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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few days ago my coolant sensor light came on. The car was running just fine. I drove home (10 minutes) and the car was parked in the garage over the weekend. (Nothing appeared to be wrong at all)

A few days later I checked the coolant level and it was pretty low so I topped it off with the bmw brand coolant mixed 50/50 with distilled water. (It only needed about 32 ounces until the guage popped up)

The coolant level is fine now, the light isnt on but when I start the car it sort of stalls/shakes, and there is a wierd burning smell.

I am not sure if there is a leak, if i blew a head gasket, if something cracked, or if it is something else. I am due for a coolant flush but I am not sure if that has anything to do with this?

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? If so...please share!

Possible SOLUTIONS to this problem are welcome as well!!! :thumbup:
 

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make sure to open the bleeder screw near filler cap to burp system...
very likely the small plastic radiator part has crack...32 ounces means the tank(plastic) was empty...
go to real oem and type in the year of your car and you will see the part.
 

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Ubergeek
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The part you're talking about is the coolant expansion tank and yes, it's very common for it to crack. About $50 for a new one @ realoem.com, and you also need a new $9 radiator cap.
 

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if you order you may wish to order the sensor also...
removal required a rather quick sharp blow with hammer to piece of wood from below tank for me to remove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for all of the info guys it is really helpful. Is there any way to check myself and see if it is cracked and is it an easy DIY job?

I was thinking it could perhaps be a pressure problem and was considering getting a compression test done.

IM you said earlier to "make sure to open the bleeder screw near filler cap to burp system..." Where would I see this screw?

Thanks!
 

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Ubergeek
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Thanks for all of the info guys it is really helpful. Is there any way to check myself and see if it is cracked and is it an easy DIY job?

I was thinking it could perhaps be a pressure problem and was considering getting a compression test done.

IM you said earlier to "make sure to open the bleeder screw near filler cap to burp system..." Where would I see this screw?

Thanks!
Look at the coolant flush & bleeding instructions in the wiki and you'll find all the info..

http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks thats really good info. I will have to try that tomorrow.

So you think that my problem could just be that I just need a coolant flush? Or do i need a new expansion tank AND a flush. I cant see any visible cracks on the tank but as u know...it is really wedged in there so it is hard to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just loosened the bleeder screw to burp the system. Seemed to work but the car still produces the wierd burning smell and has white smoke blowing out of the tailpipe. Not an large amount of smoke, and it could just be because it was cold outside and the car wasnt warmed up all the way I am not sure, but the engine sounded alittle shaky.I also do not see any coolant leaking anywhere Any ideas?
 

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My expansion tank went out yesterday. I had steam coming out of the front hood. I pulled over and opend the hood to let the steam out. I tried to fill it up to see what was the problem and all the coolant came straight out. I will be replacing the tank next week along with the upper and lower hose. I already did the water pump and the thermostat.
 
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