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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 05-14-2012, 09:47 AM
pghguy517 pghguy517 is offline
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2005 X5 4.4 coolant expansion tank leak

Car has 81k miles, and the expansion tank has a pin hole. Is this normal? Seems like it should last many more years than that.
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:04 PM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Normal. Anything beyond 60-70k miles is borrowed time.
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2012, 12:35 PM
JRLBMW16 JRLBMW16 is offline
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expansion tank

Expansion tank is a weak link in that system, normal at that mileage,also consider a new CAP if the tank was overheated several times, they distort.
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  #4  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:55 PM
KiaKaha KiaKaha is offline
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the pipes that run to it - the narrow ones become very brittle and will crack. If you do it yourself, they can break in your hand when unclipping them from the tank. Trust me I know. So I brought big fat hot water rubber pipes and fitted them instead, with 2 circle clamps - all good now.
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2012, 09:14 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pghguy517 View Post
Car has 81k miles, and the expansion tank has a pin hole. Is this normal? Seems like it should last many more years than that.
It's not the age, rather the usage.
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2012, 02:02 PM
X_5_bandido X_5_bandido is offline
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I thought mine was faulty too. Turns out it was a blown head gasket. Coolant was all over the driver's side engine compartment. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2012, 02:29 PM
KiaKaha KiaKaha is offline
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Another area to check is the valley pan gasket. To remove, its a massive job, as you have to lift off both sets of rocker heads. You will get to see if oil is getting in around the coils here as well. Youtube it to see what I mean. Some jobs are just a bit too big, so I sent my truck to an indy to fix. Not bad at NZD$1300, around a grand USD.
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2012, 07:23 PM
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musa musa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pghguy517 View Post
Car has 81k miles, and the expansion tank has a pin hole. Is this normal? Seems like it should last many more years than that.
Same thing happened to my X5 2005 4.4 sports at 85k miles around 6 months ago. Replaced it but in process broke connection to radiator. Be careful as you do the replacement.

Last edited by musa; 06-23-2012 at 07:26 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2013, 02:39 AM
flyace20 flyace20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP View Post
Normal. Anything beyond 60-70k miles is borrowed time.
oh go on... I'll do those miles in two years. You sayin thats all a car is good for? Two years
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2013, 09:47 PM
wmgerlach wmgerlach is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 X5 4.4
yup did mine at 110,000 but hoses were ok. Waiting on whats going to need fixen next.
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2013, 08:42 AM
slowlanemcvane slowlanemcvane is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 325i
I think what Scott ZHP was trying to say is that the cooling system on most BMW cars from this era is unreliable at mileage beyond this. I know from my experience that the plastic parts that BMW uses tend to get very brittle over time, and that expansion tanks, radiator hoses, heater core hoses, and water pump impellers have a tendency to crap out, starting at around 60,000 miles. The hotter the environment, the shorter the lifespan. It's pretty much the reason why ECS Tuning sells cooling system refresh kits pre-assembled and ready to order as a complete system.

The E53 isn't all that different from my E46, I've had to replace every single component on my cooling system since I purchased the car 2.5 years ago. Doesn't mean that these BMWs are unreliable, just means that there are weaknesses with certain systems, and cooling is one of those systems.
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2013, 11:26 AM
justinpirie justinpirie is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 E53 4.4
Very true... Careful of the other pipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by musa View Post
Same thing happened to my X5 2005 4.4 sports at 85k miles around 6 months ago. Replaced it but in process broke connection to radiator. Be careful as you do the replacement.
This happened to me too- broke another pipe while trying to coerce the bottom pipe back onto the new expansion tank.

I actually think my leak was caused not by a broken expansion tank, but by the bottom pipe not being correctly seated onto the tank- I still can't get it back on to where I think it should seat.

Lesson learned here- check your pipes are correctly seated before ordering a new tank.

Also- I'm in complete agreement with the others here- having inspected the pipes- they are really brittle and I'm replacing them all now. 60k miles in SoCal has taken it's toll.

Thanks for the help and advice!
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2013, 01:29 PM
ruby6689 ruby6689 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW '03 X5 Die and KOMBIS
We have just replaced our expansion tank, it had a pin hole leak. Couldn't see it when the engine was cold. We must have been lucky as all went well doing the replacement.....so far.
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