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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2012, 02:21 PM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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Anyone know of a coolant expansion tank DIY?

Does anyone have or know of a DIY for replacing the coolant expansion tank? I searched and couldn't find anything. It just looks like a couple torx screws and some coolant hoses but I don't want to break the clips...

I picked up my car from the shop yesterday after 3k in repairs. driving the car this morning and I get a low coolant message. by the time I get home and open the hood, there is coolant shooting out from a crack in the bottom of the expansion tank.
NAPA will have the part tomorrow morning so I want to tackle it in the p.m.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2012, 02:51 PM
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ProMed12 ProMed12 is offline
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I would be taking it straight back to the shop that worked on your car yesterday.

If it ends up being the infamous "valley of death" BMW V8 coolant leak, check out here for a guide and vids of what you are looking at: http://www.allgermanauto.com/product/index.html
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2012, 03:00 PM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProMed12 View Post
I would be taking it straight back to the shop that worked on your car yesterday.

If it ends up being the infamous "valley of death" BMW V8 coolant leak, check out here for a guide and vids of what you are looking at: http://www.allgermanauto.com/product/index.html
Indeed I will! The problem is that the shop is 25 miles away and I don't want to drive my car that far without coolant. Also, I know that cracking resevoir tanks are a common problem on these cars, so I'm thinking that he will claim "coincidence".

He did say that I have the dreaded valley coolant leak already but that it is a very slow leak, so I know I have to do that job in the next few months (using the all german auto kit). So my thought was that I would just replace the resevoir myself and then have him take a hundred bucks or so off the valley coolant job rather than deal with towing my car and being without it for another few days. we'll see what he says though...
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:57 PM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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the shop is not helping me out on this one so I'm on my own. thanks to user pcy, I think I have most of the info that I need. One thing that I've seen on coolant flush procedures that I've found on youtube is that they usually bleed the system from a vent valve. I can't seem to find this bleed valve on the E60. does anyone know if there is a vent valve for bleeding the air out of the cooling system? thanks!
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2012, 08:03 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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There is no vent valve on N52 cooling system. You'll have to following the bleeding process...

Fill the coolant to low mark on the tank
connect charger to the battery (because you will be running electric water pump and heating components for about 12 minutes without engine running)
ignition ON, don't start the car.
set heat to highest setting
set to "automatic' climatic control
set fan to lowest setting
press and hold the accelerator for about 10 seconds, let go accelerator pedal
you will hear coolant pump running and coolant flowing thru the system
bleeding process will take about 12 minutes.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2012, 04:12 AM
crewzer crewzer is offline
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Exclamation

The V8 doesn't have a bleed screw or the electric water pump, so there's yet another bleeding procedure. Paraphrased from the Bentley manual (page 170-9):
Before filling radiator:
Switch ignition ON, but don't start engine
Set heater controls to full hot
Set heater fan control to low
Set seat heat controls to low

Slowly fill cooling system and expansion tank to MAX using 50:50 mix of BMW coolant and distilled water

Leave expansion tank cap off
Start engine, let it idle for one minute
Install cap
Run engine until it reaches operating temperature
Let engine cool
check coolant level, add coolant to MAX level

If trapped air can't be purged manually, then a pressure bleed operation is required.
HTH,
Jim / crewzer
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2012, 10:48 AM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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wow, I would definitely not have figured that out on my own - thanks much for the info! And after seeing your post, I bought the Bentley manual which should be here tomorrow. that should help immensely! I'll report back when I'm done....
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2013, 08:41 AM
aiwapro aiwapro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyv View Post
wow, I would definitely not have figured that out on my own - thanks much for the info! And after seeing your post, I bought the Bentley manual which should be here tomorrow. that should help immensely! I'll report back when I'm done....
How did this go on your 545i? I need to replace the tank today, and of course bleed. Do I need to drain the existing coolant from somewhere, that might be left in the radiator, or just add with the above procedure, to the coolant tank.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2013, 11:52 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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It's stupid easy.

I just pulled the hoses off and kept them high enough to not dump coolant everywhere. You can drain some out of from the valve at the bottom right (passenger side) of the radiator also

Do you know how the BMW coolant line fittings work? Basically there's a C clip springy thing that pulls out maybe 1/2" then they just slide off. Basically the Clip fits into a groove and that holds the coolant pipes on--then they have o-rings made into them to do the sealing. They're a pain to get out sometime so take it easy on them or they coudl break (plastic of course..)
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:33 PM
aiwapro aiwapro is offline
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Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
It's stupid easy.

I just pulled the hoses off and kept them high enough to not dump coolant everywhere. You can drain some out of from the valve at the bottom right (passenger side) of the radiator also

Do you know how the BMW coolant line fittings work? Basically there's a C clip springy thing that pulls out maybe 1/2" then they just slide off. Basically the Clip fits into a groove and that holds the coolant pipes on--then they have o-rings made into them to do the sealing. They're a pain to get out sometime so take it easy on them or they coudl break (plastic of course..)
Thanks. Yes, I'm familiar with the clamps. I'll be careful with them. Good to know that you don't have to remove the spring completely. That part I did not know.

For the coolant, I wasn't sure if mixing old and new was really ok or not, though I know you do it all the time when you top off. My last coolant flush was about two years. I'll just plan on keep the hoses up, or drain a little as necessary from the hoses, to help prevent spilling, but leaving the radiator connections intact. I'll post how it goes. I'm just waiting on UPS to deliver.
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2013, 05:08 PM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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I also just added the coolant to what still was in the system when I changed out the coolant reservoir. I am completely void of DIY knowledge and I didn't have any trouble so I'm sure you can do it no problem. Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2013, 06:09 PM
UltimateDriving UltimateDriving is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcy View Post
There is no vent valve on N52 cooling system. You'll have to following the bleeding process...

Fill the coolant to low mark on the tank
connect charger to the battery (because you will be running electric water pump and heating components for about 12 minutes without engine running)
ignition ON, don't start the car.
set heat to highest setting
set to "automatic' climatic control
set fan to lowest setting
press and hold the accelerator for about 10 seconds, let go accelerator pedal
you will hear coolant pump running and coolant flowing thru the system
bleeding process will take about 12 minutes.
This procedure only applies for cars with electric water pumps.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:38 PM
aiwapro aiwapro is offline
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Thanks everyone. It all went great. After the bleeding procedure, I let it cool for a few hours. I then went back, removed the cap, and it was still at the max level. I went for a 10 minute ride, sat in a drive-thru for about 5 minutes, and then drove about 10 minutes back home. I then looked under the food, and saw no leaks. All seems well.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2013, 12:25 PM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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I cant believe I have same issue with coolant leak toward bottom siade of reservoir container. How common is this? The hoses do not seem to come of easily though, any suggestions?
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2013, 01:15 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferken55 View Post
I cant believe I have same issue with coolant leak toward bottom siade of reservoir container. How common is this? The hoses do not seem to come of easily though, any suggestions?
Quite common

Did you pull the clip on the hose? You need to pull the clip to the "unlocked" position for lack of a better way to explain it. It will only go one way and you will know when it's far enough (it will stay in that position on it's own..)

Then pull the hose off--sometimes they are a pain. Try to pull straight on them though and not at any kind of angle, or you risk breaking the plastic
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2013, 01:26 PM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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Yes I got the clip off but cannot seem to muscle the hose loose. Hmmmm I dont want to break it.
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  #17  
Old 08-30-2013, 01:28 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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yeah it's just a matter of getting the seals inside the fitting to break loose then at this point--may try pushing it in and out, both ways, twisting a little (shouldn't move much but maybe enough to help break it loose). Anything to get a little movement and get them broke loose

That's about all you can do though really
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2013, 11:10 AM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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I am going to epoxy the leak (its a thin crack ) and seal with flex seal and see if that fixes it first. Then replace resevoir if this fails. I keeping my fingers crossed
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2013, 12:50 PM
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A B Able Truck A B Able Truck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferken55 View Post
I am going to epoxy the leak (its a thin crack ) and seal with flex seal and see if that fixes it first. Then replace resevoir if this fails. I keeping my fingers crossed
I just replaced my tank and radiator cap (sold seperately) $96.00 total (List $120) Is it really worth taking a chance with epoxy rather then replacing it?
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  #20  
Old 09-02-2013, 07:28 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferken55 View Post
I am going to epoxy the leak (its a thin crack ) and seal with flex seal and see if that fixes it first. Then replace resevoir if this fails. I keeping my fingers crossed
While the coolant expansion tank contents don't get to quite as high a temperature as the coolant in the block (especially during heat soak just after shutdown) the coolant tank contents still get hot just after shutdown when the system dumps coolant from the radiator into the expansion tank. Also, the system is pressurized (including the expansion tank) to lower the boiling point of the coolant.

My guess is you won't have to wait long to find out that glue will not hold.
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  #21  
Old 09-02-2013, 07:35 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Replace the damn thing. These engines warp heads a whole lot quicker than a lot of cars. Not worth the risk at all
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  #22  
Old 09-03-2013, 09:23 AM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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Yeah its ordered and I will replace it. However, disconnecting the stupid hoses is a chore! How do you guys do it so damn easily???
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  #23  
Old 09-03-2013, 09:26 AM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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And how do you tell engine temperature is rising? there are no gauges for coolant temp. I guess the iDrive thingy has it? I still coulkdnt find it. Does it give you a warning light if engine temp is getting too high?
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  #24  
Old 09-03-2013, 10:30 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Google e60 secret menu temperature
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  #25  
Old 09-03-2013, 06:20 PM
tommyv tommyv is offline
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the hoses are a pain to remove. I think I ended up with some bruised knuckles after that job. Just be patient with it and you'll get it to come loose.
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