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  #1  
Old 10-20-2004, 09:45 AM
328IA owner 328IA owner is offline
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coolant/gasket problems

Has anybody experienced problems with their gaskets due to coolant leaking and mixing with oil? I have a 2000 328IA with only 72,000 kms. I have had weeks of problems that were originally misdiagnosed as being related to a faulty coolant sensor, coolant reservoir leak and air pockets. Ultimately, the diagnosis is now that coolant is mixing with oil and gasket has to be replcaed. Cylinder block may also be cracked?
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2004, 01:46 PM
Black2000328i Black2000328i is offline
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328iA owner. What was happening for weeks?
Was the temp. gauge indicating high coolant temps.
Was the oil on the dipstick milky? These are things
to look for in any car. Let us know how you make
out.
  #3  
Old 10-20-2004, 02:12 PM
328IA owner 328IA owner is offline
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Thanks for the reply. The temperature gauge was always normal. At first, the coolant light went on temporarily. I took the car in and they said just to top it up with coolant. Four days later, coolant light on again temporarily. I added more coolant but light went on again a few days later. I took the car to a dealer. they said it was a faulty sensor and replaced same. They said they did pressure test and everything was checking out OK. I told them I couldn't see how it could be a sensor if I kept having to actually add coolant. Next week, coolant light and engine light go on. They tell me that I need a new engine "something" sensor and that they actually now found a leak in the coolant reservoir. They didn't charge me for the reservoir repair. The very next morning, coolant light on a again. I drove right to the dealer. They told me sometimes you get an air pocket but it should be fine. A few days later, coolant light on again. This time, they say that its air pocket and they flush all coolant and tell me the problem is solved. This past weekend, each morning when car is cold, engine makes a "whirring or clicking" noise on start up which goes away when temperature gauage approaches normal. Car is also very sluggish at start up.

I took the car in to report the problem. New diagnosis is that coolant is mixing with oil and I need to replace head gasket. labour is 16 hours. I may also have cracked cylinder head. They won't know until they take the gasket off. That another Cdn.$2,000 plus 8 nore hours labour.

The car is not even 6 months out of warranty and only has 72,000kms (less than the 80,000km warranty limit).

It's a complete nightmare.
  #4  
Old 10-20-2004, 04:19 PM
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The three possibilities for coolant mixing with the oil are: bad head gasket, cracked head, and cracked block....if this situation has existed for some length of time, another unwanted side effect could be that the cylinder bores have worn excessively or erratically (out of round)....make sure to check them while the head is off.

Regards,
Bob
  #5  
Old 10-20-2004, 08:19 PM
Black2000328i Black2000328i is offline
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328IA owner. When all this was happening, did the temp.
gauge go up into the red zone . With the loss of coolant, the
engine could of overheated during that time. This would cause
the head to crack, warp and head gasket to leak.
  #6  
Old 10-20-2004, 08:52 PM
streetk14 streetk14 is offline
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Sorry to hear about your problem. If the oil is milky, you definitly have a head gasket type problem. Like the techs said, you really can't tell what the cause of the problem is until you pull the head off. It might need a new head, or even a new long block (engine). The reason that your car runs rough/sluggish when cold is that a small amount of coolant is being burned in the combustion chamber. This is less pronounced when the engine warms up. Did you say that the engine never overheated? The worst enemy of bmw engines is overheating. This is usually what causes cracked heads/toasted head gaskets. As a matter of fact, I just saw this exact thing happen to a 2000 323. They overheated the engine, and probably drove it until it wouldn't run any more. This warped the head and made a milkshake out of the engine oil. This is why it is VERY IMPORTANT to watch the temp gauge.
But, don't lose hope. Seeing as how you are 6 monthes out of warranty but well under the mileage, you might be able to get the job "goodwilled". If the dealer isn't willing to help you out, I would call bmw. Good luck.
  #7  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:22 AM
328IA owner 328IA owner is offline
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Thanks to all for your replies. According to the temperature gauge, the engine has never overheated so hopefully some of the more severe potential damage hasn't occurred yet.

I did speak to BMW Canada yesterday about whether they could help out given the low kms on the car. It is still 8,000kms under the warranty but unfortunately the 4 year period expired around 6 months ago. Both BMW Canada and the dealer said they needed to start the work before they could tell me whether any goodwill assistance could be provided. Each one seems to be saying it is up to the other to decide. Interestingly, BMW Canada said that each dealer has a "goodwill" budget and the dealer decides how to use it. The dealer seemed to imply that it was BMW Canada's decision after they determine exactly what the problem is.
 

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