E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
AC Yate
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 141
My Ride: BMW E46
Does this look like I need a new radiator to you?

Coolant residue at the upper hose connection to the radiator. Is this a common leak point for coolant?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	258
Size:	127.9 KB
ID:	493660  
AC Yate is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-04-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,797
My Ride: M54B30
You need a new everything. If you have to ask, the answer is always yes. (when it comes to the cooling system)
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,668
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
It will be your upper hose or it could be your radiator. Look under the mount that presses the radiator at that point. The plastic gets weak , leaks and then fails.

I did have an upper hose leak a little there because the inner plastic ring was damaged. The plastic ring holds the orings in.

Your best bet is to check everything and replace those parts that may need replacing from weakness or aging. Like doing hoses, WP, thermostat and belts all at once.
__________________
Founding Member of the Club of Dangerous Fanatics

Engine swap, HG, tranny swap, GM & ZF tranny rebuilds, shocks, struts, brakes, WPs, Thermostats, belts, tensioners, fuel pumps, radiators, window regs, hoses, PS pump, Spark Plugs, VCGs, coils, fuel filters, CVVs, VANOS seals, rack, LCABs, Exp. Tanks, OFHGs, RCABs, OP, boots, ABS, GUIDOs, starter, A/C, DISA, Diff, SAP

Ultra Premium Grand 10 Star+ Super Duper BMW-pedic Sport Plus +++

Last edited by BMWCaptain; 03-04-2013 at 11:50 AM.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,834
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
Yeah, OP, if you can't diagnose the leak, replacing it all is best.

But, if the hose was reused at one or more points in the car's life, that hose's 0-rings might be shot.

Remove hose and look at neck of radiator for cracks. They used to fail there...my e36 had that...but that seems rarer than the typical radiator failure of leaking between black sidepod and alum fins...which would be a controlled/stable leak and give you warning.

If doing radiator (they'll last a while--mine leaked at 185K miles. Others go at 150K. So if you're over 120K it's a reasonable prophylactic measure to take...and at that point, do the whole rest of the system anyway.

If you don't know 'status' of wp or therm...cheap insurance. Again, Mango is right; a new system will only help you. With a manual, $300 gets you a system...$450 with radiator (more for automatic trans). But, you could possibly just replace the hose or O-rings, clean up the radiator neck of residue, and go on fine for months...maybe years.

Monitor your coolant levels until you fix this...and check that neck before you drive it...so I'd suggest you at least get the upper hose for now.

The checking of the neck itself might be enough to cause that hose to fail 100%, then you couldn't drive the car at all. Now, it's just risky to drive until you know what's going on.
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set

dmax on the radio every Wednesday 7-9 p.m. NYC time. Call in! (661) 449-9340 watsonnwatson.com
dmax is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
Jesse M
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Greenwich, RI
Posts: 457
My Ride: 05' ZHP
Top her off, start it up and squeeze the pipes. While the car is running, it is being pressurized. Adding more force will only increase the pressure, forcing coolant out of the path of least resistance - a failed part.

But your best bet would be to just replace the hoses first .. cheap enough and if the leak goes away, you're done. If not, then back to the drawing board.
__________________
Jesse M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #6
AC Yate
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 141
My Ride: BMW E46
It's hard to tell by looking at it if it's the radiator neck or the hose. I'll wipe it off and see what happens. The car has over 150k miles on it and it's the original radiator. so it's probably the radiator.

When they replaced the expansion tank, the shop wrote a comment that once the cooling system are exposed to air then other parts of the cooling system are prone to failure. Anyone know if this is true?
AC Yate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
Dave1027
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: California
Posts: 906
My Ride: '06 IR 330ci zhp
Mongo, maybe he should simply replace the entire vehicle?
Dave1027 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,668
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by AC Yate View Post
I
When they replaced the expansion tank, the shop wrote a comment that once the cooling system are exposed to air then other parts of the cooling system are prone to failure. Anyone know if this is true?
That is the first time I have heard that. That is just NOT true. I think it is just a way for them to escape any responsibility if something else breaks after you drive off.
__________________
Founding Member of the Club of Dangerous Fanatics

Engine swap, HG, tranny swap, GM & ZF tranny rebuilds, shocks, struts, brakes, WPs, Thermostats, belts, tensioners, fuel pumps, radiators, window regs, hoses, PS pump, Spark Plugs, VCGs, coils, fuel filters, CVVs, VANOS seals, rack, LCABs, Exp. Tanks, OFHGs, RCABs, OP, boots, ABS, GUIDOs, starter, A/C, DISA, Diff, SAP

Ultra Premium Grand 10 Star+ Super Duper BMW-pedic Sport Plus +++

Last edited by BMWCaptain; 03-04-2013 at 07:38 PM.
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,834
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
Quote:
Originally Posted by AC Yate View Post
It's hard to tell by looking at it if it's the radiator neck or the hose. I'll wipe it off and see what happens. The car has over 150k miles on it and it's the original radiator. so it's probably the radiator.

When they replaced the expansion tank, the shop wrote a comment that once the cooling system are exposed to air then other parts of the cooling system are prone to failure. Anyone know if this is true?
Whatever he was telling you, I think he must have either thought you were a moron, or he himself is one.

When you remove a hose, you might damage the o-ring so it doesn't seal again, but if you're filling up the system afterwards, the only exposure to air that isn't good, is when it's in your system after you've filled it...and don't 'top' it off...fill to between min and max level...except for after you've drained the entire system...then you need to fill it up.

In any case, if you're doing radiator, you'll need to replace upper hose...read up on the diy a few times in a few different threads...until you puke!
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set

dmax on the radio every Wednesday 7-9 p.m. NYC time. Call in! (661) 449-9340 watsonnwatson.com
dmax is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
AC Yate
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 141
My Ride: BMW E46
It was a comment they wrote on the invoice. Not a big deal, just something I noticed.

Anyway, I'm just looking to see if this DIY is doable for me. Quick questions - Can this be done w/o jack stands? All the DIYs I'm looking at don't cover removing the bottom plastic cover underneath the engine (I think it's called the front aggragate protective plate). I'm assuming this needs to be removed in order to replace the radiator. How much of a PITA is this to remove/replace? Last time I checked, this piece looks to have ran into a few things down there so I'm not sure how easy it'll come off or if it'll come off in one piece.
AC Yate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:57 PM   #11
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,797
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AC Yate View Post
It was a comment they wrote on the invoice. Not a big deal, just something I noticed.

Anyway, I'm just looking to see if this DIY is doable for me. Quick questions - Can this be done w/o jack stands? All the DIYs I'm looking at don't cover removing the bottom plastic cover underneath the engine (I think it's called the front aggragate protective plate). I'm assuming this needs to be removed in order to replace the radiator. How much of a PITA is this to remove/replace? Last time I checked, this piece looks to have ran into a few things down there so I'm not sure how easy it'll come off or if it'll come off in one piece.
you'll need to remove that to drain the coolant properly
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,834
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
The underskirt is 6 screws...Phillips head. If you've never removed it, clean it up if for not other reason than that you can get it back on easily and get the screws tight...not crazy tight.

Easy. No problem doing that at all.

Only thing with draining the coolant from block, which you should do if you don't know if it's been done. Use OE coolant and distilled water.

Read the diys until you puke...at least get nauseous!
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set

dmax on the radio every Wednesday 7-9 p.m. NYC time. Call in! (661) 449-9340 watsonnwatson.com
dmax is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
wildirish317
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 2,691
My Ride: 2004 325Ci vert
If you don't know the history, do as Mango says. Spend $45 on a set of ramps to get the front end off the ground. It's a fairly easy DIY. Make sure you get some radiator hose grease to put everything back together. The expansion tank to its mounting bracket is a bitch if it's not lubricated.
__________________


“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
wildirish317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 12:48 AM   #14
TitaniumCranium
/// Limitless
 
TitaniumCranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle / Sequim
Posts: 3,195
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
The underskirt is 6 screws...Phillips head. If you've never removed it, clean it up if for not other reason than that you can get it back on easily and get the screws tight...not crazy tight.
The 6 screws on mine are quarter turn quick-lock screws. If you tightened them crazy tight, what would happen?
__________________

/// MODS
/// Auto => 6-Spd Manual Conversion | Apex EC-7 | Koni/Ground Control Coilovers | Vorshlag Camber Plates | Meyle HD LCA | PowerFlex bushings | GruppeM rep CAI | Shark Injector | 6000k HID's and Fogs | BMW European MTechII | BMW Performance Shifter | ACS Mirrors and Rear Spoiler ///
TitaniumCranium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #15
AC Yate
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 141
My Ride: BMW E46
I've been reading several DIYs on replacing the radiator and none of them mention needing to raise the car. I also looked at a few youtube videos and it looks like the car is at ground level. Are jackstands or ramps a must for this DIY? I know it would be nice to have for this and future DIYs, but I'm justing renting out a garage for several DIYs and I have no room for any jackstands or ramps at my place. If I buy them, I'd have to get rid of them after the job.
AC Yate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:04 PM   #16
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,797
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AC Yate View Post
I've been reading several DIYs on replacing the radiator and none of them mention needing to raise the car. I also looked at a few youtube videos and it looks like the car is at ground level. Are jackstands or ramps a must for this DIY? I know it would be nice to have for this and future DIYs, but I'm justing renting out a garage for several DIYs and I have no room for any jackstands or ramps at my place. If I buy them, I'd have to get rid of them after the job.
it's not a must. just increases your chance for success. the higher your expansion tank (bleed point) is, the easier air will come out
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #17
Nerdy46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 837
My Ride: 328i
Replace the upper hose first and see if that fixes the leak. If not order a rad.
__________________
Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish
Nerdy46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #18
AC Yate
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 141
My Ride: BMW E46
I was looking at it more closely today and I saw some coolant traces along the top of the side seam where the metal joins with the plastic on the radiator. From what I've read, this side seam is a common failure point. It was dripping along the expansion tank holder and it didn't look like it was coming from the bottom of the upper hose.
AC Yate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #19
POLMafia
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Louisville TN
Posts: 8
My Ride: 2000 323I
It is not the hose, "upper hose" connects to bottom of expansion tank, rad is gone, if you let the car overheat once, you will warp the head and your $200 DIY becomes a $5000 nightmare. You have three quick disconnects and a few bolts. If you have minimal mech skills youl be fine, no need for ramps or jacks.

Sent from my Amazon Kindle Fire2 using Bimmer App
POLMafia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #20
wildirish317
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 2,691
My Ride: 2004 325Ci vert
Quote:
Originally Posted by POLMafia View Post
no need for ramps or jacks.
True, but getting the front end off the ground a bit makes the job easier.
__________________


“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
wildirish317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use