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E34-Babanca 11-03-2010 03:06 PM

BMW E34 Coolant Smell in Cabin...
Hi guys,
I have a problem. My 95' BMW 540i blows coolant smell from the vents. I cant use the heat anymore now since all you smell coolant and its quite poisonous. What do i do? I know it must be the heatercore. Also my car gives off alot of white smoke/vapour, even when engine was warm and head gasket was changed a year ago.
Any help? Thanks

marks525 11-03-2010 03:47 PM

I would guess at the heater core. Not an easy job. Done that once. Never again.

E34-Babanca 11-03-2010 04:18 PM

Did you replace the heater core yourself? How much money did it end up costing you? Thank you

ACS_DAN 11-03-2010 04:18 PM

Do you know if they replaced the head gasket on both banks?

E34-Babanca 11-03-2010 04:33 PM

Ummm im pretty sure both banks were changed. I know the heater core is probably flooded with coolant, even though the coolant level stays the same...

marks525 11-03-2010 04:48 PM

I changed the heater core myself. If I remember right, the part was around $300. Shops will charge over $1000 to do the job since it's such a pain in the butt.

JINT 11-04-2010 03:42 PM

It's not always the heater core, it could be the heater valve or the axillary water pump near the heater valve. Some times those two could leak, and the blower motor just sucks in the coolant smell from the engine bay. I smell the coolant too sometimes inside the car when i turn on the heat. but the smell goes away after 5 seconds.

E34-Babanca 11-04-2010 06:12 PM

The difference is, no matter how long i leave the heat on, i smell coolant, therefore i believe it would be the heater core...but would be glad to find out its otherwise.

talltorontoguy 11-09-2010 02:37 PM

Sounds like you are right - it sure sounds like the heater core. Crappy job but not impossible. There's a writeup on the interweb. Make sure you change the pipes and o-rings while you're in there. Not a job you want to do twice.

zubbie 11-14-2010 04:59 PM

done it. Not hard but lots to disassemble to get at it. In a lot of cases it's just the "O" rings that are leaking.

E34-Babanca 11-15-2010 09:55 PM

Actually, after leaving the heater running for a period of time, the smell of coolant disappears and heat blows nice and hot...

Ceeker 11-15-2010 10:42 PM

in my experience with e34 the heater taps were faulty. I don't recall cars coming in to get the heater core serviced. Cores usually don't go but may find the o-rings do. As mentioned the heater tap or aux waterpump could be leaking or bad and fan is sucking it into the cabin from the engine bay.

E34-Babanca 11-15-2010 10:50 PM

I hope its not the heater core itself and something minor. I'm gonna need to bring it in somewhere and check it out, but I don't know where to bring it to

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