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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:52 AM
rossi3 rossi3 is offline
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Question How do you know it's OEM? 2001 330CI Coolant Expansion Tank

Thanks for excellent posts on replacing components of the cooling system. They were great in process and parts list. After reading them, I ordered the parts from prominent suppliers specifying some parts to be OEM. See parts list below.

Today I received the Coolant Expansion Tank. How can I tell if its OEM? How can I have confidence in this tank?


Observation:
  1. There are no manufacturer's marking on the tank. The only markings are "Germany" and "PA 66 GF 30" in raised letters!
  2. There is a coarse, very rough, circular section on one surface about 1 inch in diameter. Other surfaces have shiny smooth texture. The contrast in sheen and texture suggest post production modification. I wonder if this area is thinner and weaker than rest of the tank!
  3. One surface has glue residue - possibly from a label that was removed!!!
Vendor's web site indicates they aren't permitted to advertise the OEM actual brand and assures their personal verification ... I understand not advertising the manufacturer brand, but should it not appear on the product? I've contacted the vendor with the question also.


Parts list (bimmerspecialist.com)
17 11 7 573 781 $82.99 Coolant Expansion Tank (O.E.M.)
17 13 7 553 919 $10.99 Fluid Level Sensor (URO PARTS)

Parts list (autohausaz.com)
17 11 1 437 362 $48.55 Thermostat for Expansion Tank (OES)
11 53 1 436 408 $27.24 Radiator Hose; Lower to Thermostat Housing with Temperature Sensor Fitting (OEM. CRP Contitech)
17 12 7 510 952 $31.02 Radiator Hose; Upper Radiator to Thermostat Housing (OEM. CRP Contitech)
13 62 1 433 077 $16.14 Radiator/Auxiliary Fan Switch In Lower Radiator Hose (FAE)
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:49 AM
mr_bean mr_bean is offline
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If you paid $83 for the tank from a reputable company and it says Germany, then you probably don't have anything to worry about.

It's very common for OEMs to sell their product direct to retailers and advertise it as OEM. However, they must not be allowed to have any BMW markings on the parts or packaging. I can't tell you how many different parts I've bought over the years that had an obvious grinding mark where the BMW logo used to be.

Last edited by mr_bean; 01-16-2013 at 03:51 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2013, 04:52 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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It is OEM. The retailer ground off the BMW part number. Very common.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:04 PM
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Both the OE and aftermarket tanks suck. Wouldn't worry about it. I kinda chuckle when people talk about "OEM" stuff for cooling system needs. I mean, have you SEEN the OE cooling system? We all know how robust they are don't we........

But I understand. Sounds like you are fine.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:51 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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OE might be weaker than we'd like, but accidently end up with Chinese Crap and you'll really regret not being more cautious.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This is a well discussed topic, at least with respect to Behr:
- Behr radiator and Behr/Heat expansion tank autopsy (1) (2) & request for another Behr surge tank autopsy (1) & why new Behr/Hella expansion tanks are DOA (1)


As for the cooling system identification, we covered all the numbers stamped on the outside of the plastic and other telltale clues in this pictorial thread:
- Cooling system date stickers & radiator date codes & markings (1) (2)
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:06 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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if it breaks soon then it's not OEM, if it lasts u 70k miles then u'r good
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:08 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Both the OE and aftermarket tanks suck. Wouldn't worry about it. I kinda chuckle when people talk about "OEM" stuff for cooling system needs. I mean, have you SEEN the OE cooling system? We all know how robust they are don't we........

But I understand. Sounds like you are fine.
what kind of sick engineers place the damn expansion tank in between the most heat releasing sources?
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:37 AM
mr_bean mr_bean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heztheone View Post
what kind of sick engineers place the damn expansion tank in between the most heat releasing sources?
The tank is filled with *almost* boiling liquid. I don't think it's life is affected by the fact that it's next to a radiator and engine block that are filled with the same hot fluid.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2013, 04:02 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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I ordered a tank fro autohausaz.com and all the bmw marks were removed. It failed early.

I sucked it up and got one from the dealer. It was expensive but lasted longer.

Just sayin'.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heztheone View Post
what kind of sick engineers place the damn expansion tank in between the most heat releasing sources?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_bean View Post
The tank is filled with *almost* boiling liquid. I don't think it's life is affected by the fact that it's next to a radiator and engine block that are filled with the same hot fluid.
Cyclic heating FTL.
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2013, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
I ordered a tank fro autohausaz.com and all the bmw marks were removed. It failed early. ... I sucked it up and got one from the dealer. It was expensive but lasted longer..
We covered the grinding off of cooling system component BMW marks in the threads I referenced.

If memory serves me well, they're the SAME as the one you get from the dealer. The difference is only in legal authorization - not in the tanks.

We covered EVERY marking on the cooling system components - and we analyzed each one. So, if my memory serves me well, the tank you got from Autohauz and the one you got from the dealer had the same source (or similar).

Still - even the originals stink (as we all know) so - while it may make a difference - the whole point is moot because they all stink!

It might be in this (already referenced) thread if you need more detail:
- Why new made-in-China Behr/Hella expansion tanks are DOA (1)

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  #13  
Old 01-18-2013, 01:48 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
We covered the grinding off of cooling system component BMW marks in the threads I referenced.

If memory serves me well, they're the SAME as the one you get from the dealer. The difference is only in legal authorization - not in the tanks.

We covered EVERY marking on the cooling system components - and we analyzed each one. So, if my memory serves me well, the tank you got from Autohauz and the one you got from the dealer had the same source (or similar).

Still - even the originals stink (as we all know) so - while it may make a difference - the whole point is moot because they all stink!

It might be in this (already referenced) thread if you need more detail:
- Why new made-in-China Behr/Hella expansion tanks are DOA (1)

I'm not sure exactly who 'we' is but I'm not too worried.

I would not purchase a part without BMW or the manufacturers stamp.

I deal in the parts business for a major aerospace company. We have a huge problem with counterfeit parts.

It's my belief that you take a risk anytime you buy a part with the manufacture's name erased.

Ymmv.
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:18 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
I'm not sure exactly who 'we' is .
To explain, on a forum, the 'we' is whomever it was that participated in the thread. In any one thread, it's usually only about a dozen or so people - so - by its very nature, it's a select audience.

However, usually for these threads, there are hundreds of visitors (sometimes hundreds of thousands), so, if the 'we' in the thread were dead wrong, usually someone would be there to refute it in time.

BTW, IIRC, the parts I got from Max at Oembimmerparts have the logo scratched off. I don't think Max is selling us bad parts ... he's just not an authorized dealer or whatever the legal term is.

Of course, I don't disagree that counterfit parts might be out there, especially on ebay and those types of places. Maybe a supplier can chime in?
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2001 330ci, coolant expansion tank, cooling system, cooling system repair, expansion tank, temperature sensor


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