Can an expansion tank go bad after 6,000 miles on 2003 325 BMW?

Asked by Mar 22, 2017 at 07:51 PM about the 2003 BMW 3 Series 325i Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We bought a 2003 325 BMW Sedan (E46 engine) with about 120K miles. The previous owner gave us a repair copy showing that the expansion tank was replaced at 120,404 miles. at 124,430 miles ignition coil had to get replaced and one of the spark plugs (we replaced all 6 at the same time). We now have about 126,000 miles and a radiator symbol showed up on the dashboard. When the car was cool, my husband looked and saw no fluid in the radiator. We had the car towed to our mechanic who said that there is blockage from the reservoir and says that we need to replace expansion tank. Is this possible that expansion tank would fail after 6,000 miles? any help/thoughts be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers


Maybe the tank was bad out of the box. It does happen.


Never heard of a blockage in an expansion tank. How did your husband look into the radiator? There is no access to check the radiator unless you remove the upper or lower radiator hose. Maybe the prior owner never bleed the system properly and it was low on coolant? If the reservoir was overfilled, then you could crack it from over pressuring. Maybe it wasn't seated properly? hard to say without pics..... t=784080

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