Engine overheating in traffic - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 05-01-2004, 07:47 PM
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Hi,

Just wanted to ask a couple of things about my E36 320

When i idle for a long time in traffic(30 min), the car overheats and actually goes to the red zone.
I have checked the O2 sensor, fan clutch and vacuum lines.
It puzzles me coz it only does it then and it never does it when driving, no matter how hashly i drive.

Is there any chance the head gasket or water pump could have anything to do with is and if yes, does anyone know how much it would be to replace these?

Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-01-2004, 08:05 PM
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i have the same problem on my 5er, not that bad, but it definitely wants to go close to red zone whenever i am stopped for more than a few minutes... water pump, gasket, fan clutch all have less than 30k on them and it still does it. i guess the next stop on my list is the thermostat...


the thing is when you are moving, the air is being pushed against the car thus cooling it. i also have a feeling that my fan doesnt spin at idle at all, because when i rev it when it starts to overheat, the temp drops.

good luck figuring it out. i'll tell you if thermostat replacement/ fix helps as soon as i get a chance to mess with it.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-01-2004, 10:21 PM
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Hmm. Sounds like the water pump may be worn so at idle it's not properly pumping coolant. Before you even check that, see if your thermostat is bad that could also be the problem.

If those don't work, maybe just swap to an electric fan

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-01-2004, 10:32 PM
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water pumps usually go bad on E36s
check coolant level too

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 12:48 AM
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someone already said this, but coolant level... I had the same issue, ended up being not enough coolant in there... and make sure you use a good type of antifreeze with a good mix of h2o

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 12:55 AM
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Check your clutch/electric engine fan and or aux fan. If you're only getting this problem while you're not moving, it probably means that there's no air cooling your rad. When you start to drive again there is air being blown into the rad so the engine cools down again. Make sure the fans are working properly and you're not missing your fan shroud. The Shroud actually creates a vaccum and aids in cooling the rad.

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 02:00 AM
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Yeah Auto, your totally right about that vacuum thing, My 5er's fan shroud got old and crumbled, so i removed it. Damn thing ran significantly hotter.

I know this sounds simple, but the thermostat may be you guy's problem, had some heating issues on the 5er as well, and a new water pump didn't fix it. Thermostat and housing did!

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#8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 04:28 PM
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It's the thermostat, I had the same problem.Don't switch the fan clutch, I've done that and did not resolve the problem, money spent for nothing. The thermostat is cheap and the problem is resolved.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 04:49 PM
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Overheating in slow traffic or at a stop often means the electric fan isn't going on. It could be the fan motor/clutch or it can be the temperature sensor that's supposed to turn the fan on.

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#10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 06:47 PM
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Does the 320 use an electric fan or a belt driven clutch fan? Belt driven clutch fans do not have sensors. They are always on and spin faster as the engine RPM's go up while the clutch is engauged.

I thought usually when the thermostat goes bad the engine will get too cold and never warm up?

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#11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Autotechnica@May 2 2004, 07:27 PM
I thought usually when the thermostat goes bad the engine will get too cold and never warm up?
You're right. With my Montero I had to replace the thermostat in order for my engine to warm up. I'm not sure what the relationship between fans and thermostats are on BMW's, if there is even one at all.

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#12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 07:20 PM
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Go right for the water pump, these have a very high failure rate. The plastic impeller on the pump gets brittle and separates from the shaft. HTH
Steve
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Autotechnica@May 2 2004, 08:27 PM
I thought usually when the thermostat goes bad the engine will get too cold and never warm up?
That's only if you're lucky. When a thermostat goes bad it can do one of two things, stick open (which they're supposed to do, and then the engine takes forever to warm up) OR if you're unlucky it will stick closed. Once your car reaches operating temp, it will just keep getting hotter cause there's no fresh coolant.

Kevin

P.S. maybe the coolant temp sensor is bad.... I say check coolant levels first cause it's cheapest.

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