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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 03-03-2011, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A few problems...

So I'm having a few problems with my 92 325i.

1st problem is the wonderful anti freeze smell and foggy windows... however after some research i found out there is a recall on this so a local bmw dealer is checking to see if i can still get covered..

2nd problem JUST happened. I guess i didnt tighten the coolant cap all the way and it started seeping and bubbling... after it finished i took cap off and checked level then refilled it. HOWEVER!!!! there were copper particles in there... anyone know why?

3rd problem is related to the 2nd... my temp guage was fluctuation WAY to much.. car was cold.. blowing cold air but reading was at half... 2min later it was past 3/4 but still blowing cold air...

and the last thing is the car is REALLLY sluggish... fairly slow acceleration...
if i was to just floor it right off the line it would slowly start accelerating.. it wouldnt peel out like my old car. I'm not sure if thats how bimmers are though cus its my 1st one. the car has new NGK Iridium spark plugs, and a new air filter. also just put on new magnaflow muffler and cat.

also there is a dip stick with a red handle on it close to the firewall.. is that tranny or oil or what is the dip stick?

Thanks for all the help
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Tomorrow Im going to clean the thorttle body and if i have time ICV...
then what i want to do is take off the valve cover and replace teh gasket and check to make sure verything is a ok there...( its leaking some oil and seems like from there....)

sunday getting rad/tranny/rear diff flushed and doing oil change and fuel filter ....

anything else i should do for maintenance?
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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so today either the heater core or the valve or a hose broke, cracked, failed.. i dunno what but something happened...
where exactly is the heater core located? anyone know?
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like a bad heater core is causing all your coolant system problems. That will give you what you are describing and causing the cold air but hot engine issue. Basically, it sounds like you are so low on coolant (because of the heater core leaking) that there is not enough coolant to heat the core to give heat into the cabin.

Fix that and don't drive until you do. That or disconnect the heater core from your coolant system. Either way, you should not be driving a car with cooling system issues.

To disconnect/bypass the core, there should be 2 pipes that come from the engine that go through the firewall and into the cabin. Those are the "To" and "from" pipes to your heater core. You can just route a hose from one engine side connection to the other (make sure you route the hose to the connections that are on the engine!). But you won't have heat this way (you are bypassing the core by doing this).

As for the copper in the system, could that be from an additive to help stop leaks? Maybe previous owner tried this to stop the heater core leak? I would flush that stuff out though...i have heard it to cause other issues.

As for the slowness, I am not sure. My 95 318ic is suffering from the same thing. But we are both coming from forced induction so it's a bad comparison!

Good luck! Looks like a nice car!
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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BTW, the heater core is typically under the dash on the passenger side (haven't check on a BMW but that's where it normallly is).
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responce Jehu...
I talked to BMW he said its behind center console...
I took the glove box out and saw nothing there.
So today I'm going to start working on it and see what i can find.
I'll make another post with location of it and if there is anything funny you have to do to get it out.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It was fairly easy to get to the heater core and remove it.
I'll be posting a quick DIY on it. I googeld the internet and found nothing. Figured may as well post one
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Check you Air Mass Sensor to see if that is the cause of your sluggish low end performance. I had a fairly similar issue (particularly when cold), it was bad enough that you couldn't confidently pull out into traffic. I diagnosed mine by disconnecting the elecetrical connector from the AMS and tested it. It was still down on power, but better than before. New AMS bumped the performance back to where it should have been all along. Sometimes you can clean these units, but its not hard to change them over.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Cleaned my MAF sensor, looks much much better...
also cleaned the throttle body and all the hoses. there was a lot of gunk there.

I have the entire car ripped apart right now replacing the heater core.
Hopefuly that shows up sometime this week so I can throw that in...
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Make sure you download the Bentley service manual. I think there is a sticky link to it in the forum list. Complete life saver.

Sounds like you are on the right path to solving your problems though. Some of your performance issues will come from the vehicle not getting up to operating tempurature. I would solve the coolant problems first then work on the performance.

Maintenance is critical to performance and longevity. I always change all of the fluids in a car when I buy it. I don't trust anyone else to do the maintenance.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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amen brother!!!
its sitting ripped apart right now
hopefuly the heater core shows up soon...
i bought a new one... didnt feel like getting a used one then tearing the dash apart again lol
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smart move. There are some things you can get away with buying used, anything that has to do with the coolant isn't on that list... I am replacing my overflow bottle tonight. Finally developed a leak after 14 years.

Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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well i like my car...
it looks mean and noone can guess its a 92...
and they still hold their value... so yea.. i wanna fix it lol
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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heater core

did you do a DIY for the heater core. I think i am having same issue. Not overheating, but windshield fogging up and a mist / smoke coming out of my center air duct. smells like antifreeze.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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hey bro...
I started on the DIY... but i left for new zealand
so i'm sorry that i couldnt be that much help to you at the moment...
I'll be more then happy to guide you if you havent done anything yet though...
but you have to take the dash out and the center console to get to the heater core
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