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Old 11-06-2019, 02:53 PM   #1
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2004 BMW 325ci really bad coolant leak

Hey all,

New owner of my "new" baby, my '04 BMW 325ci vert (w/ 150k on the clock) that I picked up from a dealer's auction. The car is in really great condition, aesthetically it has held up quite well and I've only noticed a couple of problems thus far....the major one being that it has leaked coolant really bad. Looking under the hood, it looked to have been coming from the lower radiator hose but I have not performed a pressure test to confirm any other locations for a leak. My question is: being a "beginner" at doing my own maintenance, what's the level of difficulty with installing the Cooling system overhaul kit from FCP euro? Would I be able to perform this solo? And my logic is if i'm replacing a hose, I might as well tackle the entire system especially due to the car's age and I'm unsure as to whether or not anything has been replaced. Any advice is appreciated!
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:18 PM   #2
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My Ride: 2001 325i Auto
Model: 325i
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Search for the Mango cooling system thread on this site. Then the DIYs. 50sKid should have a YouTube vid on it iirc.
Not a hard job with basic metric tools, time consuming the first time around but not technically challenging using the step by step DIYs on this site.

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Old 11-07-2019, 11:45 PM   #3
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Best way is to replace all flexible hoses and expansion tank, it is diy work and you donít need a lift. Itís better to replace radiator too, water pump and both thermostats, it isnít that expensive especially as you can find aftermarket parts, and the you can forget about it for good 150 k km

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Old 11-08-2019, 11:55 AM   #4
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Thank you both for the advice! I've looked into Mango's guide as well as other threads/articles about DIY for overhauling the cooling system, I'm going to tackle it next weekend, I just ordered this kit from FCP Euro
I'm hoping this will cure the issue. Any insight on this kit?
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:37 PM   #5
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It looks good,
I would also recommend to replace a plastic plate 17111436251 and connection fitting 17111707817 ( numbers are for 330, but I assume it is the same for 325, check it before you buy)- it is a connection between radiator, expansion tank and gearbox fluid heat exchanger (if automatic). They are made of plastic, so became brittle. Also make sure you replace all o-rings which are separate from parts you buy.
Make sure all connection are clean,
Especially as you don't replace radiator. Don't use any silicon, just slightly lube all connection with any oil- just to make o-rings to set in place effortlessly.
When you remove gearbox fluid thermostat- small one on your picture- do it carefully as it tends to fall apart.
Fan clutch- I'd your model has one- is also vital part for your cooling system health so best to replace it too, as you really never know when it was changed before and it can fail any time.
When you connect hoses, make sure lock springs are in place and click in place.
There are two more rubber hoses not included in your set, they are connected to heater core, they rarely fall, yet check their connections for sights of coolant leaks- it looks like salt deposit around joints.
Find proper instructions how to bleed cooling system properly.
And one more thing- you can monitor coolant temp while driving, even if you don't have OBD scanner.
While engine on, push lest button on your dashboard (odometer reset) and hold till you see "test". Then release button and push it repeatedly till you see number 19. Release again and you see "off", then push repeatedly again till you get "7". Release and it will show you coolant temp at the moment. Useful feature, it helps to see the health of your fans.

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Last edited by Anticdubai; 11-11-2019 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:13 AM   #6
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If you buy the entire refresh kit you will have. Way better time as a beginner diyer since you won't have to do the job 5 more times when other stuff breaks. Watch some YouTube videos and buy all the right tools before you start and you will be good. The hardest part is probably going to be getting the fan clutch off

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Old 11-11-2019, 12:53 PM   #7
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Make sure you bleed it properly, then go for short drive before rechecking for leaks. Hopefully not.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:45 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the replies! Just got my shipment in last night so as soon as I can, I'm going to tackle the overhaul project! possibly this weekend
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