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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > Coolant Loss - Driver's Side Near Radiator



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      10-24-2016, 06:05 PM   #1
TwinTurboXI
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Coolant Loss - Driver's Side Near Radiator

Hey Everyone,

I recently experienced a large amount of steam coming from under the hood while I was driving. Luckily I was near my house so I made it back to my garage and popped the hood to find the steam coming from the drivers side upper radiator. I know these cars have multiple failure points in the cooling system so i wanted to get some advice.

I inspected the tube discussed in this thread: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=935690
I dont believe thats the issue in my case.

I attempted to locate where the leak was coming from and it seems to be from where the radiator and radiator bracket meet. This is where I saw coolant running down the radiator bracket. See attached picture to see exactly where I think the coolant leak is.

Is it possible this is the source? Can I replace the radiator bracket without replacing the radiator?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I should also mention, My car is a 2011 135, N55. I chose to post here as the exposure is much greater and I know the components and failure points are nearly identical.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: After looking at the part diagram further, the component that may be leaking could be directly attached to the radiator so maybe my only fix is a radiator replacement?
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      10-24-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
weehe126
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I've actually read of other radiator leaking, so it is possible. I can't tell from the pic, but it looks like the connector is leaking (looks wet).
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      10-24-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
TwinTurboXI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weehe126 View Post
I've actually read of other radiator leaking, so it is possible. I can't tell from the pic, but it looks like the connector is leaking (looks wet).
Thanks for the response. The car was steaming and spewing quite a bit so I think its probably likely the connector you mention got wet from that and not necessarily from being the source.
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      10-24-2016, 07:33 PM   #4
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Happened to me, my leak was almost the same spot as yours. Ended up having the radiator replaced under warranty. A week later I had to bring the car back because then expansion tank cracked.
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      10-25-2016, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreAlex View Post
Happened to me, my leak was almost the same spot as yours. Ended up having the radiator replaced under warranty. A week later I had to bring the car back because then expansion tank cracked.
Thanks for the info. I'm trying to figure out if a repair is possible without radiator replacement as I'm no longer under warranty.
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      10-25-2016, 01:52 PM   #6
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You can replace the radiator or you can use JB Weld Plastic Bonder to repair the leak coming from the elbow of the radiator. I've done it on my winter beater 328i.
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      10-26-2016, 09:56 AM   #7
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I would check thit brittle tube on top of the radiator extra carefully. Just last week the same thing happened to me while I was driving, lost a ton of coolant and steam everywhere. At first when I checked the tube, it didn't appear to be broken or cracked anywhere. Then I finally found where it was cracked a little and it had caused a huge leak.

This part is very brittle and should be replaced as preventative maintenve anyways IMO. I bought about a foot and a half of fuel line from my local auto store along with 2 fuel line connectors that fit inside of the new hose. It works great now and I don't have to worry about it leaking anymore.
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      10-26-2016, 12:27 PM   #8
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So I ended up ordering a replacement radiator. Hopefully that is my only current leak.
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      10-30-2016, 07:11 PM   #9
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My radiator was replaced after a series of events. Water pump/thermostat, expansion tank, and then the radiator went. Similar to your issue except it was near the bottom and leaking into my intercooler. In the process the dealer broke the nipple on the top radiator hose and cracked the crossover pipe that goes across the top of the radiator. Be careful or you'll be spending more money replacing those items.
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      11-01-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orteeze View Post
My radiator was replaced after a series of events. Water pump/thermostat, expansion tank, and then the radiator went. Similar to your issue except it was near the bottom and leaking into my intercooler. In the process the dealer broke the nipple on the top radiator hose and cracked the crossover pipe that goes across the top of the radiator. Be careful or you'll be spending more money replacing those items.
Word for word exact same thing happened to me. Only difference in my case my wonderful dealer stripped the bleed screw on the expansion tank.
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      11-01-2016, 10:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreAlex View Post
Word for word exact same thing happened to me. Only difference in my case my wonderful dealer stripped the bleed screw on the expansion tank.
Good news is our cooling system is damn near new!
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      11-03-2016, 09:08 AM   #12
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I just had my car in the dealership yesterday with 92k miles on it. They ended up replacing the radiator and I hadn't even noticed a leak yet. CPO runs out next month, so it happened just in time! Now if I can get my PVC to go...
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      11-03-2016, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JETmn View Post
I just had my car in the dealership yesterday with 92k miles on it. They ended up replacing the radiator and I hadn't even noticed a leak yet. CPO runs out next month, so it happened just in time! Now if I can get my PVC to go...
You mean PCV? :P

I'll be replacing mine this weekend.
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      11-03-2016, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orteeze View Post
You mean PCV? :P

I'll be replacing mine this weekend.
Yep, autocorrect got me :P
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      11-16-2016, 12:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreAlex View Post
Word for word exact same thing happened to me.
Alright, looks like I'm on the path to catastrophic cooling system failure. Step 1, Replaced water pump and thermostat 1 month ago cause the pump died. Step 2, this past week, we started losing coolant rapidly, and I see the attached pic, which seems to be expansion tank failure.

Anything I can do to prevent step 3 (radiator failure)? Or should I just expect defeat and replace it now...

The drivers side upper radiator looks good now, but I do see some white marks that look like they could be from coolant (second pic).
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      12-23-2016, 03:21 PM   #16
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I've got this exact same leak. Any temporary fix while I order a new radiator?
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      06-17-2021, 03:16 PM   #17
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I have a similar leak coming from the radiator plastic, is the only option to replace the radiator itself? JB Weld might hold it over for a while I assume?




Last edited by BaMBaM4002; 06-17-2021 at 03:23 PM.. Reason: added image
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      06-17-2021, 08:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaMBaM4002 View Post
I have a similar leak coming from the radiator plastic, is the only option to replace the radiator itself? JB Weld might hold it over for a while I assume?



JB Weld will hold as a patch, but you will need to replace your radiator.
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