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Old 11-16-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
akilism
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coolant leaking out of a 325xi wagon

my 325xi just started leaking coolant massively the other night. I'm pretty sure its the expansion tank. I was under the car this morning and couldn't tell for sure though. I pour coolant in and it just pours back out of the bottom of the tank and not in a trickle its just flowing out.

video 1:

video 2:

I'd like to overhaul the cooling system but right now I can't even drive it anywhere so I was hoping to just replace the expansion tank asap if that looks like the culprit.

its all coming from here


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Old 11-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
Brinkley
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That looks like where the level sensor connects. I would pull the expansion tank and mounting bracket, throughly examine it. I belive that is part of the mounting bracket, so you would want to know exactly what's leaking before replacing. I usually buy the whole thing when replacing. If you don't want to overhaul the whole system now, then don't.
Also check the tank THROUGHLY for hairline cracks that are very hard to see.

Last edited by Brinkley; 11-16-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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I highly recommend the whole system being overhauled as opposed to replacing just one part. Since you have an automatic, your automatic transmission thermostat will crumble upon removal of the expansion tank. If the expansion tank is weak and/or near its life expectancy, then so are the other parts of the system which happen to be made out of the similar plastic. See my thread for details.

Do it once. Do it right. Get 'er done.

Follow my advice, and you'll never experience a problem.

I haven't.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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@akilism,
That is some severe damage to your expansion tank...
Did you hear anything right before the massive leakage?

Have you gotten the yellow "low coolant" warning light recently? If so, did you (over) fill the tank with coolant?
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
I highly recommend the whole system being overhauled as opposed to replacing just one part. Since you have an automatic, your automatic transmission thermostat will crumble upon removal of the expansion tank. If the expansion tank is weak and/or near its life expectancy, then so are the other parts of the system which happen to be made out of the similar plastic. See my thread for details.

Do it once. Do it right. Get 'er done.

Follow my advice, and you'll never experience a problem.

I haven't.
If he's careful, he can get the expansion tank out without breaking the automatic transmission thermostat. I had a garage do mine and they removed the tank without breaking it. My replacement parts came from the dealer, and they automatically send the thermostat in addition to the ET to my garage. Thankfully, we didn't need the thermo because it was god-awful high from BMW.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vandyboy View Post
If he's careful, he can get the expansion tank out without breaking the automatic transmission thermostat. I had a garage do mine and they removed the tank without breaking it. My replacement parts came from the dealer, and they automatically send the thermostat in addition to the ET to my garage. Thankfully, we didn't need the thermo because it was god-awful high from BMW.
Eff BMW! I got an aftermarket one from Autohauz for $33.75!
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
akilism
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Originally Posted by BimmersGarage View Post
@akilism,
That is some severe damage to your expansion tank...
Did you hear anything right before the massive leakage?

Have you gotten the yellow "low coolant" warning light recently? If so, did you (over) fill the tank with coolant?
Nah I don't remember hearing anything. I did get the coolant level warning light and I over filled it with coolant but it immediately pours out the bottom. So it's just been sitting since.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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Eff BMW! I got an aftermarket one from Autohauz for $33.75!
I swear it was near $100.00 from the dealer. I would have definitely replaced it if I bought one for $33.75.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #9
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We're guessing at best from the pics you've posted.
But best guess is the ET. Not that expensive to get a new one in. Only complication is that you'll probably break the trans thermostat. Most do.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akilism View Post
Nah I don't remember hearing anything. I did get the coolant level warning light and I over filled it with coolant but it immediately pours out the bottom. So it's just been sitting since.
The only reason why I asked about overfilling your expansion tank.. is to confirm that That's what cracked your ET. Never over fill the exp. tank it will cause it to crack.

Only fill to the specified level between the max. & min. bubbles on the measure stick.

It is highly recommended to refresh the entire cooling system at this time.
However, if you are not able to do so.. replacing the ATT, Exp. tank and new cap is what I would suggest. Also, flush the system and fill with BMW coolant (mixed 50/50 with distilled water).

And, the most important thing is to remember to properly bleed the system once everything is re-installed.
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