Radiator Tank leaks - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 05:43 PM
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Hi all,

My radiator tank has developed a small leak. The coolant level does go below the minimum and starts showing on the dash board after like every 70 miles or so. I am wondering if that can be sealed off using any antileak. If so, which ones should I try? I just dont wanna mess it up by using something crappy.

Thanks for reading. Appreciate any help.

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#2 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 05:47 PM
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where exactly is it leaking? the feed? or the return? check and tighten your clamps. and check the sensor.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 05:54 PM
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Red face

Hi !

Thanks for the reply.
I got it checked by the local BMW dealer. He did the pressure test for 3 hrs and told me that it's a small crack in the plastic tank and he cannot do anything abt it except for changing the whole radiator.

I earlier had worst leak problem, but it the radiator cap. No it's been replaced, but the crack is still leaking it, although very slowly.

Appreciate your feedback.

Thanks

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:06 PM
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what? thats not true , i think your coolant bottle is separate from the radiator. what do you drive? an E34? if so , get a new bottle.

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:28 PM
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yeah that souns kinda wacky, shouldnt have to replace the rad for a recovery tank leak..

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 09:51 PM
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I think he's talking about the plastic housing on the radiator itself. It's a common e39 problem, especially on the spot where the rubber hose mounts to the top of the radiator (driver's side of radiator). It's usually a fine hair-line crack, you can't see if you don't get close. I have been thru' 2 of those already!

Don't try to seal or cement it, it's not worth risking your engine if the radiator should blow under heat and pressure.

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 03:56 PM
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Red face

Thanks for the feedback.

As Cosmos said, it's the hairline crack in the plastic housing on the radiator on the driver's side. BTW I drive an E 34.

Would it be worth trying adding couple of those coolant leak tablets made by GM??

Also, if I have to buy a new radiator, is it okay to get it on ebay or something ?(any suggestions?)

P.S. :Cosmos, did you try to fix the crack on your car first or did you replace the radiator right away?

Thanks again.

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 06:39 PM
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I replaced the radiator under advice from my mechanic. Didn't want to save the money and risk a $5000 engine! He showed me a V8 engine laying on the side, messed up from a busted radiator, the owner didn't want to replace it due to exact same problem. He epoxy-ed the crack and kept topping up with water. Then it happened.

The radiator for the e34 (my previous car), costs more (like $350-$400) compared to the ones for e39, which costs over $200 at dealer and about $170 from outside sources (but also made in Germany). Don't ask me why the price difference! I have replaced both radiators on both cars. It is NOT advisable to repair or fix the cracks. It's up to you though, but I wouldn't.

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CosmosBlack@Jan 7 2004, 08:19 PM
I replaced the radiator under advice from my mechanic. Didn't want to save the money and risk a $5000 engine! He showed me a V8 engine laying on the side, messed up from a busted radiator, the owner didn't want to replace it due to exact same problem. He epoxy-ed the crack and kept topping up with water. Then it happened.

The radiator for the e34 (my previous car), costs more (like $350-$400) compared to the ones for e39, which costs over $200 at dealer and about $170 from outside sources (but also made in Germany). Don't ask me why the price difference! I have replaced both radiators on both cars. It is NOT advisable to repair or fix the cracks. It's up to you though, but I wouldn't.
Thanks Cosmos for the reply.

After I took my car to the dealer second time, the leak has seemed to stop. Don't ask me how. But I suspect that it would start leaking again, unless the dealer was lying to me trying to cover up his poor job which was done earlier (replacing the radiator cap).

Can you recommend me any places to buy radiator at? I found one on eBay (pretty nice deal [$ 170 shipped] against dealer's price [$ 520]).

Appreciate your feedback.
Thanks

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#10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 09:50 PM
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does the crack extend from the filler neck of the rad cap and down ?

cause if so id hold the dealer liable for any damages.

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#11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 10:23 PM
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I remember I had my cap replaced too on the e34, there was a recall.
As for parts, you could search on Google for "BMW parts". You'll get lots of sites, you compare and look for the best deals. Be very specific with your order. I believe an auto and a manual shift uses different radiators. If possible, provide your VIN.

Now, you said the leak has stopped. IF you are sure that there is a hairline crack on the radiator, you still have a problem. And you are putting your engine at risk driving it, coz' you never know when it will happen. I just hope you don't have to come post here one day and say, "Damn, if only I had replaced it one day sooner!"

Good Luck!

ps: Please don't just take my word for it, do consult a knowledgeable mechanic for a second opinion.

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#12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CBA@Jan 8 2004, 11:30 PM
does the crack extend from the filler neck of the rad cap and down ?

cause if so id hold the dealer liable for any damages.
The crack is on the bottom corner on the driver's side. Also I haven't checked it myself. I will do it soon.
Thanks.

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#13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CosmosBlack@Jan 9 2004, 12:03 AM
I remember I had my cap replaced too on the e34, there was a recall.
As for parts, you could search on Google for "BMW parts". You'll get lots of sites, you compare and look for the best deals. Be very specific with your order. I believe an auto and a manual shift uses different radiators. If possible, provide your VIN.

Now, you said the leak has stopped. IF you are sure that there is a hairline crack on the radiator, you still have a problem. And you are putting your engine at risk driving it, coz' you never know when it will happen. I just hope you don't have to come post here one day and say, "Damn, if only I had replaced it one day sooner!"

Good Luck!

ps: Please don't just take my word for it, do consult a knowledgeable mechanic for a second opinion.
Thanks Cosmos.

I found out couple of other sources to buy radiator at. Also I found that the radiators are different for auto and manual. Thanks for the tip anyway .

I haven't seen the crack yet by myself. I am taking my BMW dealer's word for it. Rather I was taking his word for it. I will check it out soon.

I am so far not driving a lot. Just couple of miles everyday. I am gonna show it to some other mechanic. It's kinda hard to find a good one. Might take some time. I will get the radiator replaced soon tho.

I really appreciate your help.
Thanks a lot.

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