New to this BMW thing....Already having problems - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 08:55 PM
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New to this BMW thing....Already having problems

Just bought a 98 528i on Wednesday. The car looks and drives great, and is really clean. 98K miles. I was really excited when I got the car, but today, I ran to the store about two miles away, and on the way back I was stopped because the bridge was up. While sitting, I heard a pressure release whoosh and steam started billowing from under the hood. The temp gauge was all the way in the red.

I pulled over into a parking lot and shut the engine off. Coolant was all over the front end of the car, as well as the engine bay once I had the hood up. Looking things over, I saw the top radiator hose had blown off the radiator, but looked fine. After I waited for a bit, the temp gauge returned to normal, I reattached the hose and figured I could make it the last mile home if I babied it.

I made it about half a mile before I noticed the temp gauge rising again, and I made my way towards the nearest parking lot, with the hose blowing as I pulled into the lot. Again, I waited a bit, reattached the hose, and barely made it home before the gauge was rising yet again.

I've read nearly every forum post on here about this issue, and I'm somewhat on the fence about what to do. From what I've read, this could be a thermostat issue, a water pump issue, or even a clogged radiator. I really don't have the money/desire to take this to a shop. My question is, would I be best served by going ahead and just doing the following:

Replacing:
Water pump
Thermostat
Radiator
Top Radiator hose

Should I just go ahead and do all of it and hope that one of them was the issue? Or should I maybe go with the WP and thermostat first seeing as they are cheaper and see how that goes?

Also, I've been thinking that maybe, just maybe, the hose just slipped off (not very realistic, I know) but would it be a good idea to just reattach everything and flush the coolant and see if that works?

The clamp that attaches the hose to the radiator doesn't seem to attach it that well. Even when I tighten it down, I can still slip the hose off pretty easily by hand. Is this normal?

Thanks a lot for all of the advice, I don't really have any friends with solid BMW knowledge.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 08:34 AM
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brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice
To me it sounds like the hose could be a good spot to start, with new clamps as well.
Fill it up with water rather than coolant (just in case its going to dump it all again). Start it up and just let it sit idling so that you can at least be somewhere that you can work on it without being towed home. Watch the gauge and see what it does, if its stable in the centre region, go for a cautious drive around the block and see what happens. If its all good, then get yourself some proper coolant and change it over. If however you still have issues, then there are bound to be other werkzians more mechanically apt than I am that can give you further advice.
Good luck and welcome to the werkz.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 11:16 AM
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Update

Thanks for the response. I replaced the hose and clamps yesterday, and I've got a much more snug fit. The hose no longer slips off easily. I also topped of the coolant to the proper level. However, I still can't drive the car more than a mile before it overheats. I still don't get any hot air when I crank my heater up as well. I spoke to a mechanic friend who said he didn't know much about BMWs but said it sounded to him like the thermostat was stuck closed. Does this sound likely? He also said the cap could be the problem, since it regulates the pressure in the system and for a hose to blow off, the pressure would have had to have been greater than the 16psi it normally is.
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 12:13 PM
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Sounds to me like the thermostat as your mechanic has said, the cap wouldnt cause it to overheat....but worth changing if its old..as for the waterpump that will be going shortly as the cooling systems always seem to want an overhaul around the 100k mark..and dont forget the expansion tank...

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#5 (permalink) Old 11-08-2009, 01:53 PM
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Marti5, thanks for the suggestions. I've been reading up on here about the cooling system, and I'm wondering how difficult a job it would be to do this work myself. IMHO, I'm fairly capable with a wrench, but my experience has always been with American V-8s, a pretty easy to work on. I've heard that BMW engines are quite sophisticated, is this something that I might still consider doing myself or does the significance of the cooling system to the engine suggest I'd be better off having it done professionally?
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 08:20 AM
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It's not quite sophisticated as people say they are.
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