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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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Old 11-06-2009, 11:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question about my 83 320i need help

Hello all I am Dave can someone please help assist me with the problem I am having....

I have a 83 320i 5speed.
The problem is ONLY at a red light or heavy traffic the temperature gauge will go past the 12 o'clock/half way mark to almost the 3/4 mark. It does not go past the 3/4 mark and a lot of times it does not even get that far it just barely goes over the half way mark.

So my question is what can be causing this problem can someone please help....... Before answering let me list what I have done to narrow the problem down.....

Water pump changed (I think from previous owner I inspected and it seems okay)
Thermostat replaced....
Cooling system flushed and replaced with new coolant with the proper factory mixture specifications.
Radiator replaced with again new coolant with proper mix of water/coolant.

Auxiliary fan inspected and can't figure out if it works properly or not I have been told 2 different things. The fan does come on when the A/C is turned on but does not come on when the car is hot 3/4.... I was told this is normal and the fan does not come on unless the A/C is turned on. I was also told it is supposed to come on when the temperature gauge goes over halfway mark 12 o clock position.

Also the temperature gauge goes down when the heater is turned on. When the heater is off it goes back up to over the half way point but not quite to the 3/4 mark.

So with that being said I am wondering what else could be causing this problem....

I am considering it might be the cylinder head gasket blowing. What would be the signs if that was happening?

Also if someone could please help with any/all questions I would appreciate it much thanks.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The cylinder head gasket issue may be purely due to the rise in temp. I think the aux fan is the thing to start with.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The cylinder head gasket issue may be purely due to the rise in temp. I think the aux fan is the thing to start with.
Thanks for responding back.... Okay the head gasket I don't think is a issue. I agree with you on checking into the aux fan however I can't get a correct answer. As I said before the bmw place told me 2 different things.
1 the fan only comes on when the a/c is on that is IT.

2 the fan does come on when the temp guage gets over the half way point.

My ? to you is how can I find out for sure (the factory specs) of when and how this aux fan is/was supposed to come on just like it did from the factory?

You should know I have been under the car and did a through inspection of the aux fan and everything looked okay to me. All the plugs (electrical) are plugged in and it works with the a/c being turned on.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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1 the fan only comes on when the a/c is on that is IT.

2 the fan does come on when the temp guage gets over the half way point.

My ? to you is how can I find out for sure (the factory specs) of when and how this aux fan is/was supposed to come on just like it did from the factory?

Thanks for your help.
The aux fan should do both of these actions
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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maybe coolant is not bleaded properly, air trapped inside
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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maybe coolant is not bleaded properly, air trapped inside
Hello there no I checked all that and put new coolant inside myself. Do you know what makes the auxilary fan come on when the car gets hot? What switch or tempature gauge makes the aux fan come on when the car is hot. I think that might be the problem because the aux does not come on when the car is hot/over the half way mark.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i know with the m20 enigines thereis a temp sensor in the side of the radiator...not too sure about he m10 though.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The problem is ONLY at a red light or heavy traffic the temperature gauge will go past the 12 o'clock/half way mark to almost the 3/4 mark. It does not go past the 3/4 mark and a lot of times it does not even get that far it just barely goes over the half way mark.[/QUOTE]

its normal to pass half way mark in heavy trafic, or if you just leave the car runing, especialy in hot weather, little over 1/2.
by my knowledge aux fan is on when ac is on, or when car starts to overheat. If ac is working turn it on and check the fan.
i don't know how are the 4 cyl e30's, but check around radiator body for bolted in sensor, and check the wires on the plug that connect to the sensor, sometimes they brake.
also check if the clutch of the cooling fan is engaging.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Im not sure on your model if you have a viscous clutch/fan this maybe the problem, to check roll up a newspaper and put it in the fan (main fan) if it stops the fan its the viscous clutch gone, if it shreds the paper then its fine.....just a thought.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Im not sure on your model if you have a viscous clutch/fan this maybe the problem, to check roll up a newspaper and put it in the fan (main fan) if it stops the fan its the viscous clutch gone, if it shreds the paper then its fine.....just a thought.
Thank you for answering my question I will try the newspaper test but I am quite sure that the main fan is running okay and strong enough to shred a paper.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i know with the m20 enigines thereis a temp sensor in the side of the radiator...not too sure about he m10 though.
Hi there glad I can still make some people wet....lol

When I changed the radiator I did remove, inspect, and see if the tempature sensor that goes in the side of the radiator needed to be replaced. It looked good to me and I could not figure out a way to test it. I doubt that sensor is bad because it does not do much and is not used that much. Have you heard of these sensors going bad and do you know how to test them?
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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How to diagnose and replace the coolant temperature sensor
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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this is the answer

i just registered to this damn site to tell you this. ive gotten so much help from forums, i feel as if it is my turn. i have an awesome sharp black 83 bmw 320i. it heats up in traffic and red lights IF you keep your foot on the clutch. DO NOT keep the clutch down and leave it in gear at the red light or in traffic. i swear it you can go 120 mph for an hour and it will heat up less than keeping the clutch down everytime you stop. ive practiced this so much that i am lightning quick with throwing it into gear at a green light or in traffic.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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also

flush the radiator and replace the fluid.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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flush the radiator and replace the fluid.
I already did that....

Question for you when does your auxilary fan come on at what point with the tempature gauge? I am talking about the fan in the very front of the car the one that only comes on usually by turning on the a/c. So does your come on when the temp guage goes over the half way mark or when the temp guage gets too hot please advise me thanks Dave?
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