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2001 325ci
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as my wife did the same after the tank ruptured and dump all coolant on our driveway,
I had the exact same experience with my wife driving my first E46 (325Ci). ET blowout, total coolant loss, massive overheat, new engine time
i taught my wife to drive stick with my 325ci, but decided not to pursue after getting hands on automatic.
too bad for me not getting wife a chance to do the same, so i can get B30 swap
 

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Luckily she was 5 minutes of slow speed driving away from home in my case. I was very lucky - especially as it was our first BMW and I didn't know then what I do now. But I was clear on the phone, stay there, do not run the engine. After this event, I have had reminder discussions with her and now my kids to try and prevent this in the future. Mostly my kids and I drive the E46s. My wife drives an N20 F30. So far that has been the most reliable BMW to 60k by far. Absolutely nothing but regular maintenance.
 

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I just purchased a 2005 325ci for $800. Owner said heavy smoke problem, His mechanic said leaking head gasket. Took out CCV system and added catch can. Problem solved. If engine overheated than max price $500 for parts if rest of car is in good condition. Then hope for a wing and prayer. Latest stimulus check would pay for it.
 

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I just purchased a 2005 325ci for $800. Owner said heavy smoke problem, His mechanic said leaking head gasket. Took out CCV system and added catch can. Problem solved.
You got it so cheap -- Congrads! I bought my 2003 325iT recently for $7400 and had to replace leaking radiator and 2 coolant hard pipes. I'm still happy as long as that are all the problems I have.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I am laughing reading your story, as my wife did the same after the tank ruptured and dump all coolant on our driveway, then she drove it to shop with zero coolant; the head was so hot that it expanded and pull 6 head bolts out of 14 off the block. However the temperature gauge moved pass the right most position and locked there. Her reasoning was that only the low coolant light was on, and the book said top it off soon, whenever I was home from work. No call or msg, just drive. I went home that evening with flowers for her Valentine day, and saw the big coolant mess on the driveway and almost had a heart attack. Took me the next 2 weeks to fix all of this in the cold February.
6 of 14, now that's fooking hot.
 

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I do a lot of this...I have several 3.0 engines and can do a head gasket if I have to. An overheated engine with a warped head IS fixable. And used, M54B30 engines are cheap and plentiful.

If the car overheated even once, there is a very good chance the head is warped. Most owners don't shut the car down quick enough and/or they try to nurse it home the last 3 miles while overheating.

When looking at overheated vehicles I do the following:

1. Assume the head is warped and factor that into the price.
2. Do a compression test
3. check for oil in coolant or vice versa. - milky oil under the cap does not mean oil mixed with coolant.
4. If the engine is cold, I might swab each cylinder before starting or doing a compression test to see if coolant is seeping into any cylinder.

IMO, the car you described - non-runner, history of an overheat should be no more than $1000 and preferably less.
Effduration .. I did have an overheat due to an airbubble in the water pump area after we had removed a hose to replace a water pump. It got hot enough the DME shut the car down (my son was driving and didn't notice)
I did a draw down check on #4 after also having removed plug on #3 (so I could listen for a gasket leak between 3 and 4. All seems fine .. My question is: Is a "passing" draw down test 100% definitive that I didn't create warpage?
 

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100% definitive...I don't know about that ( Do we ever?). But if all is good, I would count your blessings.

warpage is most likely to occur between 3&4, but I would probably test all cylinders.

Since all is good, I would run it but keep an eye out for:
-oil in coolant or vice versa
-smoke out the exhaust (white or blue)
-stumble on first start in the morning
 

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warpage is most likely to occur between 3&4, but I would probably test all cylinders.

Since all is good, I would run it but keep an eye out for:
-oil in coolant or vice versa
-smoke out the exhaust (white or blue)
-stumble on first start in the morning
Ourmandan,
Might as well do a leakdown on all cylinders at this point with all plugs removed. Maybe 3 was leaking into 2 instead of 4, and check for leakage elsewhere as well (like the cooling system).
 
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