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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
FcBarcelona
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Coolant/Overheating

So i bought the xi a few weeks ago. The top hose was leaking and got that fixed. But the coolant symbol kept coming on and the coolant kept going out from somewhere but I didn't see any leak from anywhere and just kept adding coolant.

I was driving on the turnpike and then I noticed the car overheating rapidly till the red mark, I pulled over and I noticed coolant was everywhere under the...I mean everywhere. And there was smoke coming out from under the hood.

I believe its a hose/thermostat or something...what do you guys think....

I had to drive the car around a mile to park it at a safe place...and then I had it towed to my house...

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
Big Rick
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Expansion tank probably... How many miles do you have on it?

Cooling system is a weak spot on these...
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
FcBarcelona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Rick View Post
Expansion tank probably... How many miles do you have on it?

Cooling system is a weak spot on these...
I have 104k....it was bound to happen

But why a week after I buy the car :'(

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FcBarcelona View Post
I have 104k....it was bound to happen

But why a week after I buy the car :'(

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
FcBarcelona
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Because... Your car knows...
I told him i was gonna treat him right

lol but man..just gonna have to deal with the cooling system, before i stance it out...

Keep hitting road blocks
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
Kubica
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Probably blew out the rad cap. Most likely need a new waterpump.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:13 AM   #7
adrian8507
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Does your car overheats when is stopped or while is in motion??


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Old 04-21-2013, 01:18 AM   #8
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Take a look at your fanclutch make sure u can not stop it with ur hands, when engine is on, and u should overhaul ur cooling system . Be carefull if u overheat ur engine more than once . U could easly blow up ur head gasket .

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Old 04-21-2013, 08:01 AM   #9
FcBarcelona
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Yeah I think ima go ahead and change thermostat, water pump, and expansion tank. But I first need to find the real problem lol.

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Old 04-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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Change out you upper and lower hoses, your expansion tank cap, in addition to your items stated, the thermostat, WP, & Exp. Tank.

Check your radiator at the upper left corner near Exp tank.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:34 AM   #11
kaliboii
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Coolant/Overheating

If your considering changing out all those parts. Just go ahead and overhaul your system


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Old 04-21-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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Definitely diagnose the problem before just throwing parts at it. All of that stuff may be due but you need to find the culprit first. Fill it up with water to find the leak. No sense dumping more antifreeze on the ground. Then go ahead and do a cooling system overhaul. Never drive it in the red or damage will occur. A tow truck is cheaper than an engine. If its in an unsafe spot start it and get it moving and shut it off and coast. Repeat. Even that may do damage but an engine is cheaper than your life.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
SeattleLSB
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just replace the entire system. I just did the cooling system overhaul, OFHG and CCV. It's worth all doing at once and the parts will be a bit under 800.

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Old 04-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #14
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Always diagnose the problem first or expect the problem to still be there when your done. It does not take long or even cost anything to diagnose it. It could be an engine problem and be worth fixing. If you spend a bunch of money on parts you've dug a bigger hole.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian8507 View Post
Take a look at your fanclutch make sure u can not stop it with ur hands, when engine is on...
Okay, that's dangerous. The fan will shred your hand attempting to stall it when running. A failed clutch should not cause coolant to blow as the aux electric fan will come on preventing overheat. Clutched fans are only on the Steptronic cars and rarely fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbob89 View Post
Definitely diagnose the problem before just throwing parts at it...
Well, that's good advise for troubleshooting engine problems but in this case, a complete cooling system replacement is in order. Water pump, hoses and a new expansion tank are on the must have list. Belts, pulleys and the tensioner are often changed out depending on condition.

The "weak link" must be quickly corrected as pegging the temp can cause severe damage blowing head gaskets, warping the head, pulling head bolts out etc. This can happen within a few seconds when total loss of coolant occurs. This is not to be messed with troubleshooting to see if it comes back. Change out the parts and buy yourself another hundred thousand miles of peace of mind.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:14 PM   #16
bmwbob89
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I said to replace it all after you diagnose the leak:
Then go ahead and do a cooling system overhaul.
I did not say to drive it. Just find the leak before you throw a pile of parts at the car. I always like to know the enemy.

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Old 04-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #17
FcBarcelona
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Thanks guys, I'm taking it all in! Tomorrow my mechanic is coming to check it out, hoping for the best.

I will post the autopsy tomorrow :'(

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #18
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One thing to check considering you opened the system and had a leak: These systems are rather difficult to bleed. If you have air in the system, you will have overheating issues. I had to have my system refilled under vacuum (specialty machine) when I did an overhaul for that very reason. Once we filled it like that, voila. Cool as a cucumber.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:17 AM   #19
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian8507 View Post
Take a look at your fanclutch make sure u can not stop it with ur hands, when engine is on, and u should overhaul ur cooling system . Be carefull if u overheat ur engine more than once . U could easly blow up ur head gasket .

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Umm...I would most definitely NOT do this. Would you stick your hand in your lawn mower blade path to see if it's working? Same thing. Besides, what do you think will happen if the fan clutch is in fact working fine?

Fan clutches do fail but seeing as though the OP overheated the car while driving, I'm guessing it's not the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chilone View Post
One thing to check considering you opened the system and had a leak: These systems are rather difficult to bleed. If you have air in the system, you will have overheating issues. I had to have my system refilled under vacuum (specialty machine) when I did an overhaul for that very reason. Once we filled it like that, voila. Cool as a cucumber.
It's not bad at all to bleed the system. Just follow instructions online and it'll be done in 10mins tops.

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:33 AM   #20
FcBarcelona
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Alright guys i found out the problem

Last Wednesday when i changed my front axles i told the guy to check my coolant level, it was low so he added some. But when he put the cap back on it wasn't as tight as it should have been. So on Sunday my thermostat gave out and the pressure caused the coolant to pop right out through the cap. I knew the blast was from the right side since the cushioning under the hood was mostly wet from that side.

So basically i have to change my thermostat, the piece was 125 and my boy who's a mechanic is only charging my 50 for labor. Luckily no harm to the head gasket at all.

Thanks for all your input, i will definitely look back on this post when i decide to give my cooling system a full overhaul!
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