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Stranded with Radiator Leak - HELP

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by AngryE39, Aug 28, 2011.

    • Member

    AngryE39

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    I am 300 miles from home (Atlanta) with a slow leak in my plastic BMW radiator. I need to know if I can "crack" the expansion tank cap and run it unpressurized to limp home (and order the new radiator tomorrow).

    2001 540i, 120k miles, all service up to date, replaced radiator ~110k miles.

    Thank you for ANY HELP.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Let's hope you got home

    Let's hope you got home unscathed. If you have only a slow leak - sure, why not... unless it overheats badly. Cruising on the highway, at speed you should have enough airflow to keep temps basically in check. Me, I'd stop at the first convenience store/wal-mart/gas station/grocery store (might be worth the detour to a town if it's not too far off the beaten path) and pick up 2 5-gallon water jugs (ideally, distilled water), so if you lose too much to keep the car acceptably cool, you can top it up and keep rolling, or keep going until the next exit - all while keeping an eye on the temp gauge.
    • Member

    AngryE39

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    Thank You

    Thanks for weighing in. Unfortunately, the radiator had/has a serious leak. We did a 10 mile test and determined the leak was too bad to drive it. BMW OEM plastic radiator with less than 13k miles! I'll be going with the metal replacement, if possible.

    I appreciate you taking the time to post your comment.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    If you're willing to spring

    If you're willing to spring for it, zionsville autosport likely has the right option; pricey, but perhaps preferable to what you just experienced.

    http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/store/screen/prod/store_code/6134/product_code/NP-ALLOYRAD39.htm

    Particularly if you have the V8, search the other BMW forums out there for issues specific to your car - there are a variety of things to watch out for as the mileage begins to accrue.

    Sorry you didn't have any better luck with a new radiator - sheesh!
    • Member

    wboudway

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    Hi,
    Our '98 E-39. At 187,000 miles the replacement radiator failed after only 10,000 miles with my son driving. Didn't stop in time. Cooked the engine.
    Sold for parts $1,150.00

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