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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 02-17-2005, 09:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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alright so i got the car friday night (96' 328i with 97k) on saterday night my friend and i took it out and after leaving texas roadhouse we'r cruzin along about 50 and my low coolant light comes on the onboard, i look at my temp guage immediately and it is buried in the red with the red light on omg! hit the clutch to drop the rpm's waited a few seconds and it shot straight down. so i stopped for a lil bit and waited for it to cool down. then went on a search for antifreeze. no did that 3 more times!!! so no place was open so i babied it for the rest of the night and sunday morn got some coolant and everything was straight till tonight............takin a friend home goin down a nice blktop straight and i set the cruize @ 100 (mph that is) for about 2 miles look in the rearview white smoke pourin out look at the temp buried in the red hit the clutch and it shot down after about 30 sec. im thinkin i need a thermostat or is there somthin else? please help!!!!
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be your thermostat. Also, don't use anything other than BMW coolant. YOu should probably flush your radiator. It is a good routine maintenance item that should be done about every two years. Was your coolant boiling? Check your hoses, as maybe you have a leak or something of the sort. I know I am being very general, but I hope at least I can get you looking at the right stuff. I would also urge you to check your drive belt's tension, as it drives the water pump also; however, if this were the case, very likely you would see your lights dim, battery light would come on, etc. Who knows, maybe the pulley driven by the belt is not performing as it should. Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ok on monday i will do a coolant flush if i can get some bmw antifreeze..... is there really a difference and i will change the thermostat looks like it should be pretty simple. should i replace the aluminum housing while im at it? and do u have to pull the radiator for wrench room?
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Be careful about letting your engine overheat.. the m50/m52 blocks are very prone to damage if overheated, seeing as they are aluminum.

Never try to just make it home if your in the red, if you do so you will most likely end up seriosuly damaging your engine block.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yah i know overheating is not good obviously......... but it just does it spontaneously theres no way of tellin when its gonna overheat. but it now has an oil leak which is scarin me to death im hoping to god the block or heads arent warped. but it still runs like a champ but i keep a very close watch on oil and coolant now.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just a general question.....why is your name 323ic if you just bought a 328?

oh yeah and if you are replacing the thermostat you might check and replace the plastic housing to the metal. You can pick it up for like $35 online and your dealership shouldn't be too overpriced.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have bad news for you. I think the reason it is overheating is because the coolant is running out. Why is the coolant running out? Well your head gasket has a very big "hole" in it letting coolant into the cylinders and it's slowly burning up

That is why it overheated the first time and why white smoke was pouring out the back of the car.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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yeah, i dont think its ur thermostat, sorry to say. if it was ur thermostat, it would overheat regulary, and it wouldnt necessarily overheat at high speeds
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yea, white smoke pouring out the back is a head gasket. That is what happens when you drive in the red. You very possibly warped the head as well..Not good, you may want to start lookin for a rebuilt enigine..
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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park your car over a piece of posterboard (white) and see what magical colors come out
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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aight came up with the assumption that it is the head gasket..... got hooked up with a local import & xotic internals specialist. they said they would pull the head have it milled. they said there will be a 90% chance the head will need milled. price 1000 - 1200$$ i expected that fully. so basically i just wanted to know if i am going in the right direc here. i have really appreciated all of your help and this is what i signed on here for. and to the persons question earlier about my name my friend has a 323ic and we got a name under his car so that we could ask ?'s and it got me hooked so fri i got a bmw so thats the story. once again thanks and if thiers anything else i need to know feel more than free to add thanks.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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DAmn, so you just bought this car and this happened the next night? I would raise hell with who ever sold it to you like that if they didn't mention it.
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