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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 01-11-2009, 03:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Newbie with 316i Heater problem

Hi everybody,

I'm new here and hope somebody can give me some help. I've had a look at a lot of posts and clearly there are some very clever and helpful people around. In fact well done on a great site.
I've quite recently acquired a 1995 316i Compact. 76k full history which was meant to be just a cheap motor to get me through a lean patch. But meets my needs so well I think I'll be sticking with for some time.
The only problem is that the heater is pretty pants. The car does take some time to get up to temp. The coolant was low but is now at the correct level. Bringing the level up has meant the problem has got worse, i.e. it takes longer to warm up and loses temp quite quickly when speed drops. If I'm motoring along at 70 the temp is just below centre, slow down for an island and it's back to around 10 o clock.
The actual heater takes ages to work but if you put your hands close to the vents is giving quite warm air, just not much of it. It's best when pointed directly at you but if on screen or floor really bad. Even on 4 when you can hear the fan sounding like a washroom hand drier!
Any ideas?
For the record I've also got an F800S which I've had all the recalls on if anybody is having woes and wants to compare notes.
Thanks,
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like a thermostat issue, "stuck open".....explains why it takes long to warm up...for when the car sits without being started (cold)....the thermostat starts out closed, no coolant circulation, thus engine warming up faster. Also, explains stuck open always, too much circulation too much cooling....no heat.

BMW E36 Thermostat Removal And Coolant Flush

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Old 01-12-2009, 03:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by johnnybayonne View Post
It sounds like a thermostat issue, "stuck open".....explains why it takes long to warm up...for when the car sits without being started (cold)....the thermostat starts out closed, no coolant circulation, thus engine warming up faster. Also, explains stuck open always, too much circulation too much cooling....no heat.

BMW E36 Thermostat Removal And Coolant Flush

johnny,
Thanks Johnny, I'll try a new stat. I suppose that the fact it's not blowing well, or nearly not on the floor, could be something else to do with the vents? I'll get the stat done and see what gives. I'm happy enough driving a slow car but not a cold one!
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