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Discussion Starter #1
I have to preface this query with a little info. I bought the car a few months ago and have done oil and filter change; plugs; all pulleys and all filters. I bought the machine knowing it needed some work and am willing to do all I can and am slowly working through it.

The first few rides I took things seem to be fine but subsequently I began to smell what seemed to be over heating (gauge never showed over normal operating temp). I changed the oil and filter (it was long overdue) and that seems to have eliminated that. The temp gauge never shows anything above normal and I have no indicators of overheating.

Went to the grocery today. Came out and discovered a leak at the front of the machine. Reached down to inspect and upon examination found the liquid to be clear with a oily feel. Got home discovered broken bleed screw (just replaced all pulleys) and apparently broke the screw. From examning the rest of the screw it appears to be very degraded.

The fluid leaking out definitly has an oily feel (well a very slippery feel) yet there is no color to the liquid. There is little or no odor. And I checked my oil and there is no evidence of water in oil. And the strangest thing of all is that the liquid does not seem to evaporate. It is still sitting in the places where it pooled.

Any ideas?

2003 530i M54
 

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TA
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Antifreeze has a slippery oily kind of feel, so I suspect you are ok. It does sound, however like you are overdue for a coolant change. It won't take you long reading on this forum While the antifreeze is drained, you really ought to consider replacing the cooling system. If the coolant hasn't been changed regularly, it is unlikely the rest of the system has been attended to. When I puchased my wife's X3, I saw the same thing. The blue dye had faded and the coolant was clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
slippery

Thanks,

I kind of thought that might be the situation. Haven't drained the antifreeze, just had a leak. Am surprized the color is suppose to be blue. I have checked all componets on the cooling system. The hoses are all pliable and soft with no cracking or breaks and the water pump and thermostat seem to be new. Of course I could be wrong but I think the system must have been replaced not that long ago.

I will do a coolant change soon.
 

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Coolant hoses deteriorate from the inside out - might appear fine but turning to goo internally. You'll often see the date of manufacturer stamped into the hose.
BMW dealer-sold coolant is blue.
 

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As stated, coolant should be slippery and somewhat oily even when fresh out of a container.

The real test will be when you drain the old coolant and if you do see oil in the coolant, like the BP oil spill in the Gulf, then you have a problem.
 

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One thing in addition to the previous replies. Don't trust the temp gauge at all!! It's so heavily buffered that it's practically useless. The way to properly verify your coolant temp is to unlock your cluster and read the actual temp (in deg C).

A quick search for "unlock cluster" will show you how to do this. Your temp should be approx 94-98 deg depending on load etc.
 

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BMW's are like women. $$$
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You mentioned that the fluid is clear and won't evaporate. Why don't you check your a/c compressor to see if your leaking peg oil from it.


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