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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:10 PM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Was about to refill my coolant, what is the white goo in the reservoir?

2007 BMW 328i sedan
Was about to refill my coolant, what is the why gooey looking stuff? Is that normal?



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  #2  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:15 PM
TXFred TXFred is offline
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Oil.

Hope you're under warranty.

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Old 11-13-2013, 05:18 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Originally Posted by Morketh View Post
2007 BMW 328i sedan
Was about to refill my coolant, what is the why gooey looking stuff? Is that normal?

Totally abnormal. Possible hardness salts. Was it filled with hard water? Tap water? Repeatedly?
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:22 PM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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I've never touched it but I did a little search on it and it seems pretty common in all vehicles. Mine is no where near as bad as what I've seen by doing a few google searches.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:25 PM
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Blown head gasket? I would see if you have the same white milky goo under your oil fill cap.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Morketh View Post
I've never touched it but I did a little search on it and it seems pretty common in all vehicles. Mine is no where near as bad as what I've seen by doing a few google searches.

Well, gotta say: naw....deposits don't form in well treated systems. None! Nada! Yow!

And....>AHEM<....refill coolant you say? Maybe not a one owner car....maybe refilled a-fore....

You used distilled water, yea or nay?
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:35 PM
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If an after market water pump lubricant was added to the system this residue occurs and it's not a problem. Glycol never deteriorates but the lubricants do so it was common to refresh the additives to get more years of operation out of the coolant. I have 20 year old vehicles that are serviced this way and have never had a pump changed when timing belt is renewed.

Of more concern would be milky oil that has been contaminated with water or clouds of water vapour pouring out of the exhaust.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:35 PM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Originally Posted by 3284me View Post
Blown head gasket? I would see if you have the same white milky goo under your oil fill cap.
Yea a lot of people say blown head gasket for this problem, I will check the oil cap tomorrow and see but Im honestly not too worried about it. The car runs fine.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:42 PM
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Yea a lot of people say blown head gasket for this problem, I will check the oil cap tomorrow and see but Im honestly not too worried about it. The car runs fine.

Possible, but the ol' white smoke at tail pipe would be evident.

Something I really don't know: Is there a water cooled oil cooler on this engine?
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:43 PM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Possible, but the ol' white smoke at tail pipe would be evident.

Something I really don't know: Is there a water cooled oil cooler on this engine?
No smoke comes out of the tailpipe ever, not sure about the water cooled oil cooler..
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:47 PM
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No smoke comes out of the tailpipe ever, not sure about the water cooled oil cooler..

Ohhhhhhh that water's going somewhere! Overflow/leakage would be seen from inhibitor deposits on the outside.....but usually, seeps into cylinders. Cold start tailpipe fog. Suddenly gigantic fog bank when catastrophic failure.

Had that experience in Santa Cruz, once....but with an EGR cooler, diesel.


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Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 11-14-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:57 PM
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:08 AM
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Hey, have you seen deposits like OP has? Bettin' maybe yes! Antifreeze is a molar freezing point depression/boiling point elevation fluid. Additives serve primarily as corrosion inhibitor with some lubricity - scale inhibition is minimal as the system is not evaporative.

However....if hard water is added, and the harder the water the more pronounced the effect, carbonates may, prob will, form. Having an inverse solubility with temp, they form in the hottest parts, exactly where we really, really don't want them.

Inhibition is generally a crystal modifier, producing what appears to be white butter. So. Is that what OP has? Well, put a dab in distilled water; sloosh around. Run a hardness test that might be supplied with any home softener.

NOTE: If you have a softener at home, you have the sort o'water than readily forms those white deposits in your vehicle cooling system. DISTILLED WATER is always recommended for that reason!

If you have high silica water, God help you! Do NOT add that tap water to your BMW cooling system - silica deposits make excellent abrasive, causing pump seal failure sooner rather than later.

Are these words wise?




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Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 11-14-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:33 AM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Yea I went and bought a gallon of distilled water to mix with my coolant and refill the reservoir. I think maybe I will go to dealership in a couple weeks and see if they can do some test to see if my head gasket is blown
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:42 AM
surfcity335i surfcity335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morketh View Post
2007 BMW 328i sedan
Was about to refill my coolant, what is the why gooey looking stuff? Is that normal?
That's what we used to call the notorious "chocolate shake." Oil in the water. Find the source before you kill the motor. Hope for internal failure of the oil cooler or something similarly easy to deal with. May be head gaskets. Gets worse from there.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by surfcity335i View Post
That's what we used to call the notorious "chocolate shake." Oil in the water. Find the source before you kill the motor. Hope for internal failure of the oil cooler or something similarly easy to deal with. May be head gaskets. Gets worse from there.

Yeah, that's the thing....oil doesn't make white deposits.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:54 AM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Dealership did a top engine rebuild last December because they messed something up when changing my oil so could be they got oil in there when that happened? I dunno
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:53 AM
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Dealership did a top engine rebuild last December because they messed something up when changing my oil so could be they got oil in there when that happened? I dunno
What exactly did that entail?
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:09 AM
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Dealership did a top engine rebuild last December because they messed something up when changing my oil so could be they got oil in there when that happened? I dunno
This sounds morbidly ambiguous
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:30 AM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Going to do a compression test tonight and see how that goes. I will have to look at the paper again where they did the rebuild and see what all it says again.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:36 AM
surfcity335i surfcity335i is offline
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Going to do a compression test tonight and see how that goes. I will have to look at the paper again where they did the rebuild and see what all it says again.
I'm not sure a compression test is going to tell you anything about that goo. You'd be better with a cooling system pressure test or what we used to call a "block check" to see if combustion gas is getting into the cooling system.

And as others have suggested, look at the valvetrain if you can and see if any of that goo is on the camshafts or in the head. That'd be bad.

Don't just assume because the car "runs great" that you don't have a ticking time bomb. A new head gasket today is much cheaper than an engine next week. Get it checked.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
However....if hard water is added, and the harder the water the more pronounced the effect, carbonates may, prob will, form. Having an inverse solubility with temp, they form in the hottest parts, exactly where we really, really don't want them.


If you have high silica water, God help you! Do NOT add that tap water to your BMW cooling system - silica deposits make excellent abrasive, causing pump seal failure sooner rather than later.

Are these words wise?

.
OP is in Houston. We have notoriously brackish, hard water here. I've thrown away more than one tea kettle where the scale deposits got so bad it was easier to just start fresh than attempt removal.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:50 AM
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Re: Was about to refill my coolant, what is the white goo in the reservoir?

Is there a trans cooler in the radiator? I had a pickup that had a cooler in the radiator that started to leak. Looked kind of like your pictures.

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Old 11-14-2013, 12:18 PM
Morketh Morketh is offline
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Originally Posted by surfcity335i View Post
I'm not sure a compression test is going to tell you anything about that goo. You'd be better with a cooling system pressure test or what we used to call a "block check" to see if combustion gas is getting into the cooling system.

And as others have suggested, look at the valvetrain if you can and see if any of that goo is on the camshafts or in the head. That'd be bad.

Don't just assume because the car "runs great" that you don't have a ticking time bomb. A new head gasket today is much cheaper than an engine next week. Get it checked.
Do you know if it is possible to rent this tool to pressure test the cooling system? I know autozone will let me rent the compression testing tool, never seen one of these though
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech..._Leak_Test.htm
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Morketh View Post
Do you know if it is possible to rent this tool to pressure test the cooling system? I know autozone will let me rent the compression testing tool, never seen one of these though
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech..._Leak_Test.htm
Don't waste your time or money. The tester can delude you into the wrong conclusion if the pressure drops. Also, it works at 20 psi while the oil galleys are pressurized to 60 psi with spikes to 80. Which way is a fluid going to go if the leak is small? Oil to coolant.

What you have is an emulsification, an unnatural mixture of oil and water. The water is in the coolant, the isopropyl alcohol content has enabled the engine oil to mix with the water when under severe agitation as it passes through the water pump.

Do nothing about it. Monitor it. If it doesn't get worse it's left over from when you had the cylinder head work done. In that case get some soft rags and sop it out. If it gets worse you need to have a shop find out where it's coming from.

The amount you have is not usually a problem. If considerably worse it will attack seals and hoses. That is not a good thing, but the cause will be even more expensive to fix than the symptom.

Doing a 'block check' fluid test of the cooling system or a compression test are probably not going to show anything at this stage. OP has not complained about a skip, or overheating.

Last edited by DSXMachina; 11-14-2013 at 01:49 PM.
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