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chark89 02-16-2012 07:56 PM

Engine smoking/overheating
I'd like to say hi to everyone and thank you in advance for any reply. Obviously I am a noob and this is my first E39. Please Help!! I have a 99 528i with 180k on the dash. About 3-4 days ago after my oil change I noticed some dry green fluid near the radiator of the car. I didn't think too much of it and ignored it for awhile and forgot about it. So today after doing about 80mph on the highway for 5 miles the engine over heats and there is alot of smoking. I shut the car down for half an hour and start it back up but the same thing happens until i finally made it to the nearest gas station and got towed home. What could the problem be? Also before this, every time i go to overtake another car or just speed off the car shakes alot and lacks power. I would just like to know what to expect before I see my mechanic.

DEATH2000 02-16-2012 09:16 PM

Welcome to United Bimmer.

If I recall correctly you have the M52 engine in your vehicle. The M52 had a cooling system that was notorious for failing. The water pump (pre 1997) had a plastic impeller which would implode with age. The thermostat housing was plastic and would crack. The coolant expansion tank was again plastic and would become brittle and crack. The best replacements for te water pump and thermostat housing are aftermarket aluminum ones. now where exactly was the coolant? Near the radiator cap? It's possible that if you had never changed any of those components one of them likely failed. I had my thermostat stick open once and I had to limp it home cause vit would get close to overheating very quickly. That is most likely what happened if a hose didn't come loose.

As for the lack of power and stuttering that could be a vacuum hose that has come loose or cracked. A sputtering or sporadic idle is usually cause by By a crack or hole in an airline. Unfortunately their are a number of lines in the engine bay. However if you look carefully enough and feel them for cracks or tears you should be able to find the issue.

Let us know if this helps!

chark89 02-16-2012 10:14 PM

The coolant was around the hose and radiator actually. Just now i checked the coolant level and it was real low, i filled it up and no difference except it took longer for the car to overheat. Well you gave me some insight so i'm not so lost anymore. Thanks alot. I'm going to the shop in the morning and i will keep you posted.

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