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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 07-07-2013, 04:26 PM
Clm8559 Clm8559 is offline
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Location: Ocala FL
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW x3 2.5
Unhappy expansion container and overheating

I have a '04 2.5i. HUGE list of problems past 5 yrs I've owned. IMHO, overall very poorly engineered. Owned a 2004 3-series and it was soild. Here goes......

Latest is going home yesterday, with my kids in tow in 95 degree florida heat, suddenly I lost powering steering,then a battery light, radiator light, thermostat light on. All in about 45 secs. Sensors on the car work awesome!

Apparently expansion case, like most of the parts under the hood, degraded because they are PLASTIC! Also discovered pulley busted off - serpentine belt broke as well. Why in the world would they design a plastic part next to a HOT engine and HOT radiator? Bascially coolant was lost due to a huge seam crack. How it ruptured is a mystery but it also busted the thermostat part which was also PLASTIC.

Besides replacing what needs to be repaired, is there any other parts that sequentially fail or are linked to this type of failure? So far, the hoses look good but I have noticed the longer I own this car, repairs are sequencial.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2013, 05:11 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,997
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Commiserations, but I think the order of events here would have been:

- accessory/serpentine belt tensioner pulley bearings dried up (not unexpected after 9 years) and eventually seized and broke. (No advance warning sign of noise at idle from that area of the engine bay?)

- belt broke because of seized/fractured pulley and so no p.a.s., no alternator, and no water pump so coolant quickly overheats and increases pressure (yes, within 1 min.) and bursts the expansion tank along the weakest point

- the thermostat in the bottom of the expansion tank to control flow to the A/T cooler is fragile and usually breaks when the expansion tank is pulled off its mount

Exactly the same parts are used in the E46 3-series, and many owners pro-actively do a complete cooling system overhaul around year 7 or so.

Depending on miles travelled, future plans for the car, budget, etc., you might want to replace the water pump, thermostat, all hoses, deflection pulley, A/C tensioner and belt, and maybe a few other things like temp. sensor.

Lots of other important tips in this forum, like replacing the transfer case fluid, and taking "lifetime" fluid recommendations with a grain of salt, to keep an X3 running well.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2013, 05:27 PM
usaret usaret is offline
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Location: All Over
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 918
Mein Auto: A Gamma Goat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clm8559 View Post
I have a '04 2.5i. HUGE list of problems past 5 yrs I've owned. IMHO, overall very poorly engineered. Owned a 2004 3-series and it was soild. Here goes......

Latest is going home yesterday, with my kids in tow in 95 degree florida heat, suddenly I lost powering steering,then a battery light, radiator light, thermostat light on. All in about 45 secs. Sensors on the car work awesome!

Apparently expansion case, like most of the parts under the hood, degraded because they are PLASTIC! Also discovered pulley busted off - serpentine belt broke as well. Why in the world would they design a plastic part next to a HOT engine and HOT radiator? Bascially coolant was lost due to a huge seam crack. How it ruptured is a mystery but it also busted the thermostat part which was also PLASTIC.

Besides replacing what needs to be repaired, is there any other parts that sequentially fail or are linked to this type of failure? So far, the hoses look good but I have noticed the longer I own this car, repairs are sequencial.

Sorry to hear about your car. I too live in FL and feel your pain on the heat issue.

As far as the plastic parts go... everybody is doing this and have been for some time. Our son's 1988 Chevy pickup blew a plastic end tank on the radiator one time and a plastic tube on the heater core another. Our other son had the top tank on his 2001 Jeep Wrangler split near the filler neck and blow antifreeze all over the engine. Both instances left them stranded in bad spots. I suppose it's just much cheaper to build them with plastic which admittedly gets brittle and fails over time.
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