drtimwright

Hissing sound & some steam from front. E36 328i

13 posts in this topic

 

Hey everyone,

My car (1998, E36, 328i) just started hissing from the front and a bit of steam coming out. The steam didn't last long. The hissing lasted 5 or 10 minutes (so far...)

The sound comes most strongly from the front left grill (as you face the same way as the car - so passenger side). So I suspect a cooling system issue. There is no coolant leak on the ground and a visual inspection (at night with phone torch) didn't see anything obvious.

The radiator was replaced about 6 months ago. The reservoir tank is on the same side as the hissing. 

Anyone have any ideas - and do you think I can drive it to get it to the mechanic? (it's a 10-15 min drive to the guy I see). I'll check the level tomorrow once the engine cools down.

Thanks!

Tim

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Almost definitely cooling system.

Was the replacement rad a new one?

Any hoses on that side of the rad?

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3 minutes ago, gjm said:

Almost definitely cooling system.

Was the replacement rad a new one?

Any hoses on that side of the rad?

Replacement was new. I think there is a hose on that side - might check if it's attached properly in the sunlight.

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Crap - sorry you're having a bad run Tim :|

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Looks like one of the hoses connecting to the radiator is bulging. And there is an oil leak coming from the engine - the oil pump perhaps?

IMG_4747.JPG

IMG_4746.JPG

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I regard hoses as a regular service item, especially on BMWs. It's not much to change, but worth checking the hose condition. It could be bulging because of age, or it may be a symptom of something else.

The oil leak - does it look like a mist which has applied itself to anything it touches?

What's the yellow in the pic?

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1 minute ago, gjm said:

I regard hoses as a regular service item, especially on BMWs. It's not much to change, but worth checking the hose condition. It could be bulging because of age, or it may be a symptom of something else.

The oil leak - does it look like a mist which has applied itself to anything it touches?

What's the yellow in the pic?

The yellow is pine pollen on my driveway :)

The oil is only on that thing and the pipe that comes out the bottom of it - until the pipe goes horizontal then the oil goes away. The oil looks kinda misty but it's only on that one thing - whatever it is!

Tim

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1 hour ago, drtimwright said:

The yellow is pine pollen on my driveway :)

That's one thing less to worry about! :) 

1 hour ago, drtimwright said:

The oil is only on that thing and the pipe that comes out the bottom of it - until the pipe goes horizontal then the oil goes away. The oil looks kinda misty but it's only on that one thing - whatever it is!

I think that's the power steering fluid reservoir. We need to try to diagnose what sort of oil you have misting on the surface. Always fun - all oil turns black when it's where it shouldn't be! Try wiping it with a clean white cloth (just kitchen paper towel will do) - if there's any red in it, it's probably PS fluid.

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The PS reservoir can leak when full/overfull under hard cornering (comes out the bleed holes in the cap)

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11 minutes ago, eliongater said:

The PS reservoir can leak when full/overfull under hard cornering (comes out the bleed holes in the cap)

His does look grimy in the picture too. This is really obvious on a close inspection. Mine had goo all over it before being replaced. 

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23 minutes ago, eliongater said:

The PS reservoir can leak when full/overfull under hard cornering (comes out the bleed holes in the cap)

I'd forgotten about that.

(No PS on the E30... ;) )

 

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2 hours ago, eliongater said:

The PS reservoir can leak when full/overfull under hard cornering (comes out the bleed holes in the cap)

 

Well, it's not like I drive over the Remutaka pass every day in an overpowered old car...no wait...that might be me... 

I wiped the thing off the 'oil' was mostly oily black soot (see attached photo). Which means it might be an old PS leak that's since carbonized and I should drive more moderately.

Tim

IMG_4749.JPG

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On the radiator front the wifes e36 328i did a similar thing last weekend. Noticed the coolant coming out from somewhere near the top of the overflow tank. The tank was replaced last year.

I bought a new radiator cap and took off and put on and re-tighten the top hose into it and did a basic top up with water.

Cooling system was now holding pressure. Went or a drive and found it needed further coolant. Put car on step part of driveway nose up. Turned on heater and bleed system. Got wife to do a couple of short drives and rechecked ... all good.

Will replace the water with anti-freeze this weekend.

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