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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 04-22-2006, 05:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What usually causes...

the temp guague in an E30 to go funky? For a while it was registering 'low' on startup until it was warmed for about 10 minutes, then it would go to the center. Recently it has been stuck at the bottom end of the scale (as though the ignition was off) until going to the 1/4 position after a 10 minute run. The inconsistency of it is what gets me.

Also there's been a problem with the power steering- really heavy in one direction until the first turn, then it lightens up. The opposite turn is not a problem. A bit scary when you hit the corners or try for a U-turn :
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Old 04-22-2006, 06:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You'll need to check your temp sensor. Its in the thermostat housing next to the ECT for the computer. Check for a dirty contact or just replace it (around 10). It has only one pin in it, ground out the connector to the body with a jumper wire while having the key on, the guage should peg out reading full hot. If not, or if it's jumps around while haveing good contact, your guage may be faulty.

The steering problem sounds like internal binding in the steering rack. Tie a string on to a small magnet and set it into the fluid reservoir with the string hanging out, put the lid back on take it for a ride. When you get back pull the magnet out and check for metal sticking to it. If there is you need a steering rack and your system flushed.
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Old 04-22-2006, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Awesome

Thanks Starmavin: the guy who did my MOT (roadworthiness) check did mention the steering rack needs a look, but I will do that test with the magnet tomorrow. I am just checking my Haynes manual about the thermostat and it suggests that the thermostat is stuck open and needs renewing 'if the engine seems to be taking a long time to warm up' - do they mean according to the temp on the guague? Sounds like a fairly involved job to replace the thermostat used:
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Easy, 1 hose, 3 bolts and its out. Just don't forget to open the bleeder in the housing when refilling the coolant.
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