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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 08-12-2006, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine overheated - left me STRANDED!

What a night. I have a 1998 E39 528i with about 145,000.

In stop and go traffic I, looked down at my temp gauge and it was all the way in the red. I immediatley pulled over and shut down the engine. From under the car, the coolant was leaking out. Yes it had that familar sweet hot smell. It looked like the coolant was leaking from the middle of the engine compartment but it is hard to tell since the plastic cover was between the leak and the ground.

I did a search on here and didn't see anything related. I hope this is something SIMPLE like a busted hose or thermostat. I didn;t drive too far with the temp guage in the red - maybe a block or so to get it onto a nice well lit parking lot. Called the tow truck, she's now at the stealer with the keys in the drop box.:

Any ideas on what happened?
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I can only hope that the headgasket and head are ok. They are very very temperamental.

It sounds like a busted radiator or water pump is likely to be the culprit, but could also be as simple as a hose.


It sounds like you should be ok... but i can't say for sure.

good luck, keep us posted
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insight sporky and you are right - it was the water pump. I asked about the head and the head gasket they didn't detect any damage but I told them to recheck and make sure it wasn't damaged.

So on Monday they are going to do the work. They will eplace the water pump and thermostat and refill with coolant. All for the low, low, price of $650.: :

I don't really have any choice in the matter but $650 seems really exorbitant. I might have to lean on them.
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Whoa ... that is ... too much. You should look into finding a reputable independent shop around you ... water pump and thermostat both cost less than 100 dollars ... 500+ to replace it is outrageous since it really doesn't take that long.

On the upside, at least head/headgasket is ok.
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yup overheating in my world ended up costing me a new head...roughly 2300 but that included service 1, water pump etc.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Whoa ... that is ... too much. You should look into finding a reputable independent shop around you ... water pump and thermostat both cost less than 100 dollars ... 500+ to replace it is outrageous since it really doesn't take that long.

On the upside, at least head/headgasket is ok.

Yea - if this area was closer to Tulsa or Little Rock it wouldn't be a problem finding a good indie shop. It is the only BMW dealer witin 100 miles. Most indie shops around here won't touch a BMW if it is anything more than a brake job, oil change, etc.. Even if I found one, I am sure it would be a week long affair. Shops here aren't in a hurry when it comes to working on cars.

I don't know where they get $650 for about $120 in parts.

FWIW - I do trust their work - they replaced the tranny last summer and the A/C compressor and did both jobs very quickly and haven't had an issue with either since.
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Where in AR do you live? My family is from Jacksonville, right outside Little Rock. It's funny because I live in Jacksonville.....Alabama now.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just noticed you're from AR too. I live in Springfield, MO. There is a REAL good place up here called Import Specialists. I have almost everything done there that I cant (or wont) do myself. It might be a little bit of a jog for ya, but its right off 65 hwy in Springfield.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just did this exact job on my 540..cost $110 for the pump and $65.00 for the thermostat. Took about 2 hours as I am old and slow. Diffrent engine though. I hope all turns out well and your head gasket/head holds up.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkmark
Yea - if this area was closer to Tulsa or Little Rock it wouldn't be a problem finding a good indie shop. It is the only BMW dealer witin 100 miles. Most indie shops around here won't touch a BMW if it is anything more than a brake job, oil change, etc.. Even if I found one, I am sure it would be a week long affair. Shops here aren't in a hurry when it comes to working on cars.

I don't know where they get $650 for about $120 in parts.

FWIW - I do trust their work - they replaced the tranny last summer and the A/C compressor and did both jobs very quickly and haven't had an issue with either since.
That's not bad... You have to remember every state is different when it comes to cost of living. That job is about $1200 at the dealer in LA. While they're at it, check the belts....

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Old 08-14-2006, 12:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just noticed you're from AR too. I live in Springfield, MO. There is a REAL good place up here called Import Specialists. I have almost everything done there that I cant (or wont) do myself. It might be a little bit of a jog for ya, but its right off 65 hwy in Springfield.

Thanks for the input on the place in Springfield. That isn't real far from where I live in Rogers, AR. I travel to Springfield on business about every 2 weeks! I will look them up and keep their number in my phone.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Where in AR do you live? My family is from Jacksonville, right outside Little Rock. It's funny because I live in Jacksonville.....Alabama now.

Rogers, AR
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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DIY and save $$$. Here are the tips and tricks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkmark
Thanks for the input on the place in Springfield. That isn't real far from where I live in Rogers, AR. I travel to Springfield on business about every 2 weeks! I will look them up and keep their number in my phone.

Funny you mentioned your problem.

I did my entire cooling system for $550 (parts only; labor was mine).

With your mileage of 145K, I'd recommend a major overhaul of your cooling system. Let the shop do what they already proposed to you (WP, thermostat etc.)

The rest of the system (belt, tensioner, pulleys etc. READ through the posts and the repleis carefully), you can do it yourself to save $$$.

Here is the link to my write-up:
ENTIRE COOLING SYSTEM REPLACEMENT Tips and Tricks (Very Long, Enjoy!)


As a side note, recently I opened my hood during 100 F temp day, put my hand 2 inches above the fan, it is HOT like a BBQ grill (I could not hold my hand more than 4 seconds!).
So treat any vehicle cooling system with good care.
The problem is once the engine is overheated (let say from failed WP or thermostat), even if you change the WP, thermostat, the head gasket is prone to heat damage and can cause crack in the gasket, and heat from combustion now enters the cooling system, significantly raising the cooling system pressure, causing more damage.

So a good cooling system overhaul SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES the risk of overheat and the vicious cycle of overheat and gasket/cylinder head damage.


cnn
98 528i 5sp 91K

Last edited by cnn; 08-15-2006 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Funny you mentioned your problem.

I did my entire cooling system for $550 (parts only; labor was mine).

With your mileage of 145K, I'd recommend a major overhaul of your cooling system. Let the shop do what they already proposed to you (WP, thermostat etc.)

The rest of the system (belt, tensioner, pulleys etc. READ through the posts and the repleis carefully), you can do it yourself to save $$$.

Here is the link to my write-up:
ENTIRE COOLING SYSTEM REPLACEMENT Tips and Tricks (Very Long, Enjoy!)


As a side note, recently I opened my hood during 100 F temp day, put my hand 2 inches above the fan, it is HOT like a BBQ grill (I could not hold my hand more than 4 seconds!).
So treat any vehicle cooling system with good care.
The problem is once the engine is overheated (let say from failed WP or thermostat), even if you change the WP, thermostat, the head gasket is prone to heat damage and can cause crack in the gasket, and heat from combustion now enters the cooling system, significantly raising the cooling system pressure, causing more damage.

So a good cooling system overhaul SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES the risk of overheat and the vicious cycle of overheat and gasket/cylinder head damage.


cnn
98 528i 5sp 91K
Hey thanks for the great reference.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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cnn - wow- you have GREAT wrtie ups:
compile a book and sell it. i'd take that over bentley
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