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      12-05-2020, 09:18 AM   #1
radeohedca
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F30 coolant smell

I recently started to notice the smell of coolant in the cabin of my 2013 320i.
I've looked and looked under the car and inside the engine compartment but can't find any sign of a coolant leak. I inspected the hoses and smaller lines... no breaks or tears on the rubber lines or plastic pieces. No sign of fluid under the dash where the heater core is supposed to be. When it happens I can smell it in the engine compartment too. I replaced the reservoir cap but no real change. The reservoir tank appears to be intact with no cracks. Pinhead leak in one of the rads where it only sprays steam but not big enough to leak fluid ?

I'd like to repair whatever it is myself but I can't fix what I can't see. I suppose a pressure test may be in order. In the meantime are there any common points of failure in this regard for these cars ?


Thanks.
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      12-05-2020, 10:05 AM   #2
cfm56d7b
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It wasn't clear in your message if you checked the coolant level (while 100% cold of course).

Pressure test would be an essential next step. Any good indy shop should be able to do it.
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      12-05-2020, 10:11 AM   #3
radeohedca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
It wasn't clear in your message if you checked the coolant level (while 100% cold of course).

Pressure test would be an essential next step. Any good indy shop should be able to do it.

I've had to add coolant a couple of times over the past few months. It goes down slowly. It seems like a very small vapour leak as opposed to an all out fluid leak.
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      12-05-2020, 10:31 AM   #4
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You shouldn't have to add coolant that often. I'd say a pressure test is in order.
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      12-05-2020, 11:15 AM   #5
radeohedca
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Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
You shouldn't have to add coolant that often. I'd say a pressure test is in order.

Ya think ?
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      12-05-2020, 11:39 AM   #6
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I'd say it's a safe bet. I haven't added a drop of coolant in six years.
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      12-05-2020, 03:31 PM   #7
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Pressure test! Also check underneath the coolant reservoir where the electrical connector is matted. That's where I finally found my very similar leak. There was a very small crack in the tank where the connector attached. Corroded the connectors to the point I had to splice a new connector to the wires when I installed the new tank. No problem since then.
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      12-06-2020, 08:00 AM   #8
radeohedca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Pressure test! Also check underneath the coolant reservoir where the electrical connector is matted. That's where I finally found my very similar leak. There was a very small crack in the tank where the connector attached. Corroded the connectors to the point I had to splice a new connector to the wires when I installed the new tank. No problem since then.

I'll do that... thanks !
Were you smelling coolant in the cab before you found the leak ?
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      12-06-2020, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radeohedca View Post
I'll do that... thanks !
Were you smelling coolant in the cab before you found the leak ?



Very faintly and only occasionally. Couldn't find any place it was dripping on which made it more difficult to chase down.
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