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Old 09-11-2019, 09:19 PM   #1
jmland
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
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My Ride: 2001 BMW 325xi
Year: 2001
Model: 325xi
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Rough idle after overheating

The radiator cracked on my E46/M54 last week, at the plastic outlet where the upper hose connects to. I was stuck at a traffic light when I noticed steam coming out from the hood. From that point, it took me a minute or two to pull into a parking lot as I watched the temp gauge rise, and I turned the engine off about 30 seconds after the red overheat warning light went on.

Had the car towed to my office and it's been sitting there for a week now while I wait for parts to be shipped (radiator, expansion tank, thermostat and housing, upper and lower hoses). I just now tried running the car for a minute from a cold start, and it had a rough idle. It smoothed out when I revved it up to 1500-2000 RPM. Haven't had a chance yet to pull the codes to see what they say.

So how long can the engine overheat before problems with head warping and the like start happening? What's the best DIY way to check for such damage?
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:40 PM   #2
thunderbuds
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: CA
Posts: 1
My Ride: E39 2000 528i
.
VERY SIMILAR TO MY SITUATION EXACT

EXPLAIN

How E39 that year 2000
IT'S NOT M Sport PKG !!!

APPARENTLY 3.0 L STRAIGHT INLINE 6
NON ASPIRATED.

I drove it a bit as it wouldn't go past halfway on temp gauge.. When we first Discovered a hint of any issues was very faint smell of coolant... Never once did, performance become affected or give slightest tell... Gauge AS ALWAYS Half..

This is my first BMW or foreign vehicle. Never had people admire a car of mine... So being first time owning RWD also.. I put 2 tires soon ..[{ one wheel peel FFS }]. The day upon first discovered coolant smell.... We ended up topping Coolant {{}}} WE ADDED 4 Liters Driven like was stolen after spending winters months parked between Garages...
E39 with
250,000kms
(2000 528i)
EXPLAIN How E39 that year 2000

IT'S NOT M Sport PKG !!!

APPARENTLY 3.0 L STRAIGHT INLINE 6
NON ASPIRATED.

ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS AND ANYTING I CAN EXPAND MY KNOWLEDGE OF BMW'S

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Old 09-11-2019, 11:00 PM   #3
dck8267
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My Ride: 2003 325ci M56
What did i just read?

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Old 09-11-2019, 11:01 PM   #4
dck8267
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O.P., you can do a compression test among several other options to check for blown head gasket.

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Old 09-12-2019, 12:12 AM   #5
BaliDawg
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 8,704
My Ride: E39 E46 E84
Head Gasket Failure symptoms and tests:

Cooling system pressure test
Cylinder leakdown test
Loss of coolant with no leak
Exhaust gases in coolant sniffer check
Pressurized cooling system after running less than a minute
Sweet antifreeze smell or steam from exhaust
Coolant leaking from the head/block joint
Bubbles in the radiator or expansion tank
Oil in the coolant
Coolant in the oil
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:33 AM   #6
RayPooley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmland View Post
The radiator cracked on my E46/M54 last week, at the plastic outlet where the upper hose connects to. I was stuck at a traffic light when I noticed steam coming out from the hood. From that point, it took me a minute or two to pull into a parking lot as I watched the temp gauge rise, and I turned the engine off about 30 seconds after the red overheat warning light went on.

Had the car towed to my office and it's been sitting there for a week now while I wait for parts to be shipped (radiator, expansion tank, thermostat and housing, upper and lower hoses). I just now tried running the car for a minute from a cold start, and it had a rough idle. It smoothed out when I revved it up to 1500-2000 RPM. Haven't had a chance yet to pull the codes to see what they say.

So how long can the engine overheat before problems with head warping and the like start happening? What's the best DIY way to check for such damage?
Compression test.
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