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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2015, 12:05 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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A whole month without issues...back to troubleshooting

Car has been running great since i fixed the shuttering problem by resetting the learned adaptations. But alas, this morning I spotted a puddle of what looks like anti-freeze on the driver side of the car.

Last week my wife mentioned the low coolant light was on so I checked and sure enough it was low but only took a pint to fill it back to full. I mentioned the puddle to my wife today and she says: Oh that reminds me, the car was bucking the other day and the engine light came on. smh

She drove it today with no issues.

I scanned it and it is throwing:
2F9a Ambient temperature sensor
276d Function check tank ventilation
2743 Misfire Cylinder 5
2742 Misfire Cylinder 1

I reset the codes hoping perhaps it was a one time thing. I'm assuming the coolant leak is most likely the expansion tank. Just not sure how to verify that. The misfires, who knows?

What do you guys think?

Edit: The leak seems to be coming from a hose just below the filter housing to the right of the expansion tank. Hard to see without taking off the filter housing. Ring a bell with anyone?

Last edited by Yomama; 12-04-2015 at 01:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2015, 04:39 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Pop out the air box, snorkel, and fan. It takes all of 5 minutes. It is the only way to really get in there. If the tank is leaking, you'll see white crust coming from the leak.

What filter is to the right of the expansion tank? I hate right/left on vehicles... port or starboard of the tank? Might be able to just replace the hose.

I replaced my tank cap with a 15 psi cap (like every other car on the planet) in the hopes of preserving the tank.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2015, 05:39 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Sorry to hear you're back into it with the BMW... after the shuddering fix, you deserve some smooth sailing.
Wonder what light lit up on the dash?
These codes irritate me: there should be a write-up on how to address each code problem. Maybe an internet search will shed a few secrets on what your codes mean.
I agree w/ the above post re switching the cap out. I went to the 1.2bar cap when I changed out my expansion tank about 3 years ago. Here's a link: https://www.germanautosolutions.com/...12_bar_cap.php
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2015, 10:23 AM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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After taking off the air filter housing, I was able to verify it is definitely the expansion tank. Visually it does not look too bad to replace, everything seems within easy reach. I'll have to try to find some DIY instructions.


From your experience is it an easy enough job? Anything I need to watch out for?

dukedkt442 the only filter I see is the air filter
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2015, 12:41 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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A whole month without issues...back to troubleshooting

It's an easy job.

Just make sure you buy both the tank and the transmission thermostat. That bad boy will break when you remove it. If you are careful you can re use the coolant level sensor.

I used my Bentley manual but there are some good write ups if you google it.

Also you only need to remove the air filter housing to see it. Once you go to remove the reservoir you do have to remove the cowl and fan to get more space.

Last edited by x3brian; 12-05-2015 at 12:42 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2015, 02:37 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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expansion tanks can crack from trans cooling lines rub

expansion tanks can also be rubbed thru by the transmission coolant lines that gradually ease over to the outside skin of the tank and then vibration of one of the raised steel compressed fittings edges on the lines can cut thru the tank side .....be very sure to check this one ....it has been a know failure on X's and other models for over a decade .....

also ....if yours has not got at least 1/8 inch clearance between the lines and the tank it is best to just manually ease over the transmission lines till you have good clearance


put this check on yalls regular visual maintenance list

Last edited by swampX3; 12-05-2015 at 05:22 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2015, 08:12 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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If you're careful, you can remove the tank without busting the plastic transmission thermostat. Have a new one on hand, just in case.
Read and carefully follow the bleeding instructions found on this forum when you're done.... you don't bleed these rads like a normal car. I wasted a bit of time & fluid doing it the wrong way initially.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2015, 01:43 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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so you sent your wife out with a active leak? you have bigger balls then me....
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2015, 06:45 AM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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Thanks everyone, I have watched a few DIY videos and it's not clear if you have to drain the coolant first via the drain plugs on the bottom of the car before removing the tank.

One guy just disconnected the hoses and yanked the tank off, while another diligently drained all the fluid first.


Burning2nd my balls are regular size :-) She hasn't touched the car since I discovered the leak.



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Originally Posted by jlex View Post
If you're careful, you can remove the tank without busting the plastic transmission thermostat. Have a new one on hand, just in case.
Read and carefully follow the bleeding instructions found on this forum when you're done.... you don't bleed these rads like a normal car. I wasted a bit of time & fluid doing it the wrong way initially.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2015, 07:04 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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You can do either way, but if you don't want fluid going all over the place when you pull the hoses off, drain it.
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2015, 07:41 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Drain it, but don't bother draining it at the engine block. Save the used stuff in case of an emergency if you have no new stuff handy.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2015, 11:47 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Not positive about this so someone can correct me if necessary:

for Yomama's M54 engine, if an AT, the blue drain plug underneath just drains the rad. The MT version has two drain plugs, and the 2nd. one for the ET just unscrews and does not come right off.

For the AT version, you would have drain the ET via the oil cooler or other hoses.

As most ET replacements occur because the tank has split it doesn't matter too much about what's left in there.

Not sure if the N52 is the same in this regard.

Good tip by Swamp on checking for things that might cause the ET to fail prematurely. I'm not convinced that the relatively high relief pressure for the stock cap is a factor.

On E46 forums there are lots of stories of replacement tanks only lasting a year or less. Must be various things that can mean a short life for tanks, but I suspect manufacturing flaws to be the primary one, whether O.E.M. or aftermarket.

Keeping the coolant level just right might be key. And overfilling might even be worse than underfilling - not sure on that either. But best to take care in lining up that mark on the float with the top of the neck at eye level to avoid parallax error.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2015, 12:15 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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A whole month without issues...back to troubleshooting

I can speak for the n52 with an auto...it's essentially the same layout you describe as the m54 with a manual

It has two blue drain plugs both on the et side of the car. One is direct below the et (doesn't come out all the way) and the other bigger one is about an inch or two lower and drains the bulk of the radiator fluid.

My stock expansion tank lasted 190k. I just replaced mine with a cheaper after market (made in China) one I picked up at Napa. We shall see how long this one lasts but it was only $65 and I could fix it the day it happened.

Last edited by x3brian; 12-06-2015 at 12:19 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2015, 02:56 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomama View Post

Burning2nd my balls are regular size :-) She hasn't touched the car since I discovered the leak.
pmsl... Good luck man,
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2015, 08:41 AM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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The boss has spoken. She cant afford to not have her car available to her this week. Said another way, she doesn't want me screwing it up with all the Xmas stuff she has to do So off to my local mechanic we go. Dealer quoted $428. Local guy will do it for $275 with OEM parts.





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pmsl... Good luck man,
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  #16  
Old 12-07-2015, 03:08 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Good man.. listen to the boss
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  #17  
Old 12-07-2015, 05:03 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomama View Post
The boss has spoken. She cant afford to not have her car available to her this week. Said another way, she doesn't want me screwing it up with all the Xmas stuff she has to do So off to my local mechanic we go. Dealer quoted $428. Local guy will do it for $275 with OEM parts.

Not too horrible of a price.

I did mine over the weekend because it cracked on Friday and cost me almost $150 in parts ($69 for tank, $50 for transmission thermostat and $24 for a gallon of coolant and a gallon of distilled water).

Brian
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:19 AM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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The expansion tank was replaced but now I am getting what appear to be random misfires.

At least on two occasions have gotten engine misfires from a cold start (ie after sitting overnight).
First time it happened the scanner came back with:
2743 Misfire Cylinder 5
2742 Misfire Cylinder 1

Yesterday it was:
2747 Misfire Cylinder 4

On both occasions the SES light came on and simply restarting the car has cleared the issue. The car drives beautifully otherwise.

Oddly I was expecting a misfire when I started it this morning but it started no issues. Well, other than a headlight now being out :-( as well.

Thoughts?
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  #19  
Old 12-12-2015, 04:56 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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Did the mechanic disconnect the battery when he did the work? If so, I'd say the computer needs to readjust itself with normal driving. If that's it, it's probably okay by now...
Could also be the battery was run down somehow from the guy working on it. Computer's very finiky with a marginal battery. How old is your battery?

Last edited by jlex; 12-12-2015 at 04:57 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2015, 04:45 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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Thanks Jlex. The first batch of misfires occurred before I took it for the expansion tank. The 2nd occurred after. Oddly it has not happened again in 3 days. Could a bad batch of gas cause a random mis=fire?

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Originally Posted by jlex View Post
Did the mechanic disconnect the battery when he did the work? If so, I'd say the computer needs to readjust itself with normal driving. If that's it, it's probably okay by now...
Could also be the battery was run down somehow from the guy working on it. Computer's very finiky with a marginal battery. How old is your battery?
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  #21  
Old 12-14-2015, 05:06 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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When someone says misfire, I think electrical problem.
With bad gas, I think stumbling.
Throw in some dry gas... it's cheap enough and couldn't hurt.
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