BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Marty McFly
I have an S Reg BMW 318iSE which has done 78000 miles and twice in the space of a 1.5 years the car has broken down with cooling system problems. The first time the thermostat failed which caused the expansion tank to crack. Last week the water pump bearings went causing damage to the fan belt and pulley.

Has anyone else had similar cooling system problems( according to Which this is a problem area)?

I love my car, but my reaction now is to look for a newer and more reliable car because I am worried about other potential future problems which may result from these two failures, such a cylinder head gasket problems. Any advice from anyone would be appreciated.

I bought the car 5 years ago from nearly new because I wanted a reliable car which would soak up high mileage. The car has been regularly maintained but I have been disappointed by the minor (windscreen wiper relay, heater relay, air con sensor) and major (cooling system failures) problems I have had with it and also the fact that it is quite an oil burner (as all the BMW garages I've been to have told me its designed to do). Its not really what I expected from a BMW. Of all the cars I have had, it has been the most troublesome. I once had a Peugeot 106 which did 90000 miles and I had no problems at all.

Has anyone else had troublesome experiences with Beemers.

Cheers
Marty

BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Aprilia
Don't get me started......
Cooling system problem caused the death of my '7' (and consequent loss of quite a few £1000's from my bank account). Only time I've lost *serious* money on a car!

As to your problem - you seem a bit unlucky, and yes, the overheating might well lead to cylinder head problems. A friend of mine (partner in an independent repair 'shop) showed me a water pump off a 320i the other day. I think it was similar vintage to yours. The impeller had sheared away from the shaft at its root. The shaft would spin, but obviously no water was being pumped. They replaced the pump and were checking for headgasket problems when I left.
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Ivor E Tower
My brother had a couple of nearly-new BMWs in the 1990s, the first was written off in an acident and the second was its replacement. Bith cost him an arm and a leg to run with miscellaneous problems over the years.
He now has an old-shape Renault Laguna 1.6 which has been trouble-free in 3 years and with which he is well-pleased. It was bought as a "run-out" model (when the new Laguna was launched) for £9999!
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Aprilia
Marty

Just a thought....

Did the dealer change your coolant in the week or two before the 'stuck termostat'?

On my '7' the dealer changed the coolant but failed to bleed the system properly (they disagree with this, of course). Several days later the air accumulated at the top of the cooling system and hampered the flow - resulting in severe overheating. They firstly said the thermostat had 'stuck closed' - but I took it out and checked it and it was OK.
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - DL
Personally, I think the sentence "Thermostat stuck closed" is a lame excuse that many repair shops use to cover up incompetance.
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Aprilia
Totally agree.
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Marty McFly
Aprilia, it hadn't had the coolant changed just prior to the thermostat failure.

Neglected to mention that it also had to have the front and rear wishbone bushes done (though not the wishbones as BMW might have tried to do), as they were worn at the front and worn and split at the rear. The garage also identified a rattle in the exhaust as a cat problem.

I looked through the list of problems in HJs car by car guide and found them all in there. Deep Joy.
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - eMBe {P}
.. Has anyone else had troublesome experiences with Beemers ..>>


Yes, as you will find if you check HJ's car-by-car breakdown (link on the top left).
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Sooty Tailpipes
I have a 1998 Vauxhall Omega,and the worst part of it in terms of reliability is the BMW 2.5 tds diesel engine. It's a lovely engine, except it has too many fragile and expensive parts and sensors.

The worst time was 18 months ago, it boiled up on the motorway without warning, got towed to the dealer, the waterpump has a blooming plastic impeller!! it had all cracked up and come off the shaft

see....
www.geocities.com/krustycola/

cost me £1246 in repairs to the engine, and it still leaks combustion gas into the coolant, just ordered some parts to do the head gasket for a third time in a year, I think I will take the head to a specialist in Bedfordshire.

Fancy buying a Vauxhall and finding it very reliable apart from the BMW engine!
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Aprilia
Joosisiqu

I think this is the same impeller design I mentioned in my post above (second one down) - not good eh!
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - IKM
I don't think BMW's are as reliable as they used to be. I recently changed my E30 for an E46, 323i, year 2000 with 60k miles. It's a nice car but within the 3 months dealer warranty period I have had a new thermostat and front suspension spring replaced. I understand the thermostat is a known fault. Mine failed open so no damage was done. I think it was already faulty when I bought the car. The spring was more worrying. It snapped when parked in my driveway and one of the sharp ends lodged in the tyre. If this had happened on the move it could have been a lot worse. I paid to get the other front spring replaced at the same time in case it went the same way. Also the warranty didn't cover the tyre so it turned out expensive at about £250.
I hope the reliability doesn't continue like this. I'm seriously thinking of taking out a warranty from Warranty Direct. Does anyone have any comments on this?
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - DL
Interesting pic! I can see exactly what has happened there. I don't personally like plastic impellers on water pumps. I've seen similar problems on 1.4 VW engines like this.

Mind if I post the pic onto the HJ Photosite?
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - Sooty Tailpipes
No, not at all, it's terrible, seems a retrograde step going to plastic, you can see how the plastic has thosewhite stress marks and hairline cracks virtually all over, and it was only 4 years old..
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - eMBe {P}
.. I'm seriously thinking of taking out a warranty from Warranty Direct. Does anyone have any comments on this ..>>


This page advertises it as "The Honest Warranty", and HJ has done news items on it previously. Click a current news item and then scroll down to find HJ's previous copy.

There is also the option of

www.motoreasy.net

who were featured by the Telegraph.

(HJ: might it be worth your looking into trying to get them to advertise here? )

" ... For an annual or monthly subscription, motoreasy pays your bills for servicing, repairs, breakdown recovery, and even the MOT. There are no more nasty surprises, just an all-in-one package that makes your life easy and saves you money. ..."

BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - DL
Seems almost too good to be true!

Anybody any experience of the scheme?

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groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words.....
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - eMBe {P}
.. Seems almost too good to be true!

Anybody any experience of the scheme? ..>>

DL - Ditto. I look forward to some feedback on this. Will post the same question on other appropriate threads when/if the opportunity arises. However, here is some additional info from the D.Tel feature:
1. motoreasy is in some way connected with Castrol.
2. they give immediate cover for cars upto 12 years old.
3. they give cover for (a)servicing & MOT (b) Warranty & MOT (c) Breakdown inc European Cover (d) all of these
4. the monthly cost for the all inclusive option starts "from only £24.99 per month" !!

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.. groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words..... >> Even so, would you mind adding a few extra explanatory words to the pictures you have posted, please. As it happens, I know one of them is the water pump from above, but what are the other pics about?.
BMW 318 E46 Coolant System Troubles - DL
Ok, will do!

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groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words.....
 

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