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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 02-18-2014, 12:10 PM
H F H F is offline
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Expansion tank gurguling

A short time ago I noticed my expansion tank gurguling . I know this its not normal , I usually lift my hood when I park my car to let the heat out of the engine compartment.

So my thermostat and sensors are a year old and coolant. Over the weekend I checked my coolant and looked weak and thought the Indy I had it done at did not use enough coolant and was causing the boiling. Even though I haven't gotten any heat or overheating errors.

I went ahead and flushed the coolant myself to make sure the coolant was mixed properly. took it for a 100 mile drive over the weekend and all seemed ok. But parked it and again the tank sounded like boiling water and still the car is not overheating . Come back 5 minutes later and the tank is still boiling. So its not the coolant.

Im going to replace the cap hoping it's the cause, possibly not holding the pressure in the tank. Because after the boiling stops I can hear air escaping and a hissing coming from the cap . Even though it hasn't caused an overheating issue , its really bothering me and don't know why its doing this .

Has anyone seen this before or experienced this situation ?
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2014, 11:42 AM
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Okay .. So I changed out the expansion tank cap,, happy to report ,that it solved the problem . Driven it couple hundred miles and kept pulling over and checking it every 25 miles and the boiling is completely gone .. So glad that's all it was .. I wAs alittle paranoid kept thinking it was gonna overheat on me. This is prolly not a common problem, but if any one experiences this . A new cap will fix it .
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2014, 11:51 AM
aber57 aber57 is offline
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The coolant temps reached in modern cars is several degrees above boiling temp. IF cap doesn't seal and hold pressure the coolant will boil even with engine running just prior to fan on temp ECM uses for starting fan to control temp. IF a/c is in use the fan will run for a/c pressure control and that usually keeps coolant temps lower.
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2014, 12:08 PM
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Good info.. I just thought it was wierd that I didn't get any heat warnings . Even after a 300 mile run,, and the coolant in the tank was like a boling tea pot .. Figure u would get some kind of warnig... Makes me wonder if my coolant sensors are working properly..
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2014, 02:02 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
Good info.. I just thought it was wierd that I didn't get any heat warnings . Even after a 300 mile run,, and the coolant in the tank was like a boling tea pot .. Figure u would get some kind of warnig... Makes me wonder if my coolant sensors are working properly..
Your sensors were likely working fine.

As aber57 said, the engine is designed to run with temperatures higher than the boiling point of the coolant at atmospheric temperatures, especially in the block coolant passages. Sealing the coolant system allows water which turns to steam to pressurize the system and take the coolant boiling point higher than its operating temperature. With a leaking reservoir cap the system cannot pressurize itself and while the coolant won't run any hotter than normal, it will boil. Boiling at the block walls can lead to air pockets and super heating of areas of the block wall.

This effect is amplified when the engine is turned off. Areas of the block are just as hot as when the engine was running, but the water has stopped circulating, so the water gets super heated (called engine heat soak). This leads to more water turning to steam, increasing the pressure and pushing coolant out of the top of the radiator and into the reservoir. Because the system was not pressurized more of the water was boiling and you could hear it from the opening in the cap.

As the system cools, if it is still pressurized the missing water from the radiator causes a lower pressure, drawing the coolant back out of the reservoir and returning it to the radiator.

Glad to hear you discovered the leaking cap.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2014, 02:28 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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^ +1.
That's why they have auxilary water pump [on cars that doesn't have electric pump] to run the aux pump even after the engine is turned off.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:49 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Agree with everyone else.. if system doesn't hold pressure and/or doesn't have enough antifreeze to RAISE the boiling point, you'll get bubbling.. Mine did the same when I ran straight water. After adding anti freeze and letting it warm up, it got to 215 without any gurgling..
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2014, 04:10 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcy View Post
^ +1.
That's why they have auxilary water pump [on cars that doesn't have electric pump] to run the aux pump even after the engine is turned off.
I don't believe the auxiliary water pump runs with the key off. I believe its normal function is to circulate coolant to the heater core during idling, or when the engine is stopped, but the key is still in the on position, to continue to provide heat to the cabin (if the climate control is set that way).

I believe all of the turbocharged BMWs have a separate pump to continue to circulate water to prevent the oil on the turbo bearings from cooking. I know my Porsche did years ago.

I wish they had one that did run post key-off on the normally aspirated engines. I try to be careful and drive at least a 5-10 minute cool down period after pushing the engine really hard before shutting it down.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2014, 04:12 PM
H F H F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
Your sensors were likely working fine.

As aber57 said, the engine is designed to run with temperatures higher than the boiling point of the coolant at atmospheric temperatures, especially in the block coolant passages. Sealing the coolant system allows water which turns to steam to pressurize the system and take the coolant boiling point higher than its operating temperature. With a leaking reservoir cap the system cannot pressurize itself and while the coolant won't run any hotter than normal, it will boil. Boiling at the block walls can lead to air pockets and super heating of areas of the block wall.

This effect is amplified when the engine is turned off. Areas of the block are just as hot as when the engine was running, but the water has stopped circulating, so the water gets super heated (called engine heat soak). This leads to more water turning to steam, increasing the pressure and pushing coolant out of the top of the radiator and into the reservoir. Because the system was not pressurized more of the water was boiling and you could hear it from the opening in the cap.

As the system cools, if it is still pressurized the missing water from the radiator causes a lower pressure, drawing the coolant back out of the reservoir and returning it to the radiator.

Glad to hear you discovered the leaking cap.
Thanks man,, Im so glad that's all it was . Thanks for the great n depth info . As usual Sir, your informative posts and input is always educational , is appreciated and what makes this a great site .
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Last edited by H F; 02-22-2014 at 04:34 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcy View Post
^ +1.
That's why they have auxilary water pump [on cars that doesn't have electric pump] to run the aux pump even after the engine is turned off.
I thought that the secondary pump is to supply flow through the heater while the car is off with the key on .
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2014, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Agree with everyone else.. if system doesn't hold pressure and/or doesn't have enough antifreeze to RAISE the boiling point, you'll get bubbling.. Mine did the same when I ran straight water. After adding anti freeze and letting it warm up, it got to 215 without any gurgling..
215 is pretty hot man.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2014, 05:15 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Originally Posted by H F View Post
215 is pretty hot man.
True, but unfortunately that's what these cars run at.. the fans kicked on around there and brought it back down, but that's pretty normal. I've got a PDF from BMW somewhere that explains the different "modes" it can be in and the temps it tries to keep the motor at for each. The "efficiency" mode it usually uses is that hot. It's supposedly better for emissions too

That is (IMO) why these cars destroy seals so far

There is a lower temp thermostat (like 90 or 95*C if I remember right) out now that I am going to get one of to bring the temps down

Personally I think BMW left the water temp gauge off because people would be freaking out if they saw how hot these things run
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2014, 05:17 PM
aber57 aber57 is offline
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It would not surprise me if the fan on temp when a/c is off is 105C, maybe even 107C.
102C (215F) would be a few degrees low by current standards. That is water temp exiting the engine. It should be hot.
If you want oil to shed fuel dilution from cold starts and condensation from engine warming up the temp needs to be 210+.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2014, 05:23 PM
H F H F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
True, but unfortunately that's what these cars run at.. the fans kicked on around there and brought it back down, but that's pretty normal. I've got a PDF from BMW somewhere that explains the different "modes" it can be in and the temps it tries to keep the motor at for each. The "efficiency" mode it usually uses is that hot. It's supposedly better for emissions too

That is (IMO) why these cars destroy seals so far

There is a lower temp thermostat (like 90 or 95*C if I remember right) out now that I am going to get one of to bring the temps down

Personally I think BMW left the water temp gauge off because people would be freaking out if they saw how hot these things run
Would a cooler stat require programming so the computer would know that it can run cooler..?
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:16 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Originally Posted by H F View Post
Would a cooler stat require programming so the computer would know that it can run cooler..?
Nope.. it's not low enough to freak the computer out
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  #16  
Old 02-23-2014, 08:06 AM
pcy pcy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
I thought that the secondary pump is to supply flow through the heater while the car is off with the key on .
On Mercedes Benz ML, aux coolant pump is run EVEN AFTER the engine is turned off [and even if the key is not in ignition] to remove hot spots in the engine; ECU decides when to run that aux pump. I believe BMW's technology is same in this regard.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2014, 11:25 AM
H F H F is offline
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Pcy,,, Wish my 545 had that . Even after a long time after I open my hood the engine still hot . It takes a long time for the motor to release all the heat .
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Last edited by H F; 02-23-2014 at 11:27 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2014, 12:03 PM
6825786 6825786 is offline
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Hi there, I also had a temp issue. A while back you responded to the concern I had. As a refresher, I found the below information based on a 645. Same engine of course
Series 645Ci (N62) Coupe

If the engine is not running but very hot, the coolant pump will also work while the vehicle is out of use. Cooling
output can thus be called up regardless of engine speed.
The heat management now permits various characteristic maps to be used as a basis for controlling the coolant
pump, over and above the map thermostat. In this way, the engine control unit can adapt the engine temperature
to the driving characteristics.

The engine control unit regulates the following temperature ranges:
112 C = Economy
105 C = Normal
95 C = High
80 C = High and regulation by the map thermostat

If the vehicle handling causes the engine control unit to detect the economical operating range Economy, the DME regulates to a higher temperature (112 C).
In this temperature range, the engine is operated with a relatively fuel requirement. The friction inside the engine is reduced at higher temperature. The temperature increase thus favours lower fuel consumption in the low loadrange.

In the High and regulation by the map thermostat mode, the driver wants to use optimised power outputdevelopment of the engine. To achieve this, the temperature in the cylinder head is lowered to 80 C. Thislowering leads to a better cylinder filling, which leads in turn to an increase in engine torque. The engine control
unit can now regulate a certain operating range, adapted to the relevant driving situation. This makes it possible to use the cooling system to influence consumption and performance
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  #19  
Old 02-23-2014, 01:22 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6825786 View Post
Hi there, I also had a temp issue. A while back you responded to the concern I had. As a refresher, I found the below information based on a 645. Same engine of course
Series 645Ci (N62) Coupe

If the engine is not running but very hot, the coolant pump will also work while the vehicle is out of use. Cooling
output can thus be called up regardless of engine speed.
The heat management now permits various characteristic maps to be used as a basis for controlling the coolant
pump, over and above the map thermostat. In this way, the engine control unit can adapt the engine temperature
to the driving characteristics.

The engine control unit regulates the following temperature ranges:
112 C = Economy
105 C = Normal
95 C = High
80 C = High and regulation by the map thermostat

If the vehicle handling causes the engine control unit to detect the economical operating range Economy, the DME regulates to a higher temperature (112 C).
In this temperature range, the engine is operated with a relatively fuel requirement. The friction inside the engine is reduced at higher temperature. The temperature increase thus favours lower fuel consumption in the low loadrange.

In the High and regulation by the map thermostat mode, the driver wants to use optimised power outputdevelopment of the engine. To achieve this, the temperature in the cylinder head is lowered to 80 C. Thislowering leads to a better cylinder filling, which leads in turn to an increase in engine torque. The engine control
unit can now regulate a certain operating range, adapted to the relevant driving situation. This makes it possible to use the cooling system to influence consumption and performance
The main coolant pump on the N62B44 engine (545i & 645i) is a mechanical, serpentine belt driven, pump which cannot run if the engine is off.

However, some of the 6 series and 7 series were used for early implementation of engineering changes, so possibly the 645i for a certain year or certain sales location had an electric water pump.

For significant engine block cooling after shutdown, an electric pump would have to circulate water through the block and out to the radiator at the same time a fan was running. This is not the case with the 545i N62 4.4L.

The question was does the auxiliary coolant pump run after key-off to further cool the engine block. Looking at the diagram it appears that it serves only a loop running to the heater core, will only run with the key-on, and only if the climate control is set for it to do so.

On my Porsche turbo, an electric water pump along with a radiator fan ran to circulate water around the turbocharger after shutdown when temperatures were high. The unit could be heard running for several minutes.

I am not familiar with the 535i engine, but I understand it also has key-off water circulation around the turbochargers.

If you have a link or copy to the information you supplied please post it. If the auxiliary pump works as you describe it I would certainly like to take advantage of it here in Phoenix when it is 112deg outside!
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:02 PM
H F H F is offline
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[QUOTE=6825786;8165430]Hi there, I also had a temp issue. A while back you responded to the concern I had. As a refresher, I found the below information based on a 645. Same engine of course
Series 645Ci (N62) Coupe

If the engine is not running but very hot, the coolant pump will also work while the vehicle is out of use. Cooling
output can thus be called up regardless of engine speed.
The heat management now permits various characteristic maps to be used as a basis for controlling the coolant
pump, over and above the map thermostat. In this way, the engine control unit can adapt the engine temperature
to the driving characteristics.

The engine control unit regulates the following temperature ranges:
112 C = Economy
105 C = Normal
95 C = High
80 C = High and regulation by the map thermostat

If the vehicle handling causes the engine control unit to detect the economical operating range Economy, the DME regulates to a higher temperature (112 C).
In this temperature range, the engine is operated with a relatively fuel requirement. The friction inside the engine is reduced at higher temperature. The temperature increase thus favours lower fuel consumption in the low loadrange.

In the High and regulation by the map thermostat mode, the driver wants to use optimised power outputdevelopment of the engine. To achieve this, the temperature in the cylinder head is lowered to 80 C. Thislowering leads to a better cylinder filling, which leads in turn to an increase in engine torque. The engine control
unit can now regulate a certain operating range, adapted to the relevant driving situation. This makes it possible to use the cooling system to influence consumption and performance[/QUOTE

That's really interesting . Even if it doesn't apply to a 545, can u post a PDF or link . I would like to read up on it.
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Last edited by H F; 02-23-2014 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:41 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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My aux pump has been burnt out since I bought the car.. so far so good. Been meaning to replace it but haven't had any issues

Last edited by schpenxel; 02-23-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:40 PM
H F H F is offline
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Isn't the aux pump just to supply heat to the cabin with the engine off while the coolant stays hot, after u park it .
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:43 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
Isn't the aux pump just to supply heat to the cabin with the engine off while the coolant stays hot, after u park it .
That's what I've always thought. Mine has been burned out since the day I got the car, and I have not had any issues with overheating. Perhaps it can turn the pump on when the engine is off to move some coolant around and prevent the water in the engine from too hot? No clue.. I'm going to fix it at some point, but hard to justify right now
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:46 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
I don't believe the auxiliary water pump runs with the key off. I believe its normal function is to circulate coolant to the heater core during idling, or when the engine is stopped, but the key is still in the on position, to continue to provide heat to the cabin (if the climate control is set that way).
Then you would be mistaken. You can turn the key off, push the "rest" button on the climate control, and the aux pump (and fans) will come on to continue to provide hot water to the heater core so you have heat inside the car..

Very common on luxury cars.. Lincoln has a similar system I know for sure

(or I could be wrong, who knows)

Last edited by schpenxel; 02-23-2014 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:13 PM
H F H F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
You can turn the key off, push the "rest" button on the climate control, and the aux pump (and fans) will come on to continue to provide hot water to the heater core so you have heat inside the car..

(or I could be wrong, who knows)
Thought you had to have the key on , for that function . Didn't know it can be done with the key in off position and the re-set trick .
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