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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:09 PM
ii_evasion ii_evasion is offline
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Location: Massachusettes
 
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Mein Auto: 1990 BMW 325i
Did i blow my head gasket or crack head?

Hello all, my name is Mike, I just recently fixed up my dads old 1990 BMW 325i E30,
I spent around $800 U.S. having a shop put a new radiator in it and redoing all the belts

the initial problem was the cooling system, i did not self diagnose the problem I just told the shop to look at the cooling system, apparently they didn't fully check it. The story is as follows...

so last night I was at my ex-girlfriends house and when i went to leave i started my car up and let it run for a bit to warm up. when i came back out i noticed that my temp gauge was at the red line. she was leaving so i had to leave. I then drove two miles to a convenient store and shut off my car. I let it cool for about a half hour then checked the coolant overflow tank. It was empty so i bought some anti-freeze and put it in i also left the overflow tank cap half way on to release some of the pressure. still waited 15 minutes then started her up, i instantly started to drive, babying her looking at the gauge every second. the gauge stayed just below the red for 3/4 of the 20 minute drive. it then went into the red but was not pinned and was fluctuating from the start of the red to the middle... i kept driving i only had a little ways more to drive (I should have stopped i know...) when i reached the end of my road the temp gauge dropped to a little above the half way line.I shut the car off and I got out and the anti-freeze was boiling and spewing out the overflow cap. I had it towed away today and the shop said I blew my head gasket.

I'm wondering if he is just saying that so he can get $800 out of me.

By me leaving the cap half on did i save my head and block?

Do you think i cracked my head?

Do you think i blew my head gasket?

Again I initially asked them to check the cooling system, but the obviously didn't check everything.

Is that their fault?

Can i call them out on it?

thanks for everything in advance I'm sorry about the book.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:52 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Your first move is to do a wet and dry compression check and also a leak down test. That will give you a positive yes/no on the HG. Boiling is often a bad thermostat (had two in different BM's in the last six months) or trapped air.
Once you have the positive answers on the compression checks then you can make an informed decision on repairs. Claims? If its the t'stat, no one has x-ray vision or a crystal ball - sorry dude.
If it is the t'stst - get genuine - it has a secondary valve. Change back to genuine coolant too.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:38 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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having the pressure cap half way off was not the thing to do. basically you allowed the coolant to boil at a lower temp and your cooling system.......... well.......wasnt cooling. so the boiling coolant afterwards was that cause. the initial problem coulda been from them not fully burping the cooling system after the radiator. very common.

so what to do from here, do what bmwff said and see if you toasted the head/hg
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:45 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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here's the best tool to use to check for a blown head gasket. there's no way to check the car for a cracked head or block in chassis, but if you get co2 in the cooling system, the head needs to come off for further repairs.


http://www.arrowheadradiator.com/hea..._leak_test.htm

these sorts of kits are available online, as well as most parts stores. very easy to use....if you can tell the color between blue and not blue then you're golden...




df
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:03 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
and the result is....................??
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2013, 07:07 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
here's the best tool to use to check for a blown head gasket. there's no way to check the car for a cracked head or block in chassis, but if you get co2 in the cooling system, the head needs to come off for further repairs.


http://www.arrowheadradiator.com/hea..._leak_test.htm

these sorts of kits are available online, as well as most parts stores. very easy to use....if you can tell the color between blue and not blue then you're golden...




df
those tools cant tell you its 100% head gasket. youll still stuck at the 50/50 of blown hg or cracked head. i had a subby that had the very common hg failure, which we assumed but didnt tell the customer, and after we got the heads off, there was a crack in the exhaust valve seat.

but those testers are nice to have
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:32 AM
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Nick323 Nick323 is offline
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Mein Auto: 323i E30 2-door
Red face But why ?

I have heard the scenario so often, and I am still surprised
If a warning light goes on, stop & investigate !
Same with a gauge ! Saying
Quote:
i noticed that my temp gauge was at the red line
& then driving your car is like feeling a heart attack coming on & deciding to finish the marathon race
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:03 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick323 View Post
I have heard the scenario so often, and I am still surprised
If a warning light goes on, stop & investigate !
Same with a gauge ! Saying & then driving your car is like feeling a heart attack coming on & deciding to finish the marathon race
while i was on holiday a few months back and me and a dozen or so of my mates (non are into cars etc) were around the table, i asked them if they knew what the temp gauge meant, and then asked them what they would do. Only on other knew, and, surprise surprise, it was the one that has a mechanic for a dad. I asked them, dont you think its just important as your fuel gauge and speedo and thats why they put it there?
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