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      10-02-2022, 05:51 AM   #1
LOWCAM
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Coolant Loss + Head Cover

Hello I'm new to this forum and I'm from Korea
My English might be bad but I'll try my best

I'm new to this car and I think there's some problem with mine.

it has just over 60K miles and after a week since I bought it

coolant level low warning popped up

so I bought a coolant and topped it off (it needed 2 Liters to full)

and that was just a week ago and I checked my coolant level

It went down to LOW level and it seems there is NO LEAK at all..

previous owner installed straight pipe exhaust so

I can't tell by smell. and there is NO symptoms of burning coolant
(white smoke, exhaust smells like sweet thingy)

and engine oil level is not increasing.

engine bay looks clean and no visual of coolant leaks in and out.

previous owner said the valve cover gasket had been done a month or two.

but not the head gaskets.

I could fill another and drive off but it loses very quick.

should I go to a mechanic and check it out?

--------------------------------------------------------------

and for the head cover

is that normal? there's a brown layer inside of a head cover.

looks sketchy
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      10-02-2022, 11:06 PM   #2
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Maybe the coolant had been changed just before you picked up the car and the service people did not bleed the air out of the system? The air will slowly bleed out with regular use and leave you low. So you adding some and it going low again could be due to residual air still left in the system? I would keep an eye on it and if I had to add more I would then consider there to be an issue. If there are no leaks visible in the engine bay or on the floor, I think you're good👍🏼 That buildup in the valve covers is normal on med-high mileage motors. I have 24X,XXX miles and mine are gross too.

PS:Your English is great! Hats off to you for knowing multiple languages as well as writing in an unfamiliar language.
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      10-03-2022, 03:00 AM   #3
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Welcome onboard Lowcam!

As Scrippy say, a leak "should" be visible. 2 liters seems a lot for bleeding though, and now you need to fill again... the only weird place (other than engine) I know of where coolant could dissapear is into the gearbox (if DCT) should the fluid/coolant heat exchanger of some strange reason be broken. Veeery long shot though.
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      10-03-2022, 06:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrippy View Post
Maybe the coolant had been changed just before you picked up the car and the service people did not bleed the air out of the system? The air will slowly bleed out with regular use and leave you low. So you adding some and it going low again could be due to residual air still left in the system? I would keep an eye on it and if I had to add more I would then consider there to be an issue. If there are no leaks visible in the engine bay or on the floor, I think you're good👍🏼 That buildup in the valve covers is normal on med-high mileage motors. I have 24X,XXX miles and mine are gross too.

PS:Your English is great! Hats off to you for knowing multiple languages as well as writing in an unfamiliar language.
Wow 24X,XXX miles that's crazy!
previous owner said I should change coolant soon. so I assume that he didn't do coolant job. if there was air inside of cooling line then I'm worried about overheat. I redlined the car several times
I'll add some more water(cuz I added only anti-freeze liquid) and check later on.. I hope it's not burning or mixed with oil inside the engine!!!
and I didn't knew those buildups are normal! haha
thanks for the advice!
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      10-03-2022, 06:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmsman View Post
Welcome onboard Lowcam!

As Scrippy say, a leak "should" be visible. 2 liters seems a lot for bleeding though, and now you need to fill again... the only weird place (other than engine) I know of where coolant could dissapear is into the gearbox (if DCT) should the fluid/coolant heat exchanger of some strange reason be broken. Veeery long shot though.

Thank you!
yes... leaks are not visible anywhere. under the car, where I parked, inside the engine bay! no white stains and so on...
It's not at the very bottom but it's almost at LOW mark in the reservoir.
it eat up more than 2 liter and I'm sooooo worried!
and yes mine's a DCT! and if the heat exchanger is damaged, could it be visible leaks under the car? or the coolant can mixed with trans oil?
I'm lost here T-T
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      10-03-2022, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
Thank you!
yes... leaks are not visible anywhere. under the car, where I parked, inside the engine bay! no white stains and so on...
It's not at the very bottom but it's almost at LOW mark in the reservoir.
it eat up more than 2 liter and I'm sooooo worried!
and yes mine's a DCT! and if the heat exchanger is damaged, could it be visible leaks under the car? or the coolant can mixed with trans oil?
I'm lost here T-T
I'd guess you'd see traces of transmission oil in the coolant. Never seen/read about this incident on the M3 so can't believe this is your problem. And if it would be a crack in the engine I'm sure you'd notice other issues... I'm sure its an easy to fix leak somewhere.

The typical places for leaks is the tiny hose from the reservoir to the thermostat housing, or the tstat to engine sealing. I had a significant leak in the latter after replacing Tstat, coolant ending up in the engine V between the banks (possible to see with without removing the plenum). After 2 liter I like to believe it should show on the floor though, finding its way throught the V and down rear of the engine.

Oil and coolant temperature OK? (there is a "secret" meny for coolant temp if you don't have a scanner).
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      10-04-2022, 12:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmsman View Post
I'd guess you'd see traces of transmission oil in the coolant. Never seen/read about this incident on the M3 so can't believe this is your problem. And if it would be a crack in the engine I'm sure you'd notice other issues... I'm sure its an easy to fix leak somewhere.

The typical places for leaks is the tiny hose from the reservoir to the thermostat housing, or the tstat to engine sealing. I had a significant leak in the latter after replacing Tstat, coolant ending up in the engine V between the banks (possible to see with without removing the plenum). After 2 liter I like to believe it should show on the floor though, finding its way throught the V and down rear of the engine.

Oil and coolant temperature OK? (there is a "secret" meny for coolant temp if you don't have a scanner).

still no visible leaks after parking 3 days
oil temp seems fine it stays under 100C
only gets slightly above 100C after hard driving
I'll check coolant temp via secret menu
thanks for all these info, tips!
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      10-04-2022, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
still no visible leaks after parking 3 days
oil temp seems fine it stays under 100C
only gets slightly above 100C after hard driving
I'll check coolant temp via secret menu
thanks for all these info, tips!
It typically leaks only when the engine is running, but yeah should still be some dripping also after parking. Did you check the engine V? With a flash light and a sneaky eye you get a fairly good view.
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      10-05-2022, 12:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmsman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
still no visible leaks after parking 3 days
oil temp seems fine it stays under 100C
only gets slightly above 100C after hard driving
I'll check coolant temp via secret menu
thanks for all these info, tips!
It typically leaks only when the engine is running, but yeah should still be some dripping also after parking. Did you check the engine V? With a flash light and a sneaky eye you get a fairly good view.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmsman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
still no visible leaks after parking 3 days
oil temp seems fine it stays under 100C
only gets slightly above 100C after hard driving
I'll check coolant temp via secret menu
thanks for all these info, tips!
It typically leaks only when the engine is running, but yeah should still be some dripping also after parking. Did you check the engine V? With a flash light and a sneaky eye you get a fairly good view.
what I can tell right now is my Thermostat is bad. this photo is taken after 30 minutes of cruising.
it doesn't go over 80C even if I drive it hard :/
and no visible leaks there too!
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      10-05-2022, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
what I can tell right now is my Thermostat is bad. this photo is taken after 30 minutes of cruising.
it doesn't go over 80C even if I drive it hard :/
and no visible leaks there too!
I'd say thats perfect mate. Our Tstat is set at 78C and this is where it should end up plus/minus a degree or so. Gets obviously hotter at city traffic etc.

Cheers

Edit: and engine/oil seem cool and nice after half hour driving.

Last edited by Helmsman; 10-05-2022 at 02:00 PM..
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      10-06-2022, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmsman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
what I can tell right now is my Thermostat is bad. this photo is taken after 30 minutes of cruising.
it doesn't go over 80C even if I drive it hard :/
and no visible leaks there too!
I'd say thats perfect mate. Our Tstat is set at 78C and this is where it should end up plus/minus a degree or so. Gets obviously hotter at city traffic etc.

Cheers

Edit: and engine/oil seem cool and nice after half hour driving.
that TSTAT spec helped me a lot!
I looked around more at the forum and I found that normal condition should get around 76C~82C all the time

I've seen lowest temp around 64~68 when driving
it never go up 76~78 while moving
70~74 was average when driving
and it goes straight up to 88~90 when standing still!
I think my TSTAT is stuck at half way open

would that be normal too?
I'll keep post what's going on!
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      10-06-2022, 12:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
that TSTAT spec helped me a lot!
I looked around more at the forum and I found that normal condition should get around 76C~82C all the time

I've seen lowest temp around 64~68 when driving
it never go up 76~78 while moving
70~74 was average when driving
and it goes straight up to 88~90 when standing still!
I think my TSTAT is stuck at half way open

would that be normal too?
I'll keep post what's going on!
Yep sounds like it may be busted. My acted in a similar way, took ages before it eventually came over 70-75C after been around 65C or so for too long. That changed right away with a new Tstat, goes yp to 78C quite swiftly (well still takes a good 10-15min but gets there). Well worth replacing it, fairly straight forward to DIY and give you some further insight in possible coolant leak.
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      10-07-2022, 11:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmsman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
that TSTAT spec helped me a lot!
I looked around more at the forum and I found that normal condition should get around 76C~82C all the time

I've seen lowest temp around 64~68 when driving
it never go up 76~78 while moving
70~74 was average when driving
and it goes straight up to 88~90 when standing still!
I think my TSTAT is stuck at half way open

would that be normal too?
I'll keep post what's going on!
Yep sounds like it may be busted. My acted in a similar way, took ages before it eventually came over 70-75C after been around 65C or so for too long. That changed right away with a new Tstat, goes yp to 78C quite swiftly (well still takes a good 10-15min but gets there). Well worth replacing it, fairly straight forward to DIY and give you some further insight in possible coolant leak.
Sooooo I went to a mechanic and found out that there was a leak from cooling tube from transmission!
I thought the smell was coming from decatted exhaust but mechanic told me immediately there's alot of smell of burning coolant XD
and yeah TSTAT were stuck half open but there was no stock for cooling tube at the moment so I'm going to replace all of them when they have it arrived.
I'll have it repaired soon and post if that trans cooling tube fixed my problems!
have a nice day
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      10-08-2022, 03:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWCAM View Post
Sooooo I went to a mechanic and found out that there was a leak from cooling tube from transmission!
I thought the smell was coming from decatted exhaust but mechanic told me immediately there's alot of smell of burning coolant XD
and yeah TSTAT were stuck half open but there was no stock for cooling tube at the moment so I'm going to replace all of them when they have it arrived.
I'll have it repaired soon and post if that trans cooling tube fixed my problems!
have a nice day
Good catch! And even better that the heat exchanger kindly cracked on the outside....
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