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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!

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Old 04-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #21
Penguin Koolaid
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My water pump exploded while driving on the highway this Monday. It unloaded coolant everywhere .

$125 for a new pump and $435 ($145/hr) for labor later... back on the road. A few ****s were given, but otherwise could have been worse I guess.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmersGarage View Post
If it only seem to leak overnight (and not while driving) then the leak is caused by a failed/failing seal > more than likely due to heat pressure... the location of the "weakest" seal in our E46 cooling system is here:


Lower Radiator Hose > the Auxiliary fan/temperature sensor.

Check this tiny O-ring (green in photo) but it could be brown in some year models.
You may have found my problem.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:55 PM   #23
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just did a expansion tank,upper radiator hose,fan sensor....noticed coolant down the side of the block from head gasket area;nice. engine swap time.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:47 PM   #24
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Ramin, you've got a leak somewhere (obviously, haha), but it's only opening up when the pressure gets high enough. I've seen a similar situation when a plastic flange on the radiator had cracked and would occasionally gush coolant some time after the car was parked, but would be fine or leak almost imperceptibly at other times. Can't rule the new cooling system parts out (especially ET) even though they're pretty fresh. Look for tell-tale signs of dried coolant in the engine bay around the hoses, et, etc.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #25
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Also I have seen before where you pressure check it
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:45 AM   #26
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alrighty!! today I went under the car again, had to open lots of ****, so i can see the whole thing, and guess what!!! the f****** expansion tank(which I installed less than a year ago) had a hole in it!!! I dont know how and why but there was a small hole on the right side of the tank...so Im gonna pick up the part for it tomorrow morning and do the job!
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:41 AM   #27
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alrighty!! today I went under the car again, had to open lots of ****, so i can see the whole thing, and guess what!!! the f****** expansion tank(which I installed less than a year ago) had a hole in it!!! I dont know how and why but there was a small hole on the right side of the tank...so Im gonna pick up the part for it tomorrow morning and do the job!
Could have been worse. Good thing it isn't. Remember to avoid overfilling it, too.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:01 AM   #28
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Coolant leaks are not hard to diagnose. You have to get dirty and get under the car.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:18 AM   #29
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Glad to hear you found the problem.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:33 AM   #30
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Excellent Post, I just wish It was up last week as I have been having the same problems with the cooling system on my wifes e46 wagon. It would loose some water while driving, and after being shut down for an hour or more it would loose a gallon or more. I got under the car and took of the splash pan and noticed the water dripping off the lower crank pulley. I figured it was the water pump gone bad, I then noticed after removing the centrifical fan and belts that the pump bearing was a bit loose but not leaking. I then noticed some yellow/brown rust water below the thermostat housing, after removal it appeared that the housing o-ring style gasket may have been the cause of the leak but after reading this post I went back out to the car and checked the o-ring gasket/seal in the upper slipfit radiator hose that connects to the thermostat and noticed that the real cause of the leak is not the thermostat housing gasket but the upper radiator/thermostat o-ring gasket seal inside of the radiator hose, it actually looks like the seal actually got so hot that it is slightly melted and burnt and cracking which would cause the leak when cooling down and drip water on the underside of the hose which made the water marks under the themostat housing and on the engine block which caused me to think the housing was at fault. Thanks to this post I have found the true cause of the leak and now will not have to worry about the water pump and thermostat as I will continue to replace them as they are out, once again thank you all!

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Old 05-11-2011, 12:44 AM   #31
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TO AZBLKBLK and BIMMERSGARAGE As I just posted, my success with the help of this post. Credit where credit is due thanks to the two of you and the others for your knowledge again Thanks

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Old 05-11-2011, 07:18 AM   #32
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TO AZBLKBLK and BIMMERSGARAGE As I just posted, my success with the help of this post. Credit where credit is due thanks to the two of you and the others for your knowledge again Thanks

mahalo

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Always nice to be able to help out a fellow bimmer. Glad you were able to diagnosis and fix the problem.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:21 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by BimmersGarage View Post
If it only seem to leak overnight (and not while driving) then the leak is caused by a failed/failing seal > more than likely due to heat pressure... the location of the "weakest" seal in our E46 cooling system is here:


Lower Radiator Hose > the Auxiliary fan/temperature sensor.

Check this tiny O-ring (green in photo) but it could be brown in some year models.
Hey, how hard is it to change that o-ring? Am I going to have a gusher of coolant when I try to unplug the sensor? Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:34 PM   #34
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Hey, how hard is it to change that o-ring? Am I going to have a gusher of coolant when I try to unplug the sensor? Thanks.
I did it, but when the hose was empty. Everyone just seems to plug it with finger somehow while replacing new o-ring. If it's the whole sensor you're replacing, I don't think you should lose much at all--just pay attention to how it comes out, so you can put it back in easily.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:15 PM   #35
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Hey, how hard is it to change that o-ring? Am I going to have a gusher of coolant when I try to unplug the sensor? Thanks.
Not difficult at all, just have the new one handy... be careful not to over stretch it while you put it on.

And, no there won't be a gusher (just a tea spoon at most) if you keep the radiator cap on, our cooling system is sealed so it creates a vacuum.

NOTE: Just Don't try to change it when the motor is still hot!
Be safe, wait til it's cooled off completely.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:24 AM   #36
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Thanks, all, for the terrific advice. One more thing -- this sensor simply unclips and pulls out, correct?
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:32 AM   #37
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Yes.
Disconnect wiring harness first, then squeeze the retaining clips on the sensor housing and wiggle it out.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:46 AM   #38
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^
Yes.
Disconnect wiring harness first, then squeeze the retaining clips on the sensor housing and wiggle it out.
Excellent. Thanks again!
Mark
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #39
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Thanks for the link.

We have the part you need.

Tom
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:12 PM   #40
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Done. Picked up the $2.39 pack of assorted O-rings from Autozone and all's well. Thanks for the valuable info.
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