there is engine oil in my e46 radiator but there is no water in the engine or my dip stick. flushed once but after three weeks the oil is back. pls help me on this.


Asked by Oct 07, 2014 at 02:37 AM about the 2002 BMW 3 Series 320i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

6 Answers


I haven't worked on a bmw in a few years. Does it have an oil cooler built into the radiator? How do you know that it's oil? When you were checking your oil for water was oil level low? Did u overheat the engine lately. Is it a stick or auto trans? Plz answer the questions the best u can.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

there is no oil cooler in the radiator. very clearly engine oil. oil level normal. no overheating.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Tom Demyan

If the engine oil level is normal, then the oil you are seeing might very well be transmission fluid. There is a trans cooler that attaches to the cooling system which is under the expansion tank. If it's been 3 weeks, your looking at rebuilding the trans if this is the case.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Is it alot of oil that u r seeing? If it was your engine oil getting into the radiator the oil level wouldn't still be full. Engine oil doesn't expand when its hot like automatic tranny fliud does. It's 7am here in FL. and I'v been up all night the last two days w/3-4 hrs of sleep in between. Let me sleep on it a bit and see what I can come up with.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Kugan google 2002bmwm3e46fluidcontaminationinradiator when it pops scroll down and there looks to be others with your issue. I don't have time right now to find exactly what you needed. So go check it out if you get this message before I get back later.I hope It's useful and not a deadend.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Same problem! Oil in rad but using engine oil would this be a split oil cooler ? Tony

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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