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2002 BMW 325i Question: engine coolant dripping but cant find the origin.

 

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Visitor, Wichita Falls, TX, March 17, 2011, 11:04
 Rookie

a drip of engine coolant developed a week or so ago. hoses,radiator,and anything that I can see are in very good shape. the drip comes down just to the inside of the left front tire, but unable to see origin due to all the shrouds, skid plates, etc., that are under the car. Any ideas?

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  • Answer #1

    Superbob March 17, 2011, 11:24
     Master

    Get a flashlight and mirror and look. Trace the trail back to the source. I'd suspect the radiator, but you can look for yourself.
    If you want to find a specialist, here's a directory link for you:
    https://repairpal.com/directory?address=76306&car_bra...

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    Visitor, March 17, 2011, 11:27
     Rookie

    would you believe that i have tried tracing the trail, but to no avail. The drips and the wetness continue upwards on the drivers side of the engine, but all the hoses, the radiator and the clamps are dry and intact. What, if anything, carries water to the side of the engine on this type of car? Will I have to put on ramps, and remove each and every undercarriage panel/skid plate to find this thing? I was hoping that this type of leak would ring a bell and someone would know exactly where to start search.

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    overbys, March 17, 2011, 14:23
     Master

    all the connectors on your hoses, radiator, thermostat and
    reservoir are plastic. you do have a leak and if you can't find it, better to have a local BMW specialty shop look at it for you. if you are not experienced in exactly what to look for, you will overlook something really important. you must pressure test the system to "provoke" the leak; if you can't pressure test it, stop now.

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    Visitor, June 12, 2011, 09:06

    with careful, but evidently not thorough precision, i began at the top by radiator. have found a minor crack in the reservoir. Very minor, about an inch long, and barely noticeable. Definitely had moisture present under pressure, Some decent, heat resistant epoxy fixed the problem easily. Let it cure for 24 hours, and no more leak..at that spot. I missed the major one, and currently have the car up, wheel off the drivers side, and am tracing the trail again.
    although cracked, the reservoir must not have even been a contributor of the problem really. still having to replace about a quart of water daily for wife to go to and from work. never overheats, and temp is 12 oclock like it has always been. Now, with a little time on hands, and temps outside hitting 105, I guess i will tackle it again.
    Yeah, a professional BMW mechanic/shop could fix it easily..Where is the fun in that? And I definitely know by experience, that nothing is less than a 100$ bill, even to replace a simple hose for the shops these days. Wish me luck..still searching for the river.

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  • Answer #2

    Visitor, April 17, 2011, 19:47

    water pump no good

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    Visitor, June 12, 2011, 09:13

    water pump working and cooling correctly with no evidence of leaking, spraying, or problems at all. More than likely it was replaced at or around 60k miles, since it seems they dont last past that point. I am at about 90k now, and will look carefully again at it, but not really expecting to see problem

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