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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 09-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #61
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BTW, your car not overheating isn't 100% good. The cooling system is always 100% good until it fails. Your tires are 100% good until you hit an object in the road causing it to blow your tires out. You are 100% good until a Ford F-150 rear ends you. With parts that are known to fail, you are just that much closer to failure.

If money was no object and parts were given to you free of charge, I guarantee you would be replacing the cooling system. Who would deny free brand new parts?

So you have to ask yourself where the disagreement comes from
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:05 AM   #62
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Who else still has the original cooling system?

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Here is my radiator at 156k miles. I wonder what yours looks like? Have you used the OBC to see what temp yours runs at? Just curious. Thanks.
Jeez!!! I spray my radiator down every time I wash my car. My old one looked damn near brand new.


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Old 09-17-2013, 12:07 AM   #63
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Have some minor bearing play in my WP now. Bought a Graf unit that I'll be putting in soon. Original lasted 200K kms approx. and would still run fine. Going to hang onto it as a backup. Regular flushes every 50K kms, rest of the system is original and operating as intended.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:12 AM   #64
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Have some minor bearing play in my WP now. Bought a Graf unit that I'll be putting in soon. Original lasted 200K kms approx. and would still run fine. Going to hang onto it as a backup. Regular flushes every 50K kms, rest of the system is original and operating as intended.
Yup. My neighbor's E46 at 155k (minus the pulleys which I caught one random day by pure coincidence--belt was riding on the metal shaft of the pulley which disintegrated inside the engine bay) and the belt was hanging on by a last shred) is running its original cooling parts and is "operating at intended." Once a part springs a leak though, it's no longer operating as intended. With the plastic cooling parts, failure is sudden and so is the resulting overheat.

You hold a glass of water in your hand:



and you drop it on the ground:



Just a few millseconds ago, that glass was fine.

It then broke.

The water escaped.

Hard concept to follow?

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:13 AM   #65
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BTW, your car not overheating isn't 100% good. The cooling system is always 100% good until it fails. Your tires are 100% good until you hit an object in the road causing it to blow your tires out. You are 100% good until a Ford F-150 rear ends you. With parts that are known to fail, you are just that much closer to failure.

If money was no object and parts were given to you free of charge, I guarantee you would be replacing the cooling system. Who would deny free brand new parts?

So you have to ask yourself where the disagreement comes from
True, but the question comes into effect of what the interval of replacing parts should be. If I was given new parts, I wouldn't be swapping them in every 5 miles, 500, 5000, maybe 50000. Many have proved that you can go a great time with no failure. It appears to be a complete crapshoot as to when these parts will fail, so with that in mind the game theorist in me surmises that it's best to inspect the parts regularly, and if they are failing-replace them. If they are not failing-do not replace as you're just as likely to get screwed 30000 miles down the road as you are 230000 miles down the road.

I'm about maximising my savings, more people should do likewise.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:24 AM   #66
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True, but the question comes into effect of what the interval of replacing parts should be. If I was given new parts, I wouldn't be swapping them in every 5 miles, 500, 5000, maybe 50000. Many have proved that you can go a great time with no failure. It appears to be a complete crapshoot as to when these parts will fail, so with that in mind the game theorist in me surmises that it's best to inspect the parts regularly, and if they are failing-replace them. If they are not failing-do not replace as you're just as likely to get screwed 30000 miles down the road as you are 230000 miles down the road.

I'm about maximising my savings, more people should do likewise.
But maximizing your savings is the exact reason you replace the cooling system. What's the cost of a used engine plus install? Plus tow/inconvenience/time off work/danger of being stranded/leaving family/wife/kids stranded...

Are we seriously having this conversation?

You'll spend $10,000 on a car but not $500 on a cooling system?

How about if you were about to buy a car from a dealer... nice condition... everything you wanted, etc. And the salesman offered you a $500 discount if you allowed the dealer's service department to install a 10-year old 150k mile cooling system. You game?
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:30 AM   #67
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I agree with what you're saying, Mango, but I just have to give you crap because you're so vehement about it.

I've had all the spare parts in my trunk for over 2 years now, waiting for my '99 to break. Turns out, maybe my coolant flush in 2006 might have made a difference to the longevity of the car. Same thing with fuel filter, done at the same time, zero issues with fuel pump. I know people who had fuel pumps fail on their 2002s when it was 2005 and the car was still under warranty.

There's nothing wrong with doing PM, but it isn't possible for some of us (like me) who can only afford to insure one car per season, can't afford to have downtime with it, and would really prefer to 'ride things out.' I don't have a wife or roommate who can drive me somewhere for a day or two while the car is on stands. If the car is broken, I'll figure something out, but if it works, then it works, and I'll use it. I try to treat it like a normal car, not a Ferrari, which actually makes me happier in the end. The car is rolling with the punches so far.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:38 AM   #68
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Continued luck upon you. We know that many people aren't so lucky though. If I've saved even one engine from an overheat, I'd have done my job.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:42 AM   #69
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Continued luck upon you. We know that many people aren't so lucky though. If I've saved even one engine from an overheat, I'd have done my job.
My dad's e39 expansion tank exploded when I was in a convenience store during the winter. My friend was sitting in the car and 'saw smoke quick' and mentioned it to me about a minute later, when I pulled over because the temp started to rise.

I did learn a lesson there - always look at the coolant temp gauge.

Funny thing is, we replaced with an OEM ET, and it exploded agin within a year. Replaced under parts warranty, all good for now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:11 AM   #70
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I just did the last of the PM on the cooling system @ 191k. I had previously replaced the ET, hoses, and pump at 92k. Nothing broke but winter is right around the corner and I commute over 80 miles one way through a remote area so downtime is possibly hours walking as it's also void of cell reception.

I took the opportunity to change the radiator over to manual style since I don't need the automatic transmission oil heat exchanger. I also removed the fan clutch and installed the electric puller fan, removed the pusher fan, replaced the cooling system hoses, temp sender, level sender, ET and thoroughly flushed.

One thing I noticed, much quieter system now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:10 AM   #71
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At 18,000 miles, my thermostat was the cause of a check engine light on the dash and was replaced at no charge by the BMW dealer.

At 47,000 miles a BMW Dealer replaced my coolant. They didn't provide enough antifreeze capability in the coolant and the following winter I was getting codes on my Peake tool about problems with the thermostat. Rather than automatically doing a part replacement, I checked the antifreeze capability and found it to be completely inadequate. Literally the car's coolant was freezing (Winter, Mountains of Colorado). I also noticed on the dealer receipt that they charged me for 2 gallons of coolant. Boneheads.

I did my own drain and fill with a coolant mix that I tested for antifreeze temp BEFORE putting it in the car and never experienced a thermostat code again after that.

At 78,000 miles the original water pump sh1t the bed. That factory original 2000 impeller was metal by the way. I replaced it with one manufactured by Graf, also with a metal impeller.

Other than that it's just been new drain screws/washers and a new cap.

I have this bizarre ritual I perform every week on my cooling system. I check the coolant level.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:41 AM   #72
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When I bought my first E46 that was literally the first thing I did. A whole new cooling system. But these days I am just swapping N54's and their systems into the E46

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Old 09-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #73
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Ok fess up----Who's rocking green coolant?
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:57 AM   #74
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Who else still has the original cooling system?

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Ok fess up----Who's rocking green coolant?
Does the green stuff taste better than the blue


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Old 09-17-2013, 09:03 AM   #75
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I think so. Though I've since learned its for the car not a drink for when it's cold out.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:09 AM   #76
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Who else still has the original cooling system?

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I think so. Though I've since learned its for the car not a drink for when it's cold out.
You're shittin me, right? So expansion tank ISN'T a thermos?


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Old 09-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #77
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Who else still has the original cooling system?

I bought the car at 145k with no clue on maintenance. I've only replaced the upper expansion tank hose and flushed and bled the system. Runs great. It's 2000 323i


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Old 09-17-2013, 09:40 AM   #78
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It really is hit or miss with these cooling systems. My old 328ci's original cooling system lasted until 155k when the water pump went, I replaced everything with OEM parts, only to have the water pump fail again just under 50k miles later. Luckily, this happened once the new owner took delivery but still, I thought for sure it would be good for another 50k miles. (100k total)
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #79
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You're shittin me, right? So expansion tank ISN'T a thermos?


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An expansion tank joke? You're crackin' me up!
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:48 AM   #80
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An expansion tank joke? You're crackin' me up!
Cool your jets, we don't want to blow this thread off-topic!
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