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8 Series - E31 (1989 - 1999)

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:14 AM
markd2008 markd2008 is offline
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 1988 735i
Coolant leaking from my 88 735i

Yesterday I had my low coolant indicator come up on the display on my 1988 735i, sure enough it was very low but I had checked it only a week ago and it was fine plus I had never had a problem with it before yesterday. I topped up the coolant and ran the car while I poked around. I couldn't see any leaks but there was coolant by the passenger side of the engine and suspension. After about five minutes I noticed a stream of coolant peeing out from under the engine. It was coming out from somewhere under the head by the front of the engine on the passenger side of the car. Because of the very limited space I cannot see exactly where it is coming from. I turned it off and waited for a bit, ran it again and no leak. I am thinking it might be a head gasket??? The car has not overheated and the temperature has been running normal. I am pretty sure it did not freeze (coolant was replaced before the winter and was good til -30 celcius) as it hasn't been very cold. There is no oil in the coolant and no coolant in the oil and the car is running great. Again I am assuming that the leak starts and stops with the thermostat opening and closing unless.......is there some kind of crazy valve under the engine that will release coolant, yer I am grasping at straws and hoping for an easy fix. I have seached the usual E32 sites with no help. I searched this site and the only thing I found was there is sometimes problems with a leeking "weep hole" but it is on a different model and I couldn't find any info on where it was.
Any thoughts on my leaking coolant would be appreciated.
Mark
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2009, 08:14 PM
markd2008 markd2008 is offline
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 1988 735i
Hmmm. I have tried to get the engine to leak again today with no success. The heat is working and as far as I can tell the thermostat is doing what it is suppose to. It was fairly warm today as well (10 cel/ 52 far) and I idled, drove, did some high-speed runs but no more leaking. Wierd because it was leaking significantly yesterday. Anyway I would still like some opinions on what might be going wrong.
Thanks,
Mark
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2009, 10:08 PM
markd2008 markd2008 is offline
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 1988 735i
My car leaked again after I wrote my last post. I noticed though that it would only leak after warming up from cold. It appeared that it would leak for only a short time and one I turned the car off would only leak for a minute or two and stop. Once I fired it up again it would not leak again until it had completely cooled (overnight). I put a new thermostat in and on start up it over-heated just a little bit and then leaked. I burped/bled the system a couple of times and it still leaked the next day. I burped/bled one more time and since (knocking on wood) it has not leaked since.
My guess is that I do have some sort of gasket problem as well as had a thermostat problem. Even though the car was not overheating the pressure in the engine got too high and was finding the easiest way out. Replacing the thermostat and several bleeds have now fixed the problem with the cooling system and reduced the internal pressure in the engine. The gasket problem is probably still there but since the pressure is normal will no show up again until the weakness gets worse. Just a theory but I can't think of anything else that makes sense.
Mark
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2009, 10:35 PM
bimmerboyz bimmerboyz is offline
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Mein Auto: '11 335i
Any chance it's the expansion tank or lines? What about the line into the thermostat housing? I've seen them leak around the clips when the lines are cold and "shrunk". Then they heat up, "expand" and seal themselves.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2009, 09:32 AM
markd2008 markd2008 is offline
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Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 1988 735i
The "leak" was an obvious stream of coolant coming from somewhere under the head at the front of the engine. Unfortunately it was impossible to see exactly where it was coming out. When it did leak it would only leak for a minute or two after I turned the engine off and then stopped completely. I know it isn't one but it was almost like a pressure relief valve. It has been almost two weeks since I replaced the thermostat and did the multiple bleeds and the coolant level has remained the same.
There actually was a small leak due to a loose hose clamp on the retun hose at the coolant recovery tank. It may have been what caused the initial loss of coolant and increased internal pressure causing the big leak, who knows. I am just happy it is not leaking now. Thanks for your input though.
Mark
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2013, 01:22 PM
CPSEAPEACP CPSEAPEACP is offline
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Location: CINCINNATI, OHIO
 
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Mein Auto: 7SERIES E32/23 82/83/88
I am having the same issue with my 88 735 (9/87)

[SIZE="3"[/SIZE]I am having the exact same issue with my 88 735. Has the problem resurfaced since this posting? I will try your "fixes" and see if it also corrects my problem. thanks for posting.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:32 PM
jacksons jacksons is offline
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Location: canada
 
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Mein Auto: 740i
i had a leak on my 1988 6 cylinder i put bars leak in the rad when it was hot and it never leaked again ,, drove it about 30000 more kilometers befor e i sold it no problems it had over 360000 kms on it when i did this..
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:59 PM
CPSEAPEACP CPSEAPEACP is offline
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Mein Auto: 7SERIES E32/23 82/83/88
problem found

Thanks for the input. I took the car to my mechanic and found I had a head gasket leak at the right rear corner. He put Bars Leak in it and it stopped the leak immediatly. I may put another head gasket on, but for now it is holding. After reading your story I may just leave it as it is. I had just had the head redone and for the gasket to fail after all the work and expense...is unacceptable...to say the least. Thanks again for your input.
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2013, 12:49 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
You say' front' and 'stream'. I would go for water pump. There are holes in it for when the internal seal fails. Also I would expect the stream to stop as the system de-pressurises. Try filling, bleeding and running with the pressure cap not screwed down (reduced pressure). See if it leaks then. If it is HG the compression pressure will still force water out.
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