Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-20-2009, 11:33 PM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
2001 BMW 330xi Problem Overheating and Coolant Leak

Hey,

Sort of new around here and I have my first official problem which is scaring the **** out of me. I never push my car .. as I just got it ... haven't even pushed 100 yet.

I went out tonight and was just driving around normal speed limit and then took the highway home and pushed 60-80 and my friend said he smelled something (good thing I opened the windows).

It was fine as we were driving home but as soon as I got home I saw the engine temp go all the way into the red so I pulled over and I shut it off and let it sit with the hood open for about 30 minutes. I noticed my my coolant was ontop and leaked on the right hand side ... not a ton .. but I'm sure most of it just went straight down to the floor. Then I noticed I was stepping in it ... and there was a huge puddle of coolant.

I let it sit and parked it in a spot outside my house where it will stay for the next few days. A guy stopped by and saw I was having trouble and said that he thought it was the water pump because coolant was not on the other side of the hood or on the engine or anywhere else. He checked a hose near the coolant tank and it was really low pressure as the car was on.

My other friend said I might have blown a cylinder head gasket. I don't know much about cars but this is all scaring me. I just hope the engine didn't heat up enough to expand because then I'm seriously screwed. Please help ... I have pictures and all so you guys can tell me what you think and how much you think this will cost.













I really hope the metal didn't expand ... some of you will prob laugh at me cuz I'm a younger guy and don't know much about cars ... but I def was not treating this car like crap.
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303

Last edited by RFTBunny; 09-20-2009 at 11:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 09-21-2009, 12:25 AM
Starless Starless is offline
*^^^^^^^^*
Location: STL, MO
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,623
Mein Auto: 2002 325i Auto
Water pumps and expantions tanks are prone to failure between 60-100 K. What ever it is in your case DO NOT DRIVE it or you will end up with blown head gasket. Have it towed to the shop unless you are doing the repair yourself.
Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-21-2009, 12:28 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
Yeah I am definitely not driving it. You think it can make it 10 blocks? the shop I go to is close to my house .. or should I not take a chance at all? I would love to replace it myself .. but how can I be sure that is really the problem ... my car has 93k miles
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-21-2009, 12:40 AM
Starless Starless is offline
*^^^^^^^^*
Location: STL, MO
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,623
Mein Auto: 2002 325i Auto
it will NOT take 10 blocks. do not even think of it. you'll blow the head gasket and it's $$$$. Faggetaboutit as they say in Brooklyn. On your picture it looks like there is coolant on the right if you are facing the car. that's where the expantion tank is. Check it for a crack in plastic. It's a DIY job. check the wiki.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-21-2009, 12:47 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
Okay I will definitely not move it ... the only place I need to move it however is from outside my house into the back of my driveway which is like 30 ft ... should i be able to do that? The only place under the hood where there was coolant is as you said on the right hand side when your facing it .. the drivers side ... near and to the right of the coolant tank ... I will check the wiki ... I would love to really do it on my own .. but how can I diagnose if this is really the problem?
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-21-2009, 12:55 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
Went in the E46 wiki but I couldn't find the do it yourself. However, I found this:

It's not a bad idea to change the water pump, thermostat, and hoses every 60,000 miles.

The coolant expansion tank can crack and require replacement (part is only $130).

Is this an expensive job ... If I have it done in a shop?
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-21-2009, 04:56 AM
gesoffen gesoffen is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: München in my dreams, NoVA when I wake up
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,270
Mein Auto: E91 & E46 Wagon, all MT
Considering the location of the evidence, almost 100% guarantee that it is the expansion tank. Considering the cars milage, and the fact that you dodged this bullet, I'd put a major cooling system maintenance cycle on the TOP of your list. Read the wiki but it should include:
- Thermostat
- Water pump
- Coolant flush/fill
- Expansion tank
Depending on condition, you may want to replace belts and hoses while you're at it (they aren't too expensive and its easier while you're in there).

All this work is a certainly a DIY task with basic tools and a Bentley manual. If you hire it out to a BMW dealer, you'll be looking at a $700-1000 bill, an indy mechanic will probably fall in the $500-700 range and DIY can be done for around $250-300 and 2-4 hours of your time.
__________________
----Brian
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:15 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
I wish I could DIY it .. but I'm scared cuz I don't know what I'm doing really and I don't have someone who is experienced to watch over me while I do it. I need to learn a lot more about cars so I don't get screwed when I bring it to shops ... so I know he really did what I paid him for ... you know?

I will post as soon as he calls me and lets me know what exactly the issue is.

Ugh what a headache =[

Is there anything you guys can recommend so that I can learn a lot more about my BMW and cars in general? More knowledge never hurt anyone.
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:26 AM
MalibuMafiaV's Avatar
MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
L4P
Location: Malibu, CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11,664
Send a message via AIM to MalibuMafiaV
Mein Auto: E60 M5 & Stage 3 Audi S4
Why is your coolant green...... should be blue.
And really though. DIYing the cooling system is much easier then it sounds or looks.
I mean the radiator pretty much slides right out after two screws.
Same with the expansion tank. And you just unclamp the hoses. It really is quite easy. And I think it would be a great first DIY if you did it.
You'd learn a lot about your car and it would help in the future.
__________________
http://www.luxury4play.com
BMW 2006 M5 - REALLY LOUD
Audi S4 2000 Stage 3 - Dat turbo spool
BMW 2000 3-series - Supercharged Because race car SOLD
Maserati 2004 M128 GT - HREs/tint/straight piped SOLD
BMW 2006 M3 - stock - SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:28 AM
Solidjake's Avatar
Solidjake Solidjake is offline
The one and only
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 17,669
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Oh damn

Probably the expansion tank, water pump, maybe hoses, and "maybe" the radiator. You just toasted the entire cooling system. You better hope the block is ok

I'm so sorry to hear that
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:28 AM
Solidjake's Avatar
Solidjake Solidjake is offline
The one and only
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 17,669
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
Why is your coolant green...... should be blue.
I use BMW coolant, but green is ok. That's the LEAST problematic issue right now.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:48 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
Yeah I understand the BMW product coolant is blue ... the car came with green in there ... I am the second owner. I hope the engine block is okay .. that's what scares me the most .. i was not driving for more than 15 minutes though .. and I noticed it was overheating as soon as I got home. I really hope it didn't get destoryed.

Toasted my entire coolant system? How much could this cost me?
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:53 AM
MalibuMafiaV's Avatar
MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
L4P
Location: Malibu, CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11,664
Send a message via AIM to MalibuMafiaV
Mein Auto: E60 M5 & Stage 3 Audi S4
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFTBunny View Post
Yeah I understand the BMW product coolant is blue ... the car came with green in there ... I am the second owner. I hope the engine block is okay .. that's what scares me the most .. i was not driving for more than 15 minutes though .. and I noticed it was overheating as soon as I got home. I really hope it didn't get destoryed.

Toasted my entire coolant system? How much could this cost me?
I replaced my radiator, water pump, lower and upper radiator hoses, expansion tank and new coolant. Put it all in my self and it was $350ish total.
Radiator is like $140, hoses together are like $70, water pump is $60, coolant is like $30.
and Expansion tank is like $50.
__________________
http://www.luxury4play.com
BMW 2006 M5 - REALLY LOUD
Audi S4 2000 Stage 3 - Dat turbo spool
BMW 2000 3-series - Supercharged Because race car SOLD
Maserati 2004 M128 GT - HREs/tint/straight piped SOLD
BMW 2006 M3 - stock - SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-21-2009, 10:02 AM
Starless Starless is offline
*^^^^^^^^*
Location: STL, MO
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,623
Mein Auto: 2002 325i Auto
http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/completecoolant.php

this is an exellent DIY. there are more - Google and use search the forum: key words water pump replacement, coolant tank replacement, coolant system. This is the way to get knowledge
Did you check your coolant tank for a crack in plastic??
Did you look around the water pump housing for signs of leak?
Did you check hoses?

On your pic the coolant is splashed around the tank. I'd check it first.

Best regards,
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-21-2009, 10:14 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
I had it towed this morning to the shop .. my mechanic is going to call me and let me know what the issue is .. I will keep you guys updated ... I didn't notice any cracks but I may not be looking in all the right places.
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-22-2009, 03:39 PM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
Okay so here is my UPDATE:

He called me and told me that he let the car run all day and that he could not find a leak anywhere ... however he did tell me that one of the hoses was very hot and the other one was cold even after letting it sit idling all day. He said there is probably something wrong with the thermostat .. alluding that the water boiled really hot and pushed all of the coolant up outside the receiver cap.

I find it a little hard to believe that there is no leak ... with the picture evidence I posted on here ... how could it get pushed out the top of the cap yet at the same time not be all over the damn place ... it is obviously all over the floor ... He told me the thermostat from bmw should be about $100. He said we will take it step by step.
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-23-2009, 06:32 AM
anchorman anchorman is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 99
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i
Sounds like a problem I was telephoned about my now ex. I wasnt in town so it just sat til I got back. Said her dad looked at for a bit and couldnt find nothing. Not sure how closely he looked. I get there finally, looked and couldnt tell nothing immediately. But did notice fluid on the right side. And then there it was!!! The upper radiator hose had cracked. The way it sat, if you didnt look extremely close or move parts in that area you would not have seen it. 30 bucks later, im on the road... I need to do a complete overhaul but didnt have time since I was headed back outta town. Car still sitting, waiting for me to get back home.
__________________
She loves to get wet
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:37 AM
kimmy's Avatar
kimmy kimmy is offline
Das rampen abwarten
Location: Eastern US
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 373
Mein Auto: 04 330xi,Audi A6,AlfaSpid
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFTBunny View Post
Okay so here is my UPDATE:

He called me and told me that he let the car run all day and that he could not find a leak anywhere ... however he did tell me that one of the hoses was very hot and the other one was cold even after letting it sit idling all day. He said there is probably something wrong with the thermostat .. alluding that the water boiled really hot and pushed all of the coolant up outside the receiver cap.
Does the mechanic that you are using specialize in BMW repair? If not, I would definitively look elsewhere.

For any mechanic who knows anything about E46 not to want to preemptively overhaul the cooling system on a vehicle of your age, even if you hadn't had a problem, seems dubious.

The whole concept of "letting the vehicle idle all day" on an M52/54 engine that had been experiencing major cooling system issues, just scares the crap out of me. Along with the comment the "the water boiled really hot and pushed all of the coolant up outside the receiver cap." makes me really wonder if this guy understands the sealed BMW system at all.

The guy may be competent, so I apologize if I am judging unfairly, but his approach as described just gives me the willys.

Last edited by kimmy; 09-23-2009 at 10:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:15 AM
ccagle ccagle is offline
War Damn Eagle
Location: Auburn,AL
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 130
Mein Auto: 325I
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmy View Post
does the mechanic that you are using specialize in bmw repair? If not, i would definitively look elsewhere.

For any mechanic who knows anything about e46 not to want to preemptively overhaul the cooling system on a vehicle of your age, even if you hadn't had a problem, seems dubious.

The whole concept of "letting the vehicle idle all day" on an m52/54 engine that had been experiencing major cooling system issues, just scares the crap out of me. Along with the comment the "the water boiled really hot and pushed all of the coolant up outside the receiver cap." makes me really wonder if this guy understands the sealed bmw system at all.

The guy may be competent, so i apologize if i am judging unfairly, but his approach as described just gives me the willys.
+1
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:38 AM
RFTBunny RFTBunny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 274
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330i/xi
yeah the problem is i don't know very much about this .. i know the owner of the shop owns an m3 so i would assume they have a good idea of what they are doing but again that is my assumption ... if it happens again .. i can take it elsewhere if it happens again ... if it does .. do any of you guys know how i can find a bmw mechanic in my area that i can trust?
__________________
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=165858&dateline=1251732303
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:45 AM
wilreyca wilreyca is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 116
Mein Auto: 2001 330XI, 2007 X3
Make sure that they put BMW coolant! because and that they used distilled water and not water from the faucet. The green stuff is not the same!!!
__________________
01 330 XI | Green | Black | Cold Package | Premiun Sound |
07 X3 3.0 SI | Black Saphire | Terracotta | NAV | Premiun Package | Cold Package | Xenon |
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-24-2009, 10:17 AM
Gryphon's Avatar
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
I brew life
Location: Mt. Holly, NJ
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,594
Mein Auto: 2005 ZHP, Wife's Prius
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFTBunny View Post
yeah the problem is i don't know very much about this .. i know the owner of the shop owns an m3 so i would assume they have a good idea of what they are doing but again that is my assumption ... if it happens again .. i can take it elsewhere if it happens again ... if it does .. do any of you guys know how i can find a bmw mechanic in my area that i can trust?
There's Bimmer Clinic in Elizabeth, NJ (1-732-218-7632). Ask for Bill.
__________________
Arthur John
Born 02-24-11

Has already been awarded the title "Destroyer of Sleep"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms