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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 01-05-2004, 05:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My 1994 325 Convertible can't seem to regulate its engine temperature.

In the summer it overheats if the ambient temerature (outside air temperature) is high and I turn on the AC, or just drive it for an over an hour or so. In those cases, the temperature will rise if I idle at a light and go down when I move.

In the winter, the temperature will not get high enought to warm the engine if the ambient temperature is low. If the ambient temperature is not extremely cold the engine temperature wil get fairl warm but if I get on the highway the engine temperature will falll again.

Any idea what the problem is, I can't seem to find it. It is not the thermostat.
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Old 01-05-2004, 07:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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have you taken it to the mechanics? it could be just your gauge having some issues, however it can or could be your water pump
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Old 01-13-2004, 03:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I just purchased my first BMW, I am having related symptoms. I assumed it was the thermostat, although I haven't replaced mine yet. If you figured out what the problem was I would like to know. Suggestions are helpful.
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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difficult, you better go to a repair shop before anything goes wrong!
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds like you've been with this problem(s) for quite a while without fixing it. For running hot with the ac on, and at a stop, I'd make sure the auxillary fan is kicking on. Also make sure the fan clutch isn't just freewheeling when the temp gets hot, it should pull air as it gets hotter. You need these to pull air across the radiator when stopped. Having he ac on adds heat to the cooling system. When you drive down the road, the ram air does the job of cooling the radiator and condensor, but when stopped, you need the fans to work.
I'm sure you've checked the coolant level. To make sure your water pump is flowing, run the engine with the radiator cap off (cool engine), rev the engine by hand or have someone do it for you, and you should see a stream of coolant come out of the bleeder hole. Those cars came with plastic impellars on the water pump, and they will eventually strip off the shaft and either fail completely, or slip on the shaft as the revs go up-but still pump some at idle, or slow speed.
An engine that runs too cool is usually a thermostat.
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