I need some help diagnosing a cooling system problem that's driving me up the wall. Here's a little info.
The rad in my E36 sprung a leak towards the end of last summer. The date on the rad was June 2003 so I thought I might as well do the entire cooling system so I would avoid problems later. I took the car to Bimmersport and they did just that.
After about a week of driving, the check coolant level warning came up on the OBC. I checked and sure enough the expansion tank was bone dry. No problem I said and went to Waterloo BMW to grab a bottle ($29
) of coolant. I topped it up and just thought nothing of it.
A few weeks later the warning comes up again. I let the car sit overnight and check first thing the next morning. Sure enough, the tank is bone dry again. I checked around for leaks but didn't come up with any so I let it go as the system not being filled to the right level after the swap so I topped it up again.
A couple weeks later the warning comes up again but this time I was due for an oil change so I just left it until I brought the car in. I asked Charlie to check it for me. He did and topped it up once again. This was in December.
The car sat from the end of December until mid January as I was on vacation. I drive the car for about a week then the warning comes up again. I check the next morning and sure enough it's bone dry again. This time however, I see a few drops of coolant on the front of the valve cover. Ok, so now I know something is leaking but couldn't find it at the time.
I drive the car for a few more days and nothing. No warning and no coolant anywhere. I start to feel much better but that didn't last long. Wednesday I go to get into the car but notice there's a small puddle under the front bumper. I check and sure enough its coolant. Now I'm pissed. I open the hood and there's coolant everywhere. I can't pinpoint where it's coming from so I take the car for a drive. I let it warm up and drive it around for about 10 minutes and check again. Guess what? Nothing! No leaks no nothing!
My schedule sucks right now which keeps me from getting down to Bimmersport (I live in Kitchener obviously) and I need this looked at before it gets out of hand. I don't think it's anything extreme like the head gasket because the oil looks clean and there isn't any white smoke or funny smells. The temp gauge always sits where it should and the car was never overheated in the 3 years that I've owned it. I've been to a couple of places here but they tell me they don't deal with these cars and nobody opens on Saturdays anymore so I'm looking for something close to home.
If anyone has any recommendations please post or pm me. Sorry for the long story lol.