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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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#1 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 03:12 PM
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recently when i had been driving my temp. guage would go up past the middle a little bit then come right back down, no big deal. now when ever i idle at a light or drive thru my temp. guage spikes and it went into the red one day. so naturally i suspected something was wrong with my cooling system and ordered a new thermostat, thermostat housing, and im gonna empty and refill the whole system, but last night i went to a scuba class and had my car sitting for easily two hours in cool weather. when i got back later the guage turns on just a little below hte middle line, now is it me or does that seem off that the car would stay that hot for that long? so now im wondering if my guage is messed up. any input would be awesome, thanks.

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#2 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 03:55 PM
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Thermostat could be sticking - I just had similiar cooling system problems I went and paid the $35 for diagnosis and then did the work myself. Turns out it was the fan clutch and thermostat. I went ahead and replaced the water pump while I was in there.

Good luck - and remeber to bleed bleed bleed after refilling the coolant.
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 07:30 PM
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Assuming you have an e36, the cooling system is one of the shortcomings of these cars. It is most likely not your guage. Hopefully the thermostat will fix things. If it does great, but if you haven't already done this, you should upgrade your water pump to one with a metal impeller. If your oem pump fails (it can and does happen on these cars) it can seriously dammage your engine. ghead

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#4 (permalink) Old 06-25-2004, 02:38 AM
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thanks for the help, is there any way to see if my water pump is failing? cause i already ordered the thermostat, and thermostat housing and dont want to have to wait longer for a metal water pump to come from bavauto

<img src='http://img268.echo.cx/img268/1430/zkwsig23iq.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
1996 328is Black

Suspension: MB Motoring 18x8, Kuhmo Supra 225/35/18ZR
Audio:Eclipse CD3414 HU
Lighting: ZKW W/ DDE PLUS
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-25-2004, 07:25 AM
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The fact that the temp guage did not fall in two hours definitely indicates that there is probably something wrong with the guage or sending unit. Before I started changing things I would check the guage by warming up the car and then letting it sit again for two hrs and see if the guage still reads at the mid point. Before starting the car open the hood and feel the engine block. If it is cool to the touch, the guage should be near or at the bottom. For about $10 you can buy a digital inside outside temp guage that has a little sensor attached to a long wire. You can use this to check the engine temp.
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2004, 10:03 PM
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Im having the same problem right now...but for me, when you start the car after sitting cool for a long while, you can drive any where and it wont get hot but if you turn it off wait ten minutes then turn it on and drive again it will soon get hot. I just changed my fan clutch today and its still doing the same thing...I first thought to change the thermostat but i figure it a thermostat gets stuck then its not gunna open or close back yet my temp gauge will go up and down. But it seems like that will be my next option to change it...please let me know if your problem stops after you change the t-stat.
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2004, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spieluhr@Jun 25 2004, 03:18 AM
thanks for the help, is there any way to see if my water pump is failing? cause i already ordered the thermostat, and thermostat housing and dont want to have to wait longer for a metal water pump to come from bavauto
First have buddy sit in the car and watch the gauge then turn the car on with the hood open and watch and see if your fans spin. Then check thermostat, you can replace anyway it's cheap. Then if fans are spining and replacing thermostat doesn't fix it then it's prolly your water pump. If you don't have the metal fan in the pump it's definatly the water pump.
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 08:11 AM
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Conduct an Instrument Cluster test to check guage operation. With ignition off press and hold the mileage reset button. Turn ignition to Accessory position, wait 5 seconds and release the reset button. The digital readout will cycle through a series of numbers then the guages will go to full deflection and back to zero. If your temp guage doesn't respond to this test then the problem is the guage/cluster.
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 04:53 AM
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my fan isnt always spinning, when it idles a lot of times it comes on and off, is it supposed to be spinning all of the time?

<img src='http://img268.echo.cx/img268/1430/zkwsig23iq.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
1996 328is Black

Suspension: MB Motoring 18x8, Kuhmo Supra 225/35/18ZR
Audio:Eclipse CD3414 HU
Lighting: ZKW W/ DDE PLUS
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spieluhr@Jun 30 2004, 05:33 AM
my fan isnt always spinning, when it idles a lot of times it comes on and off, is it supposed to be spinning all of the time?
thats fine if it turns on and off if the temp gauge is in the middle. But if the gauge is further than the middle and the fan turns off then replace your thermostat.
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