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Discussion Starter #1
just bought a 2004 530d auto about a month ago, all seemed ok but all of a sudden the coolant warning appeared on the dash. the problem is that in 2 days it appeared twice and i topped around 1.5 ltrs of coolant and i'm finding nothing under the car. the car still drives ok, the pull is still there. all i could notice is that once when i started the car i noticed like steam coming out of the silencer it was more than normal condensation but it stopped the same way that it came. my mechanic is blaming a cracked cylinder head.


is there anything else i should look for before opening the engine?????

any help and valid ideas would be most appreciated
please help guys thanks
 

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There's a fair chance it's a fair EGR cooler. The exhaust gases are cooled before being fed back into the engine.

An internal failure of the EGR cooler will dump coolant into the exhaust. A new part is about £350 but you should be able to source one secondhand for around £70. They do fail but not that often so second-hand should be fine.

Changing it is quite easy (apart from two fiddly torx bolts). I think I did mine in about half an hour.
 

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Oh if you do take it off and find it is the problem you'd be very strongly advised to change both the EGR thermostat and Main Thermostat at the same time. They are around £35 each but if you're taking the EGR cooler off there's virtually no extra labour to change the thermostats.

The thermostats age then the car runs cool, that wrecks the MPG and blocks up the Diesel Particular Filter in the exhaust which is really expensive to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for your reply did yours do the same let out steam and all of a sudden back to normal?
 

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Mine had a small external leak due to a cracked weld and sprayed the coolant onto the hot engine where it evaporated without much of a trace.

Because there's a thermostat for the EGR it will only leak when the engine is hot, whether it's an internal or external leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
if the EGR cooler has failed would also be possible to have an external visible leak? and do you think having my cylinder head cracked is a possibility?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
by the way is the EGR cooler found facing towards you as soon as you open the hood? (looks like a black plastic elbow)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hi once again, today i've to another mechanic for a second opinion and he told that a blown head on a 530d is very rare so he's giving me high hopes. i mentioned the EGR cooler (thanks to your advice) and he agreed to start from there as that"s one big possibility but he also told that there are quite a few other things that could fail and give the same symptoms. I'll be taking the car to his garage tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed and hope it's a minor problem!!!


i will keep in touch and let you the results
 

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he also told that there are quite a few other things that could fail and give the same symptoms
that's what they always say in garages... options are: EGR cooler , cracked cylinder head or engine block or head gasket that's about it... most likely it's that first option...
 

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i have changed mine about 2 months ago. got one from ebay from 320d e46. why? cos second hand fro e60 is £160 and second hand for e46 was £24.
all you need to buy is water hose size 15 about 15 cm of it (£1) cos that will be slightly short as e60 cooler is slightly longer. (hose from main thermostat to EGR cooler)
btw- all 3 bolts on the egr cooler bracket must be tightened as this will break the weld and you will have the leak mentioned above. - happened to me too :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
sorry for the delay but in the time i was away i was hunting mechanics for opinions all said that it's quite far fetched to have a cracked cylinder any way till tomorrow i'm hoping for the best

thanks for your opinion everything helps at this point, will keep you updated with results
 

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nah,
i was loosing water due to the cracked weld. however you are loosing water way too quickly. you can check expansion bottle for traces of oil but quite unlikely as your mechanic said. this is quite an engine so cracked head would be surprise. on the other side, components like EGR cooler and thermostats are very common to fail on our beauties.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
had
you can check expansion bottle for traces of oil
had an oil change , oil filter and air filter last week and the oil is crystal clear, the water in the expansion tank has no signs of oil, the engine works fine both on idle and responds fine to the pedal but still the thing that's worrying me is the steam from the silencer and worse than that it does it when ever it feels like ,it's not constant. Steam or no steam the drive remains the same no difference felt when i get steam but when it happens it stops after a 5 minute drive and yes i'm sure it's not condensation
 

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the 5 minute could be simple. once car getting into temperature, it evaporates quicker so you cant see the smoke. anyway, you can check the egr cooler yourself. remove the thing, there is an amazing guide from kwempe :
http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/f15/2004-e60-530d-egr-cooler-replaced-e46-one-pics-t89828/

you have 4 outlets on the cooler, so block one on the bottom from hose to the thermostat and blow through one from EGR thermostat. you should not be able to blow through.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thanks mate for your interest, i've seen kwempe's guide and i'm sure it will help at least we will have one possibility cleared off or we would have hit the nail on it's head. We are delaying as the mechanic is caught on another project where the car is used everyday and mine is used only on sundays
 
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