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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Oily Coolant



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      10-01-2018, 06:19 AM   #1
nsfx84
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Oily Coolant

Hi guys, my wife was driving the old 2005 E90 today and plenty of smoke came out of the bonnet after she got home. There was a trail of diluted oily liquid. Feels like coolant was mixed with oil?

I topped up the coolant again and doesn't seem to fill up but no immediate leaks from underneath either (wonder where the coolant went). A bit odd but once I drove the car a few meters, a big bunch of coolant leaked out to the floor. Only leaks when the car is moving?

Any ideas? Thanks.
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      10-01-2018, 06:54 AM   #2
ryan stewart
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Look around where the oil filter housing mates up maybe. oil in the coolant trail could be a bit of a red herring though and it could just be a regular old coolant leak mixing with years of crud built up OR mixing with the routine oil pan gasket leak.
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      10-01-2018, 07:07 AM   #3
nsfx84
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Thanks. You could be right. We were actually having some oil leaks issues last week as well, not fixed yet. I guess could be two separate issues. Could just bit coolant hitting the oil around the engine bay.

Is it actually safe to still drive the car? Driving and stopping once every 5-10 mins to get to the workshop 15 mins away. Otherwise, might need to get it towed.

Thanks.
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      10-01-2018, 07:35 AM   #4
ryan stewart
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not sure based on description. If youre getting a lot of smoke (or steam) coming from under the hood Id usually default to saying $125 on a tow could end up being the “cheap” option, better safe than sorry. Especially if you are having to stop every 10 minutes because the car is reporting an issue.

But if you check the oil level and check the coolant level and its good, then check in the reserve bottle for the coolant (even better if you can pull a small sample) and look at how the coolant looks. If it were mixing in any way you would have some foaming as the mix churns in the coolant pump.

It could be one of those “bark is worse than bite” kind of things with the steam if everything else checks out. Water expands 30x when it converts to steam so a little bit of water can be a scary looking amount of steam.
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      10-01-2018, 07:50 AM   #5
nsfx84
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Thanks Ryan.

I checked the oil and all good, even on the onboard computer. The coolant just gushes out when they car moves (not when stationary). Refilled it to brim today and most of them came out after i started driving. So stopping every 5 mins to rest the engine was my plan to get the the workshop.

Maybe should just get it towed. Dang.
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      10-01-2018, 08:03 AM   #6
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get it towed don't play with it, its your water pump most likely if thermo, hoses etc.
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      10-16-2018, 10:57 AM   #7
Josegut303
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Hey guys any idea what the coolant capacity is on a 2011 bmw 335i n55 e90.? Also how exactly do you drain all the coolant out of the coolant system i remove a pipe connected to the water pump but that only gets about a gallon of coolant out.
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