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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 01-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
ivan300
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E46 Game: Guess that coolant leak

Hi guys,

I have a 2002 325i with 47k miles that has developed a severe coolant leak.

It emptied the expansion tank in about 3miles.

I got it up on jack stands and ran it for a hour. The only leak i noticed when it was running was a few drops under the Expansion Tank.

These are my thoughts:
1: Water Pump or thermostat housing due to the coolant residue on the block/hoses etc
2: Expansion Tank due to small drip from it when the car was idling. Its also covered in coolant but that could be from when i was pouring it.

What are your thoughts guys?

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Old 01-07-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
jasonbimmer
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thats some dried up coolant on the pulleys. I would change the water pump.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
BimmersGarage
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Your A/C belt is missing..

There's definitely dry residue running down the underside of your lower rad. hose. Can't say for sure if it's your thermostat that's failed or if it's coolant splash kicked up by the belt(s) from a leak else where.

Your whole exp. tank is wet...hard to say where a leak would be from that, best dry it off best you can and recheck.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
ivan300
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I forgot to mention that I took off the A/C belt to get a better view.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
ivan300
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My parts came in

I went with all aftermarket parts...I know...I know oem is better...
In any case, I will post my findings as to how these parts fit and how long they last etc.



I got all these from Rockauto.com
Cooling System:
GATES K060605 Belt
GATES K050340 Belt
GATES 33934 Thermostat Housing / Water Outlet
GATES 23404 Radiator Upper Hose
GATES 23405 Radiator Lower Hose
GATES 31332 Radiator Cap
GATES 38069 Idler Pulley
URO PARTS 11281427252 (11 28 1 427 252) Belt Tensioner
URO PARTS 11281433571 (11 28 1 433 571) Belt Tensioner
URO PARTS 11517527799 (11 51 7 527 799) Water Pump
URO PARTS 17137787039 (17 13 7 787 039) Coolant Recovery Tank

Other:
NGK 3199 Spark Plug
BECK/ARNLEY 0422034 (042-2034) Cabin Air Filter
BOSCH 3397001394 Wiper Blade
FRAM CA9007 Air Filter
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #6
NJFF26
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you should have replaced the coolant temp sensor on the lower rad hose while you were at it. At least replace the o-ring when you switch it over between hoses.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:09 PM   #7
southpaw
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You should just replace everything.

Might as well.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
Chocolate Lab
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Not that I'm the expert here... But could you get someone to rev the car up while it was up on the stands? Or did you? I don't see how it could go through an entire tank in three miles but then only lose a few drops in an hour.

I think I would wipe everything down really well to make sure you're not seeing splash from when you were filling the tank and then try again.

Agree with NJFF to change that lower hose sensor... It's cheap and very easy to do.

I hope that uro water pump works for you.

Last edited by Chocolate Lab; 01-11-2012 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:50 AM   #9
swordsman11868
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Do you have an auto trans? If so you might need a new AT temp sensor.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
ivan300
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Hi guys,

Thank you for the suggestions. I just completed the overhaul. It went smoothly except for two things.

1: The lower hose was a huge pain to take off. I did not want to be too rough with it and possibly crack the rad. We poured some boiling water down the sensor hole which got it to loosen up. This part took about 1/2 of the time, other than that we were done in 2h

2: The upper and lower hoses did not fit very well. The lower hose had to be pushed extremely hard for it to line up with tabs that the metal clips fit into.
The upper hose, I was not able to use. Im not sure if its a combination of the URO expansion tank or just the hose. I could not get it to line up and lock in. I reused the oem hose and I will order a new oem one.

All the other parts I would say fit exactly like oem without any issues.
The thermostat housing by Gates said Whaler and Made in Germany (Im not sure if this is a mistake, it came in a Gates box)
I reused the coolant senor, i just purchased a new o-ring

Im going to monitor it closely over the next few days.

Last edited by ivan300; 01-14-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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I'm ordering up a bunch of coolant stuff for the 01, does anyone have any experience with this uro stuff? I'm all about saving money, but I get suspicious when I see an oem expansion tank on pelican for 80 bucks and then a URO brand tank listed for 37...
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:30 PM   #12
ivan300
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Originally Posted by qslim View Post
I'm ordering up a bunch of coolant stuff for the 01, does anyone have any experience with this uro stuff? I'm all about saving money, but I get suspicious when I see an oem expansion tank on pelican for 80 bucks and then a URO brand tank listed for 37...
Try rock auto, I got the uro et for 32CAD. It fit perfectly. Felt solid but time will tell. I have a feeling that many of the premature failures are caused by overfilling of the et.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:41 AM   #13
325i'02
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This is the one area where i dont feel %100 sure about OEM parts. I mean, these are obviously prone to failure at 47k or at over 100k. I bet BMW had more time/money spent on designing and manifacturing the correct parts but they still fail.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #14
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Yeah, I chickened out and got the OEM tank for 80 bucks. The one I have now has lasted ten years without a problem, and it's not a part I feel comfortable skimping on. I make 1000 mile drives on a pretty regular basis, and I'd just as soon not get stranded because I wanted to save fifty bucks. Maybe I'm a sucker, but I'll save money elsewhere.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:51 PM   #15
Colorado 2k 323i
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Recently, I repaired a hairline fracture on the expansion tank on my 2000 323i. Everything seemed to go very smoothly until after I went to bleed the system. There is a white, sort of half moon shaped plastic piece floating in the tank that I did not notice before. I did not remove the expansion tank, so I am pretty sure nothing broke off during the repair. Any idea what this white plastic piece is, and is it okay to have floating in the expansion tank?
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:26 PM   #16
ChuckyVee
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E46 Game: Guess that coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado 2k 323i View Post
Recently, I repaired a hairline fracture on the expansion tank on my 2000 323i. Everything seemed to go very smoothly until after I went to bleed the system. There is a white, sort of half moon shaped plastic piece floating in the tank that I did not notice before. I did not remove the expansion tank, so I am pretty sure nothing broke off during the repair. Any idea what this white plastic piece is, and is it okay to have floating in the expansion tank?

Do you have an automatic?

If so, it could be a piece of the AT thermostat that has broken off.

You oughta try fishing it out with something and posting a pic.


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Last edited by ChuckyVee; 06-14-2014 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:10 PM   #17
Colorado 2k 323i
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Plastic piece - Coolant reservoir

No, it's a 5 speed manual. I'll try to get a picture.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:44 AM   #18
ZHP330Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan300 View Post
Try rock auto, I got the uro et for 32CAD. It fit perfectly. Felt solid but time will tell. I have a feeling that many of the premature failures are caused by overfilling of the et.
Hi,
I know this is old but I was wondering about these parts.
Are the gates parts reliable? Specially the Thermostat? What about the Uro parts? Im looking to buy all these parts but Im not sure if I should get them from Rockauto or pay more and buy other brands.

Thanks for any advice
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:39 AM   #19
choxor
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Uro is generally regarded to be crap.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:53 AM   #20
Phrygian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZHP330Ci View Post
Hi,
I know this is old but I was wondering about these parts.
Are the gates parts reliable? Specially the Thermostat? What about the Uro parts? Im looking to buy all these parts but Im not sure if I should get them from Rockauto or pay more and buy other brands.

Thanks for any advice
Are you just asking about Gates thermostat? The OP reported problems with the fitment of the Gates hoses, so I don't know why you would even consider them. I bought an aftermarket lower radiator hose (can't remember if it was Gates, Rein, or Febi), and I had to trim the plastic notch on the radiator to get it to fit. Pay the extra money for the BMW radiator hoses and save yourself the trouble.

The Wahler thermostats are good. If you need one in a pinch, and you have a NAPA nearby, they may have one. I was surprised that the NAPA in my redneck pickup-driving podunk town had one. I'm probably the only BMW owner here.
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