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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #1
markusmarkus
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Where's the leak

Ok, where is my coolant going!!!!???????????

I recently checked the coolant temp via the OBC hidden function. It was in the high 80's*C. Drained the radiator and the block. Installed a new thermostat from FCPEurpo. Replaced all the coolant with the blue stuff and distilled water. The cooling system was using a bit coolant before the themo change.

This AM I backed the car out of its parking spot, and there was a line of coolant across the parking spot. I suspect it's from the back of the aerotray as the parking spot has bit of an upward incline. The front of the engine is absolutely, totally, completely dry! The tank and the radiator have been replaced as the have the pump and the upper and lower hoses. Again, the front of the engine is dry.

I've had the car (engine running) on a lift at Fort Myer (I'm retired mil) and nothing, nada! The electric fan was turning on/off/on, so the engine was at operating temps! I checked the left side of the engine today-there's coolant in the aerotray but I'll be if I can tell where it's coming from!!

I have not changed the hoses that run to the cabin heater as they look fine. The plastic hoses are orginial.

Comments? Suggestions?

Last edited by markusmarkus; 03-23-2015 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:46 PM   #2
MysticBlue
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It sounds like it might be the fan switch sensor on the lower coolant hose. The gasket on the switch leaks under pressure. Very simple replacement.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
markusmarkus
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Thanks for the response. But the front of the engine compartment his dry: no leaks up front. I'll keep an ear to the ground.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:17 PM   #4
m1356guy
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When you say the front of the engine looks dry are you referring to the water pump and t-stat that are physically on the enginer? Or all hoses, radiator, etc from the pullies and belts forward?

My system was leaking from the hose that comes out of the bottom of the Expansion Tank...check that area or replace the hoses running to the heater core.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:08 PM   #5
Jaxx_
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Are you sure it's not A/C condensation as we warm up into spring? I know it's stupid, but I have to ask.


Take the aero tray off and throw some cardboard under the car for a night or two to figure out the source of the coolant loss.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:20 AM   #6
markusmarkus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1356guy View Post
When you say the front of the engine looks dry are you referring to the water pump and t-stat that are physically on the enginer? Or all hoses, radiator, etc from the pullies and belts forward?

My system was leaking from the hose that comes out of the bottom of the Expansion Tank...check that area or replace the hoses running to the heater core.

Everything is bone dry! The aeropan is dirty but dry. Hasn't shown any moisture since 2 days after changing the thermostat.

Haven't turned the ac on for this month. Tip: turn your ac on for 5 minutes every month during the cold season as this will circulate the compressor oil.

It's definitely coolant; I dabbed a bit with a paper towel: bluish color. I think it's off the shop (J&F Motors in south Arlington, VA).
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:14 PM   #7
markusmarkus
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SUCCESS! I put the bimmer on a lift again and I found the leak. It seems that I FAILED to put a new crush washer on the block drain plug. It was leaking! Ain't no mo'.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:49 PM   #8
m1356guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
SUCCESS! I put the bimmer on a lift again and I found the leak. It seems that I FAILED to put a new crush washer on the block drain plug. It was leaking! Ain't no mo'.
Nice! Stupid $0.79 part that's a bitch to get to, but so essential. Good find!
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:53 AM   #9
markusmarkus
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Thanks! Actually I bought the rung at the stealer for about $2.50!
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