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E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio - General Forum
The E9X is the latest evolution of the BMW 3 series including the highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! Post questions about "upgrading" from your current E46 here or jump over to E90Fanatics.com!

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Old 01-11-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
M51AB
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 75
My Ride: July 2001 325i
Steam from the grills?

I just bought my 2010 328xi last week. When I pulled into work today I noticed steam coming from the kidney grills. No temp warning from the car, so I popped the hood and listened for the sound of boiling coolant from the expansion tank I didnít hear anything (although I work at the airport, so it was a bit more noisy than my garage), nor did I smell a coolant leak.

I had driven 20 miles to get to work with an outside temp of 5F. I was nowhere near the red line during my drive. The car will be sitting in the same temp range for the next eight hours, so itíll be ice cold when I leave. I know I can check the coolant temp on the hidden menu. Is there anything I should be looking for? I donít know if the previous owner replaced the water pump and thermostat. The car has 106k on the odometer, so I assume they both have been. The car is under an extended warranty sold by the BMW dealership I bought it from that covers the engine and transmission.

On my e46, steam from the grills was a very bad sign at any temp. I guessing I should have a compression test done to check for a head gasket leak.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:53 AM   #2
tommy d
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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My Ride: 2005 330i
I wouldn't thing it was a head gasket issue, especially if the temps didn't climb. Most probably a small leak, possibly water pump or hose that is close to the engine to start steaming or radiator. Get it checked out sooner than later, though you probably already did by now.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:38 PM   #3
M51AB
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 75
My Ride: July 2001 325i
Thanks for the reply. Everything checked out fine. The guess is it was water from the engine detail that the dealer did. Not sure why it didn't evaporate ealier.
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