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General E46 Forum
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:45 AM   #1
hogson
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help- cooling system problems

yesterday i was driving the car semi-hard, and shortly after while still driving the low coolant light came on. i was 2 minutes from destination so i continued on and assumed it wasnt anything horrid since the temperature gauge was not really too high. a belt started squeaking at every stop sign along the way, which im assuming is because of the coolant splattered all over it. anyway when i parked there was steam coming from under the hood..tons of it. opened the hood to find coolant all over the place, and all over the ground and well as trailing to my spot, and the radiator hose to be soft and squishy. now knowing the severity of this i called my dad who drove my other car over and switched cars with me and filled mine with his left over mercedes coolant to slowly make it home. i didnt get home till around 1 so i did not try ti diagnose anything..now its daylight out and i need to know what to look for? and how to determine if its a water pump, expansion tank, etc. causing this.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
tommy d
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Based on what your describing, your going to need to flush the coolant with new BMW coolant, and while you are it, find what caused your leak. But even though I would only recommend swapping what failed, in your case I'd replace the water pump, hoses, expansion tank and thermostat. Basically the "coolant repair kit" sold by many online vendors.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
college46
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See here, there is literally years of information for our "Cooling system" just search for it.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109
My guess is a crack in the e/t without looking at any pics.
Can you post pics?
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:01 AM   #4
RayPooley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy d View Post
Based on what your describing, your going to need to flush the coolant with new BMW coolant, and while you are it, find what caused your leak. But even though I would only recommend swapping what failed, in your case I'd replace the water pump, hoses, expansion tank and thermostat. Basically the "coolant repair kit" sold by many online vendors.
You can "flush" it with water. Although not sure what flushing it will do. When you are ready to refill then use the proper spec coolant. BTW hot hoses can be expected to be a little soft when not pressurized. Not necessarily a problem.

Last edited by RayPooley; 02-17-2013 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
hogson
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expansion tank is out now- has a hole in it. seems the date on the tag is 5/13/08 so im assuming its the cars second one. should i still do the thermastat, etc?
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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I'd would replace as many components as you can afford to if you're not sure which ones were replaced within the last 60,000 miles.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
WDE46
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JFOJ's link is the best information here. Read about the cooling system and learn as much as you can. Decide for yourself if you want to just overhaul it. Whether you do this yourself or have a shop do it, make sure they fill the system to the correct level and bleed it properly. It is amazing how many "BMW" shops don't actually know how to fill the M54 cooling system. Check it yourself or suffer the consequences.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
hogson
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do i need to get BMW specific coolant? and what exactly is the proper way to bleed it? is it not done like most other cars?
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
hogson
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found a page on proper bleeding.
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