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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 03-04-2006, 04:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E36 Over Heating Problem :-(

Since the time I bought my E36 I always had overheating problems. In the mornings when the car is cold I start the car to warm it up and about after one min white smoke would come out from exhaust like steam. When I am not driving just standing the temperature lever would go over normal and than when I start driving in will drop to normal. First I changed thermostat and water pump with metal impellers. Also I changed fan clutch. And also I added a liquid into the radiator that temporarily seals the holes in heat gasket because at that time I thought my head gasket might be blown. For about 4 months my car never overheated, and no more white smoke only when I start the car it would shake a little like one of the sparks don’t work but after 30 sec it stops shaking. Than After 4 months it stated overheating again. Once I left my car running and when I came back I saw that temperature level was on red so turn off the car. I tried to start the car it wouldn’t start. I waited for about 5 – 8 min and than the car started but temperature never went down only up even if I was driving. Since that time, I never drove the car I took it straight to the shop. I decided to change the head gasket. When the guy at the shop took motor apart he told me that the head gasket was fine. Also he said that it been changed recently because it looked new. Also he said that there was water in motor oil.

If the gasket is fine what could have been the problem?
How water got into the oil?
Anyone know what else could be wrong?


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Old 03-05-2006, 12:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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every1 seems to be having overheating probs these days!!!! try searching for other topics, there are plenty around, but not sure if any have your symptoms!
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If the head gasket is ok, you most likely have either a cracked head or a cracked cylinder block. If the head is still off the block, have it sent out to be Magnafluxed. Magnafluxing shows up small cracks which are not easily visible to the human eye. Hopefully it's the head. If not you can have the block magnafluxed.
There is one more possibility which happened to me long ago when I was racing a Formula Ford. The plug in the intake manifold which is removed when doing a vacuum test was misthreaded so that the threads made a small hole into the cooling passages of the intake manifold. If all else fails, look at all mounting bolts and or plugs that might penetrate the cooling system if improperly bored and taped.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you have to keep feeling the overflow bottle? If you dont that means the coolant isent going anywhere. Have a shop presure test your cooling system. If the presure stays the same than means the cooling system is ok.

You say the car doesnt overheat when driving but it does when stoped. When you drive the air is cooling the car, when you are stoped there is no air flow and it overheats. Maybe you have a radiator that isent flowing right or something else is clogged. How long does the car smoke for? It could be just burning off early morning moisture.

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Old 03-06-2006, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Looks to me like you have a compression issue. If the head gasket was replaced they should have re-surfaced the head and block to ensure proper seal. I had a similar problem, and it turned out to be the head and a bent valve, ended up re-building the motor.
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