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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 12-30-2009, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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temp gauge

my temp gauge use to jump and flicker so i tightened ground nut. When i tightened it i thought i heard a slight crack and hoped i didnt tighten it to much and crack the board. however afterwards sometimes it takes a while for my temp gauge to turn on or it needs a tap of the cluster to make it turn on and it is only at 1/4 after i have been driving for ages. If i stop for a while it goes to just under 1/2 which is where it use to sit before i tightened it the first time. Could it be two problems temp gauge and thermostat stuck open or just temp gauge lying to me how do i tell?
Also does any one know of any write ups on how to open cluster and remove temp gauge?
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I hope that when you heard the "crack", that the bolt didn't break, which would cause a faulty ground. I would suggest to check that bolt out you tightened to see if in fact it is broken or not.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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usually a problematic temp gauge is an easy fix, grab another one out of any car at the junkers, I've already had to do this with my Tach, and Temp Gauge..both shockingly cheap
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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pulled the cluster apart and no the bolt is not broken and all else looks fine. There was a loose wire connection in the plug connecting the cluster which appears to be why my gauge sometimes needed a tap to turn on.
Now the car warms up to just over 1/4 on the gauge and stays there. If i stop and let it idle it warms up to 1/2, then if i start driving again it cools back down to just over 1/4. I believe the gauge is ment to sit just below 1/2 which is where it use to sit. I guess it could be three things 1) the temp sensor 2) the temp gauge (which didnt look that easy to change) 3) the thermostat stuck open. But how do i know what one is causing the problem?
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think that your T-stat is the problem because mine sat at 1/4 and would go close to 1/2 when idle. Most that i've seen hang around that area anyways, which is a good thing.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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so what eneded up being the problem in your car?
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My Radiator was bulged and I never noticed until a hose popped. I went ahead and chenged the Temp sensor, radiator(of course ) and the T-stat. Before I chucked the old one I checked it and worked fine. Trace your wiring too and check your connections. Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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update i put another gauge cluster in the car to see what the temp gauge would do. It stayed about half. I moved the wires around and could make it go to almost 3/4 and almost 1/4 the point is the fact that one gauge says 1/2 and the other says a bit over 1/4 would mean it is unlikely the thermostat is stuck open. I think it is both the gauge and the wiring connections going into the back of the cluster. I will pull the pleg apart tommorow and check the connections. If the temp gauge itself is also at fault can you replace just the temp gauge without replacing the whole cluster?
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