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Old 06-11-2019, 02:29 AM
SkyebmwE46 SkyebmwE46 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2019
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Mein Auto:
Major overheating issue

Hi guys, new here. I have a 2002 e46 330i and I completed an oil filter and oil change on Saturday as well as the spark plugs. Took it for a drive later that day and it was running fine. Parked it and noticed some liquid underneath but assumed it was just from air con.

Took it for another drive Sunday morning, drove for about 15minutes before temperature gauge light came on. I pulled over immediately, let the car cool for half hour and checked both oil and radiator. First thing I noticed was that the radiator cap was not completely tight, however was not loose either. Oil looked much darker than expected considering I changed it just the day before and radiator had dropped all it's fluid.

I refilled with both coolant and some room temp water at a slow speed after about 30 minutes of cooling time. Drove another 2km before the temp went straight back up. Pulled over and checked the radiator, which had already dropped all the fluid again.

Mind you the car did not and does not leak when it is not moving. It only drops it's water once it has been driving for about 15 minutes. I got my car towed back home. A day later I have checked oil again, and given it a slight top up as it had dropped a tiny amount. The oil was still very dark, almost black.

I checked radiator fluid felt oily but did not have obvious signs that oil was in it (milky, bubbles etc) I noticed small bubbles in the fluid but I'm unsure if that's normal for some radiator fluids. I topped up all fluids, and turned the car on for about 10 minutes.

After that time I noticed some smoke coming from top covers of engine, and oil cap. I took the covers off and noticed two of the coil packs had a noticeable amount of dark liquid (I presume oil).

I removed the coil packs to check the spark plugs thinking I may have made a mistake somewhere during the service. There was oil on the thread of one of the spark plugs, but all others seemed fine.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Am hoping to be able to fix myself without needing a mechanic as my trusted euro mechanic is about 100ish kms away. Trying to figure out what is causing the issues.

As a worse case scenario, is it possible that I may have cracked the head? By pouring water into a relatively hot engine? With only allowing 30 minutes cool time. (Car off, caps undone, 18 degrees weather).

I have also read something about a CCV? And Valve cover gaskets? But still don't know why or what has caused the radiator to drain so fast. I have tried to find source of leak. But cannot find anything so far. Possible waterpump?

Please help!

North Brisbane, Australia
11/6/19 time of post 6:28pm
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:01 PM
Dekero Dekero is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 107
Mein Auto:
I'm sure this has long been fixed by now... But I had the same problem with my 03 325i and it turned out to be a sticking thermostat... So if anyone has this problem throw 28 bux at it and maybe it will be a quick fix like mine was...
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