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Discussion Starter #1
Finally the car got in difficulties. heated and lost coolant. Refilled and drove fine for about 50 miles and overheated and dumped the coolant again.
Went to garage for pressure test which was unconclusive as showed leak from the level switch. repalced the level switch and Oh, Lord, the pies go rock solid from the first crank. The garage is suspecting gasket/head crack problem.
I am really angry, as just changed the tyres to brand new set of Uniroyals rainexperts.

Now my options are very limited in my view. Its either repair - uneconomical I think, or getting a new vehicle. If I go for the latter I am not sure what to do with the car: break it or scrap it.

Really puzzled, angry, grieving....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RIght, Got some nose around the web.
Basically if I am to keep the car I have the following options:

1. do it myself: remove the head, get it to machine shop for skim and clean, valve reconnd. replace headgasket reassemble. I do not know if it is the gasket or crack in the head. that may go further in expense; Cost is yet unknown. I will have to get the parts list and put price against each item.

2. Swap engine. Got a quote for a low mileage around 1000£ next day delivered with 3 m warranty. What is the complication in terms of DVLA? DO i need to reregister the engine on the certificate? Then probably it is MOT time?

3. get reconditioned head for about £500 with 12 months warranty next day delivered. Again the same question about the MOT?

What would be your advise? Time is of essence

P.S. I am posting on the other forum as well so don't be affected. I need as much response to make up my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another quick question.
The cooling system is pressurized in normal driving conditions providing there is no leak, correct?

How hard (inflexible) the hoses should be at start up.
 

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Can you hint details? I am in Milton Keynes area.
Most of Bletchley is small independent garages so cal la few. PCS are the 'official' indie for BMW although I don't use them. Autoclass have been used by me several times, so much so that a couple of other Forum members have travelled to use them. They're not the cheapest, but very reliable.

The time to do the change shouldn't change much, nor the parts costs so the main variable is the labour rate. Be careful if it's too cheap perhaps!!...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
as puzzling as it can be. My brother said BMW is like Chuck Norris it can surprise you any time.

Saturday: After much reading through all info available I understand the cooling system runs at certain pressure. The cap releases at around 2 bars, right. So the hoses should be somewhat firm at some point when the car heats up.

I started the car. hoses as flexible as they can be. no effort to squeeze them. Car heats up normally, engine is really quiet and works without irregularities. Initially smokes out but its more like thin greyish or bluish smoke, not white, white vapour. It was a rainy morning so really moist.
checked the expansion bottle with cap off, no bubbles coming out. Most of the cars were smoking as well on the road as it was really raining and wet.

Took it out for a quick drive in the vicinity to heat it up, did about 3 miles. Hoses are now firmer but still squeezable, temperature reaches 100 degrees Celsius and stays there. both hoses are now warm since the thermostat opened.
opened the bleed nuts, liquid comes out.

Went on the dual carriageway and shot up to slightly over the limit. Temperature goes down to 98, then as I slow down and back home to idle goes back to 100 and stays there. Remember I have most water as I did not want to put any expensive coolant at this stage.

opened the oil cap and there is a bit of yellowish gunk on the edges. The oil stick is normal with no droplets of anything just normal dark oil (I should change this). The same as at the very beginning a year ago, when my wife was only doing the school run (5 miles a day from cold).

Sunday, I went for a longer drive about 35 miles on dual carriageways. car warms up nicely, gets to 100 degrees and stays there. Engine purrs almost unnoticable at lower revs. Heat comes from the vents. drove at normal speeds with some hard accelerations (using the kickback). normal behavior.
Went back home, hoses are as firm as the previous day, squeezable with just a bit of effort. no smoke from the exhaust even at idle.
The yellowish gunk from the oil cap disappeared. Oil stick still shows just normal used oil.

Had a chat with my brother in Law who is HVAC engineer and he says that if the system is designed to run under pressure to keep the liquid from boiling any leak will cause the pressure to drop thus allowing the liquid to boil and create gas lock, which then expands/raises internal local pressure and forces the coolant through the leak. then the volume of liquid is not enough to circulate and you end up with overheating. this may explain the issues I had, fingers crossed.

The car is booked for a leak down test today and will post with results later.

Any thoughts are welcome.
 

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i have been all through this problem,lots of pressure in hose will go rock hard,pressure fix head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just heard back from the garage. It is external leak through the headgasket at the back of the engine under pressure.
So...my view is that I will have to carry on until april holidays and then replace the gasket myself (with help form mechanic friends). With the possibility of head rebuilt to sort out likely valve stem seals... we'll see.
 
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