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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 12-04-2004, 11:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My friend's 540 just did the same thing that my 525 (both E34's) did a little bit ago. On the inside of the car, through the heating vents, there came smoke/vapor/steam that smelled just like coolant. It was a sweet smell. All it did in my car was it fogged up the windows for a while, which was really annoying, and then it all stopped.

BUt today, my buddy said he had a bunch of this smoke/moist vapor come out and his car started overheating. Clearly, there was coolant leaking, and it all smelled like coolant, and the windshied was dripping with condensation on the inside.

Could it be the heater core going out? Or leaking?



Also, another question. I took my car 140 earlier this week, but it took my quite a bit to get it up to that speed, especially between 110-140 mi/h. What can I do to help increase acceleration within this speed 'gap'? Is it just a lack of hp? (the engine has 214k mi on it!)
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like the classic signs of heater core, or, when my heater valve went yesterday, I experienced similar symptoms

I'd vote heater core though.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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smell of coolant = heater core. even one drop of coolant can make the whole car smell like sh**. i get it too, but i learned to live with it. i got steam the other day too, it freaked the hell out of me, until i realized what it is.
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gentlemen the heater core it is and I agree. But I had a similar problem where the windshield got foggy, little oily (not as severe as the above) and smelled sweet-eventually over heated. It turned out to be a cracked heater hose and a loose clamp against the firewall. I guess it leaked to the interior. It did save me the nasty job of heater core replacement.
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Old 12-05-2004, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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heater core replacement = 6 hour job.
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