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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:57 PM   #1
brian mahony

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Your Ride: 1997 e36 saloon blue 1.8l
e36 model 1.8 coolant loss head gasket ok

over the last 2 weeks i have lost about a 3rd of a litre of coolant from my radiator..its a 97 318 e36 saloon with 170,ooo miles..we replaced the battery..topped up the oil..changed the wheels for bmw 3 series wheels..replaced the pollen filter which was in there since 97..when we checked the coolant it was full of all sorts of ----+crap..buddy is a mechanic well trained and everything was ok..since new years day i have lost about a 3rd of coolant from rad..no leaks from anywhere..heating system have been vastly improved since all the work we did to it..no more crap in the rad ..is this normal or what ..car is running away no problems..not overheating or such like..IS THIS NORMAL FOR E36 MODEL OR AM I BEING PARANOID..THIS IS MY THIRD E36 SINCE MARCH LAST YEAR AND I HAD TO TOP UP EITHER WITH COOLANT/WATER AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
Manolito

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How full are you filling the reservoir? Anything much above the "cold" line will get pushed out the cap when the car gets to full operating temperature.

It sounds like you changed the coolant two weeks ago. It may be that there was still a bit of air in the system, so as that air worked its way out to the reservoir, you appeared to loose a third of a liter of water.

If you are filling it only to the cold line, normal evaporative loss for my four BMWs (two e36 and two e46s currently in the fleet) is about a half cup a every couple of months of daily driving. That is a bit more than my Volvos used to lose. I use BMW coolant and distilled water, and add distilled water between coolant changes.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
3050rpm
 
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Check the integrity of other cooling system components, such as a cracked radiator neck or expansion tank, hoses, connections, and the heater control valve. Given the age of the car, and its apparent lack of regular maintenance, a lot of rubber and other components may be well past the time for replacement.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
brian mahony

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went on a long spin today and the level is still at the same level..we put in a good bit of coloured ccolant and marked the level with a pen..still same level..as i said no leaks or anything ..freezing weather here in lreland so heating is working good..inside the rad is also clean only coolant in it and no rust/leaks anywhere..have to keep an eye on it all the same..
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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I'm with 3050, it sounds like you have a leak when its warmed up.....which would likely be a radiator tank. Heats up and leaks, cools down and doesn't. But you're doing the right thing by monitoring it, let us know what you find
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:08 AM   #6
brian mahony

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seems to be running at the same level all week..should be ok now....
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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Maybe just an air bubble then. Keep and eye on it obviously, but that sounds like good news.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #8
brian mahony

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level still the same in the rad...
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
brett murphy

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no this is not normal and even though you cant see the coolant loss you need to have the system pressure tested to help determine the cause
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