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Old 12-27-2009, 09:28 PM   #1
J23T
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Default My cooling system prob

My wife and I just bought a 97 318ti prob about 1/2 yr ago. We brought it back from the dead and love it even though it is beat on the inside. Anyways, she recently had a problem where a little part broke off from the back of the engine where a hose connected to. Coolant leaked everywhere. Some guys patched it up for her in the parking lot and she drove home and almost made it (2 h drive) then the car overheated. She said she drove it like that for an hour. Anyways, I took it to a garage that patched it up. I drove it home and it worked fine. A few weeks later a spotted a small amount of coolant that leaked out. This was after I wared it up to drive it for about 15 min. and there was no hot air. So I parked it. Today I started it, the check engine light is on. The coolant level is fine but it took forever for the heat to kick on. Almost 30 min. After it started pumping out hear the engine temp gauge started to creep up from the half way point and we shut it off. I can't see anything leaking out but then again the ground is wet from snow melting.

We also had a problem with the temp control in the car before this debacle. My wife took it to someone who said something about a red wire and crazy glued stuff together. I can't change the temp setting so it is always on hot. Not sure what the deal is there.

Anyways, My main issue is driving it. I want to use it to save $$ instead of my SUV but then again, I don't want to get stuck or ruin the engine. I live in Utica NY so not a lot of BMW specialists plus the Carbone dealership pretty much rapes everyone that does there. Anyone have any clue what might be wrong. Should I bleed the system?
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:05 PM   #2
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You need to bleed the air out of the cooling system. It may take several attempts to get all of the air to escape, but you'll know once it's done because the heater will blow hot air as soon as the engine reaches operating temp. Under no circumstance should you ever let your engine overheat. Even if it's just for a minute, you run the risk of blowing your headgasket which turns out to be about a $2000 job. This article should help you out, follow the instructions carefully and repeat the process until all of the air is out of the system:
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=27983
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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Also, here is a link to a thread about heater issues. There is a good bit of discussion and fixes for the heater dial in the latter portion of the thread...

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2273
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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I had the same issue. the part that broke was the water inlet. (it was about $8.00 part) then we changed the valve cover gasket... but my coolant is still leaking.... well i should say that the coolent keeps going somewhere. I dont see it come out of the car, but I don't know where its going. any ideas??
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krissi1988 View Post
I had the same issue. the part that broke was the water inlet. (it was about $8.00 part) then we changed the valve cover gasket... but my coolant is still leaking.... well i should say that the coolent keeps going somewhere. I dont see it come out of the car, but I don't know where its going. any ideas??
Best way to find a coolant leak is to pressurize the radiator. I made a fitting that screwed onto the radiator and pumped it up to about 15psi. From there I heard a hissing sound and noticed a hairline crack where the radiator meets the expansion tank. The crack was so small it only allowed a tiny bit of coolant out which evaporated before you could even see it, as it was partially covered by a plastic shroud. Of course, it helps if you do this inside of a garage or quiet area with the engine not running. Heck, the radiator holds a certain amount of pressure normally, so you might be able to drive the car until it reaches operating temp, then pull into a garage or quiet space and quickly pop the hood to listen for leaks. The other problem you may be experiencing is too much air in the system. This creates air-lock which prevents the coolant from circulating through the engine and heater core. You could tell if you have air-lock if the heater does not blow hot air. In this case, you'll need to bleed the air out of the system. When coolant is not allowed to circulate, it heats up and evaporates. Anyway, hope that helps.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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Well, I haven't tried turning on my heater. So I will try that when I get home. I spoke with my dad earlier and he said that the coolant could be going into a cylinder. I just hope I dont have to put a whole lot more money in the car.... im broke. haha Thank you economy. lol its hard to spend money when you dont have any.

But thanks for the help.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:00 PM   #7
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So I got the engine to not over heat and there is heat now but now the problem is, the heat doesn't come into the cabin of the car until I drive. Its all cold air until then.......anyone have this issue before?>
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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You need to PROPERLY bleed the air out of the radiator.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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You need to PROPERLY bleed the air out of the radiator.
And after you are sure all the air is out of the system, if you still don't have heat, it could be the thermostat. Even if the temperature gauge is at 12 o'clock, the thermostat could be opening too soon. (The temperature gauge is more of an idiot light than a linear gauge.) I replaced the thermostat recently and think I now have more heat than I have ever had. Well, except for maybe during the summer in California.

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