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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

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  #1  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:00 PM
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Antifreeze leak on garage floor

I think I have antifreeze/coolant leaking from the bottom of my car. The liquid is more viscous than water and seems to be clear and doesn't smell as far as I can tell. Everyday there seems to be a quarter to silver dollar sized puddle. I can see that the leak is coming from the middle hole on the underside of belly pan. I just had the cooling system changed at ~60k and I have ~73k on it now. Should I be concerned? My trusted indy is on vacation til next week. As always, thanks.

Last edited by Gian; 08-24-2010 at 01:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2010, 01:15 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Coolant should be blue.
Not sure what fluid you describe? Drop the underbelly off (pay attention, it might be loaded with fluid), and then check where it's dripping from.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2010, 01:19 PM
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Engine mount leaking?
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2010, 01:20 PM
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borderchris borderchris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gian View Post
I think I have antifreeze/coolant leaking from the bottom of my car. The liquid is more viscous than water and seems to be clear and doesn't smell as far as I can tell. Everyday there seems to be a quarter to silver dollar sized puddle. I can see that the leak is coming from the middle hole on the underside of belly pan. I just had the cooling system changed at ~60k and I have ~73k on it now. Should I be concerned? My trusted indy is on vacation til next week. As always, thanks.
If it's clear and unscented, that's not coolant; it's water from your AC evaporator. Perfectly normal from that point on the belly pan. Antifreeze, regardless of type, smells about the same. It may seem viscous because it's dripping past parts with road oil and grime on them.
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Last edited by borderchris; 08-25-2010 at 04:22 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2010, 02:04 PM
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If it's water, there's a set of ac drain hoses that look like this which is discussed in a bunch of threads (here's one pointer).

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  #6  
Old 08-25-2010, 03:05 PM
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I could not tell what color the fluid was against the garage floor. However, some leaked onto the tape on the border of the broken down box that I put under the car. It is definitely blue, so it is coolant leaking. This morning there was a silver dollar sized puddle there. Any idea what could be going on?
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2010, 04:25 PM
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Regardless of what everyone thinks, it sounds like you need to get under that car, ASAP- either you or a mechanic. If it is in fact coolant, this can be a precursor to a big leak happening, which can lead to nasty problems for your beloved e39. There are a variety of hoses that are fairly aft (climate system) that can slowly leak and drip down onto the access panels and crossmembers. Check it out!
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Last edited by borderchris; 08-25-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2010, 05:47 PM
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What parts of the cooling system did you replace? Everything or just rad/exp/hoses?
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:16 PM
bowtie bowtie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gian View Post
This morning there was a silver dollar sized puddle there. Any idea what could be going on?

Yeah, you have coolant leaking....unfortunately my crystal ball is on the fritz, so you may need to look around yourself...
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bowtie View Post
Yeah, you have coolant leaking....unfortunately my crystal ball is on the fritz, so you may need to look around yourself...
Hehe. My Indy is out of town till the 30th and I don't have a way to look under there. Maybe I'll just drive something else until my Indy returns. Thanks for the replies. BTW I replaced the whole cooling system.

Last edited by Gian; 08-25-2010 at 07:00 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2010, 10:02 PM
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borderchris borderchris is offline
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Hehe. My Indy is out of town till the 30th and I don't have a way to look under there. Maybe I'll just drive something else until my Indy returns. Thanks for the replies. BTW I replaced the whole cooling system.
My bet would be a leak at one of your heater hoses....
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2010, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by borderchris View Post
heater hoses....
Or the temperature sensor o-ring ...
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2010, 08:14 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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Is the coolant level low? Check when cold. Small quantities of coolsnt will look clear on the garage floor. Place a piece of white paper towel on the garage floor after driving it. I went crazy after doing my cooling sytem trying to track down a leak. Turned out ot be a rad hose clamp at the engine. Lots of pressure in these systems and clamps need to be very tight.
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2010, 01:09 PM
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Just to cap off this thread. It ended up being a crack in the plastic portion of my radiator. It wasn't changed on the initial cooling system overhaul. Thanks for all the advice.
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2010, 02:03 PM
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Your radiator wasn't changed during a cooling "overhaul"?? That is like the main item to change!
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2010, 03:12 PM
SoCaLE39 SoCaLE39 is offline
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  #17  
Old 09-05-2010, 03:22 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gian View Post
crack in the plastic portion of my radiator
I wonder. If a "normal" cooling system overhaul is performed, what "plastic" parts are left unreplaced?
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2013, 08:30 PM
Guam135i Guam135i is offline
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Same here last night our car was steaming and when I opened the hood this morning there was a spary of coolant all over the passenger side of the engine bay. I hosed it down and filled the car back with coolant and ran it until operating temp was reached and could not find a leak
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  #19  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:05 PM
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If you didn't bleed correctly it will overheat
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