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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 03-22-2014, 08:58 AM
AndyPanda AndyPanda is offline
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Location: N. California
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 530xi Wagon
radiator hose leak - '06 530xi

OK ... so I feel really dumb now. My coolant level keeps dropping every 3 weeks or so and I see white spots right where a cluster of radiator hoses come together at the top front of the engine. So it looks like one (or all) of the hoses is leaking when it's under pressure (I've never seen it leaking by the time I get the hood open).

The hoses don't feel old/brittle and they don't feel loose (can't twist or wiggle them on the fitting they are clamped to). I wondered if they just have corrosion where they clamp down and need to be unclamped and the seating area cleaned and then clamped down again. BUT I can't see how these clamps loosen/tighten. They look like permanent clamps. Seriously? Am I supposed to replace the entire hose cluster because one of my hoses needs to be tightened? Or is there some magic tool to loosen these clamps? (there is one small hose with a normal worm clamp - but it doesn't appear to be leaking)

After discovering so many things being dealer only - like how you can't check your transmission fluid or top it up except to go to the dealer - I fully expect to hear back from you guys that I can't tighten a hose clamp and need to take it to the dealer and pay $1000.

Anyway hoping someone can reveal the secret to the radiator hoses. Or can you tell by this photo where I should be looking for the leak?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2014, 12:37 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,388
Mein Auto: '06 530i, '07 C280, ML320
How much coolant is leaking every 3 weeks? Is there any coolant residue on the bottom splashshield?
Wipe off all that residue with wet cloth and check the are after few days to see if you find any leaks. There may be a small leak from radiator/coolant tank/related hoses.

Take the car to an independent mechanic near you. Indy can pressurize the cooling system and identify leakage, if any. Once the leakage is identified, you can buy the parts online and replace those parts.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2014, 02:05 PM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Location: Ft. Lauderdale and Connecticut
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,614
Mein Auto: 2007 530
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyPanda View Post
OK ... so I feel really dumb now. My coolant level keeps dropping every 3 weeks or so and I see white spots right where a cluster of radiator hoses come together at the top front of the engine. So it looks like one (or all) of the hoses is leaking when it's under pressure (I've never seen it leaking by the time I get the hood open).

The hoses don't feel old/brittle and they don't feel loose (can't twist or wiggle them on the fitting they are clamped to). I wondered if they just have corrosion where they clamp down and need to be unclamped and the seating area cleaned and then clamped down again. BUT I can't see how these clamps loosen/tighten. They look like permanent clamps. Seriously? Am I supposed to replace the entire hose cluster because one of my hoses needs to be tightened? Or is there some magic tool to loosen these clamps? (there is one small hose with a normal worm clamp - but it doesn't appear to be leaking)

After discovering so many things being dealer only - like how you can't check your transmission fluid or top it up except to go to the dealer - I fully expect to hear back from you guys that I can't tighten a hose clamp and need to take it to the dealer and pay $1000.

Anyway hoping someone can reveal the secret to the radiator hoses. Or can you tell by this photo where I should be looking for the leak?

Thanks in advance!
BMW's production (and every other car mfgr) is speeded up by using one-time clamps and connection with locking clips. The screw type hose clamps can be unscrewed; the locking clips can be unlocked and removed. The one time clamps are removed by cutting the clip portion, and can be replaced with screw-type hoseclamps without any trouble. No big deal except the minor cost of the clamp.

That said, heed pcy's advice and that the car to an indy for a pressure test. You can then decide whether it's a fix you can do, or the indy is needed.
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