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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So today was supposed to be a relaxed day off. But right as I was approaching a busy London roundabout, the engine went into limp mode followed by yellow and then red engine overheating warnings.

I pulled over as soon as I could (safely).

Since the warnings came up, it probably took me anywhere between 5-15 minutes until I pulled over and switched the engine completely off. It may have taken less time but I can’t recall exactly how long it took, hence would rather bank on the maximum.

It’s going into my mechanic as I suspect the radiator gave way as coolant is everywhere in the engine bay. Or if I’m lucky just a pipe!

My concern however is could that 5 or 15 minutes have damaged the engine? I know nothing can be known until the engine is stripped etc. but given that it went into limp mode how bad will it be?
 

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It all depends on how hot the engine was, how you drove it in those 5-15 minutes, whether 100% of the coolant had leaked out or not, etc.

Realistically, as you said, you won't know until it's back on the road. Generally, it is said that a cold engine can run with little coolant for about 5-10 minutes but obviously it's not an experiment that people carry out routinely for it to be an exact science.

Let us know how you get on, and good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would there be any way to know whether it has been damaged once it’s back on the road? In other words without stripping the engine down.

I’m assuming there would be signs such as noise, excess oil consumption etc if it is damaged?

It’s rather annoying that this happened right after I dropped my wheels off to have them professionally refurbished :(
 

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Yup, you'll know if it's warped/damaged something. You'll be down on power, leaking/burning fluids, etc, etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So the cause of the leak is the radiator drain plug/sleeve item [2]. My mechanic managed to get this repaired, although I’ve had a search and the entire sleeve can be bought for a tenner (17107523260). Not sure how difficult it is to replace this, but seems like a simple push-fit?



He has now asked to leave the car with him for another day to check whether the head has been damaged or not.



Side note - little confused by RealOem’s table above, is the upper item for Manual Transmission or the bottom?
 

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I believe the upper item is for auto transmission only. Looks like a push and twist fit from photos on eBay.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got the car back this afternoon. In the end, we had to change the entire radiator.

The drain sleeve on the radiator was damaged, hence even a new plug wasn’t holding on when the system pressurised.

Fingers crossed, nothing unusual to report on, no noises etc. Will keep monitoring and hopefully nothing happens.
 

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Got the car back this afternoon. In the end, we had to change the entire radiator.

The drain sleeve on the radiator was damaged, hence even a new plug wasn’t holding on when the system pressurised.

Fingers crossed, nothing unusual to report on, no noises etc. Will keep monitoring and hopefully nothing happens.
What did that set you back Aaron? Just checking, not Aaron I used to work with? Black 1 Series, GTC?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What did that set you back Aaron? Just checking, not Aaron I used to work with? Black 1 Series, GTC?
I’m afraid not, mine is a space grey 1 series!

Set me back £300. Could have been a lot cheaper, if I had the time to order parts online.

I am a little gutted though, as I’m very OCD about what brands I use. I prefer to only use OEM manufacturers when replacing parts.

In this case, I hope the brand doesn’t matter too much.

Side note:

1. Anyone know the OE manufacturer for BMW radiators?

2. Top left side of the radiator seems to be loose. I can move it back and forth. We’ve double checked but don’t seem to find any fasteners missing? Is this normal? Should it have some movement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The first hurdle - went to start the car today after 3 days of no use and it threw 29D1 - Cylinder 5 Combustion Misfire code. Car starting shaking, no power and sounded much like my old Subaru!

Will this be a sign of Cylinder head damage from the overheating?

I guess I’ll start by swapping two coils around to see if the code follows. Hopefully it’s an easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well, it was the ignition coil but …

I tried opening the coolant reservoir and it was pressurised when cold! Which to my knowledge means the head is warped or it’s the gasket? Unless my mechanic didn’t bleed it properly when he changed the radiator?

Also where is the fastest place to get NGK spark plugs? ECP has Delphi coils but they don’t house NGK plugs.

I’ve come across this seller on eBay, but I’ve been told not to buy from eBay since there are loads of fake ones out there.

 

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It might have been under a slight vacuum if there are air pockets still as the engine cooled
Does your engine have an electric water pump ?
If you want to put your mind at rest get a coolant tester where the liquid changes colour if it sees exhaust

I got NGK from opie oils or the green spark plug company previously and like you say I’d avoid eBay
I’m currently running bosch plugs from GSF in mine
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, mate, Green spark plug does first-class delivery! So hopefully it will be here soon.

Tbh I’ve never done nor heard of coolant tester kits. So, I searched and this came up? Is this what you’re referring to?

I’m assuming if it comes out clear, then there shouldn’t (potentially) be any gasket or head damage?

 

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I’ve had lots of stuff from them in the past for our kit car for building HT leads ect and always a good service so far
Yeah that’s the part you may have to bodge it a bit with tape as it’s meant for old skool rad caps but basically you suck a bit of coolant out the tank
Put the weird tube into the reservoir opening then put the special blue fluid into it as the instructions say
Run the car and if it turns yellow you have exhaust in the cooling system
It’s a pretty cheap test to either put your mind to rest a bit or confirm the worst
 
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