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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 05-01-2010, 05:58 AM
mtyaker mtyaker is offline
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Question Z3 Water pump failure-Fact or Fiction

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All

I am new to Z3's and the forum. I have 62K on my 2000 2.8 Z3 and all the threads about catastrophic water pump failure have me very nervous. I talked with the BMW service tech about proactive replacement of the pump et al and he said there is no need until it shows signs of failure. Fan wobble, water leaking, noise ect. So my questions are: Are you on your on your original pump, if so, how many miles and what year is your car. If you are not, at what mileage did it fail?
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2010, 07:21 AM
wired wired is offline
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It's really up to you, if you want to spend the money and have peace of mind then just go for it man. There are guys on this board that have pumps with over 90k on them and they will just change them when they see failure signs. If thats in the back of your mind so much and you want to replace it just do it. That's my opinion.

Check this out, my mechanic told me last week not to worry till i see signs... like you I have concerns about my 2000 Z3 2.3 but he said relax and don't stress. My car has little over 35k on it so I figure I'm good for a very long time but i will surely keep an eye out for signs of failure.

Last edited by wired; 05-01-2010 at 07:24 AM.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2010, 10:46 AM
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wildag wildag is offline
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Its not fiction. My Z3 3.0i's water pump went at 58k. Took out the fan, shroud, some hoses and almost the radiator.



(as a suggestion, always look at a person's post count. Experience is the difference between educated guesses, and being right).
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2010, 06:04 PM
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Well I have 167K on mine with no signs of trouble...... I'll replace it at the 1st sign of wobble or leakage.
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2010, 01:49 AM
george dencer george dencer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 z3 coupe
z3 water pump

Bought my 2001 z3 coupe last July with 107000 miles on it. I am the 2nd owner, bought a spare metal impeller pump, themo and belts. Pump started to make brg. noise at 117400. Did not take a chance and changed it. Was one of the easiest ones i have ever changed. My 2 cents is change it.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2010, 03:32 PM
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The radiator neck is the other one that lets go without warning. About 100K or so is where they tend to let go.

But this, like the water pump, is not 100% failure rate, but enough people have had them go in the stated timeframes (mileage), that I would not plan on taking a long trip without changing mine.
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2010, 06:34 PM
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Yep best bet is to change everything and hope the new ones don't fail..... better yet change the new ones too. Seriously keep a close eye, and ear, on things if something starts to act up change it. I for one check my cars every Sat when I'm driving them.
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2010, 11:29 AM
phrajao phrajao is offline
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Most definitely is not fiction. I found out the hard way last (Memorial Day) weekend that the water pump on my 2002 M Coupe had decided to go. All at once, I hear the most ungodly screeching/clunking/gurgling sound, the battery light goes on, power steering dies, and smoke/steam come shooting out from under the hood--all in the middle of downtown San Francisco traffic.

When I finally got pulled over and opened up the hood, it looked like a bomb had gone off in there. Shards of fan blades, cut hoses, dangling belts, and fluid streaming out from under the car....This being a Saturday on a 3-day weekend, all the mechanics were closed, so I ended up waiting nearly a week to get everything fixed up and it ended up costing nearly $2000. Grrrrrrr.....
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2010, 11:48 AM
Mike Clark Mike Clark is offline
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Preventative maintenance is not a bad thing. It can save lots of grief and money. If the car is more than 6 years old and has more than 75k miles, I would change it out. Water pumps are a part that eventually wears out on any vehicle. It's much nicer to schedule the change out than have it arrive as a sudden emergency on a 3 day weekend when you want to go somewhere.
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2010, 12:06 PM
phrajao phrajao is offline
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Hey Mike,

I most definitely agree! I thought I had done pretty comprehensive research before buying my M 2 years ago, but I somehow missed the water-pump issue. I see that you used to have a 2000 M roadster--did you find it to be pretty reliable or did you encounter any significant problems with it? I'm at around 44,000 miles right now and I'd definitely like to prevent any more nasty surprises.

Thanks,

P
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2010, 08:20 AM
milesdf milesdf is online now
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Z-3-Wow! Now I/m worried about my radiator!

I replaced my water pump at 93k, but with 103k now, must be time for a new radiator. Arggh! Any checks a mechanic can do in advance? Any suggestions on a decent source for a radiator?
Dave
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2010, 02:11 PM
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CarlM CarlM is offline
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Mine was replaced at 90k. Broke down on way to Keys. Towed it home from Miami
While you are in there think about mods.
I replaced stock pump w/ warner pump
Replaced expansion tank I highly recomend as these dry out & crack (read up on these devils)
Replaced radiator w/ Zionville
install underdrive pullys
replaced belt tensioner & belts
replaced large washer fluid tank w/ smaller Euro tank
fan clutch & fan
and of course replaced phonolic thermostat housing w/ aluminum one
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2010, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milesdf View Post
I replaced my water pump at 93k, but with 103k now, must be time for a new radiator. Arggh! Any checks a mechanic can do in advance? Any suggestions on a decent source for a radiator?
Dave
ZIONVILLE

http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/s...ALLOYRADZ3.htm
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Clearwater Beach sand
Daytona Beach sand
SC Homecoming Red Clay
Deals Gap Dust in the Wheel wells
Maggie Valley Fall leaves in the Trunk
Florida Love bugs stuck in the Grill
Islamarada/Pigeon Key crushed coral chips
Mojave Grass seeds in hardtop window
Mane from sorrel 'Leo' quarter horse, a congenital Californian

Last edited by CarlM; 06-09-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2010, 05:09 AM
curtnc curtnc is offline
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How much did all the cost? Working on my summer maintence budget
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  #15  
Old 07-08-2010, 01:02 PM
StephanV StephanV is offline
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phrajao, my roadster has also 44k miles on it now, and i am concerned. What exactly did happen> Did the pump seize up? What would cause the fan to break off the blades and shred everything?

I replaced the clutch fan just recently, including the new plastic blades, I don't want to replace that again.
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Last edited by StephanV; 07-08-2010 at 01:04 PM. Reason: added fan replacement
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  #16  
Old 07-08-2010, 03:24 PM
gwailoh gwailoh is offline
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For my education, what does the water pump bearing noise sound like when it's starting to fail? My 76k 01 M Coupe has no water leaks, fan wobble or cooling issue (and it's summer in Vegas), but every second or third time I start it it makes a repetetive chirping like a noisy fan belt. The noise eventually goes away once the engine warms a little. Anyone think this is impending water pump failure? Thanks in advance for your expertise and opinion.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:32 PM
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phrider phrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh View Post
For my education, what does the water pump bearing noise sound like when it's starting to fail? My 76k 01 M Coupe has no water leaks, fan wobble or cooling issue (and it's summer in Vegas), but every second or third time I start it it makes a repetetive chirping like a noisy fan belt. The noise eventually goes away once the engine warms a little. Anyone think this is impending water pump failure? Thanks in advance for your expertise and opinion.
The S54 water pump in the 2001 and 2002 M Roadsters and M Coupes is a different animal -- but it can also fail, but in different ways.

Mine started spraying a tiny amount of coolant onto the hood blanket and shields near the fan at about 40,000 miles or so. I replaced it, and the fix has been good for nearly another 35,000 miles now.

The S54 water pumps are specific to the M Roadster and M Coupe, and the US inventory is often quite low (like 1 or 2 in the US). So, if you see a problem developing, plan ahead or you may be spending a week waiting for a part.
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  #18  
Old 07-12-2010, 11:40 AM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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I considered a $45 waterpump cheap insurance. Come to think of it, now that I'm up around 130k, I should replace it again. I went with the Zionsville radiator back when I replaced everything the first time. I like the peace of mind. This time around I'll just do waterpump coolant, hoses, belts.
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  #19  
Old 08-07-2010, 06:29 PM
Drw911 Drw911 is offline
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Mine went out this week. It also took out the shroud, the fan, and all of the coolant. The pump was cheap compared to all of the parts I had to replace! Still waiting on parts. The car has 74 k miles. Hope the engine is ok my wife drove the car several mile before stopping!
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  #20  
Old 08-07-2010, 07:20 PM
NoMax NoMax is offline
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What's the usual cost to get a water pump replaced before it fails?
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  #21  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:39 PM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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I replaced the WP with a Stewart and replaced the thermo., upper and lower hose, hose neck with a alumium, coolant, and a temp switch to do the fan delete mod. Got all the parts from bimmerspecialist in all it cost me a little under $300..No labor I did myself.
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  #22  
Old 08-08-2010, 12:30 PM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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What's the usual cost to get a water pump replaced before it fails?
BMW part is ~$45. Should take less than an hour to swap, but requires coolant replacement so I'm not sure what the shop labor would look like, I've always done them myself.
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  #23  
Old 08-09-2010, 08:38 AM
muellesx muellesx is offline
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My experience (at about 69K miles) was that the plastic impeller sheered off; no dramatic bomb going off under my hood, just an immediate and total stop to the flow of coolant. There is no warning for this kind of failure; you cannot listen for any tell-tale signs. Considering the cost of the repair vs. the cost of the eventual tow (let alone repair costs), I'd recommend being proactive. Be sure to replace it with the stainless steel impeller version. Even these have reported issues; the bearings eventually go out. If I hadn't been stranded and at the mercy of the shop I got towed to, I would have invested in an aftermarket water pump.
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  #24  
Old 08-09-2010, 02:17 PM
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kostverloren kostverloren is offline
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  #25  
Old 08-09-2010, 04:50 PM
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Mpire Mpire is offline
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My water pump blew out on my M3 on Christmas Day of all times. The worst day to have a total breakdown.

Radiator, water pump, thermostat housing, hoses, etc. Full cooling system replacement basically.

Its not that hard to replace the water pump, just takes time. I would go with a stewart warner pump and an S54 radiator just for the peace of mind.

I bet you wouldn't have to worry about replacing it for a long time after that. Its not very complicated though, I would just jump into it and get it done one weekend.

Or you can just wait till the coolant runs up your hood and sprays your windshield, thats a good indication that the system needs service.
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Last edited by Mpire; 08-09-2010 at 04:52 PM.
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