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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help diagnosing my 330ci.
I've had the vehicle for just a few months and am slightly concerned about its recent behavior.

3 days ago whilst on a dual carriageway the coolant light came on and temperature rose quickly then returned to normal. There was no noticable loss of power so I stopped at the petrol station and checked the coolant level which was low. I took the car back home where I have run a few checks to diagnose but now suspect the worst. HEAD GASKET FAILURE!!!!!

Findings,
Looses coolant at a rate of 2 liters in 5 minutes
Slight white smoke from exhaust (more so when engine is hot)
Heaters blowing hot and cold intermittently
Expansion bottle boiling up intermittently

The fan is cutting in ok and there is no residue from the oil cap or dipstick.

The reason i'm looking for advise is I have not read any other threads on head gasket problems from the 330 and want to make sure I'm not overseeing something.

Many thanks

ROOKIE OWNER
 

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Well there are 3 places the water can be going:

Oil system

Cylinders

Floor

It sounds like its losing far too much water to be going into the oil or cylinders without causing the engine to hydraulic

Has the oil level risen up and any mayo on dipstic or cap?

Take the plugs out mate, have a look at the tips and that will confirm if there is water getting in the cylinders. It will smell of antifreeze and look like limescale.

Are you sure its not coming out somwhere in the engine bay? The expansion tanks are prone to cracking where they mount to the rad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There is no reside on the dipstick or oil cap. It has been changed recently and still looks brand new.

The water is coming from the expansion tank cap and seems to be at temperature when it's boiling over. AIR LOCK????

I'll get the plugs out tomorrow. Would I see the limescale on the tips?
 

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whats the temp guage reading when the header tank is bubbling over?

does this happen as soon as you start it up or is it actually boiling?
Somtimes if the headgasket has gone between the cylinders and water way then the compression from the cylinders pushes the water out from wherever it can (header tank, loose hoses etc). If this was the case it would do it as soon as the engine is running.

Yeh antifreeze dries to a white powdery substance and smells sweet. This will be visable on the tips of the plugs


Have a look all along the edge of the headertank make sure there are no cracks in it.
 

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Sounds like you have issues on this one?

Have you found the point where the 2 litres of water is leaking from?

Bleeding the system:

1.Jack the front of the vehicle up onto stands as high as possible,
2.Turn the ignition on,engine off,heater on fan setting 1 and temperature fully hot,
3.Remove the rad cap/expansion cap,remove the bleed screw from the rad and IF you have them the bleed screw(s) from the thermostat housing/top hose, return pipe or EGR thermostat.
4.Fill the radiator up and keep pouring till there are no more air bubbles coming out from the bleeds, when good then install bleeds and tighten down(don't snap them),ensure the rubber O-rings/seals are still on the screws/on the bleed holes.
5.Suck some water out so it's not full to the brim, replace the cap and then start the car. Run her up and check for heat from the vents when warm and check if over heating still persists.
6.If good then check the water level again in the morning when cool.
 

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To really be sure, I would recommend that you get a "sniff test" done on the coolant system.

This will tell you if you have a cumbustion leak or not.

If its negative, then you are laughing- it could only be that you are losing coolant elsewhere.

If its postive, then, Bad days mate..........head gasket failure, etc

get that done first then take it from there.

in the mean time, have you checked the expansion bottle?

these are pretty know for cracking and leak from underneath.
 

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Also check the rad cap as they are not great, the O rings flatten out on the cap causing coolant to leak past.

But I would first bleed the cooling system then diagnose from there
 
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