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Nick E

Sudden overheat

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So the E39 has just suddenly overheated.. I noticed the gague was slightly over mid way, and then immediately went into the red. I pulled over, let it cool down, but it now won't start. 

 

Waiting for the AA to arrive.

 

The hoses looked ok when I checked the coolant tank earlier, but the level was way down. I noticed that there was a lot of moisture in the engine bay..

 

Any thoughts? 

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You have build up of coolant in your heater matrix and a coolant leak somewhere. Have your car pressurized by a good bmw specialist. It's not somethingtechnically challengingbut use a bmw specialist. does your heater fan spin and can you hear it in full speed spinning? Check your radiator for leaks and your thermostat flange.

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Sorry a buildup of coolant will mean hold up of coolant hence this coolant is not in operation leading to overheated engine by lack of antifreeze. It will not come back add coolant immediately.
This is the reason for your car overheated issue. Secondary to this are your thermostat waterpump and coyplyng fan clutch needing attention.

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We got picked up by a recovery truck and dropped off at my local garage. Thank God we weren't too far from home when I happened, and I hardly drove on red.

 

I put water in the tank while waiting for the truck, and that helped reduce the temperature.

 

I had the water pump replaced 6 months ago.

 

I think there's a split hose, which was misting coolant out. It would explain the moisture.

 

Anyway, damage report Monday morning now.

 

 

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Could be a seized water pump (not unheard of) or the rads cracked / split and let coolant out quickly. 

 

Hopefully they'll find the issue soon enough. 

 

As long as you turned the engine off quickly and didn't run it dry, it should be fine

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Good question.. we lost battery power sitting there with the sidelights on (we HAD to pull over on a pitch black B road), and it wasn't enough to power them. We left the emergency crash flash running.

 

Initially, after it had cooled down (and it didn't feel that hot - no steaming mess), I did see if we could move to a slightly less exposed spot, but it wouldn't even turn over.

Edited by Nick E

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42 minutes ago, Nick E said:

Good question.. we lost battery power sitting there with the sidelights on (we HAD to pull over on a pitch black B road), and it wasn't enough to power them. We left the emergency crash flash running.

 

Initially, after it had cooled down (and it didn't feel that hot - no steaming mess), I did see if we could move to a slightly less exposed spot, but it wouldn't even turn over.

 

Could you hear the fuel pump priming or starter clicking?

 

Could be that the battery is toast

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30 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Could you hear the fuel pump priming or starter clicking?

 

Could be that the battery is toast

 

Couldn't really hear anything as it was pissing it down.. my vote is on the battery and a leak in the hoses somewhere.

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The first time my E39 overheated I found a leak in the coolant connector that sits below the inlet manifold. It is made of some sort of composite material and can breakdown by the seal with age.It'is fairly well hidden from view and this makes it difficult to spot a leak there. The fact that you switched off the engine as soon as the temperature gauge warned of overheating should have prevented any damage. The loss of battery power seems coincidental.

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5 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Could you hear the fuel pump priming or starter clicking?

 

Could be that the battery is toast

I understood that right after overheating happened, OP wasn't able to start car, engine was turning over with starter motor, just didn't fire up. That rules out failed battery to me. 

Battery is dead now because of long attempts to start engine, hazard lights being on etc. 

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You're right Ray.. I left it to cool off then tried to start it to move to a less crappy location. Nothing happened. It wouldn't even turn over. I tried this three times.

 

The battery then died as a result of sitting on the road with no engine power and the lights on.

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56 minutes ago, Nick E said:

You're right Ray.. I left it to cool off then tried to start it to move to a less crappy location. Nothing happened. It wouldn't even turn over. I tried this three times.

 

The battery then died as a result of sitting on the road with no engine power and the lights on.

Hopefully it's not seized engine, just a flat battery.

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Bloody hope so too, however, I'm now starting to fear the worst. We had the lights on for about 30 to 45 minutes before I attempted a restart. Surely it wouldnt go that flat in that time.

 

I hardly drove on it in the red. As soon as it was up there, I pulled over.

Edited by Nick E

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1 hour ago, Nick E said:

Bloody hope so too, however, I'm now starting to fear the worst. We had the lights on for about 30 to 45 minutes before I attempted a restart. Surely it wouldnt go that flat in that time.

 

I hardly drove on it in the red. As soon as it was up there, I pulled over.

Which lights were on? If dipped beam, then definitely battery will be flat after that time, if only sidelights, it shouldn't drain battery that much not to able turn starter. Of course state of battery matters as well. Most likely it will be just flat battery.

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Dipped beam.. hopefully it's just the battery.

 

Will see what the garage say when i see them tomorrow.

 

Anyone know of any 525/530 engines kicking around?

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11 minutes ago, Nick E said:

Dipped beam.. hopefully it's just the battery.

 

Will see what the garage say when i see them tomorrow.

 

Anyone know of any 525/530 engines kicking around?

 

Ask them to turn it over by hand first and get a full idea of what's what... It does sound like you've shagged the battery to me

 

Don't bother thinking it's the engine until you know

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Working on my 523i & needing the audio switched on plus the boot lid & driver's door to be open, which of course meant the interior & boot lights stayed on, resulted in the car not turning over on the starter two hours later. The battery is up to the job because after recharging I've not had any starting problems since, even though the car is often unused for several days.

 

The point I'm making is that given the above situation it's hardly surprising that your battery has given up, considering the heavy drain it's been subjected to :rolleyes:

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Let's see what comes of it. Saw the garage today and they're going to check it over.

 

I noticed a big damp patch on the gravel driveway last night when I got home. The Beema had been parked there, and that would explain the low level in the expansion tank. I had a look at the tank again this morning, and it was empty, so there's definitely a major leak.

 

Just hope the engine is ok.. 

 

I'm not the only car in there that overheated. The other guy, however, ignored the red warning light and drove his Mini 16 miles whilst overheated. His engine, predictably, is utterly shagged.

Edited by Nick E

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3 hours ago, Norseman said:

Working on my 523i & needing the audio switched on plus the boot lid & driver's door to be open, which of course meant the interior & boot lights stayed on, resulted in the car not turning over on the starter two hours later. The battery is up to the job because after recharging I've not had any starting problems since, even though the car is often unused for several days.

 

The point I'm making is that given the above situation it's hardly surprising that your battery has given up, considering the heavy drain it's been subjected to :rolleyes:

Actually if you leave doors open, after 16 minutes interior light and door puddle light goes off. Every time you reopen door, it's a new 16 minute countdown. If you had your ignition on position 1 to keep radio working, then interior lights are on all time with open door, plus lots of other modules are are kept awake, which obviously is big battery drain.

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That's what happened  Ray, we were replacing the reversing camera (car is retro-fitted with an Xtrons android device) which meant the screen had to remain on & of course the boot lid open. Had a problem matching the wires for a while (some of them weren't the same colour code)  hence the time taken to carry out what should have been a 20 min. job.

 

What I was alluding to was that my current drain was almost certainly much less than circumstances encountered by the OP, but a perfectly good battery still couldn't cope. 

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