Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:05 PM
tettes tettes is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6
Second coolant leak in 8 months

Guys, back in May I had a coolant leak in my 2003 540i that i thought was fixed. Parts replaced include:

Expansion tank
Thermostat
Fan clutch
Radiator hoses

I got the 'Check coolant level' warning light today, and I opened the hood and saw the dreaded white splatter.

My question is: Should the work that was done have prevented this from happening? Or is it possible that I didn't get everything overhauled, which lead to another leak?

I want to be fully informed when I go back to the shop so he doesn't try to sell me parts I don't need. If any of his parts failed, they are still under warranty.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:37 PM
acoste acoste is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: California
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 465
Mein Auto: 1998 528i; 2010 550i
Quote:
Originally Posted by tettes View Post
Should the work that was done have prevented this from happening?
Depends what's leaking now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tettes View Post
Or is it possible that I didn't get everything overhauled, which lead to another leak?
Just because you didn't replace something won't cause other parts to fail. But when removing and installing the coolant hoses from/onto plastic parts will stress that piece of old plastic. So it is possible to have a crack shortly after the overhaul but not months later.

Expansion tank failure is very common even if it was recently replaced. Search this site for the best source of exp tank.

Last edited by acoste; 02-07-2013 at 01:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:39 PM
tettes tettes is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6
Good info, thanks, acoste. I'll take the car into the shop tomorrow and see what they say.

Any other bits of knowledge that could help?

Thanks again!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:51 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Milton, WV
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 537
Mein Auto: 2002 530i Sport
Water pump and radiator are other likely sources, among others too numerous to list. I recommend you look at cn90's cooling links and consider anything that has coolant flowing through it as a potential source.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...hlight=cooling

Good luck and please report back!!!
__________________
2002 530i
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-07-2013, 03:45 PM
mbell666 mbell666 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Austin, TX
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 220
Mein Auto: e39 2002 540i6
If it was a Behr OEM Expansion tank, 8 months is right on time for failure. Easy check is, when fully cold, to stick your hand under the expansion tank and feel for coolant.

The Behr ones have been made in China very badly, I had two fail both ~8 months. The fix is have a genuine BMW one fitted, if your shop deals with a few 540i they will have had this issue already.
__________________
An e39 is like a beautiful wife, needs constant attention, lots of money, lets you down at the worse times but you’d never be without it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:05 PM
champaign777's Avatar
champaign777 champaign777 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Champ
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,052
Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
every time i see "coolant leak" i run to check my
please no more posts like this ..
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:24 PM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,706
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
every time i see "coolant leak" i run to check my
please no more posts like this ..
Your is not V8 why worry?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:09 PM
AnotherGeezer's Avatar
AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
Hofmeister Kink
Location: ManchVegas, New Hampster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,867
Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
Leakers.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:12 PM
SFbay SFbay is offline
Account Under Review
Location: SF
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 893
Mein Auto: BMW 745i
Don't forget 105C!!!!
Any small air in the system will increase pressure!!
Bleed it well
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:28 PM
Nline6's Avatar
Nline6 Nline6 is offline
Slip slidin around town
Location: Portland, OR
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,352
Mein Auto: E36 M3
Suprised you didnt replace the radiator while you were replacing the other things. I bet there is a "micro" leak or crack in the radiator. All depends on where the white spots are coming from.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:04 PM
tettes tettes is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6
I'll find out if they used the Behr version tomorrow when I pick the car up. As it stands, they replaced the expansion tank under the warranty, thank goodness.

Will report back.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-26-2013, 01:48 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,623
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
I had a great run.. I got 15 month between my last leak and this one...
BUt my behr tank failed...

seeping right thur the side... I went with a BWM one this time... see if there's any better quality

These cars have a lot of plastic in the cooling systems... It happens... you have to stay on top of it... If you want a car that will run 100k with out problems... get a honda

Wish i had a warranty On my self... so i could contact (Me) and have my self replace my tank at no cost
__________________
Specializing In BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz ,Volkswagen, Volvo

"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:57 PM
tettes tettes is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6
i just picked up the car and the shop told me it originally used the behr tank, but this time used the oem tank.

burning - yeah, i did a lot of research on the e39 on this site before bought it, so i pretty much knew what i was getting myself into. i'll be curious to see how long yours lasts...

thanks, all!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-28-2013, 02:20 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,623
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
Msg me so i have you in my inbox... and when this one... (the 2nd) fails ill let you know... Im installing it tomarrow
__________________
Specializing In BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz ,Volkswagen, Volvo

"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-01-2013, 10:50 AM
SFbay SFbay is offline
Account Under Review
Location: SF
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 893
Mein Auto: BMW 745i
You need lower temp tstat and it'll last like honda
Get 95C
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-02-2013, 07:10 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,623
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...29601310_n.jpg


Brass for the win
__________________
Specializing In BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz ,Volkswagen, Volvo

"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

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



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms