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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2009, 06:52 AM
gw gw is offline
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Location: lafayette, LA
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: X5
Bad the radiator drain valve in BMWs,

There have been many complaints re. the radiator drain valve in BMWs, that disintegrates due to manufacturing defect, it is inherently defective and is a source of leaks and if not replaced would case the radiator to drain out, causing overheating and ruining the engine. This problem has been noted on BMW owner Websites.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=154553

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=287894

Since the drain valve in my BMW X5 also disintegrated, I filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the Defects and Recalls site.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm

If you had to replace the drain valve too, multiple complaints will start a recall, your costs may be reimbursed/and or your car would be fixed.
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2009, 08:00 AM
528SB 528SB is offline
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Location: California
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1999 528i
I am assuming that your post was in jest? None of the posts you linked to show any type of possible plug disintegration. They show where the plugs have broke when users attempted to remove them or installed them. You actually made a complaint to the NHTSA over this?
There is no doubt that bmw along with other car makers have issues with certain parts but really this?
Im going to go out on a limb here and assume your car is over 4-5 years old and over 75-100K miles. In your opinion you think that a plastic drain plug should last longer than this?
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2009, 08:06 AM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,915
Mein Auto: Z4 and X5 Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by 528SB View Post
In your opinion you think that a plastic drain plug should last longer than this?
FWIW, I have a 1992 Ford Explorer with 198,000 miles on it, and the plastic drain plug on my radiator is still working just fine. Let me ask you a question. Do you think a plastic radiator plug should only last 75,000 and 4-5 years?

BMW Radiators are know to have durability problems:

http://www.bavarianmachine.com/docs/EMBRITTL.pdf


Mike Miller, the Technical Editor of the BMW CCA Roundel magazine, actually recommends that BMW radiators be replaced as a maintenance item at 90,000 miles due to their design and quality, and the coolant hoses at 150,000... apparently on BMWs the hoses last longer than the radiators!

Last edited by Penguin; 09-30-2009 at 08:14 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2009, 08:19 AM
528SB 528SB is offline
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Location: California
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1999 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
FWIW, I have a 1992 Ford Explorer with 198,000 miles on it, and the plastic drain plug on my radiator is still working just fine. Let me ask you a question. Do you think a plastic radiator plug should only last 75,000 and 4-5 years?

BMW Radiators are know to have durability problems:

http://www.bavarianmachine.com/docs/EMBRITTL.pdf


Mike Miller, the Technical Editor of the BMW CCA Roundel magazine, actually recommends that BMW radiators be replaced as a maintenance item at 90,000 miles due to their design and quality, and the coolant hoses at 150,000... apparently on BMWs the hoses last longer than the radiators!
Do I think it should last more then 75xxx miles? No its a piece of plastic that is under heat most of its life. If proper procedures are followed and the coolant is flushed every 2 years the plug would be replaced. The OP says they fall apart making it sound like they just break apart when you are driving down the road which is not the case at all(talking about the plugs not other coolant related parts), None of the links he posted state that nor have I ever seen a post here or the other boards to say that.
Many have had them break when removing them or installing them but what do you expect to happen to a plug that is made of plastic and under heat its entire life?

Last edited by 528SB; 09-30-2009 at 08:22 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2009, 08:25 AM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,915
Mein Auto: Z4 and X5 Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by 528SB View Post
but what do you expect to happen to a plug that is made of plastic and under heat its entire life?
I expect it to be made of good quality plastic and continue to work.

As it does on my Ford.


Of course, it's a moot point if you believe BMW, since they say my Z4 has "Lifetime" engine coolant and never has to be changed!


P.S. To put it simply, my expectation is that the parts used in my BMW should be better, or at least as good, as those on my Ford Focus and Ford Explorer, in terms of quality and durability. Too often I have found this is not the case.

Last edited by Penguin; 09-30-2009 at 08:54 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2009, 10:29 PM
entgegnen entgegnen is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: Monaco Blue 2007 X5
I'm not sure if it is related, but the radiator on my 2007 x5 had a crack on a seam... annoying to have coolant all over the driveway. Just got it replaced under warranty. Wonder what it would have cost if not under warranty!
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2010, 06:17 PM
g. horton g. horton is offline
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Location: clay, alabama
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW X5 3.0
I have an 02 X5 with 136K miles and the radiator startin leaking..***** the plastic drain plug was split...just one slight twist of the screw driver and I could pull part of it out. The rest is in the radiator but leaking.
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