice impeller was in perfect condition, I actually felt more confident with the plastic one than the metal one. No reason to go to a higher flow pump if you aren't having overheating problems with the stock one.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:07 PM   #19
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ok ao i changed the Valve Cover Gasket today and spark plugs...pretty simple actually. and the gasket i pulled out was in perfect shape. it must be a going bad CCV sucking oil into the combustion area. there is no way with the seals in the condition they were in oil is getting into the plug slot and going down the threads and coating the spark end. any other ideas? please dotnt say head gasket
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:55 PM   #20
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Don't wring your hands over the head gasket until you replace the CVV (CCV). Better to try the cheaper, more likely solution first, right? The only thing that's a little worrying is that if you have a coolant leak, the PO could have overheated the engine, resulting in a blown head gasket. Still, I would expect more severe symptoms from a blown HG. Hopefully, the PO panic sold the car to you for a good price, and you can bring it up to snuff w/ some elbow grease. Research whether you want to do the CVV and cooling system overhaul at the same time. Replace as many hoses as you have access to in the course of the repairs. Don't feel too bad, both of these, especially the cooling system overhaul, are really good things to take care of @ 80-100K miles, even if you are not having an acute problem.
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