Overheating E30 1991 318i - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 12:34 AM
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Overheating E30 1991 318i

Okay, my 1991 318i is overheating at times. For awhile (since I replaced the thermostat over a year ago) it had run right in the middle, perfect. Lately, what's been happening is that it'll run just slightly hot until I stop moving. While i am sitting (say red light or traffic), it heats up, a lot! Like to the point of almost overheating. So what is it? Help me out please.

Is it my fan motor (if I have one of those)? Is it a belt that's gone bad? Is it something else? Please help, I'm a poor college kid and I try to do most of the work myself. Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 09:29 AM
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Very likely to be the clutch driven fan. Replacing the clutch should sort it.

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 07:53 PM
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Very likely to be the clutch driven fan. Replacing the clutch should sort it.

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 08:37 PM
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what they said^

also did you replace the waterpump when you did the thermostat? If not, depending on the mileage that might be a good idea. Not required of course, especially if its the fan causing your trouble, but usually around the time the thermostat goes out so does the water pump.

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 03:47 PM
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Thanks guys, I'm going to check on all those possibilities listed. Does anyone know how fast the fan is supposed to spin while the car is idling? I was wondering if I might be able to determine if it was the fan clutch that way.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 09:01 AM
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I don't know that I would try this but I've read there is this method for testing the fan. Roll up a newspaper and stick it into the fan while the engine idles. If it stops the fan, the clutch is bad. I haven't read what happens if it doesn't stop the fan.

For what it is worth, a lot of people run without a fan on the the 318. There is an electric fan in front of the radiator that runs if your AC is on. I have removed that and the engine fan and while I don't run my AC, the car stays cool in anything but stopped in traffic on a 100+ degree day.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 11:21 AM
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I appreciate that. Yes I actually did test that newspaper trick but with my Thumb. It stopped, I wasn't too worried about getting hurt because I was pretty sure it was running slow just because it looked like it was.

Also, I've been driving almost three weeks with it broken, the problem is I live in Atlanta... 100+ degree weather, and traffic all the time. So I will have to fix it, though of Bavauto site I found the clutch for only $65, best price I've found so far!

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I don't know that I would try this but I've read there is this method for testing the fan. Roll up a newspaper and stick it into the fan while the engine idles. If it stops the fan, the clutch is bad. I haven't read what happens if it doesn't stop the fan.

For what it is worth, a lot of people run without a fan on the the 318. There is an electric fan in front of the radiator that runs if your AC is on. I have removed that and the engine fan and while I don't run my AC, the car stays cool in anything but stopped in traffic on a 100+ degree day.
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 12:48 PM
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I hear you, mine has sat all summer because I haven't finished it's electric fan install.
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 07:01 PM
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Shit a brick. I still believe that the fan was part of it. It just looked like it was running slow. Anyways the new fan clutch is in. At first I thought it solved it since it looked noticeably faster... took it for a drive. Nope. So what's next guys? What could be making my car overheat?? In fact I think it overheats faster now than it did before.
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 09:45 PM
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are you loosing coolant? is there coolant in the oil?

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#11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 09:25 AM
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I am loosing coolant, and after looking at it this morning... I really think it's the head gasket now... I'll probably be taking it to a shop today or tomorrow. Anyone know a really good shop in Atlanta near Marietta? Also, how much should a head gasket cost? Is it something that is even worth it?
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 04:15 PM
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well i wouldnt do that just yet .. before the car gets to hot open up your coolant to see if it still has presure if so i woulldnt take it up there jus check the hoses and bleed it . i have the same exact problem . i put anti freeze in , didnt bleed it and anit freeze started to shoot everywhere as the car heated up . silly me after i bled it i was good but my fan clutch never kicks into high gear. i wanna know if i can put a mechanical fan from a e28 on it .
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#13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebrisse View Post
I am loosing coolant, and after looking at it this morning... I really think it's the head gasket now... I'll probably be taking it to a shop today or tomorrow. Anyone know a really good shop in Atlanta near Marietta? Also, how much should a head gasket cost? Is it something that is even worth it?
I'd make sure the system was properly bled first, then look around your hoses, radiator, and water pump before you think about a head gasket. I've had to deal with all four in my time.

Ten years ago, the head gasket went out in my 91 318i, and that was a $960 repair job ($720 of that was for a quoted 12 hours of labor). If this site has regional forums, that might be a better place to get opinions on Atlanta-based repair shops.

Adios for now,

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#14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryMStew View Post
well i wouldnt do that just yet .. before the car gets to hot open up your coolant to see if it still has presure if so i woulldnt take it up there jus check the hoses and bleed it . i have the same exact problem . i put anti freeze in , didnt bleed it and anit freeze started to shoot everywhere as the car heated up . silly me after i bled it i was good but my fan clutch never kicks into high gear. i wanna know if i can put a mechanical fan from a e28 on it .
I don't know what you're driving, but I replaced the eight-bladed fan on my 91 318i with a nine blade unit (420mm, part number 115211271846). This part had a very wide fitment list. My replacement fan clutch came from a salvage yard e28 for what that's worth.

Later, BMW started using an 11-blade unit (410 mm, part number 11521723363). If you plug in these part numbers at a BMW parts vendor's website, you'll be able to pull up what cars they go into.

Adios for now,

RM

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