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Old 10-15-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
everchini
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The dreaded milkshake.

So Iíve had this issue before, a little over a month ago, I was driving the coolant light came on and the temp gauge went into the red. I pulled over and there was brown coolant everywhere in my engine compartment. The coolant expansion tank cracked (mechanic told me) he replaced the expansion tank along with all of the hoses.

Drove it for a month without any problems, until last week when i started the car saw the coolant light come on, shut it off, checked it and noticed that the level was very low and that the dipstick showed there wasnít any oil either. With no signs of leaking under the car. I filled both with 50/50 coolant and 2 qts of oil. I drove about 10 minutes down the road to notice that the coolant was leaking over the coolant cap and formed a puddle on the ground. On the way back home, it started to overheat a little bit and smoke from the coolant cap.

I let it cool down, checked it this morning and the coolant level was back to being low and was very frothy as you can see by the pictures. The first picture shows what tank looked like before I filled it when I noticed it was low and the three other pictures are what it currently looks like.

I bought the car last May from a Mini Cooper dealership with no warranty, I have a loan on the car and if itís a head gasket iím not sure what my options are unless I trade it in as is and roll it over into a new loan. This is my second BMW, Iím lost please help!
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:48 PM   #2
Zchild
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Is there any coolant in your oil and how long did you drive it in the red?
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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It looks like your head gasket went - take it to a mechanic.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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I'm not sure, how can I know for sure? I'll check right now. And it was no more than 1 min. but I pulled over and turned the car off instead of letting it cool off, I was told that turning it off right away could cause the block to warp.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Yuck

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Old 10-15-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
everchini
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I am going to replace the head gasket, has anyone attempted it before?
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
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Yeah, yuck indeed, sweet wheels man
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everchini View Post
I'm not sure, how can I know for sure? I'll check right now. And it was no more than 1 min. but I pulled over and turned the car off instead of letting it cool off, I was told that turning it off right away could cause the block to warp.
Nah, you are reading too much into it. You did the right thing by turning off the car right away. Unfortunately, these aluminum engine parts warp very easy so even if it was "no more than a minute" in the red, thats all it can take. Some people are lucky and some are not.

My advice - drain the oil and look at it. If coolant is in the oil, then you will know for sure.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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If you have the right tools, and are mechanically inclined. It shouldn't be to bad.

But if I remember there was this thread about a guy not having his car for a month cause he kept running into problems.

The right tools are very important.

And thank you

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Old 10-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
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How good are your skills?

What's the largest job you've DIY'ed before?
This is tough and I've never seen a DIY for it before. Search for one anyway; it may exist, but it would have to be long. Got a good set of tools?
Bentley does have instructions for this. I'd read this section to get an idea if you'd want to tackle the job.
Just a logical disassembley and put back together after checking/replacing/milling the head. Except for the camshaft timing which supposedly requires special tools and skills. Got a chain going on there.

I believe this is clearly an example of the warping of the head when overheating that so many refer to when urging a proactive replacement of cooling systems. You did nothing wrong in that the overheating can take place so quickly that no indication is given to the driver until it is too late and the expensive damage is done. Engine temperature gauges do not respond quickly enough.

Please report back to us here as to what makes you decide to do what you ultimately do? I'd really appreciate knowing how you handle this, with details.



Quote:
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I am going to replace the head gasket, has anyone attempted it before?
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everchini View Post
I am going to replace the head gasket, has anyone attempted it before?
As long as its not your only car, i say do it! It does take a while the first time though dont rush it. I did gaskets on my dads old Range range rover (that he loves too much to get rid of) few months ago, very rewarding feeling to diy. Just make sure you get the right tools and do it right. Dont cut corners. Probably the hardest part is removing/reinstalling the exhaust manifolds. And careful not to strip/cross thread any of the bolts, its an aluminum block.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:44 PM   #12
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As long as its not your only car, i say do it!
Exactly..

It's going to be off the road for a while, and the HG seems to be your issue.. It's not a big deal to do, as you can do it within a day if you're mechanically inclined .. The only things i can warn you about now are head and block decking. It is possible that your head is warped. The actual integrity of the HG could be fine, but due to reaching such high temps due to a cracked coolant res could have caused the head to warp, thus being your issue, not your HG per se. So you will need to get the head decked. I'm sure you have a machine shop that specializes in engine rebuilds that can do this. General price runs to about 100-150$ depending on how many passes the need to run (ie. how out of clearance it is). Then you'll need a HG which will vary in thickness due to the material removed. IF there was only a couple thou, i would just run a stock HG thickness. Generally you don't need to be concerned with this though, and the machine shop will guide you in the right direction.

As for the block - typically this is fine. To make sure, you need to clean HG remnants from the block mating point and run a straight edge along it while checking tolerance with a feeler gauge. This will tell you if there are any low spots or dips in your block. This can be caused by pitting - stagnant pools of coolant collecting over periods of time due to a warped head or faulty HG. Like i said, check it, but don't be too concerned about this because it's rare the block will need to be machined..

These are things you need to be aware of, as most people assume they just need to change the HG and throw everything back together..

If you can take it apart, you can put it back together. Another word of caution - read THOROUGHLY into timing and cam positions. This may save you a few valves and a rebuild in the future.

Best of luck
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MarkyNels View Post
These are things you need to be aware of, as most people assume they just need to change the HG and throw everything back together..

If you can take it apart, you can put it back together. Another word of caution - read THOROUGHLY into timing and cam positions. This may save you a few valves and a rebuild in the future.

Best of luck

+1

Cylinder head machining, pressure testing is a MUST. Otherwise all the effort doing a head gasket is wasted when it blows again 2000miles later.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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Pressure testing what?

I understand the block and head flat checking.
But what are you pressure checking?


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+1

Cylinder head machining, pressure testing is a MUST. Otherwise all the effort doing a head gasket is wasted when it blows again 2000miles later.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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Damn im sorry, Thats gona be expensive. Ive had cooling system problems also this past 2 weeks. It held out all summer and now its like FU!
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #16
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Looking at a flush...A good one - I personally say disassemble the cooling system and clean it all out or flush it drive it for 50-100 miles and flush it again. Then the head gasket if you don't have it done yourself well im sure your looking at 2k repair most likely maybe 1k if your lucky.

And I feel you on your problems, Mine is on loan also and this car has cost me about 4k since ive owned it. And now another 1k for my cooling system overhaul thats being done next weekend at shop.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:40 PM   #17
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I understand the block and head flat checking.
But what are you pressure checking?
They pressure test the cylinder heads to check for cracks/valve seal. Its alumnium, it can crap out especially if its overheated.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:55 PM   #18
everchini
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Thank you everyone for the posts, my cousin has replaced a lot of head gaskets but this will be his first BMW, he's researched all the tools that we need to finish it, even if we do run into problems I'll take it to a shop, or just flush the absolute **** out of it and trade it in, and rollover my loan
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:03 PM   #19
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I would STRONGLY advise to take it to a reputable BMW technician, not one of those retards that work on any car , but one that works only with BMWs.

Head gasket replacement is a BIG job even for me and I've done it as well as more complicated things. You need tools and not only that , you need patience and a little bit of skill.


If its your headgasket , then I'll help you as much as I can , but you MUST be 100% sure thats its the headgasket before you start. Do a compression test just to be double sure.


Here is a link, start reading now. I'll pull out a few more when I get back.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...ead-Gasket.htm
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:09 PM   #20
everchini
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I would strongly love to afford a BMW Technician, well with these signs what else could it be? There's oil and coolant mixing somehow, what are the other possibilities?
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