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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a used BMW yesterday and I am mortified that it has a problem. It is forcing the coolant out from the expansion tank. The car is a BMW 120d on a 57 plate, N47 engine. I only drove it a few mile home and it was billowing steam out of the engine bay. Apparently on the morning that I was due to collet the car, the mechanic had to sort out a leak on the water pump. I have attached a link to my youtube channel showing the extent of the problem. I estimate that it has thrown out about 4-5 litres so far.


Any help or advice appreciated as I hope my dream car is not about to become a nightmare.

Thanks
Paul
 

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I would suggest you clean u p the entire bay, then start the car from cold so to make it easier to see where the leak is from. Don't get too close tot eh car when inspecting so as to avoid any squirt outs of boilng hot coolant into your face. Also consider looking through the service history again, check for work done around the coolant system parts, if so, its obvious the seller knew it was screwed when he sold it to you...
 

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Are you able to return the car as it is clearly not right and may be easier to return it and get your money back. it does look like there is too much pressure in the cooling system and could be as simple as a failed cap through to a failed head gasket.
cheers
jim
 

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Are you able to return the car as it is clearly not right and may be easier to return it and get your money back. it does look like there is too much pressure in the cooling system and could be as simple as a failed cap through to a failed head gasket.
cheers
jim

I had a failed head gasket and it was all pretty messy and very expensive. Thermostat had to be replaced, breather valve too, something else I don't recall but expensive, expansion tank broken and left me without a car few times and left at the side of the road twice. You do not want an unreliable car this time of year. Looking back I wish I had sued the guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for you quick replies. Much appreciated. I sent the sales guy a message with a link to that vid. He has just come back to me within half an hour to tell me that they will collect the car tomorrow and put it right. They changed the water pump on Saturday morning morning after they spotted a leak. I think the mechanic just rushed the job to get it ready for me for lunch time and it wasn't bled properly. He told me not to drive the car as it could cause damage to the head gasket. In all fairness to the dealership, they have good reviews. I asked them to replace the timing chain and tensioner which they did and stamped the service book. They also replaced the pads and discs all round and put new tyres on so they haven't scrimped on anything. The car now has 11 service stamps and has only done 92k miles for a 13 year old car. Its in great nick for its age. Hopefully this will get sorted in the next day or so an I have many years without any other issues. What fun it is to drive though even if I have only done a few miles so far.
 

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Sounds like they are being pretty decent with you and fingers crossed it is a simple issue. Did it overheat at all?
cheers
jim
 

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Sounds like a decent garage to be dealing with, hopefully they will get the issue resolved and car returned quickly..
 

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It looks like it was overheating. Could be any number of thing including as you said, not having been bled properly. The problem is since BMW made the idiotically genius decision to remove the temp gauge from the dash cluster in their cars you can't see the engine is going to overheat until it already has, at the risk of blowing the head gasket and/or warping the head :( .
In any case the car clearly wasn't right since you first bought it so the dealer is under obligation to repair it, which hopefully they will do asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like they are being pretty decent with you and fingers crossed it is a simple issue. Did it overheat at all?
cheers
jim
Thank you for your reply. There is no temperature gauge so I had to google how to access the "hidden menu". WTF? why is there no gauge?
The maximum temperature it reached was 102 degrees C, which when I checked was within the range specified... I think the range was 75 deg c to 105 deg c.
Stupid how there is no gauge though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It looks like it was overheating. Could be any number of thing including as you said, not having been bled properly. The problem is since BMW made the idiotically genius decision to remove the temp gauge from the dash cluster in their cars you can't see the engine is going to overheat until it already has, at the risk of blowing the head gasket and/or warping the head :( .
In any case the car clearly wasn't right since you first bought it so the dealer is under obligation to repair it, which hopefully they will do asap.
It was hard to tell if it was overheating because of the absence of the temp gauge. Like you said, what an idiotic decision to not have one. Accessing the hidden menu is a pain in the butt. The max the temp reached according to the hidden menu was 102 degrees c. When I googled this it was within the normal operating range..but only just!!! If you drive it sedately then it is not a smokey joe. Thanks for your reply. I pray it is not the cylinder head that has gone already. Either way, I will not be paying to put it right.
 

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If it only reached 102c then you're probably safe, that wont have damaged anything. Might just be an airlock in the system.
I had a similar occurrence many moons ago after I took my old E36 in for a service, and it overheated on the drive home and started spewing steam everywhere. :oops:
I noticed there was no heater despite the engine being hot - clearly the garage hadn't opened the heater valve when they refilled the coolant and it had created an airlock. Wasn't impressed to say the least!
I refilled and bled the system properly (in the middle of Tesco car park!) and it was fine after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If it only reached 102c then you're probably safe, that wont have damaged anything. Might just be an airlock in the system.
I had a similar occurrence many moons ago after I took my old E36 in for a service, and it overheated on the drive home and started spewing steam everywhere. :oops:
I noticed there was no heater despite the engine being hot - clearly the garage hadn't opened the heater valve when they refilled the coolant and it had created an airlock. Wasn't impressed to say the least!
I refilled and bled the system properly (in the middle of Tesco car park!) and it was fine after that.
Thanks NaiallB25. I am hoping you are right that it is just a airlock due to the fitting of the new water pump and I don't have to wait a week or two for them to do the head gasket.
I don't seem to have any luck with German cars. My last German car was a mk3 golf GTI and I think it went through more ignition coils than it did fuel. I swear to god that car was evil, it was trying to kill me with stress.

I am now temporarily driving a kia cee'd courtesy car 😔.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi all, update on the problem with my new motor. Received the dreaded message today to confirm the worst. The car I have just bought has a blown cylinder head. Just my luck and in keeping with the way this year has gone so far. Anyway, the head has been sent away to be skimmed and I hope to have a car that is as good as new by the middle of next week. Thanks to everyone that took the time to post advice in this forum. Very much appreciated.
 

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I don't like not having a temp gauge so i got this little thing it does other things but i just left it on the first screen MPH temp and charging voltage showing.
 

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I don't like not having a temp gauge so i got this little thing it does other things but i just left it on the first screen MPH temp and charging voltage showing.
Looks like a useful bit of kit. I must admit the fact that the packaging prominently lists 'alarm clock' among the functionality made me chuckle though!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really need to stop reading up on cylinder head repairs. I liken it to self diagnosing your own health...when you google your health issues, next thing you think you are dying.

I presume my car will eventually come back as good as new but since it is the dealer that has sent it away to be repaired, I do not know how competent the mechanic is. I have read post after post on multiple forums where it is suggested that a cylinder head repair may not be all its cracked up to be.

Is there a standard procedure, i.e. additionally replacing valves, seals, water pump (again).

What should be included as part of a comprehensive repair?

Obviously other forums are very generic, not just BMW's. My concern is that I have just been made redundant due to Covid and I wanted a reliable motor that goes like stink and is economical with the bonus of reasonable tax (just incase I have to travel a fair distance for my next job). The N47 engine seemed to tick all the boxes but I chose the bitch of a car :(

I always wanted a BM and I thought it would cheer me up but now it has turned into an additional worry.

Has anyone else had a head repair on their BMW and was it / is it still bang on?

I am wondering if I should just ask for a refund now or at least get some legal advice. If the car goes pop again in 6 months then I am stuck with a lemon. I picked up the car on Sat 7th Nov 2020 and it was steaming by the time I got it home after a few motorway miles. It was definitely fckd before I bought the car but as I didn't drive it hard on the test drive I would not have known.

Any comments appreciated peeps. I have not got much of a clue when it comes to engines.

Happy motoring to you all.
-Paul
 

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If the repair is done correctly then you should be fine. It may be worth speaking to the garage and let them know you are really worried about the repair and will they give you an additional warranty. You obviously have the option of asking for your money back and depending on how much you spent on it that may be the better option. Only issue then is finding another I guess.
cheers
jim
 
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