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2000 BMW 528i Question: How long do you think I can keep driving the car with this leak? See details.

 

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jeffcurran, Deerfield Beach, FL, June 12, 2013, 18:33
 Rookie

I confirmed a head gasket leak by sucking coolant out of cylinder #3 with a turkey baster.

Facts. Only cylinder 3 is affected. P0303 misfire on cold start. Exhaust steam for a few minutes until warm. It's accumulating about 1/16th of an ounce of coolant every 24 hours. The coolant loss does not move the indicator in the expansion tank. Block Tester indicates zero carbons in the cooling system. Dipstick indicates no coolant in the oil. Car is driven only 2,000 miles per year. I just finished a 500 mile Interstate road trip with no problems, and the coolant temp was steady at 99 degrees C (210 F).

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  • Answer #1

    Miles Auto Services (884 Answers) , Richmond, VA - (804) 885-4176
    milesauto June 13, 2013, 05:17
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     Master

    I would not advise you to drive or even try to start engine. At some point, should the leak get worse it could fill the cylinder enought to do what is known as hydralock. It means a liquid cannot be compresed like air can. A liquid should never be in a cylinder and it could lead to major damage to piston, valves, block, or head.

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  • Answer #2

    Greg's Orange Auto (13005 Answers) , Orange, CA - (714) 361-9386
    globalhelper June 13, 2013, 06:05
     Master

    do not drive car it can cause major eng damage

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    jeffcurran, June 13, 2013, 09:52
     Rookie

    Here's why I ask. And I'm aware of the risk of hydro lock.

    Head gasket jobs on these engines have a 50/50 chance of being successful. Often times the threads on the block get stripped when replacing the head. Timeserts can be used and this increases the likelihood of success. However, often times the cost of the repair equals the cost of a used replacement engine. Since I'm short on cash for the next six months, and I'm more than likely going to need to replace the engine anyway, I'm trying to figure out how long it might last. Especially since it's not a daily driver.

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    ScottA1966, March 17, 2014, 16:59
     Rookie

    you should not run the engine until the head gasket has been replaced, however should you choose to drive the car do this first: clear cylinders of all coolant, add a full bottle of moroso ceramic seal and drive for an hour before shutting off. I have personally done this with many race cars because they will weep coolant if they use head studs instead of head bolts and this is very common across the racing world and many engine builders will have you run moroso ceramic seal from the first start up. It is a very good product that may help you until you can get the engine replaced or the gasket replaced. Keep an eye on the oil level and color to make absolutely sure there is no coolant getting in the oil of this will destroy the bearings and your engine will be totally junk and not worth repairing.

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    jeffcurran, March 17, 2014, 17:23
     Rookie

    Thanx for responding. Yeah, I've used the Moroso stuff on studded race engines as well. I've put about 3,000 miles on this car since I first posted this and have had no problems. I can go for weeks without a start up misfire. It seems to depend upon temperature and run time duration. The leak is minuscule at worst. I check the oil and coolant every time I use the car. No "cross leakage" of any type.

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