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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2014, 07:40 AM
csmax csmax is online now
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When to Replace WaterPump and Thermostat

My 2007 Z4 3.0si just turned 60,000 milles. When is it recommended to replace the water pump and thermostat. Normally if it was engine driven I wouldn't be thinking about it now, but being an electric pump??
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2014, 08:36 AM
francophile francophile is offline
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Thanks for asking the question. My 2006 just turned over 70,000 and I was looking in the Bavarian Auto catalogue and saw the water pumps on sale.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2014, 12:08 PM
keeton keeton is offline
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Question: Are the N52 engines with the electric pump prone to failure like the earlier series engines with the mechanical pumps? I haven't seen much reported in the Z4 forums regarding pump failures with the N52 engine. No news is good news?
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2014, 04:01 PM
coolvt coolvt is offline
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Not sure about the electric water pump, but I schedule all of my vehicles for a thermostat change at 60,000.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2014, 05:07 PM
csmax csmax is online now
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BMW and its dealers say replace pump when it fails...Strange way of thinking.
2 dealers quoted me about $1200 to replace both and coolant..
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2014, 06:49 PM
kalali kalali is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmax View Post
BMW and its dealers say replace pump when it fails...Strange way of thinking.
Why is it strange? Do you go around changing all the moving parts on the car just because they could fail?
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2014, 07:01 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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On the '90s model BMWs, particularly the E36s, refreshing the cooling system every 60K to 70K miles is standard practice due to the history of failures of the plastic parts in the cooling systems. They made a lot of materials improvements in the '00 series parts and you don't see the high failure rates so possibly the refresh isn't as necessary now....
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2014, 07:02 PM
coolvt coolvt is offline
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I think at $1200 I'll drive it until it fails. Who knows, it could last for 150K. There has to be a life expectancy. It would be nice to know.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2014, 07:38 PM
Pierce Pierce is offline
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It seems there just isn't enough failure data to come up with a cooling system preventative maintenance schedule. Unlike the M54 which has a ton of cooling system failure data to go by.
One thing is for sure, that if you replace after failure, you're probably going to replace more than just a water pump or thermostat. More like a whole head.


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  #10  
Old 03-20-2014, 05:17 AM
kalali kalali is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce View Post
Unlike the M54 which has a ton of cooling system failure data to go by.
One thing is for sure, that if you replace after failure, you're probably going to replace more than just a water pump or thermostat. More like a whole head.
Where is good source to see this M54 failure data you're referring to? Last time I had a water pump fail in a BMW was in my 1995 525i with 98000 miles. Cost under $300 to replace (9 years ago) and there was absolutely no collateral damage. Engine could only get damaged if you continue driving with the water temp gauge needle in red.

Last edited by kalali; 03-20-2014 at 05:22 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2014, 07:32 AM
coolvt coolvt is offline
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I think the habit or custom of changing the water pump before failure comes with the practice of having to change timing belts on many cars.
The theory is that while you have things apart for the timing belt you might just as well change the pump and thermostat. The pump and thermostat only adds about $150 to the cost with no additional labor cost.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2014, 01:02 PM
kalali kalali is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolvt View Post
I think the habit or custom of changing the water pump before failure comes with the practice of having to change timing belts on many cars.
The theory is that while you have things apart for the timing belt you might just as well change the pump and thermostat. The pump and thermostat only adds about $150 to the cost with no additional labor cost.
That's a good practice but it applies to front/all wheel drive traverse mounted V6 engines where the timing belt actually drives the water pump. Actually replacing the water pump on E85/E86 non-M cars would have been fairly simple if it didn't require disconnecting the driver side motor mount and raising the engine to clear the bracket behind the radiator. Much simpler on E46 or earlier L6 motors. The thermostat is also a little pricy because you need to replace the entire housing unlike most other cars where you can just pop a $10 thermostat in there and call it the day.

Last edited by kalali; 03-20-2014 at 01:03 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2014, 05:53 PM
pokeybritches pokeybritches is offline
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The thermostat is designed to fail in the open/conservative position. If it fails, the car will just take longer to warm up.

For the M54, I suggest doing casualty maintenance only and to pay attention to your gauges. Otherwise, you're throwing money away. I don't have the N52 so I haven't researched it enough to make the same recommendation.


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  #14  
Old 03-21-2014, 04:04 AM
Mikey48 Mikey48 is offline
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I have read that when the pump fails the cooling fan will run all the time. Their is also a lot of onfo on this on youtube.
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2014, 03:00 PM
csmax csmax is online now
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So I guess replacing thermostat and water pump as preventative maintenance isn't done on this car.
It's alot of money and certainly don't want to do it for no reason. I'll stick with coolant change only.
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  #16  
Old 03-24-2014, 03:19 PM
Pierce Pierce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalali View Post
Where is good source to see this M54 failure data you're referring to? Last time I had a water pump fail in a BMW was in my 1995 525i with 98000 miles. Cost under $300 to replace (9 years ago) and there was absolutely no collateral damage. Engine could only get damaged if you continue driving with the water temp gauge needle in red.
I also own an E46 330Xi and I frequent the E46 Fanatics forum. What I meant by data is that there a lot of incidents posted/discussed on the forum about the M54's cooling system and failure mileage/time. It seems that most cooling system issues start to rear their ugly head around the 90k+ mile time. And for a lot of cases, by the time you notice that your motor is running hot i.e. the CW pump has failed, the damage is done.
But it seems that there just isn't a lot of posted cases of N52 CW system failures.


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  #17  
Old 03-28-2014, 11:20 AM
BruceJM BruceJM is offline
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At $350-400 (N52) for a water pump I hope we can get some miles out of it.
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  #18  
Old 03-28-2014, 01:45 PM
francophile francophile is offline
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Our brother Mike Miller at Roundel in his lifetime maintenance schedule says:

Every 60,000 miles: water pump, thermostat, plastic thermostat housing if so equipped
(or replace it once with the aftermarket aluminum thermostat housing).
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  #19  
Old 03-28-2014, 05:04 PM
kalali kalali is online now
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know when did BMW switch to electric (driven) water pumps?
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  #20  
Old 03-31-2014, 06:32 AM
keeton keeton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Our brother Mike Miller at Roundel in his lifetime maintenance schedule says:

Every 60,000 miles: water pump, thermostat, plastic thermostat housing if so equipped
(or replace it once with the aftermarket aluminum thermostat housing).
According to his 2/11 version of his document (which is constantly being revised) says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by our brother Mike Miller
The N-series engines do not seem to suffer the sort of regular and systematic cooling system failures that led me to recommend replacing the entire system on the above engines as a preventive measure.
Z4s from 2006-on (except for the M model) have the N52 engine.

Last edited by keeton; 03-31-2014 at 06:33 AM.
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  #21  
Old 03-31-2014, 05:36 PM
csmax csmax is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Our brother Mike Miller at Roundel in his lifetime maintenance schedule says:

Every 60,000 miles: water pump, thermostat, plastic thermostat housing if so equipped
(or replace it once with the aftermarket aluminum thermostat housing).
This is the reason why I posted the question... Some say replace at 60,000 miles. Because its electric are they more prone to failure than an engine driven pump or??

Last edited by csmax; 03-31-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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  #22  
Old 04-01-2014, 07:26 AM
Pierce Pierce is offline
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I think it's the other way around.


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  #23  
Old 04-01-2014, 11:07 AM
csmax csmax is online now
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Problem with electric there's no early warnings. It will or could fail at anytime.
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