Question about 1997 BMW 328
Coolant leaks will leave minerals behind (white as mentioned) even when no wetness is observed. If you are leaking into the engine bay, you'll smell it. It's kind of a sweet-ish smell, fairly distinctive (smell some in the bottle to get the idea). If you smell that when it's hot, you should be looking into the engine bay for leaks. Usual suspects: the resevoir bottle connections, lower hoses, around the water pump and thermostat connections (front of motor).
Also check your motor mounts, if one or both has failed, it may allow too much movement which lets coolant out under certain conditions only (engine braking for example) If they break, sooner or later your fan will meet your rad, and that *will* be expensive, trust me. Warning signs of bad mounts: strange vibrations at certain revs, throwing belts too often.
If you don't smell any coolant, ever, and you are still losing, you're losing it into the block or the combustion chamber(s).
Into the block = into the oil. It will show up on your dipstick as stringy bits. That's probably worst case -- it will eventually effect lubrication and put you at risk of catastrophic failure. Change your oil often until you get a pro to diagnose it. Probably a head gasket problem allowing transfer between gantries.
Into the cylinders, you *may* smell something in the exhaust, and it may show up on the plugs if you check them. Or, it may show nothing -- for now. It will get worse. Either one of these is also usually fixed by changing the head gasket. (lots of labor, cheap parts)
Posted on Jun 26, 2008
The leak usually comes from up the top usually you should be able to see a white or rusty trail try putting the car on ramps and have a look with the engine running these can be tricky to find theres no easy way unfortunately hopefully it will be visible for you to see
if you need further assistance please let me know
Posted on Jun 16, 2008
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