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2004 325i
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Had quite of a mishap happen a couple of days ago, my water pump bearing seized and shot coolant out, and so did my ET, all while my car was sitting and warming up in the driveway. The needle was in the red, but the temp didn't get above 300f so I think my engine is okay. I'll do a block test when I get the chance, but I got the WP at my work and I went ahead and replaced my thermostat, and I'm waiting on the ET from FCP, along with a new bracket just in case. But would it be okay if I idled with just water in my system to check for leaks before adding coolant?
 

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2016 340i xD 6-spd
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Had quite of a mishap happen a couple of days ago, my water pump bearing seized and shot coolant out, and so did my ET, all while my car was sitting and warming up in the driveway. The needle was in the red, but the temp didn't get above 300f so I think my engine is okay. I'll do a block test when I get the chance, but I got the WP at my work and I went ahead and replaced my thermostat, and I'm waiting on the ET from FCP, along with a new bracket just in case. But would it be okay if I idled with just water in my system to check for leaks before adding coolant?
Yes, you can...and should. If not using distilled, though, rinse again with pure distilled, drain it from engine block, and then fill with 50/50 after you know you're free from leaks.

Also, because I'm ocd, I'll say that some distilled will stay in the engine, so if you want a perfect 50/50 mix, make sure you add the required amount of coolant before mixing it 50/50. I needed one gallon and 1.75 cups of coolant to have a perfect mix...maybe your volume is different...but don't run out of room to get the mix you want...some need to be perfect-ish for their climates.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Run straight water? Sure, we often do. They key is NOT to let it sit overnight. Iron & ferrous metals just love to oxidize.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Run straight water? Sure, we often do. They key is NOT to let it sit overnight. Iron & ferrous metals just love to oxidize.
I figured as much. I had read another thread and people were saying that water will overheat the engine but in reality, water cools better than antifreeze, and the anti-freezes job is to raise the boiling point of water and prevent it from, y'know, freezing, and protect against oxidation. I just didn't know if it was a good thing to do in an engine like this.

I know my grandpa used to drain the radiator every night in the winter because he couldn't afford antifreeze in his old truck, but that was an engine that was made before antifreeze was made available for everyone to use, so I didn't know if this engine was any different
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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opposite question: having coolant in a bigger % than water does creates issues?
Coolant isn't as good at heat dissipation as water is so a little higher coolant/water ratio might mean a little difficulty keeping cool in more extreme temps, but as long as it's only a little too rich it won't hurt anything.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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opposite question: having coolant in a bigger % than water does creates issues?
Slight ratio changes aren't critical. If I lived closer to the equator I would seek out a 65/35 mix. Water with the additive water wetter is better at dissipating heat owing to better attach itself to the surfaces. better adhesion = better heat dissipation. However the general rule of 50/50 is a good one.
Now pure glycol is a bad thing, but that's an extreme example. There's a lot of lubricant & corrosion inhibitors in coolant.

Water wetter is a surfactant. Fire departments also use a form of this for fighting forest fires.
 

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2001 325ci
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Had quite of a mishap happen a couple of days ago, my water pump bearing seized and shot coolant out, and so did my ET, all while my car was sitting and warming up in the driveway. The needle was in the red, but the temp didn't get above 300f so I think my engine is okay. I'll do a block test when I get the chance, but I got the WP at my work and I went ahead and replaced my thermostat, and I'm waiting on the ET from FCP, along with a new bracket just in case. But would it be okay if I idled with just water in my system to check for leaks before adding coolant?
not sure if u are doing this with or without proper ET installed.
yes, water just fine for the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
not sure if u are doing this with or without proper ET installed.
yes, water just fine for the moment.
Well, the two I got from my work were junk, so I'm waiting for next-day shipping with FCP so I can get one that actually fits, then I'm gonna run water through the system before I dump 40 bucks worth of coolant. I planned on everything working as planned so I bought 2 gallons of 50/50 blue mix, and I'm not about to dump all of that into a possible leak after removing all of the hoses. I've been told the Peak stuff for euro cars is just fine to use, just as long as it's not that generic crap that "works" for all vehicles.

And speaking of coolant, the coolant in my car was green... and the ET and other parts were from 2017, so the BMW coolant didn't turn green yet, so I'm wondering if the PO put the wrong coolant in...
Not sure how "bad" that could be
 

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People make more of an issue about "need certain kind of coolant" than physics would dictate. Just be sure the coolant is compatible with the materials used in your engine and cooling system and pour it in. A lot of money gets wasted going to dealers for European makes to buy $35/gallon color coordinated coolant...

As noted by Mr. M, don't leave it in overnight. I've done this and ended up with rust tinged water a couple days later and will never do that again. Plain water also has no lubricant for the water pump bearings and any other bearing your particular vehicle may have that's in the coolant. Hope you caught it in time!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hope you caught it in time!
I did thankfully. I started it early one morning to warm it up to defrost it, left it for 25 minutes, and got in and the temp gauge was all the way in the red, and that was with the temp gauge calibration. Opened the hood, and there was water coming from the water pump and it was spraying everywhere from the ET. Thanked the Lord this didn't happen when I was driving, or this would've been me swapping in a new engine soon.

My OBD scanner said it was only at 300 something, so that's within the range of safety before things start breaking. Still going to do a block test to make sure I didn't blow the head gasket. Honestly, I don't care if I blow the head gasket, because that means I get to swap in a b30 :)
 

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People make more of an issue about "need certain kind of coolant" than physics would dictate. Just be sure the coolant is compatible with the materials used in your engine and cooling system and pour it in. A lot of money gets wasted going to dealers for European makes to buy $35/gallon color coordinated coolant...
true. people like me not have time or capability to check compatibility resort to what is recommended. luckily i can afford.
, because that means I get to swap in a b30 :)
i know, right?
 

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Also if you are in a cold climate, don't let it freeze. If straight water freezes in your engine you will be sorry.

Sent from my S61 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also if you are in a cold climate, don't let it freeze. If straight water freezes in your engine you will be sorry.

Sent from my S61 using Tapatalk
Eh. NC isn't cold most of the year, and tomorrow is supposed to sunny and warm so it'll give me plenty of time to sort everything out. And I'm not dumb enough to let water freeze in my engine. I actually like this car.

true. people like me not have time or capability to check compatibility resort to what is recommended. luckily i can afford.

i know, right?
I got one in my garage that I'm about to tear down and rebuild partly, but mainly to sort out the common problems like the oil nut. I'm gonna weld that SOB on to where it doesn't ever come off. (hopefully)
 

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My OBD scanner said it was only at 300 something, so that's within the range of safety before things start breaking.
300F or 149C is way too hot. This cannot be within the safe range.

There is more than just a leaky WP that causing this overheat, as a leaky pump still can move coolant through the radiator but this sounds like not the case. Bad bleeding is my guess.

WP seal needs lubricant to avoid damaging the shaft seal, and water has no oil, so don't run the pump too long with water.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
300F or 149C is way too hot. This cannot be within the safe range.

There is more than just a leaky WP that causing this overheat, as a leaky pump still can move coolant through the radiator but this sounds like not the case. Bad bleeding is my guess.

WP seal needs lubricant to avoid damaging the shaft seal, and water has no oil, so don't run the pump too long with water.
Don't forget that my ET blew open and was spraying coolant everywhere
 

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Had quite of a mishap happen a couple of days ago, my water pump bearing seized and shot coolant out, and so did my ET, all while my car was sitting and warming up in the driveway. The needle was in the red, but the temp didn't get above 300f so I think my engine is okay. I'll do a block test when I get the chance, but I got the WP at my work and I went ahead and replaced my thermostat, and I'm waiting on the ET from FCP, along with a new bracket just in case. But would it be okay if I idled with just water in my system to check for leaks before adding coolant?

I'm sorry, but 300F? That's huge.

You might be okay, but you need to be keeping a close eye on this. If you have unexplained coolant loss in the coming months, then you should remember this event and consider the very real possibility of having a cracked head. Go forward with what you are doing, but keep the mental note.
 

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I know you rely on your car so I hate to bring this up, but if your water pump and ET were old enough to fail it probably would be a good idea to take the intake off and do those hard pipes. But then that brings more gaskets and CCV into play.

Hope your engine is alright. BTW, BMW coolant was something like $22 from FCP, which works out to a 50/50 mix cost of $11-15 with distilled water. The cost isn’t really that big of a deal IMHO.
 

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I figured as much. I had read another thread and people were saying that water will overheat the engine but in reality, water cools better than antifreeze, and the anti-freezes job is to raise the boiling point of water and prevent it from, y'know, freezing, and protect against oxidation. I just didn't know if it was a good thing to do in an engine like this.

I know my grandpa used to drain the radiator every night in the winter because he couldn't afford antifreeze in his old truck, but that was an engine that was made before antifreeze was made available for everyone to use, so I didn't know if this engine was any different


You are so confused.

There is nothing wrong with using straight water for a few days, or even weeks, the issue with water comes from the long term. Water and iron rust, rust clogs the passages, and THIS is a problem. Water also does a chemical reaction with the aluminum head that becomes a problem in the long term. If you do repairs to the cooling system and want to test using water from the hose attached to the front of your house, go for it. Don't leave it in forever, but there's absolutely no problem with driving to work for a week to see if your repairs will hold. Of course, climate conditions present their own special considerations, and I live in San Diego so I never experience those conditions, if you live in North Dakota (or Texas if the news is any indication) you could experience the conditions before the water gets from one end of the hose to the other.

Antifreeze lowers the freezing point of water (water must get colder before it will freeze), it also raises the boiling point (water must get hotter before it will boil). It's also an anti-corrosive that helps protect the metals in the engine.

Grandpa drained the block to keep the water from freezing inside of the engine and pushing out the Freeze Plugs that are designed to fall out when the frozen water expands inside if the block. The Sears Catalog, and others, once had heaters that would cycle the water and keep it hot overnight. They came up with several strategies to keep the water inside of an engine from freezing, I would not be surprised if they still had markets where engine heaters were popular.
 
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