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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 04-01-2008, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Head Gasket

Hey, new here and I have a question.

my daughter blew the head gasket on her 98 528i, (bigger job than I have the time or talent to complete) so I take it to a mechanic, he tells me it is the head gasket and replaces the head gasket, at the same time he replaces the cooling system (radiator, water pump, thermostat and housing, hoses belts, fan clutch) $2,800...feel my pain. We get the car back and the next day it over heats and starts thowing a engine code that says cyl 3 misfiring...I have it flatbedded to his shop, 3/4 gallon low on "water"...we fill it and he tries to get it to over heat it won't...duh, he drives it for 13 miles around town and still won't over heat. I get in it and drive it for about 50 miles and it over heats...let it cool down and it is 1/2 gallon low on "water" and still missing on cyl 3... he thought that the head must be cracked he took it off and had it pressure tested turned out fine. He said he put a straight edge to the head when he had it off and it was fine...


What do we do next? ever heard of such a thing?
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Grego528i View Post
Hey, new here and I have a question.

my daughter blew the head gasket on her 98 528i, (bigger job than I have the time or talent to complete) so I take it to a mechanic, he tells me it is the head gasket and replaces the head gasket, at the same time he replaces the cooling system (radiator, water pump, thermostat and housing, hoses belts, fan clutch) $2,800...feel my pain. We get the car back and the next day it over heats and starts thowing a engine code that says cyl 3 misfiring...I have it flatbedded to his shop, 3/4 gallon low on "water"...we fill it and he tries to get it to over heat it won't...duh, he drives it for 13 miles around town and still won't over heat. I get in it and drive it for about 50 miles and it over heats...let it cool down and it is 1/2 gallon low on "water" and still missing on cyl 3... he thought that the head must be cracked he took it off and had it pressure tested turned out fine. He said he put a straight edge to the head when he had it off and it was fine...


What do we do next? ever heard of such a thing?
Maybe it has to do with the heating system....
try with the heater off for awhile then on see what happends...
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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was it overheating before he pulled the head? im guessing thats how she blew the head gasket originally?
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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also hows your coolant Tank and cap
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I blew a head gasket on my car years ago. The problem is the head is aluminum. They are great as long as the temp stays within boundaries. They warp about the first time its overheated. My guess is the first time it overheated on your daughter, thats when the damage happened. I am suprised that they didnt replace it when it was off. I am not sure a straight edge would show whether or not it was warped. After I spent my 2300 for a new head, water pump, etc. I found out that if the temp gauge EVER goes over the halfway point, shut it off, there is a problem.

Hope this helps. Good luck...
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes it origionally over heated...thought it was the thermostat...since it has again over heated after the new head gasket was put on only for a minute, do I need to be concerned?
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes it origionally over heated...thought it was the thermostat...since it has again over heated after the new head gasket was put on only for a minute, do I need to be concerned?
When was it overheating, when the car was not moving, like when sitting in traffic, idling, etc? Or was it overheating as you were just driving down the road?
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bleeding the cooling system is a absolute neccessity. Also I found that an aftermarket thermostat will not work. I had to get a BMW part number one.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bleeding the cooling system is a absolute neccessity. Also I found that an aftermarket thermostat will not work. I had to get a BMW part number one.

I TOTALLY concur - I did a flush and fill and had similar overheating problems until I completely bled the system. It can take a while to get all the air out. E39s are notoriously touchy when it comes to cooling systems...
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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lol I was actually hoping it got better with the E39s. The E34's are the same way. Bleed, bleed, bleed, bleed, bleed, bleed, and then bleed, bleed, bleed.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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lol I was actually hoping it got better with the E39s. The E34's are the same way. Bleed, bleed, bleed, bleed, bleed, bleed, and then bleed, bleed, bleed.

haha, nope they carry over the same tradition. I thought I was going to kill several small animals with the amount of antifreeze I was letting out in my driveway getting all the air out.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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haha, nope they carry over the same tradition. I thought I was going to kill several small animals with the amount of antifreeze I was letting out in my driveway getting all the air out.
lol i dont like squirrels so thank you!
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I did the headgasket on the ol' 528 last month. Fun stuff!

Cylinder 3 misfire could be several things, and maybe even unrelated. Fuel injectors and coil packs can be damaged upon removal and reinstallation, the headgasket may have been defective, valve problem, loose spark plug, etc, etc.

As for as still losing coolant, what hasn't been replaced? If the quality of work is good - it's most likely the only few components that haven't been replaced. Overheating takes it's toll on more than just the head!

BTW - straight edge is the main method to check for straightness by the machine shops.
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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BTW - straight edge is the main method to check for straightness by the machine shops.
I was thinking that a mechanic might not actually have a straight edge, but more like a metal yardstick or something lying around that he could get close with. The machine shop, on the other hand should be using one. Your new car looks snazzy btw...

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Old 04-03-2008, 05:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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When was it overheating, when the car was not moving, like when sitting in traffic, idling, etc? Or was it overheating as you were just driving down the road?

Prior to the head gasket replacement it only over heated when sitting still or when idling...rev it up to 2 grand or take it on the Hwy and it cooled down.

After the head gasket replacement it started to over heat moving or sitting still... I figured that the over heating had be due to loss of Anti-freeze through the intake side...I was thinking this because it took about 50 miles of driving to loose the 3/4 of a gallon
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