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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 07-21-2004, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone, im new to this forum and new to BMW's. Im from Dublin. I bought a 92 BMW 316i a couple of weeks ago. I was going to work on monday and noticed the temperature gauge was at 3/4 level. I got the car pulled in and gauge went to the red light. All coolant had boiled out so i left the car for half hour, refilled the reservoir and drove the remaining mile to work. When i got to work the gauge was at half way but was on verge of overheating so i called recovery service and got her towed home. My girlfriends brother is a mechanic and we looked the car over, checked hoses, no cracks, refilled the reservoir got her up to normal temp. I tried to see if it would overheat by leaving her idle for half hour but it wouldn't. Water pump seems to be working as water is flowing through all hoses leading to & from engine. Dont think its a head gasket as the car is running ok and isnt overheating anymore. Any help would be more than appreciated. I only have a limited mechanical knowledge by the way. Thaks again Stevo
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Old 07-21-2004, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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maybe a new thermostat and it is common of the e36s to have radiator leaks
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Old 07-21-2004, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the 1st refill may have had some bubbles in the line so it wasnt able to properly cool after that but if things are good now the reql question is what cause it to happen in the 1st place.
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Old 07-21-2004, 02:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Double check the top hose neck on the radiator on the driver side, it's common on E36's for those to crack & leak. Mine broke OFF one day without warning.
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Old 09-07-2004, 04:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I currently have the same problem and having spoken to a number of mechanics, including some BMW "technicians" as they like to be called, there are two common problems.
1. The thermostat gets stuck and pressurises the cooling system, this can be quite apparent if you turn the heating to hot and it doesn't get hot even when the temp gauge is on red. Another sympton here is when you remove the cap from the reservoir the water bubbles out like a geezer, it's because of the back pressure but most less knowledgeable mechanics like to tell you it's a sign your head gasket has blown or your head is warped or cracked !!!

2. The fan in the water pump. They had a probelm with the plastic used for the fan so it has been revised twice, once into a metal version and again into a stronger plastic version. This failure normally shows itself if the car has been gunned down the motorway and the water pump has had to try and pump the water around more quickly. the older type of plastic fan would strip on the spindle allowing the spindle to spin but not the fan at high speed. Hope this helps.
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