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Old 01-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
elysium
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Coolant leak? help?

hello all.

i recently bought my 1997 540i. aaaand. the problems begin. i suspected there was a leak. since i found drops under my car. turns out it was coolant, surprise surprise. however i cant seem to find the source.

i took a bunch of pictures. maybe you guys can help me identify the problem. first things first. i took pictures all around starting with the L shaped mount on the side of the rad. its dry so i wouldnt think the leak originates from there. http://xs.to/image-80C8_4B60EDEC.jpg
http://xs.to/image-E96E_4B60EDEC.jpg



so i decided to snap pictures around the motor. this one is to the side of the engine. driver side. http://xs.to/image-40F2_4B60EDEC.jpg

doesnt seem like thers anything there.

next i went behind the intake, space was tight but i managed to snap a couple photos of what i think can be a leak. http://xs.to/image-51C6_4B60EDEC.jpg

http://xs.to/image-B598_4B60EDEC.jpg



i was feeling that with my fingers and it looks like a lot of grease. i didnt think this made too much sense so maybe you can tell me better?

then i went under the car and checked to the side of the oil pan. i was truely surprised. the driver side which was originally wet, is now dry. and the opposite side of the oil pan, the passenger is wet. here is what i mean http://xs.to/image-BEED_4B60EDEC.jpg
http://xs.to/image-6A35_4B60EDEC.jpg





heres the oil pan, maybe a leak from this too? http://xs.to/image-6DB5_4B60EDEC.jpg



and more pix of the wet area.

http://xs.to/image-AB9E_4B60EDEC.jpg





any ideas? help?

coolant is also very low btw. i just wanted to fix the leak before i flushed it.

i know the pictures arent saying much but any help would be appriciated.

Last edited by elysium; 01-27-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #2
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the v8's in the 540's X5's are notorious for intake valley pan and intake seal leaks. When the valley pan leaks its accompanied by coolant. intake gasket seals are identified by rough idle or missing on acceleration. I suspect it is the valley pan leaking which is beneath the intake. Not an uncommon procedure or problem for that matter. a bit pricey to fix. Worse case scenario is the head gasket but you would then find possible coolant in the oil and lots of white smoke pushing out the tail pipe.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:47 AM   #3
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I can't tell where those pics are. Is the coolant on the ground toward the back or front of the engine. If at the back of the engine then most likely valley pan or one of the heater hoses.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:18 AM   #4
elysium
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towards the front. by the oil pan on the passenger side
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elysium View Post
towards the front. by the oil pan on the passenger side
The majority of leaks in this are tend to be from a cracked coolant expansion tank or the sensor that plugs in the bottom of it. With the plactic belly pan in place it could be from some where else as well so you may want to remove the belly pan to help find the leak.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
Mover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elysium View Post
towards the front. by the oil pan on the passenger side
Did you ever get this sorted out and fixed ?

I've noticed something similar starting to take place with mine on the passenger side.

It doesn't appear to be the expansion tank or the sensor at the bottom of it or the passenger side drain plug on the block either. All those areas are bone dry with no signs (dry stains) that leak took place at either of these locations.

The passenger side of my oil pan and the ac compressor are wet as well as the fan belt tensioner (mini shock absorber like) on the lower passenger side.

I think it maybe the waterpump but I can't trace the leak back to it. Waterpump leaks have a way of hiding themselves by traveling to other parts of the car and appearing to come from that area.

Last edited by Mover; 05-18-2010 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:26 PM   #7
elysium
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Nope. Never solved the mystery of the coolant leak. At first I thought it was just a crack in the expansion tank. But after a while I noticed I wasn't losing any more coolant so I just forgot about it. Should check sometime soon though.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:33 PM   #8
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Worse case scenario is the head gasket but you would then find possible coolant in the oil and lots of white smoke pushing out the tail pipe.
Head gasket causing external coolant leaks!?
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