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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 10-28-2004, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Guys,

I have a 97 318I, I took it to the dealer 'cause the temperature gauge keeps moving to the right and heats up. Dealer told me that water pump needed to be replaced so the thermostat, which they did. They told me that it was fine now, so I drove it this week and it starts heating up after I drive 30 - 40 miles, temperature gauge moves to the right (about 3/4) then moves back to the middle. And when I get off the freeway and start driving it on the street, so often the gauge starts moving to the right, it gets just pass the 3/4 mark and then moves back to the middle. But this morning, after I drove to work, and the gauge moved back and forth, I let the engine run and the gauge was almost getting to the red mark. Also, let me mention that my climate control is probably done, 'cause it turns off and on by itself. Also, radiator is brand new.
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT ELSE COULD BE WRONG? Is it the cooling fan? PLEASE HELP!!
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry to tell you this but it sounds like a head gasket If you car has a M43 engine these are very common for blowing the head gasket at the back of the head into cylinder number 4. Its unlikely to be the fan if it overheats when your driving on the freeway the fan only really workd in traffic. I don't know what kind of fan you've got, if it's electric let the engine warm you and the fan will cut in before it over heats if its a viscos coupleing (that is to say driven by the engine) then warm up the enigine and when it at its normal operrating temp rev the engine from under the bonnet and you'll fill the draft of the fan if its working rev it a good few time and if you can't fill the a strong draft with your hand about 6inchs behind the fan then it's not working. The heater going hot and cold is proberly air in the coolant system I hope the dealer bleed it properly when they did the work if your unsure take it back to them and complian.
Hope this helps
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a similar problem, turned out to be the viscous fan coupling. The earlier post alluded to a bad head gasket-run a compression test to rule this out. Also make sure that the electric fan switches to the supplemental fans are working. These fans are in front of the radiator unlike the belt driven fan which is behind the radiator. You can test the fans themselves by disconnecting the wires and placing a jumper across the connector, the fan should roar to life. If they don't check the fuses before tearing it apart. The fuses for these fans should be in the main fuse box. (At least they are on my 84 325E)

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Old 10-28-2004, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by alanrw@Oct 28 2004, 03:46 PM
I had a similar problem, turned out to be the viscous fan coupling. The earlier post alluded to a bad head gasket-run a compression test to rule this out. Also make sure that the electric fan switches to the supplemental fans are working. These fans are in front of the radiator unlike the belt driven fan which is behind the radiator. You can test the fans themselves by disconnecting the wires and placing a jumper across the connector, the fan should roar to life. If they don't check the fuses before tearing it apart. The fuses for these fans should be in the main fuse box. (At least they are on my 84 325E)

alan
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Thanks guys, I just drove it from work and the gauge started to move past the 3/4 mark in the freeway, so I was going to get off and all of the sudden it came back to the middle. It drove fine for 20 or so miles then I got off the freeway and it was fine, 'til the last block and gauge moved just a little to the right...
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Old 10-30-2004, 02:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Try the radiator cap.

-Steveo
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Old 10-30-2004, 07:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey..

I have the same problem.. please check my previous post on "Overheating - stiff hose", the replies from assimilator & 97alpinem3 seem to be very useful. I brought it to 2 mechanics, one said the hose was lose and the other said there's a leak in the waterpump.

Anyway, I have a question for you, does your upper radiator hose hot & stiff after around 20/30 mins. drive ?
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i had the same problem,after 5 mins nearly hitting redline, but when driving 30mph or above, was OK ???
I took it to my local garage, I told him I thought it was air in the radiator, he bled it, and was fine for 3000 miles, went again last week, nearly up to red line - in my case I needed to bleed the radiator and it's fine again.
To bleed there is a cross head plastic screw , named "Entluftung", German for Bleed I guess, it's right next to your radiator expansion cap, i turned mine 360 degrees anti clockwise. let the air out, until water/coolant started to leak - at which point all air is out, and turn back to tighten.
* 1 thing, it's best to get the engine hot , turn off , then bleed - maybe a cloth to prevent scolding in case water spurts ( if no air lock maybe)
Check water level/coolant when it's cooled down, might need topped up.

good luck
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow I wouldn't immediately jump to the conclusion about his headgasket. There could be a hundred things, and headgasket wouldn't be at the top of my list.

Check the hoses. You might want to go and ask your mechanic if he thinks i is necessary to change all the hoses. Hopefully you have a mechnic you know well and trust. This could get expensive if they try and go for a more expensive alternative.
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