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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)

E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series 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 01-23-2017, 08:39 AM
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justinb7116 justinb7116 is offline
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Low coolant warning

Hello guys. Yesterday I got a low coolant warning. I pulled the car in last night and checked the coolant level. It was Def way low. I check the coolant quite frequently, like every couple weeks or at least once a month so somehow it has lost this fluid very rapidly. I just filled it because I need to go into town today. I've attached a few pics. I find it very odd that there is a lot of residue on the expansion tank. Maybe it's the cap. That would be great if it was. Most of the fluid is down below of course. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2017, 09:51 AM
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txag_530i txag_530i is offline
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It appears that the fluid is on the left-hand side of the engine bay? Do you have an automatic transmission? Take a look at the coolant hoses going to/from the transmission thermostat and cooler. Also take a look at the hoses going across the top of the radiator (underneath the plastic and metal covers) and upper radiator hose. Those hoses are 12-13-years old on a 2004 vehicle.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:02 AM
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Yes. It's an automatic. I'm headed out of the house now. When I return I will pop the hood and check it out again. I hope I can see where it's coming from after it has been running for a while. I will keep you posted. Thanks
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:46 PM
Outlaw550i Outlaw550i is offline
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might want to check the water pump and thermostat as they sit right above where that leak is happening. I just did both water pump and thermostat for about $1200
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Outlaw550i View Post
might want to check the water pump and thermostat as they sit right above where that leak is happening. I just did both water pump and thermostat for about $1200
I just got home and it seems as if most of the coolant is on the passenger side although I can it spewing from any particular hose. For some reason I think I remember a few years ago a member saying that his water pump was going out and it would put off a whining noise. I think this may be the case. I heard a noise under the hood that I've never heard before. It was kinda like this.....wum wum wum wum. I'm guessing that is the water pump whine people speak of
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:31 PM
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If it is in fact the water pump, I saw an OEM pump on Bavauto.com for 275.00 and it suggests changing a thermostat along with the pump. I also saw on the same site a Uro brand pump for 100.00. Would you guys steer clear of the Uro pump and go for the OEM? I have a Beck Arnely pump in my garage but many members on this site say if you install a Beck Arnely pump you will be doing the job twice. Any thoughts??
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:32 PM
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My car has 56k miles by the way
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:35 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Many places for an old gal like ours to leak. Until you track down the cause check your coolant level every day or two.

Most common leaks are expansion tank, water pipe and vent tube (which runs from radiator underneath black metal plate covering radiator to expansion tank). Many other places after that, including the radiator.

Most expensive is water pipe, which moves water from the back of the block to the water pump and sits under the intake manifold.

My coolant system is also leaking slowly right now and I check it every few days and sometime put in 4-5 ounces of distilled water or the 50/50 distilled water BMW coolant mix. My lower hose feels spongy so I know I will need to track down the cause(s) and give her some TLC soon.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
Many places for an old gal like ours to leak. Until you track down the cause check your coolant level every day or two.

Most common leaks are expansion tank, water pipe and vent tube (which runs from radiator underneath black metal plate covering radiator to expansion tank). Many other places after that, including the radiator.

Most expensive is water pipe, which moves water from the back of the block to the water pump and sits under the intake manifold.

My coolant system is also leaking slowly right now and I check it every few days and sometime put in 4-5 ounces of distilled water or the 50/50 distilled water BMW coolant mix. My lower hose feels spongy so I know I will need to track down the cause(s) and give her some TLC soon.
Thanks Ken. When I got home my expansion tank was completely dry. There is white residue on it but it is and was dry. The weep hole is also completely dry. I'm assuming that's what you mean by water pipe. I'm going to take a video so you guys can hear this noise. Thanks again guys
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:29 PM
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Of course the car will not replicate the noise

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Old 01-23-2017, 03:46 PM
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hey Justin ,,, that cap is toast , replace it , thats step one ... You can see the drip marks evidence on the side of the tank . Just fyi ,, you don't really have to see coolant leaking .. just the loss of pressure and water vapors will be enough to loose coolant . The cap is loosing and allowing steam to escape .. There should be no coolant residue drip marks at all running down the tank ...

Next is remove the engine cover , get a flash light and look under the manifold along both banks and see if the valley cover has any signs of coolant or residue . At the same time remove the four bolts take off the throttle body ( easy to do ) . Check the breather hose y fitting that sits under the throttle body and the purge fittings that the hose end leads to on each head ,, the end of the hose cracks and leaks . If there any residue build up on the fittings its time to replace the breather hose or/and install a new y fitting . That Y fitting gets brittle and cracks , thus leaks vapors and eventually coolant ...

Check that stuff out and let us know what you find ,, and get back to us .. Also I think you should stop woring about the water pump bro.. You never would have made the round trip if that was the case ,,,, or your last trip you took ... Unless you have water dripping out the water pump weep hole ( not the coolant pipe weep hole ) , then thats a different story ...
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:02 PM
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Thanks Herman. I'm ordering a cap tonight. I figured I did need a new one. When I got home tonight there were massive amounts of coolant under everything. Both driver and passenger side. The tank was dry. Frustrating this is

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Old 01-23-2017, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by justinb7116 View Post
Thanks Herman. I'm ordering a cap tonight. I figured I did need a new one. When I got home tonight there were massive amounts of coolant under everything. Both driver and passenger side. The tank was dry. Frustrating this is

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Its a process of elimination bro ,, don't stress ...If its leaking that much now ,, it should be easier to identify the leak ,, top off the tank ,,start the car and check all those points , make sure the tank is not cracked ,breather hoses and fittings , coolant pipe weep hole , valley pan cover , water pump weep hole , temp sensor on lower radiator hose , and breather hose over the top of the radiator .. The leak will reveal itself ...
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:36 PM
Toddmori Toddmori is offline
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Is there any residue around the weep hole above/behind the water pump? You can lose almost a quart of coolant overnight pretty easily just through a coolant pipe leak there

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Old 01-23-2017, 04:48 PM
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justinb7116 justinb7116 is offline
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Thanks guys. The coolant pipe weep hole is completely dry. I'm unsure where the water pump weep hole is located. Herman. I will tackle your ideas tomorrow night when I return home. Cap is ordered
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:55 PM
Toddmori Toddmori is offline
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Sorry, started typing that up earlier, and got busy with work, so I missed the positioning

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Old 01-23-2017, 05:21 PM
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Is it me or does that intermittent hum sound odd???

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Old 01-23-2017, 05:49 PM
toga94m toga94m is offline
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I replaced the tank and cap on my 530, still lost coolant (slowly but annoying) and ended up getting the temp sensor in the lower-right radiator hose replaced. That fixed it, no issues since then. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:12 PM
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Is it me or does that intermittent hum sound odd???

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Its not you bro ,, that's definitely not a normal sound . Check all the idler pulleys and tensioners, including the Ac , alt , and water pump .
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:28 AM
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The plastic pipe that runs across top of rad from the rad vent nipple on left side to the hose on RH side that leads to coolant tank was split on mine and leaked a bit with no real coolant visible around pipe. My belts were whining at times too. No weep hole or bell housing coolant eveidence.

I found mine when I got new belts and started remving things for access. When I took off the tube from air cleaner to throttle and could see better, the coolant residue was visible on that side and at first made me think the rad was leaking. A length of 5/16 copper tubing fixed it for good. I did use flaring tool to flare out the end of tube just a bit so the hose couldn't slip off if rubber relaxed and clamp tension reduced.
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:21 AM
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txag_530i txag_530i is offline
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Originally Posted by justinb7116 View Post
If it is in fact the water pump, I saw an OEM pump on Bavauto.com for 275.00 and it suggests changing a thermostat along with the pump. I also saw on the same site a Uro brand pump for 100.00. Would you guys steer clear of the Uro pump and go for the OEM? I have a Beck Arnely pump in my garage but many members on this site say if you install a Beck Arnely pump you will be doing the job twice. Any thoughts??
Stay away from URO parts. In my experience they are crap.

BavAuto is typically the most expensive parts vendor. Try

autohausaz
pelicanparts
fcpeuro
rmeuropean
amazon
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:32 AM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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stay away from uro parts. In my experience they are crap.

Bavauto is typically the most expensive parts vendor. Try

autohausaz
pelicanparts
fcpeuro
rmeuropean
amazon
+1
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:13 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Great price on Graf water pump.
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...er-pump-pa1040

Graf is quality unit (what I used to replace the POS Beck-Arnley water pump that lasted 1 year before massive bearing failure).

Beck-Arnley thermostat lasted two weeks before heater coil burned out and threw an SES activating code. Total Junk!
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Old 01-24-2017, 03:26 PM
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justinb7116 justinb7116 is offline
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Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
Great price on Graf water pump.
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...er-pump-pa1040

Graf is quality unit (what I used to replace the POS Beck-Arnley water pump that lasted 1 year before massive bearing failure).

Beck-Arnley thermostat lasted two weeks before heater coil burned out and threw an SES activating code. Total Junk!
Thanks Ken
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Old 01-24-2017, 03:28 PM
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justinb7116 justinb7116 is offline
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Originally Posted by Toddmori View Post
Is there any residue around the weep hole above/behind the water pump? You can lose almost a quart of coolant overnight pretty easily just through a coolant pipe leak there

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Thanks Todd. Weep hole is bone dry
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