1996 BMW overheating


I have a 1996 BMW 328is and recently it overheated on the way to work which is about 20 miles i pulled over let it cool down and now when i drive the car after about 5 minutes it starts overheating and is loosing coolant but i am pretty sure its burning out the exhaust now the person i had bought it from had replaced the head and head gasket no more than 8000 miles ago with thermostat and housing and water pump and radiator so now i get no heat in the car both upper and lower radiator hoses rock solid and burning the antifreeze. Any ideas here

Does your oil look like normal oil or a chocolate milkshake?

Repeated overheating is bad for an engine, so don’t keep driving it.

I believe some antifreeze is getting into the oil

Sorry but no when i change the oil the oil looks normal

Looks like you may need another head gasket. If the person who replaced the head and head gasket the first time did not use new headbolts, then thee gasket will fail. You also have to use a dial type torque wrench and a torque angle meter.

Your headgasket breach is apparently between the cylinder and the water jacket. Fortunately there apparently is no oil passage involved.

Yeah, you need a new headgasket, properly installed and torqued. And you’ll need to carefully clean and inspect the surfaces of the head and block for evidence of a path that might have eroded between the cylinder and the water jacket. Thousands of miles with a breech and do that. And you’ll also need to have the surface of the head carefully checked for flatness, preferably by a shop with a flatplate. Shops that do head milling have these, as do all machine shops.

I’m sorry to say that my impression is that you bought a car with a blown headgasket. It sounds like the owner was not knowledgeable in mechanics and was throwing parts at it to stop it from overheating, ultimately giving up 8000 miles ago and replacing the headgasket. Since that time the gasket has failed again, which suggests that it may not have been done correctly.

Okay Thank you!!! Quick question tho why would i be getting absolutely no heat inside the car even after putting antifreeze in it and bleeding it?

I don’t know. That could be a whole seperate issue. It’s possible that combustion byproducts that have contaminated the coolant have cause seizing of the valve that allows flow to the heater core.

But the headgasket is a far more serious problem. Unless you address that first, the heat problem will be moot.

Yeah i figured this much i just do n0t want to have the head gasket replaced and then have no or low circulation and end up blowing it again … ya know?

It should comfort you to know that there is no way that a problem with flow through the heater core can manifest itself as a blown headgasket.

Note that it is also possible that the system was never properly purged of air. Doing so should include turning on the heating system to get coolant flowing and air leaving everywhere, and it’s possible…even likely…that that was never done.

Okay makes sense thank you very much

If I understand correctly, you are losing coolant but you are confident that it is not being lost anywhere under the hood, hence the conclusion that it is burning and going out the exhaust?

What bothers me is the lack of heater, though on a 15-year-old car, the lack of heater may be due to a stuck heater valve, or the previous owner may have used radiator sealant that could now be blocking the heater valve or the heater core.

A car this age could have a pinhole in any of its heater hoses, some of which are very hard to see, or it could have an expansion tank that is crumbling inside, which causes air to get sucked into the cooling system. However, if you are sure that the coolant is going into the engine and out the exhaust, then I fear that you are in for a big repair bill.

Yeah coolant is actually going into the cylinder and coming out the exhaust

Manolito made an excellent point that the previous owner might have gummed up the heater valve with additives added to try to deal with the bad headgasket. It’d be interesting to see what you find. But, again, the headgasket has to come first.