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Thread: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

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    Senior Member BrandX's Avatar
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    Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Hello,

    I've had my mini a a fair while now but in the past few months it has been acting very odd and losing all the coolant from the reservoir and overheating.

    First time it happend I was in standing traffic and heard a wooshing and gurgling noise inside the car. A minute later and the fan is coming on and the temp gauge has gone up to max. I drove another 5 minutes to home and waited for the car to cool a bit, checked under the bonnet to find the reservoir empty and floating just by the neck. Seeing as I'd checked everything the month before I.e the oil and coolant I found it a bit odd since they where all spot on and have not needed any topping up since I bought the car a year ago.

    I got an engineer from bmw to come out and have a gander and he reckons it must have formed an airlock in it by filling up the reservoir and not opening up the bleed valve. I told him I havn't ever filled it up and it was full just a month ago. He told me to keep my eye on it in future, it's not a closed cooling system and sometimes leakages can happen through the pipe clips.

    Roll on to Friday afternoon, Same thing again 5 mins from home and toodling along and the gurgling noise then a swoosh and overheating again. Arrive home and it's empty.

    Now it's not empting slowly its doing it all at once I've been checking every 2 weeks. I'm taking it to the garage monday as asked by mini services. But the question is what can cause this? Any ideas is it common for mini's? I've already double checked the type of reservoir and its the newer type as I heard older versions used to leak!

    Any help appreciated. Just don't want any head warpage

    Thanks

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    if the cooling systems designed on other bmw's i think the guys telling the truth, all it would take is a small airlock in the system to trigger off a blockage, sit in traffic with the engine idle and the water cant go anywere, it overheats and boils up, the air caused by the boils what causes the header tank to empty in a fast whoosh as the fastest way outs via the pressure valve built into the filler cap.

    if it happens again and the cars under warranty get them to take a look as you may warp the head running the car once its spat out the water, dont ever drive the temp guage into the red whatever you do if its out of warranty as a new engines possible if you blow/sieze it.
    hopefully the mechanics blead the system properly this time and it doesnt happen again.

    if it does happen again insist they check the water pump and perform a leakdown test on the cooling.

    you also get to book a test drive in something else while its in the shop if you play your cards right

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    Senior Member chriswood_7's Avatar
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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    This sounds pretty serious! Id get it to the garage asap and get them to take a look at all the coolant hoses, radiator and connections. If this happened on a stretch of road without a hard shoulder, you could seize your engine and lock your front wheels. If you find yourself in this situation make sure you dip your clutch and let it freewheel to a stop, with your hazards on to warn people behind you.

    Let us know how it goes

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    It sounds simalar to my issue with my work car, we had a huge number of mini coopers recalled for a faulty switxh or fuse or something as they were all overheating, the ones that were fixed were 55 plate up to 56....

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Another thing - if you lose coolant and the guage goes up to max, do not drive the car!

    You're going to give yourself a head gasket failure doing that, and believe me on a Mini that's not going to be cheap!

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowe View Post
    Another thing - if you lose coolant and the guage goes up to max, do not drive the car!

    You're going to give yourself a head gasket failure doing that, and believe me on a Mini that's not going to be cheap!
    This happened to me on the M50. It cost £3k to repair in a Civic 1.6 Sport.
    The Mini would prolly cost more!
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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    cor....BMW's used to be a sod to bleed...but I'm going back to early 90's.

    The techs I knew used to jack the front right up to get the radiator at the highest point and rev the knackers off the car before giving them back to the client, cos the airlocks were so bad...

    but that was 15 years ago......!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Delonghi gave me about 18 inches, which is not really enough

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    The BMW tech is telling the truth. It will be an airlock. Common BMW problem, there is normally a bleed valve on the side of the rad (on BMW's) I think it is the same for Mini's but can't remember. Get it looked at though, won't take them long to solve.
    If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    lol....BMW....quality cars...same problem for a decade and a half!

    Wonder why ... there must be a reason. Other manufacturers dont suffer from this much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Delonghi gave me about 18 inches, which is not really enough

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Thanks to everyone that helped.

    It's in the garage till Friday, I've given them aslong as they need and they seemed happy to give it back Friday.

    It seems looking through the history of the car it had the reservoir changed Nov 2005 due to cooling probs. They are gonna sort it under Guarantee.

    As for Zaks sweeping statement. This is my first BMW so I can't really comment but throughout my driving career I've had a Peugeot, 2 Ford's, MG, Citroen. All of these have suffered from problems at some point in their life. Vehicles are never 100% reliable it's the nature of the game. I've had 2 Vans aswell one a Merc and the other a Ford and both of these have had different problems.

    They are all money pits.

    Thanks to everyone that helped.

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by BrandX View Post
    As for Zaks sweeping statement. This is my first BMW so I can't really comment but throughout my driving career I've had a Peugeot, 2 Ford's, MG, Citroen. All of these have suffered from problems at some point in their life. Vehicles are never 100% reliable it's the nature of the game. I've had 2 Vans aswell one a Merc and the other a Ford and both of these have had different problems.

    They are all money pits.
    The difference is you pay a lot more for a BMW and its percieved quality.
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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Well - my mate has a coolant problem too on his '02 cooper s. Its not manifesting itself in the same way as yours, more of a slow leak. But the weird thing is the water doesnt go anywhere at all! it just dissapears, no puddle under the car, no white smoke, just goes. Very wierd.

    By the way - you said you drove 5 mins hope after the temp gauge went to max - DO NOT EVER DO THIS AGAIN!! I cant overestimate how close you probably were to completeley melting your engine. As soon as the temp gauge starts to go up, or you see any steam from under the bonnet, pull over, turnt the engine off and call the RAC for gawds sake!

    Butuz

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    But the weird thing is the water doesnt go anywhere at all! it just dissapears, no puddle under the car, no white smoke, just goes. Very wierd.
    Yep same thing in that there is no sign of escape or steam. Looking under the bonnet. everything looks perfect not a sign on the drip tray or on the padding and the clips on hoses look spot on, no sign of marks.

    I know what you mean about the driving with the temp gauge, I really wasn't thinking.

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by BrandX View Post
    As for Zaks sweeping statement. This is my first BMW so I can't really comment but throughout my driving career I've had a Peugeot, 2 Ford's, MG, Citroen. All of these have suffered from problems at some point in their life.
    hope I didn't offend you

    What I mean is that COOLANT issues, and problems with removing AIR LOCKS have been BMW issues for many many years. It's a shame...I prolly worded it badly. Sorry again.

    The other cars you've mentioned: I'm sure they have suffered issues too...but not likely to be the same ones for decades.
    I worked for BMW in early 1990...and technicians back then were having troubles bleeding the coolant systems. 17 years later I'm shocked the same thing happens, because it's not hard to bleed the air out of the other cars you've listed.

    I'll get my coat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Delonghi gave me about 18 inches, which is not really enough

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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowe View Post
    Another thing - if you lose coolant and the guage goes up to max, do not drive the car!

    You're going to give yourself a head gasket failure doing that, and believe me on a Mini that's not going to be cheap!
    bothered. BMW would be paying for the damage anyway, so get urself home lol
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    Re: Cooper sworks Odd coolant problem. Help/Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    hope I didn't offend you

    What I mean is that COOLANT issues, and problems with removing AIR LOCKS have been BMW issues for many many years. It's a shame...I prolly worded it badly. Sorry again.

    The other cars you've mentioned: I'm sure they have suffered issues too...but not likely to be the same ones for decades.
    I worked for BMW in early 1990...and technicians back then were having troubles bleeding the coolant systems. 17 years later I'm shocked the same thing happens, because it's not hard to bleed the air out of the other cars you've listed.

    I'll get my coat.
    No you havn't offended me Zak, seriously you are the man here who should know! What I'm saying is that no car is really any good they all cost blinking loads to fix regardless of the startout costs. Either that or I have bought a pup everytime I buy a car Get that coat off your staying here!
    Last edited by BrandX; 08-10-2007 at 07:49 PM.

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