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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-30-2009, 01:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Coolant problem

Hello,

My car is having a coolant problem.It all starts when the car overheats and all the coolant goes through the cap.That happens when the car is parked and the engine is swicth off. So we just refill it with water and call it a day. But the problem now is the car always loss a lot of coolant.

I refill it with water up to the top level and leave it for a night. The next day I start, the OBC says “LOW COOLANT”. So I check the coolant level, it’s almost empty. Where did the coolant go? When I refill, I don’t see any water dripping below the car and I even and use it for the day. I come back and check the level, its ok. But the next day, the level would be low again. Why is that? The car has 43k Miles and it regularly service.

I actually did some googling. i found this pelican article regarding E36 coolant.

Pelican Technical Article: BMW 3-Series E36 Cooling System Flush

It says the main area I should check is: To Do list:



1) Hoses

2) Waterpump

3) The reservior

4)Radiator

5)Seal on radiator cap

6)Perform pressure test from Pro

7)Check head gasket (Also sugested by thedude60126) to check if coolant leak into the oil if does not hold pressure)

Faulty head gasket if you remove the oil cap and find some yellow murky subtance)



Today, I check the car again, There's no coolant or water in it.



But i notice a few things(shown in pics)
1) I notice there's coolant on the screw?


2)


3) Coolant on the floor





What does this indicate? Faulty cap?



thanks for the reply. I need some opnions.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you have any mayo on the oil dipstick??, as this would indicate headgasket problem.

The only time you can check the coolant level and fill on this system is when the engine is stone cold.

You say you have been filling with WATER, I hope you mean COOLANT ( water+antifreeze
as just water will do damage to the engine.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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^^I will do that later.

I do fill it with this as shown below



but the tank will go empty overnight so i just fill with water sometimes. I do refill it with coolant.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So no mayo on the oil dipstick ???
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I take it the bleed screw has been tightened accordingly - not too tight and not too loose?
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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no mayo....

freestyle,
I'm not sure...but i will have it check...at the garage tomorrow and also bring for the pressure test.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It may also be leaking from the sensor located underneath the expansion tank, this just twists approx 1/3 and then pulls out and has an 'O' ring to seal it.

Also have a good check around your waterpump.

It may be that your thermostat is not opening up, are you getting heat in the cabin?
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Last edited by marti5; 01-30-2009 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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OK, today I was having a hell of an adventure

The whole country was in flood but it doesn't effect my journey. I was driving and the temperature start to rise and I stop over the road side. Yes coolant was splasing all over. I call the towing compant to pull the car to the shop. So I end up riding in the truck





The main cause is the screw shown in pics above. The seals are worn out. They change that and bleed the systme to chekc for leaks. No indication of leaks.

And I drove back to the house(45 mins), No problem so far....and I check...The coolant it's stil at its level.

So I assume it's Ok for now.

Thanks for the help guys
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Glad to see you have it sorted!
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's great news, I will remember that one for future reference.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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They changed the screw? Or did they change the expansion tank?
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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They change the screw-- Cost 8$BND= 2 pounds...including the pressure test service.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That's what happened to mine - hence my above post!

It's a good feeling when 1) The problem's sorted and 2) it doesn't cost a lot.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh yes. I'm glad it's just as smiple screw!..not the head gasket or something expensive...
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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