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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 01-07-2008, 06:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation HELP! Urgent Question!!

I thank anyone that can help me ASAP!

I just got back into town from a long trip and my wife had been using the BMW. I get home to use the car today and discover that my '02 325 has it's Coolant light on. After driving it 2 miles the engine is starting to smoke! I don't want to do more damage and it is too late to go to a BMW service dealer to get the approved coolant, is there anything I can do to help this situation? Can I get some other coolant to put it, or does everyone think I can drive there safely in the morning to get the coolant put in? Like I said I don't want to do further damage and this is my first experience of this kind with this car. THANKS so much to anyone who can offer a suggestion.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You said it was smoking? Does the "smoke" smell sweet, like antifreeze? Has it ever lost coolant before? Did you ask her if it was getting hot? Did you check the oil? Does it look normal or does it look like chocolate mouse? If either the first or last thing ring true, do not run the car any further! Period! DON'T! You have a blown head gasket or a cracked head! Have it towed to your mechanic and let him lay his hands on it, but be sure that your wife can testify to what happened and how long it went on etc. so that he knows the extent of possible damage. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, here's hoping that you just have a leak under the hood! You didn't say where the "smoke was coming from?
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You said it was smoking? Does the "smoke" smell sweet, like antifreeze? Has it ever lost coolant before? Did you ask her if it was getting hot? Did you check the oil? Does it look normal or does it look like chocolate mouse? If either the first or last thing ring true, do not run the car any further! Period! DON'T! You have a blown head gasket or a cracked head! Have it towed to your mechanic and let him lay his hands on it, but be sure that your wife can testify to what happened and how long it went on etc. so that he knows the extent of possible damage. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, here's hoping that you just have a leak under the hood! You didn't say where the "smoke was coming from?
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply, here's a couple of answers.

I was no aware of where the smoke was coming from, although it did not have a sweet smell to it. I checked the oil and it looks great, totally normal. Third I let the engine cool down and looked in the engine coolant bay and there is ZERO fluid in there. Bone dry and the float ball is sitting on the bottom! PLEASE tell me what I can put in the temporarily to get this to the service dealer in the morning. I just don't want to drive it bone dry.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do yourself a favor and go down to your local parts store or wal-mart or wherever and get some universal coolant. It will be yellow in color and will mix with the OEM fluid without any problem. I'd get the 50/50 mix so that you can just go ahead and pour it in. Is there a puddle underneath or any signs of leaking? What do you mean you don't know where the smoke is coming from? If the oil looks ok, you can start it up for a minute or two, long enough to get the engine warm enough to smoke again so you can see where it's coming from. It's probably just a leak somewhere under the hood if I had to guess, but it could still be a head gasket, coolant leaking into the combustion chamber. How far is your shop?
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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year model miles?
ok could be a coolant hose starting to tear (happend to me) it will take a bit to find just start the car and run you hand around EVERY hose and conncetion make sure the hose clamp are tight... ont forget the heater hoses! on the back of the engine....and cheak the fire wall fo mosture mine was leaking then going in the insulation bad there....
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