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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 09-30-2004, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question

Ok, about an hour ago, I got out of my car and saw that there was steam coming from the engine compartment. I opened up the hood and I see white-ish liquid or whatever sprayed everywhere from the main fan at my engine and belts and all. I looked in the radiator and there seems to be a little water or coolant in there but it's really low. When I try to put more water in there (to get me to my mechanic) it just exits immediately through the bottom of the engine... and I'm not sure where it's exiting from. It's exiting right behind the belts. Is it a leak or a cracked radiator or what do you guys think? If you need more info I'll see what I can do.



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Old 09-30-2004, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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there's a second hose on the bottom of the radiator that goes into the lower portion of your motor. it more then likely busted. don't turn your car on. replace the hose or radiator if neccessary asap. this happened to me on the upper hose but it was because the plastic piece the hose fits onto was busted and needed a whole new radiator
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, the thing is, the temperature guage doesn't go past the middle point, when the engine warmed up, the needle went up just as it usually does, and finally it goes to the middle, the sensor and guage is working fine, and the car doesn't overheat... yet. I let it idle (before I posted) for about 6 min, and nothing happened, it ran like it usually does, and then when I turned off the motor, water kinda leaked out immediately after I turned it off. I'll get it towed and see what's up. Any other ideas ?

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Old 09-30-2004, 01:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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could have a hole in your radiator lol or a whole in your coolant tank
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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just thought I'd follow up on this, it was the water pump, what's awesome is that I drove across town for about 11 total minutes, with hardly any water, and my engine didn't overheat or sound weird or nothing, my mechanic told me if I had a 6 cyl, I wouldn't have made it heh.

Cheers to all you 4 bangers out there
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've owned numerous junkers in my time, a couple of which leaked coolant bad. If I had to I would just drive till it started getting hot, let it cool down, then drive again. You could made it that way with a 6! B)
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The BMW engines are just so solid, I agree that the 6 cyl could have made it that far... I'm no mechanic on these engines or hardly any engines, it's just that from what I know and have on my car, they're solid to me.
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Old 10-02-2004, 10:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Solid as they are, the coolant system sucks. My guess would have been water pump. I had a 5er that did the same thing, and that's exactly what it was.

Just an FYI for those of you who don't already know, change your water pump every 60K miles or so, and if you have recently purchased a Bimmer, have no records, love it, and want to have it for a while...change your water pump. Also be sure to check your hoses for dryness, cracking and brittleness; as well as the shroud around the top of the radiator. All of these are specific trouble areas of these cars and must be cared for.
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Old 10-02-2004, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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is there a way to upgrade the coolant system to a more high performance style?

i'd be interested in this
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Old 10-02-2004, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I recently read a great write up in "Bimmer Magazine" about upgrading, only it was after the water pump went in a 5er and allowed the fan belt to cut loose and shred the hood. It was a 5er, but it was the same engine as the e36 3er if I recall correctly.
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Old 10-02-2004, 05:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Shred up the hood? heh, glad mine didn't do anything that drastic
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Old 10-02-2004, 09:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by skawful@Oct 2 2004, 05:30 PM
is there a way to upgrade the coolant system to a more high performance style?

i'd be interested in this
[snapback]203604[/snapback]

Yes... get a bigger and better radiator... you can also get the new housing.. that doesnt break under any pressure... then maybe a temp gauge... so you can monitor your babes exact temp..... you can also upgrade your coolant lines.. to a more durable and stronger rubber... a lower thermostate maybe... I wouldnt play with the diameter of the water pump pulley... thats just asking for trouble... unless you did it mathmatically.. and figured it out.... a little more/less pressure might help.. not sure...

Those are some ideas....

Les
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