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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 11-27-2009, 05:09 PM
Jermy1304 Jermy1304 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
Z4 3.0i Cooling System Leak...looking for good mechanic

I have a 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i with 81k. A couple days ago i noticed a small puddle of a slimy substance under my car right inside the driver's side front wheel directly under the radiator. I was hoping it didn't come from me. Well, It did. I can not see a visible leak with the hood popped. I also have to jack up the car to see where the leak is coming from. I felt where the liquid is running down or coming out of and it is directly under the right side of the radiator(from facing the front of the car) on what feels like putting your finger in the opening of the lid of a cup for a straw. possibly the bleeder screw? idk... Where are the most common coolant leaks found on the Z4? I would hope to be able to duck a big repair cost on this one. If worse comes to worse, where is the Aftermarket Cooling System for $400 including Water Pump, Radiator, Thermostat, etc....that i have read about available online? Also, Does anyone know of a good BMW Mechanic in the Houston area? I am in desperate need of one. Need work on the Airbag System, Convertible Top, Cooling System, and for future maintenance. Thanks

Last edited by Jermy1304; 11-27-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2009, 07:32 PM
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bten bten is offline
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Location: Missouri City, TX
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 956
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si
I just had a leaked fixed. It was where the fan sensor plugs into the lower radiator hose. Ended up having to change both. This is located on the middle left between the engine and the radiator. You will see it plugged into the lower hose, up by the thermistat. There will be wires coming out of it. I rubbed my hand underneath the fitting and found the leak. My mechanic also checked the radiator cap and said it was holding too high of pressure. (He said this probably caused the leak, so I would reccomend that you have yours checked).

The sensor is on the left hand side, but there is a ledge of sorts on the bottom under the radiator that can collect small drips. Same thing happened to me, I saw a small antifreeze spot (blue) on the floor of my garage, after I backed out the Z4.

I felt I was lucky, as are you, in that the car never overheated. I had it towed to an indy, and he repaired it.

Cost about $400 total, + the tow ($130.00). I know it was high, but I live a ways away, and he did it with 1 day's notice as I needed the car for a Club trip the next day.

I live in Missouri City,Tx (a suburb of houston) and used eurocar-werk. Car was hand washed when finished and I have had no issue since the work was done a couple of months ago. (That includes a good hard run in the Hill Country)

BTW, the airbag system problem may be part of a passenger seat sensor issue that is under recall.
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2008 Space Gray Z4 3.0 si, Saddle Leather interior (to haul A$$)
2011 Nissan Frontier King Cab (to haul crap)
2010 Lexus RX350 (to haul people)
2009 Club Car Precedent (to putter around the beach)

Last edited by bten; 11-27-2009 at 07:40 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2009, 09:14 PM
Jermy1304 Jermy1304 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
wow, that is really expensive just to fix a coolant leak. I have heard people raving about a Full Cooling System Rebuild Kit for $400. I think i will try to DIY. Unfortunately, I don't have an affordable mechanic i can trust. From my personal experiences, the Houston area is suffering as far as good BMW Mechanics are concerned....do you know what the hourly rate of that shop was? I'm 20 min North of Missouri City.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2009, 08:25 AM
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bten bten is offline
Luv'in Texas
Location: Missouri City, TX
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 956
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si
I will try to find the reciept.

Again, though, they changed the lower radiator hose, the sensor, the cap and the coolant. It is pretty tight in there to work on as well.

Brent
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2008 Space Gray Z4 3.0 si, Saddle Leather interior (to haul A$$)
2011 Nissan Frontier King Cab (to haul crap)
2010 Lexus RX350 (to haul people)
2009 Club Car Precedent (to putter around the beach)
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2009, 02:29 PM
Jermy1304 Jermy1304 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
I think I noticed something very important when i went outside to start the car today. I am not losing coolant except for when the engine is hot...which leads me to think that the Expansion Tank has cracked. I do not know a whole lot about automotive repair but in theory, the expansion tank should be empty or near empty when the engine is cold(since the fluid gets sucked back into the Radiator). Which makes sense on the symptoms of the vehicle and hopefully makes for a simple repair...I am wondering what i should replace while i am in there though....i would really appreciate if someone would send me the link to the aftermarket cooling system rebuild kit for $400.

The only thing that keeps me wondering on replacing the Expansion tank is, could other lines expand and possibly create a gap for the coolant to leak out of due to the pressure in the system? I would love to just end a potential Cooling System Nightmare with a Preventative replacement of everything in the cooling system. I know the reputation...

Symptoms: Thermostat reads normal, Coolant does not leak when engine is cold, Coolant leaks when engine is hot, Check Coolant Light is coming on/off intermittently, leaking coming from driver side of Radiator area.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2009, 08:24 AM
titaniumair titaniumair is offline
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Location: Arlington, VA
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2004 E85 3.0i
Definitely check the temp sensor in the lower radiator hose as it's a common problem on the E46 and E85. It's about $40 at the dealer and takes only a minute to swap out. You shouldn't need to put in a new hose unless you have 60K or more miles. Here's a link to the repair:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=385920
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2009, 02:06 AM
Jermy1304 Jermy1304 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
I have 81k miles on the car right now. I have heard the cooling system's need to be changed out around this interval. I may just do it at 100k but would like to order this mysterious complete cooling system rebuild package that runs about $400 i can't seem to find.

That post was SUPER helpful. I really appreciate that. I will definitely give that a shot before going after anything else....At worse, I might save myself some trouble down the road! Thanks!

One quick question, do you know the part number or part name for the O-Ring for the Temp. Sensor? Might as well swap it out while i'm in there.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2009, 07:01 AM
titaniumair titaniumair is offline
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Location: Arlington, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 E85 3.0i
There is no part # for the o-ring as BMW doesn't sell it separately. You can get a pack of o-rings from your local hardware/home improvement store but I'm not sure of the size. I just replaced the whole sensor. The temp sensor part # is: 13621433077
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2009, 12:24 PM
Jermy1304 Jermy1304 is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
I found the OEM Sensor with a new O-Ring on it for it for $20 on ECSTuning.com. I am ordering multiple parts and am definately not impressed with the prices of the others. almost match list price.....but $30 after shipping isn't bad knowing that i'm getting the new O-Ring.
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