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Trouble shoot where the leak occurred on the Expansion Tank. This is from a E46 330i – M54 motor with Automatic transmission.
Hi-Res Photos of the hairline crack:
Part 2 Continue of Diagnosis – Automatic Transmission Coolant Thermostat:
A good question by dellyx –
“Can I ask what the rate of coolant loss was from such a small leak. I’m topping up at the moment awaiting time to find the cause, but just curious to see how such a crack would impact on fluids over miles.”
Youtube didn’t allow enough space for me to give a full reply, so I’m putting it here:
Good question.. It’s been awhile since this happened, so I may be off a bit from what I can remember. However, the resulting leak was initially was small from this particular tiny crack – Less than a cup of coolant per week. I drive about 40 +/- miles every day. But, it got steady worse to about a whole expansion tank worth PER Day, near the time I finally did the replacement. DO NOT wait that long to get yours fixed. I was very lucky I didn’t ruin my engine. Find your leak & replace, ASAP.
Obviously there was a leak issue, I just couldn’t find the leak because of the crack was so small and because of the splash shield underneath that covered & captured most of the spilt coolant making it’s exact location very difficult to pin down. If you have a coolant leak problem, I would advise that you remove the plastic splash pan/shield and have a flashlight to get a good look around. Replace the failed part(s) ASAP! I was lucky that I didn’t experience a catastrophic explosion of my expansion tank… That would have been a costly problem.
Just remember, once you get this unit replaced.. be sure to use BMW coolant (it’s fluid is blue & mixed 50/50 with distilled water) and to BLEED the cooling system afterwards to prevent overheating.
NEVER over fill your expansion tank!
Fill only to the specified level – between the two bubbles of max. and min. If you deliberately over fill, you can cause your expansion tank to explode unexpectedly.