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  #1  
Old 04-04-2019, 07:20 PM
Jsanchez5485 Jsanchez5485 is offline
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Coolant System Leak

Hey guys... 2004 x3 2.5i here, easy-leveled, self repairs being done... She had an antifreeze leak.. The leak location seemed to be coming from the thermostat housing so I replaced this, still leaking... replaced the upper and lower hoses, bled the system... STILL a leak! the engine has not overheated AT ALL, at this point. A co-worker, whom works on his own BMW's as well suggested K-Seal which he used successfully on his own BMW, and after some research it seemed overall safe to use (saw one negative review out of 10.. but after the fact was told by a mechanic that I maybe shouldn't have done that). Car ran good for 2 days then out of nowhere my engine overheats on my way home, red light and everything, antifreeze light came on as well . I pull over to let it cool down and add some antifreeze to make it home. my reservoir tank was cracked down the side now and the antifreeze had clearly, completely drained. we notice the antifreeze drips on to the belt (if this helps) but now I noticed a leak on the left side, which is leading me to believe my radiator cracked (any suggestions on how to tell if this is true would be helpful). So I hit traffic and she slowly overheats again, pull over for 20 minutes, go again.. get 2 blocks from home and all lights on the dash came on. oil light, antifreeze, battery lights all in red . aannnnd the car dies out ... had it towed 2 blocks home (it was downhill then uphill so I couldn't push it).. now, she is cranking but doesn't want to start ... any suggestions on what the issue is? and if its the k-seal any way to somehow "flush" out the system to clear that? Is it possible the head gasket blew? Anyways to tell if its my water pump? anything will help, thanks guys!
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2019, 08:49 PM
dynagroove dynagroove is offline
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Jsanchez - I'm going to tell you that I don't know exactly what happened, because I've never experienced what you have. I can tell you that I would never, ever, put any sort of sealer in my coolant system - ever, regardless of what anyone else told me. That being said, I'm not going to give you any more grief about that. The thermostat on the M54 is a known weak point as far as sealing goes. Some folks put a little sealant around the gasket, just for insurance. I don't have a good feeling about your overheating experience and if it were me, I would want a compression and more importantly a leakdown test to see if you've blown a head gasket. I sounds to me like your minor leak turned into a major blockage in your coolant system and your engine overheated in a very bad way because of that block. If your head gasket is OK, you are at least in for a complete coolant system overhaul.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:08 AM
darknmy darknmy is offline
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Do you have pressure in the cooling system? Wait until the car is medium hot and open the expansion tank. Do you hear air coming out? If yes - your head is warped
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:07 PM
Jsanchez5485 Jsanchez5485 is offline
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I do believe it's the head gasket! gonna test it! Never again with the k-seal! Or any for that matter.. what do you mean by cooling system overhaul? Thanks man
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:20 PM
dynagroove dynagroove is offline
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Originally Posted by Jsanchez5485 View Post
I do believe it's the head gasket! gonna test it! Never again with the k-seal! Or any for that matter.. what do you mean by cooling system overhaul? Thanks man
I would definitely do the radiator and any other parts where that sealant could be causing issues. Depending on how old your components are, you could do:

- new radiator
- new expansion tank and level sensor
- new hoses (2 large diamater, 4 small diameter IIRC)
- new hard pipes (2 of them)
- new water pump
- new thermostat
- new temp. sensors (one on the lower radiator hose & 1 on the block under the intake)
- and, considering how the heater core is a heat exchanger that probably has that sealant in it, consider that as well.

I would also want a serious flush of the block to get that stuff out of there as much as possible. This is just me though. Considering that you have a potential head gasket replace and valve job in your future, you may choose to not do all of that based on funds.

Will you be doing the work yourself?

also, maybe the heater valve - not sure if that gunk would cause problems there as well.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:21 PM
Jsanchez5485 Jsanchez5485 is offline
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It won't even start right now but I'll jump start it and try that! Thanks darknmy I do believe it's the head gasket found the part online for 89$
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:23 PM
dynagroove dynagroove is offline
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Originally Posted by Jsanchez5485 View Post
It won't even start right now but I'll jump start it and try that! Thanks darknmy I do believe it's the head gasket found the part online for 89$
I haven't done a headgasket on the M54, but you are going to need more than just the gasket. You'll need the stretch bolts and you absolutely need to have your head checked for warpage. It only makes sense to take it to a shop and have them do a valve job and check and surface the head if necessary.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:36 PM
Jsanchez5485 Jsanchez5485 is offline
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I've done the thermostat and the hoses, but the sensor seemed fairly new so I kept it (didn't have one on hand at the time anyway, and thought this (the hose) was certainly the cause of my antifreeze leak, low and behold it was not... yeah I mean I don't know to what extent I would risk tinkering with my car before I just took it to a mechanic but for now if it's easy to access with the proper tools I have then im willing to work at it
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:46 PM
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dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Not for nothing, but if you couldnít find a cooling system leak, please donít try a head gasket replacement unless you want to make a boat anchor.


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

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  #10  
Old 04-05-2019, 08:51 PM
dynagroove dynagroove is offline
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The 50's kid on youtube has been a great resource for me in working on my M54. Here is a multi-part video series on replacing the head gasket on an x3: . If you don't feel comfortable with this, I would go with a local independent mechanic.

Also, you don't even know what's wrong for sure until you get a diagnosis on the car (leakdown), so I would start there.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:39 PM
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44 Cents 44 Cents is offline
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head "gasket"....sell it, get another car. Over heated it and now the head is probably warped. After an "overheat", its not just a gasket. Unless you are a super mechanic, have tons of money and time laying around, all the tools needed and someone present that has done it before....sell it. I'll bet it was a cracked expansion tank from the get go and nothing else was wrong. That expansion tank with its garbage design is horrible. That tank will leak until you LOOK at it and then it stops until you look away. I found mine by seeing the white deposits around the tank after cleaning the engine bay.
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Fixed so far with help from here- plugs, coils, actuator gear, changed transfer case and diff fluid, replaced coolant reservoir/hoses, fixed pano roof, replaced windshield molding, replaced one/cleaned vanos solenoids, aux fan, VC, DISA, upgraded rotors and pads and numerous other little things like changing oil, cabin filter etc. Easily $6,000 savings vs dealer. ... BMWs lack DNA and viruses so I have no clue what Im doing.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:40 PM
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44 Cents 44 Cents is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
Not for nothing, but if you couldn't find a cooling system leak, please don't try a head gasket replacement unless you want to make a boat anchor.


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this...

And Im not being cocky because if that happened to me, Im parting it out on ebay.
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Fixed so far with help from here- plugs, coils, actuator gear, changed transfer case and diff fluid, replaced coolant reservoir/hoses, fixed pano roof, replaced windshield molding, replaced one/cleaned vanos solenoids, aux fan, VC, DISA, upgraded rotors and pads and numerous other little things like changing oil, cabin filter etc. Easily $6,000 savings vs dealer. ... BMWs lack DNA and viruses so I have no clue what Im doing.

Last edited by 44 Cents; 04-07-2019 at 04:42 PM.
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#antifreeze ##antifreezeleak, #bmwx3, #coolantleak, #headgasket, #kseal, #radiator #crackedradiator, #waterpump


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