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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 04 MCS.
Recently it has been producing smoke from the bonnet air intake vent when sitting in traffic. In addition to this I am having to top the coolant up every 2-3 weeks.
Has anyone else experienced similar problems to this and are there any easy fixes?
Other than this and the occasional Chewbacca noise my MCS runs fantastically well.
Also, does anyone know where I can order a replacement oil dipstick online without having to go to a dealer?
Thank you for your comments.
 

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Unless you fancy an engine rebuild and a lovely bill for £3000 best to get the car in to a garage straight away and have the part thats split replaced...

Or you could be really unlucky and have damaged the head gasket already... Thats about £1800
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for coming back to me B1ANK. I will have a chat with my local dealer. I had hoped it wasn't as serious as this but let's see what they say. Do you think having a problem with the head gasket could also cause the car to work its way through coolant or is this likely to be another problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've just had a chat with a mechanic who thinks it's more likely to be a water leak that is causing the car to steam when stationary. This might explain the coolant level dropping very quickly as well. I will book it in next week to have an inspection and see if we can find out what it what.
 

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So... my point is - you best not leave it to long! If the coolant runs short you can very quickly heat stress the engine leading to a ****ed engine and a very large bill...

Best to act of first signs of trouble and not just top up the levels... You tried opening the engine when the steam comes out???
 

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Sounds like your header tank is split -probably at the seam that joins the 2 plastic pieces ,and chewbacca is the rubber pipe on the cylinder head that has gone soft and collapses when the engine is switched off - both cheap and easy fixes
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice, the car is with my local dealer today. I will mention your thoughts on the header tank and cylinder head - hopefully that is an easy fix and is in line with the investigation they carry out. I will let you know what the outcome is. Thanks again.
 

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So the car has been pressure tested for over 3-hours and they cannot find a fault. They will road test next but I have asked that they let the car cool before taking it out. I did mention the split in the header tank and they have investigated this with no faults. Typically of BMW - this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have taken my car in to have a fault investigated and they have not been able to reproduce the problem or find any fault.
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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You need to be really careful and stop hoping for quick fixes, when an engine is involved you should always take extra care and expect the worse. If it does turn out to be a quick, cheap fix then thats great.

The Cooper S engine hates heat and if you give it too much stick when its cooking then you could end up pinking/detting your engine.

The simple things it could be are:

Water leak getting onto the intercooler. When sat in traffic in the pouring rain I sometimes get "dragons breath" from the Bonnet scoop. This is water on the intercooler evaporating into steam.

Header tank, the early one had a design fault so if you have an old one and a problem losing coolant pay for a new one! I have a newer one but my cap failed and I got while splashes and dropping coolant levels a while back.

Other than that leaky radiator, coolant hoses or a head gasket issue. I suggest you refrain from too much driving until you have it fixed as you could end up blowing a gasket and/or warping the head if it cooks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The outcome is a new radiator and sump gasket - £800 + VAT. Both had small leaks (oil and coolant). Thanks for your help.
 

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If your warranty has 'just' run out try asking for a good will gesture from bmw, give them a sob storry that you can't believe these parts only lasted 3 years..... it is not the quality you expect from bmw blah blah
worth a try! say you want them to pay for labour and 50% of the parts cost....
 

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The outcome is a new radiator and sump gasket - £800 + VAT. Both had small leaks (oil and coolant). Thanks for your help.

You could fit the radiator yourself, I'm a complete novice with cars, but I managed to do mine in a few hours. MINIMANIA sell an uprated radiator that should solve the splitting problem.

for your dipstick you could try:

Dipstick - - Cooper MINI Parts, Inchcape
Wow, thats a lot of cash again the dealers are charging, take NickG's advice and shop around for the parts and pay an independent mechanic to do the work, cars out of warranty now and it'll be a lot cheaper. Sump gaskets are inexpensive as well, maybe £20 or so.
 

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N.O.T.R.A.M.O.O
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The only times I have EVER had to change sump gaskets on the S is because of excessive pressure in the crankcase under full load/boost. Check the little one way valve on the cam cover, remove it and try to blow through it the wrong way (like you were trying to blow into the cam cover!) try it more than once (giving it a little rattle in between attempts) it should never allow you to blow thru, but on any car I have tested with leaky sump amd timing cover gaskets, the valve does let you blow thru, its this pressure that causes the gaskets to prematurely fail.

Hope this helps.

By the way "smoking and eating coolant" I would strongly advise against it, the coolant doesnt taste nice, and will just get your ciggies damp! :smile:
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks C.Noble, your "by the way" comment has just made my day :). The car is booked in with an ex-BMW mechanic who charges £60 an hour. Would you believe it, I picked the car up from BMW yesterday and within 5mls of leaving the garage it dumped the coolant and decided to steam for all its worth. The reason - BMW forgot to put the cap back on the coolant tank and left it on the engine bay, chap from the AA told me it could have caused a head gasket failure but luckily he ran a test to check for CO2 in the mix and it came up clean. Won't be using that dealer again.
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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Thanks C.Noble, your by the way comment has just made my day ;). The car is booked in with an ex-BMW mechanic who charges £60 an hour. Would you believe it, I picked the car up from BMW yesterday and within 5mls of leaving the garage it dumped the coolant and decided to steam for all its worth. The reason - BMW forgot to put the cap back on the coolant tank and left it on the engine bay, chap from the AA told me it could have caused a head gasket failure but luckily he ran a test to check for CO2 in the mix and it came up clean. Won't be using that dealer again.
Wow. I would have the manager up against the wall with 4 sales people holding me back lol
:aargh::angry:;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They are offering compensation, so far they've offered a full valet including an engine bay polish but I'm not sure I want to let them anywhere near it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
another quick question - I have the iPod expansion cable and multifunction steering wheel. However I have no idea what one of the buttons does. I have volume, track / scan, function and then a final button (similar to function but other side) which doesn't seem to do anything. Any ideas? Sorry I know it's off the topic of the thread.
 
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