Engine Cooling problem
1989 BMW 320 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 37000 miles
My wife's BMW has been sat in a garage for just under 2 years.
After changing the battery the car started first time. There was some white smoke, which cleared after a while, and some water from the exhaust pipe. I left the engine running for at least an hour, giving it intermittent revs. The engine reached normal temperature but did not overheat.
However, the rubber hoses, forming part of the coolant system, were soft enough to be squeezed easily by hand. I am not very knowledgeable but believe this means there is air in the system and am starting to think the head gasket might therefore be blown.
The car is not taxed or insured so I can't really take it out to a mechanic. I'm trying to decide whether it's worth taxing and insuring the car as it's a beautiful machine but do not want to do so if it has a serious problem.
In a nutshell, if anyone could tell em whether the symptoms are anything to worry about then I would be very grateful.
I am not convinced there is anything wrong here. From what you report, it sounds like normal operation. Could we return to the hoses for a moment? When the engine reached operating temperature, you say the hoses were soft and easily squeezed, and this was with a hot, running motor, correct? If the hoses are easily squeezed, why would you think there is air in the system? If you could respond to my questions, we can get you along the path straightaway.
September, 6, 2010 AT 4:04 PM
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to help.
The engine was indeed hot and running. I've had a blown gasket before (on another car) and was told that one of the ways of telling is by squeezing the hoses. The theory, as described, was that if the engine is hot, there should be pressure and the hoses should be very firm. Is there no truth to this?