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 > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-17-2012, 06:04 AM
7945049 7945049 is offline
Registered User
Location: London
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: BMW E39
Losing Coolant very quickly

Hello,

I recently had my car serviced (2000 BMW E39 523i SE) and when I got home, the coolant level warning came on. I do not use it much but checked the level and it was very low, so I topped it up, thinking "Not much of a service if they didn't even flush the coolant system and refill it!)

Anyway, I just used it again and the coolant warning came on again. I checked it and it was completely empty. I filled it and went for a short drive. Within 30 seconds the warning came on again, I pulled over and checked the coolant level and it was completely empty again. There is clearly a massive leak somewhere. There is no coolant residue anywhere that I can see.

Has anybody had any experience with this or any idea what it may be?!

Any help would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 03-17-2012, 06:13 AM
dalekressin's Avatar
dalekressin dalekressin is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,007
Mein Auto: 2010 M3
What does the temperature gauge read?
Could be an electrical error.
__________________
94 530i sold (That was difficult for me)
01 530i >144,500+ miles SOLD
06 330XI winter's especially fun drive (SOLD)
10 M3 Sedan (sweet)
13 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
14 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Diesel

BMWCCA 4215
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-17-2012, 06:14 AM
dalekressin's Avatar
dalekressin dalekressin is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,007
Mein Auto: 2010 M3
Wait, you filled the expansion tank? refilled and there is not dripping visible?
__________________
94 530i sold (That was difficult for me)
01 530i >144,500+ miles SOLD
06 330XI winter's especially fun drive (SOLD)
10 M3 Sedan (sweet)
13 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
14 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Diesel

BMWCCA 4215
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-17-2012, 06:51 AM
7945049 7945049 is offline
Registered User
Location: London
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: BMW E39
Temp is fine but the expansion tank seems to empty almost immediately - I cannot see it leaking out however!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:43 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,838
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Do NOT drive the car.
Search forum for "Cooling Overhaul" to find answer.

PS: Check your engine oil dipstick for any trace of coolant (milky color).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-17-2012, 09:24 AM
BROOKSBC's Avatar
BROOKSBC BROOKSBC is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Woodbridge, VA
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 161
Mein Auto: 01 BMW 330i
I had a similar problem. Check the top radiator hose that connects at your radiator and resivoir tank under the cap by your filter box then leads over to the thremometer. Mine was coming apart from where the rubber hose meets the plastic fitting. I had little to no visible fluid leak but allot of steam as the fluid burnt off and evaporated. I changed that and no more problem.

Sent from my LS670 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-17-2012, 11:24 AM
540sport's Avatar
540sport 540sport is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Boston, MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: '98 540 sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7945049 View Post
Hello,

I recently had my car serviced (2000 BMW E39 523i SE) and when I got home, the coolant level warning came on. I do not use it much but checked the level and it was very low, so I topped it up, thinking "Not much of a service if they didn't even flush the coolant system and refill it!)

Anyway, I just used it again and the coolant warning came on again. I checked it and it was completely empty. I filled it and went for a short drive. Within 30 seconds the warning came on again, I pulled over and checked the coolant level and it was completely empty again. There is clearly a massive leak somewhere. There is no coolant residue anywhere that I can see.

Has anybody had any experience with this or any idea what it may be?!

Any help would be appreciated.
What type of service was performed? If the cooling system was flushed or even drained and refilled, it's possible the dealer did not complete purging air from the system. Air in the system needs to be replaced. Having said that, 2 empty expansion tanks seems like a lot of fluid.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:10 AM
boyhowdy985 boyhowdy985 is offline
Registered User
Location: kingsport TN
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 528i
Sounds like blown headgaskit.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:52 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,641
Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
Quote:
Originally Posted by boyhowdy985 View Post
Sounds like blown headgaskit.
If it was a head gasket and using that much coolant the engine would be running like crap.

Is the CEL on?
Pull the oil dip stick and see if the oil lever is much higher than normal.
The coolant has to be going somewhere.
Hope that the system wasn't bleed properly like 540sport said and that coolant is just replacing the trapped air.
__________________

2000 540/6 Slightly tweeked...everywhere
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-27-2012, 08:24 AM
doru's Avatar
doru doru is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Calgary
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
Could be one of 2 things in my opinion:
1.) Had a huge air bubble, and after "regurgitating" the coolant was low. Still more air in the system, had to be purged. Maybe the indy wasn't a BMW "specialist"
2.) Car was serviced - if any of the cooling components were changed, I would look hard right there. I had an issue with a bad expansion tank that was leaking like a sieve - brand new. If no component was changed, a hose might have come slightly undone (which I doubt due to the high pressure - it should pop right out), or damage to one of the plastic components has occurred. A small crack enough to open up as soon as the coolant reaches operating temperature and pressure forms, expanding the said crack.

If the cooling components are the original ones, as CNN suggested, change all hoses, radiator, WP, T-stat, pulleys, exp tank & radiator. Don't take shortcuts if you want to keep the car.
__________________
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-27-2012, 08:47 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,112
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Don't take shortcuts if you want to keep the car.
The last 50 people who did take shortcuts ...
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) (38) (39) (40) (41) (42) (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-27-2012, 08:49 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,112
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
To the OP:

Take a look at this thread for all the places where the cooling system can fail on the E39 ... and then doublecheck yours:
- Pictorial look at typical E39 cooling system failure modes (1)

When you do your overhaul, read this thread for the parts to replace:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:53 AM
Ninety-8 E3nine Ninety-8 E3nine is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Lomita
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: 98 528I
Dont mean to hi-jack this thread but I'm having almost the same issues.

I had my cooling overhaul done about 3 months ago... everything is running fine but a couple of days ago I checked the coolant level in the expansion tank and I saw that it was almost empty. I filled it up and the next day it was half way. I filled it again and the next day it was half way again.

I checked the oil cap and dip stick and it looks fine. I don't see any visible leaks anywhere and the car is not overheating.

Anyone has any ideas whats going on with my car?

Last edited by Ninety-8 E3nine; 04-13-2012 at 09:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:22 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,641
Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
Are you getting heat from both sides of the cabin heater? If not there is air in the system.
Keep an eye on the level in the tank. If it's just trapped air you shouldn't have to add more in a day or two.
__________________

2000 540/6 Slightly tweeked...everywhere
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bmw, coolant leak, e39


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
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 07:15 PM.


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