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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 > I hit a $1,000 traffic cone

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      08-27-2012, 01:45 AM   #1
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2006 BMW 325xi  [0.00]
I hit a $1,000 traffic cone

So, this past Sunday morning I awoke wanting to take my car for a short drive. I had just started school and it would be a week before I got to drive my car again, and I just wanted some personal time

I became increasingly frustrated traveling behind a slow minivan on the state highway when I finally decide to pull a dick-move and maneuver through the traffic. In the left lane, on the ass of a minivan, it is hard to see what is on the dividing separated white lane. What happened to be there this particular Sunday morning were traffic cones for a church.

I indiscriminately take one of these cones hostage as soon as I jump out from behind the slowing minivan and carry it for about 1,000ft before I hear a beep. I pull into the nearest parking lot, step out and look back on the trail of coolant. After examination I snapped some brittle cooling line positioned on the front face of some metal beam, probably exposed such as to take advantage of air flow for additional cooling, my car does not have the undercarriage belly pan.

At this point I am thinking, "OK, this sucks but computer only says sudden loss of coolant, nothing indicating overheating. I should be ok." I go inside a convenience store, I am parked outside of a CVS, and purchase duct tape and two gallons of distilled water. I try to patch the line which continues to break in my hands. Now the moment of truth, I reach for the expansion tank to pour in the distilled water.

Much to my dismay, there is a frothy sludge under the cap of the expansion tank, not to mention my patch-job is leaking like a sieve. I check and see there is fresh misting of oil under the oil filter housing gasket. I am praying this is the extent of damaged gaskets. I got the car about 2 & 1/2 months ago knowing I needed to change the oil filter housing gasket but never really looked into it after the pre-purchase inspection.

I am hoping the extent of damage will be this cooling line which snakes around the bottom face of the engine, coolant and multiple flushes, and oil filter housing gasket. I will eventually change the valve cover gasket but I am mostly praying for a quick fix that won't cost me over $1,200.

The engine said the oil level was "OK", and I could not detect any further oil and water mixing from peering through the oil cap on top of the engine valve cover.

To my luck a BMW master tech happened to be on his way to the gym and offered much morale support. This support included the reference to another tech that could take care of the work for me and I just hope the fix doesn't put a college student onto a diet of beans and ketchup.

There were many more minor inconveniences that can only coincide with alignment of the planets, such as leaving my phone at home, phoning in late for work, conversation with the police, and telling my parents I ran over a fucking traffic cone. The only good things going for me today were the response time of a good friend and the luck of a master tech.

I will keep you informed on the repair.
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      08-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #2
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Well written story.

Good luck.
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      08-30-2012, 10:57 AM   #3
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Wow that sucks. +1 on good luck.
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      09-05-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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No worries, it will be back in shape in no time. Maybe it was a good thing it happen when it did, you could have been in the middle of nowhere with the parts that needed replacing! Good Luck
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