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Old 05-21-2012, 12:04 PM   #1
rsaad330i
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$3,000 repair cost?? Engine overheating.

So i just brought my 2001 bmw 330i to local mechanic because it overheated and he quoted me for $900+- in parts and $2300+- in labor. He said the gasket needs replaced plus a ton of other stuff such as thermostat and water pump. The car still starts justs overheats and shakes alot.
My question is, is it worth it. I could change mostly everything myself but its close to impossible to tell my dad that, (im 20). He had exactly my car for himself and offered me $3,000 and trade for his car. I just paid close to 7k for it a couple months ago. Any advise on what i should do? Will try to upload a list of everything he plans to do later tonight.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rsaad330i View Post
The car still starts justs overheats and shakes alot.
Mango is going to have a coronary heart attack when he reads this

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I could change mostly everything myself but its close to impossible to tell my dad that, (im 20).
No, you probably shouldn't. If you don't know not to start a car that has been overheating and now isn't running right, you probably won't get all the little details which will F- you when you try to replace the head gasket... let alone trying to re time the engine.

Might be time for a new engine or new car... sorry man.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:13 PM   #3
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Well the entire cooling parts cost 300-500 depending on where you get them.

If it still overheats and is shaking, I wouldn't even go near it with the keys. Leave the engine off, if that's what you mean by "The car still starts just overheats and shakes a lot."

And for now, we kinda need more info, like pics, how does the engine compartment look? leaks, color of fluid leaking, areas where it is leaking, remember exhaust color? etc. information is something you can't skimp on

From what you say in OP, I also second Jayme's recommendation that you should stay away from your car...probably for a long time...like he says, replacing the head is a tedious job. Check out the timing tool procedure thread and you'll see what people have to go through to retime the engine...big PAIN
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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Yea i didnt drive it just started it to see if thermostat was opening which it was. There is no leaks. Im stuck in a lecture and class till later tonight but will definitely upload a list of the parts. As of right know i told him to do what he needs to do to get it working good. Just want to know if i made the right decision or if he is ripping me off ir not.

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Old 05-21-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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From what you say in OP, I also second Jayme's recommendation that you should stay away from your car...probably for a long time...like he says, replacing the head is a tedious job. Check out the timing tool procedure thread and you'll see what people have to go through to retime the engine...big PAIN
Open this thread and start reading the sub threads it has all the information you need on how the engine works and will show you why you probably don't want to get involved. It's not just that it is tedious, its that you need seriously special single use tools and there are so many places you can do wrong.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=899347


Since you overheated your car, you can leak water from the cooling system into the cylinder which can cause the piston to try and compress it, which it can't, which will result in you bending or snapping a rod.... that could be why it's running rough now. If that is the case, it will always run like ****.

When you overheat, it causes the head to warp and your entire engine to become a boat anchor. It will never run right again. If you want to do a head gasket, start with a ford or vw timing belt and learn why everything becomes so much more complicted when you add variable valve timing...
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Open this thread and start reading the sub threads it has all the information you need on how the engine works and will show you why you probably don't want to get involved. It's not just that it is tedious, its that you need seriously special single use tools and there are so many places you can do wrong.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=899347


Since you overheated your car, you can leak water from the cooling system into the cylinder which can cause the piston to try and compress it, which it can't, which will result in you bending or snapping a rod.... that could be why it's running rough now. If that is the case, it will always run like ****.

When you overheat, it causes the head to warp and your entire engine to become a boat anchor. It will never run right again.
Yep, that's the crazy MotherF-er who pretty much became a walking manual regarding the M54 engine.

Yeah, the thermostat is the least of your problems- costs under 100. A good engine shouldnt be running rough on any occasion. That's good enough to tell you you shouldn't start it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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OP, all may not be lost. Overheating does not definitely warp the head, nor does driving the engine when hot (you don't want to know how I know, just trust me). Granted it certainly can, and I would not recommend driving overheated, but it's not an immediate death sentence.

The best way to find out is to pull the head and check it out. If it's warped, it most likely does need to be replaced (I think we're allowed some obnoxious .002 of an inch to machine, maybe less). It surprisingly really easy to check for warping. You can also run a compression test on each cylinder to find out if there is any cylinder leakage.

And if the engine does in fact start, you're halfway there to having a properly running car.

Like other said, though, getting this thing running properly is going to be either expensive or time consuming, or both. Take a hard look at exactly what you want to do with this thing before you start down the road to repairing it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #8
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Every time a thread like this is posted Mango dies a little inside lol
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Do u think i should sell it as it is and put that 3 k repair cost into another car. How much would i get for it like that, Rough estimate?

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Old 05-21-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Don't jump off the cliff yet ! first of all you don't know whats really wrong with the car's overheat / shaking issues Don't Drive It - you overheat and your top end valve train will knock hard and if your driving it that way for hours your screwed

Purchase a correct temp thermostat and do cooling flush replenish will be cheap to DiY .... then go on trouble shooting from there - water pump, radiator etc

maybe also you need a spark plug change and tune up with a coil check

any mechanic shop will parts push you to hell n back ... BMW owner = $$$ fat credit cards $$$ - F Em ! DiY start to learn the system
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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On the topic:
Common sense is to update the complete cooling system but say you bought an used e46 and the info on hand doesn't say anything about previous/past cooling system update, is there any visual indication it was done or how to check?
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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Every time a thread like this is posted Mango dies a little inside lol
Since he hasn't commented yet, I assume he is dead :rip:
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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OP, all may not be lost. Overheating does not definitely warp the head, nor does driving the engine when hot (you don't want to know how I know, just trust me). Granted it certainly can, and I would not recommend driving overheated, but it's not an immediate death sentence.

The best way to find out is to pull the head and check it out. If it's warped, it most likely does need to be replaced (I think we're allowed some obnoxious .002 of an inch to machine, maybe less). It surprisingly really easy to check for warping. You can also run a compression test on each cylinder to find out if there is any cylinder leakage.

And if the engine does in fact start, you're halfway there to having a properly running car.

Like other said, though, getting this thing running properly is going to be either expensive or time consuming, or both. Take a hard look at exactly what you want to do with this thing before you start down the road to repairing it.
Idling rough could be coolant into the combustion chamber. What test did he run to confirm the head gasket?


M54's have an ugly tendency to pull the threads out of the block. ALWAYS check to make sure the head bolts retorque before removal of the head..... If not you will have to Timseret the head with a special jig
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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JB, have you ever did any head jobs on any M54s to have them come back failed? Some say that once a head is warped, the engine is done. Just wondering how successful you guys have been doing this. and whats the ratio of head jobs that need time-serts?
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:37 PM   #15
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OP,

First, I'll just say that what you say is no leaks, might not be right. You're probably right, but personally I can't trust that quite yet.

There are many reasons why a car might overheat...and when it does, it'd often pop something in the cooling system.

But, when you overheated, how long did you drive with it in the red...tell us about that incident.

I don't know your mechanic and I know many are distru****l of them...and should be of some of them, but certainly not all! So, what did you tell the mechanic of the incident...mileage on car...other work done recently?

Did you see coolant in oil or oil in coolant or both?
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:33 PM   #16
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read it op

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Your car needs a few things to cool the engine.

1) Volume. Do you have enough water to circulate through the system? Do you have any leaks that are preventing the system from holding enough water?

2) Movement. Obviously your water pump moves water through the system in a circle. Is your pump being turned by the belt? Are their missing impeller blades? Is the thermostat opening so water can move? Is the radiator clogged with contaminants from using tap water or the wrong coolant? (non-Genuine BMW)

3) Efficiency. Your cooling system is less efficient when cavitation (Bubbles) start forming. This happens when water boils. Water boils when it reaches boiling temperature. Two things increase the boiling point. Coolant and pressure. Make sure you are half-filled with coolant and that your cap is of the right spec and functional.

4) Heat transfer. This happens when all the above demands are satisfied and air is moving over the fins of the radiator. When your car is at speed, natural airflow accomplishes this. While stationary, your fan, whether it be mechanical or electrical accomplishes this. Is your fan in check? Is the aux. fan switch working turning on the electric puller fan?
Replace it all. DIY easy.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:35 PM   #17
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Every time a thread like this is posted Mango dies a little inside lol
At this rate, i'd be very, very sick.

Those who replace their entire cooling systems never post threads like these. Interesting how that works, huh?

I guarantee you though, there's someone reading this right now shaking their head in disargeement stating if it ain't broke, why fix it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:51 PM   #18
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Change everything, even if its not broken. Every rubber hose, tube, screw, valve, pump, pulley, belts, and then youll have a new car
toull sleep better. Even though your wallet will be much lighter.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #19
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:24 PM   #20
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Change everything, even if its not broken. Every rubber hose, tube, screw, valve, pump, pulley, belts, and then youll have a new car
toull sleep better. Even though your wallet will be much lighter.
Exactly how I feel!

Don't feel badly, though, OP, if you can't do this all in one weekend!

Think of it as rebuilding your car back to factory...then you can go messing it up.

But, again, without casting doubt on your mechanic, could you tell us more of your overheating incident? For that money, you're close to an engine swap. In any case, you could do the cooling overhaul yourself and leave the head, if needed, to your mechanic.

But report details of the incident and also answer the question about what tests your mechanic made to conclude head gasket/head issue.
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