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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series 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 09-07-2017, 07:29 PM
npate729 npate729 is offline
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Massive Coolant Leak 535xi

Hi everyone,

So for the last week I haven't been able to use my car because my alternator started acting up. I replaced the regulator and got the car running again! First day to finally start driving my car (2008 535xi) again and I got a massive coolant leak.

So today I was driving my car and I saw a low coolant warning pop up. About 20 seconds later I started seeing smoke under my hood. I pulled the car over immediately and opened the hood. I was not able to see exactly where the smoke was coming from but it looked like it came from the rear passenger side of the hood. I am assuming the coolant is leaking somewhere causing steam under the hood. I went inside the store at which I pulled over to get something and 5 minutes later I come see my car standing in a puddle of coolant. All the coolant leaked out! I went inside the store and got a gallon of water to put in my car, so I could drive back home (3 miles away). As soon as I poured the water in, I looked underneath the car to see if I could find the leak. I saw a steady stream of mixed coolant water coming out right underneath the middle of the engine area. Since I know that there are covers underneath the car, I know that it is not likely that is where the leak is. I got more gallons of water and drove home in about 5 minutes and parked the car in my garage. I am going to take the covers underneath off tomorrow and try to find the where this leak is occurring. I am unable to drive the car because the coolant flows out immediately as it is poured.

Does anyone know where I should start looking to find this coolant leak? I am thinking it is somewhere in the rear passenger side of the hood. Thank you to anyone that can assist me in getting my car running again!
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2017, 07:48 PM
twh twh is online now
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Once the car is cooled down, get under the car and take off the shield and then pour water in and you should find it pretty easily.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2017, 08:06 PM
npate729 npate729 is offline
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Yes I will do that first thing when I get home tomorrow. I will update accordingly but is there anything specific I should look for?
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2017, 09:50 PM
Etherghost Etherghost is offline
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Most likely radiator or lower radiator hose area... These are the more fragile components of the cooling system.
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:36 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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I can bet on your car, it's the water-pump/thermostat.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:22 PM
npate729 npate729 is offline
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Thinking it's my turbo coolant line. I see it leaking from the silver pipe right in which I have a zoomed picture in. Anyone know if this the turbo coolant pipe and if it can be done at home?
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2017, 07:26 PM
twh twh is online now
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Hard to tell with your closeup where this pipe is.
Look at realoem.com to find the cooling pipes...under engine and turbo cooling, I think.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2017, 08:25 PM
npate729 npate729 is offline
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I'll get a better picture first thing tommorow and yes I just did. It looks like the Pipe, return, cooling for turbocharger (11537558903). Does anyone know if there is a good way to replace this at home?

Here is a link to realOEM: https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...79#11537558903

Thank you all for trying to solve this with me!

Last edited by npate729; 09-08-2017 at 08:33 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2017, 05:23 AM
twh twh is online now
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I don't have this car, so I can't tell you. But, from the looks of the part at ecstuning.com, it looks doable.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...n/11537558903/
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2017, 07:43 AM
dgjks6 dgjks6 is offline
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Look at pelican parts. They have a turbo replacement article for the n54. It has pics of what you need to do
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2017, 01:07 PM
npate729 npate729 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgjks6 View Post
Look at pelican parts. They have a turbo replacement article for the n54. It has pics of what you need to do


Yes I looked at that but I couldn't figure out what to do after they got underneath the car. I have found some other people who have done it but most require lowering the subframe of the car


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  #12  
Old 09-09-2017, 03:42 PM
twh twh is online now
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Look at picture 11 at the Pelican Parts DIY.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarti...eplacement.htm

Is this the pipe? Don't forget, this DIY is for replacing the entire turbo. You don't need to do all that, so some of what's written doesn't need to be done. All you need is to get that hose out and back in. See the red arrows in picture 11. These are the Torx bolts holding the pipe on. You also need to get that heat shield out of the way. Pictures 11-14 are your job. Figure out the best access. Under the car maybe. Maybe from the top. Maybe through the wheel well. Withe the tire off, the wheel well has some plastic shields that come off easily and give you access to some of the side. I did my wife's X5 water pump though the wheel well. Basically you need to figure out the exact part and from where you have the most wiggle room. Someone may even have a YouTube video replacing that pipe.

Last edited by twh; 09-09-2017 at 03:44 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2017, 04:52 PM
dgjks6 dgjks6 is offline
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Yes. You need to support the engine and drop the sub frame. I did not see that stated in the article, but after being under the car, there is very little you can do with the sub frame attached
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  #14  
Old 09-09-2017, 07:18 PM
npate729 npate729 is offline
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Twh: It is the pipe with the aluminum looking cover over the bend. I have opened the splash shield and everywhere but the frame of the car keeps getting in the way to get any kind of access. Do not know if thats because it is the xi compared to the regular 535i.

Dgjks6: I have never got that deep into working in my car where I have had to remove the subframe. Would you say this is manageable to do at home or should I just get it towed and get it done somewhere?
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  #15  
Old 09-09-2017, 07:42 PM
dgjks6 dgjks6 is offline
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It seems daunting but it's not. There are some good videos. With the e60 you need a 3 arm not a two arm brace like the 3 series use. You have to spend $80 on an engine brace then a few bolts and the subframe is dropped. You can easily do it on jack stands. Next time I do my water pump I'm dropping the subframe.

Again, never did that coolant line. So I am just making an assumption. I would put it on ramps and pull the shields and look. But if you do any DIY stuff, you can do it. I would not take it to a garage just for this.
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:32 AM
twh twh is online now
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I don't have a 535, so I can't go look at my car and tell you what I think - my 530xi doesn't have turbos. But, I'd be surprised if there wasn't some way to finesse that pipe out.
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  #17  
Old 01-21-2019, 06:45 PM
ULTIMATEPILOT ULTIMATEPILOT is offline
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I have had my car up on stands for about a week. 08 535XI E60. I figured out after a day or so that it was the Turbo Coolant line leaking. After searching every forum I could find I'm dreading dropping the subframe too. I have an engine hoist, all the tools, Air compressor the whole 9 yards but right now it's freaking -7 degrees in Wisconsin, I work 6 am to about 6 pm daily including the drive to and from work, have an enclosed garage and a nice kerosene heater but DAMN! LOL Ok I'll stop whining....What kills me is it seems like at first all of the questions and answers about this issue get a lot of juice until it's determined that the TCL is the culprit, then the subframe issue comes up and there's never another peep about how to fix it without dropping the subframe. I'm contemplating taking a sawzall and cutting a hole through the frame on that side since it seems to be such a PIA job(Just kidding but serious!) So I'll ask again the age old questions....#1. IS THERE ANYWAY TO do this WITHOUT dropping the subframe? #2. Is there anywhere to download a Service Workshop Manual for the 5 Series E60? BMW Forums are pretty informative but before I came to the light used to drive SAAB 9-3's and the forums and information was so readily shared I can basically rebuild a saab and was able to get a WIS program online for like $8.00. I actually intended to fix a water pump in my 01 9-3 a while back (almost 3 years actually but the weekend it broke I brought the 535XI and from that point the Saab has been in the side bay. This job is making me want to fix the water pump and hoses etc and rehab and drive the SAAb till summer but that darn all wheel drive in the Bimmer is calling my name! Anyway, come on Bimmer guys, We all love our cars but the information exchange on these forums could use some infusions of information exchange that's helpful and not just a part of the ME TOO movement. When I get thtis project completed I will be sure to post my resolution if no one chimes in before me, in the meantime it's back to carpooling with my wife in her Q-5 and hearing " Respect the Audi DAILY!!!! Please GUYS HELP!!!! I cant take this much longer. I'm close to folding and paying the STEALERSHIP. What self respecting DIY guy would sink so low??? LOL
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:47 PM
fred530xi fred530xi is offline
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ULTIMATEPILOT,
Start here:?
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...lines/1MHAMFhn

This page has links for preliminary procedures; it does not look promising.

Search for a used Bentley repair manual. There are procedures for removing the turbos on your car, so there are probably steps that you can skip if you are only replacing the coolant lines.

Good luck
Fred
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  #19  
Old 02-01-2019, 02:45 AM
ULTIMATEPILOT ULTIMATEPILOT is offline
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FRED sorry for the long delay in response and thanks for the link. I haven't bothered with the E60. I started the water pump repair on my Saab then the polar vortex set in and and I havent put in too much wrenching even with my heater going in my garage at -25 to -50 degrees it's still COLD! So I am just respecting the Audi LOL. Its supposed to warm up here in the next few days so I'll get back to both cars soon. I decided to sort out all my tools and have everything staged and ready. I'll update my post with results etc. Happy Driving!
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2019, 03:52 AM
Crankshaft46 Crankshaft46 is offline
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Hey ULTIMATEPILOT,

Just a thought... you 'replaced' a lot of your coolant with water during your drive home. Might be a good idea to drain the remaining water from your block in those kind of temperatures you guys are having.
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2019, 07:07 PM
Maxximus_1062 Maxximus_1062 is offline
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Hey. Just make sure it's coming from there and not a hose or something. Water will wick and travel down things. I'd also check the radiator and any hoses.
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2019, 01:18 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ULTIMATEPILOT View Post
.#1. IS THERE ANYWAY TO do this WITHOUT dropping the subframe?

Welcome To the land Of the I6

you guys will hear me repeat this but after the m20... they all sucked , the i6's got progressively worse to work on after like 1990

pretty much everything that is not timing, OR valve body related involves subframe coming down,

Its not that hard.. I would never attempt it on the ground it take a few hours with a lift...

its literally only like 6 or so bolts,

BUT having the hood in service mode, and the front of the car off the ground, and the engine supported and then working on the cold ground can make a few hours take a few days, When ive done it on a lift,

you support the engine up top with the cross bar, you lower the frame with a transmission jack and its pretty easy then..

IVe also seen guys just jack the motor up.. (pop off the motor mount lower bolts and raise the motor a few inches ) the transmission will move until it hits the fire wall

*but sometimes i think that leads to premature drive shaft failure.. Idk thats just a personal observation...

For what its worth.. If you value your time more.. you might just sub it out to someone..
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  #23  
Old 04-22-2019, 09:22 AM
ULTIMATEPILOT ULTIMATEPILOT is offline
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OK Its April 22 2019 I first posted above about my leak back in January, it was too cold so I waited till the weather broke.

Crank Shaft I did drain out the water as you suggested. Then after looking all over the internet I eventually found this post

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=784629

Rock Lobster cut into the frame of his car to do the fix. I had been thinking about doing that but after checking with a couple of aircraft structural engineers at work, (I work for an Aerospace and defense company), they advise against cutting the frame because aluminum can crack eventually and they just advised against it or at the least rivet in a plate and weld back the aluminum.

I went as far as buying the rivets and found a scrap piece of aluminum to use. I have the drills and sawzall, engine hoist etc so I took the front passenger side apart and was about to start drilling holes but my heart wouldnt let me LOL, so, I came back to Bimmerfest and kept reading over all the posts and said Eff it!

I took apart the front right suspension (Didn't remove the strut), I dropped the subframe about 2-4 inches and had enough room to reach up and grab the aluminum pipe, to my surprise it crushed and I put some long needle nose pliers on it and pulled it.

SO, Now I see its just a rubber hose wrapped in heat resistant foil, I pulled the hose and one end came right out of the connection and then I removed the other end.

Now I am at picture number 5 in Rock Lobster's post. I have enough room to get a rubber hose over the ends like he did so I am about to go buy a piece and see if I can fit and clamp it.
This will put me at picture number 6. (NO Cutting of the frame). It this works I will rewrap the hose in heat resist and reassemble my Rocket!

I figure I will eventually get the job done right or if it holds, a turbo replacement or other line failure may occur, I hope not but maybe I can buy myself some time to put together the money and have the entire system redone. I'll post again when I'm done.

Thanks for the advise and encouragement you guys.

Rock Lobster if you read this you should post an after action post and let us know how things worked out for you over time.

Last edited by ULTIMATEPILOT; 04-22-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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