Please help got a strange problem with my e34 - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 04:14 PM
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Please help got a strange problem with my e34

First time I have been on the site but hope you can help, I have a e34 520 estate and for about 2 months but not every time, if I put the car under load eg going up hill on the motorway the car gets hot, I turn the heating on for a couple of min's then goes back to normal and will run at normal almost all the time and I drive around 15 miles a day and the thing never goes above normal, any ideas what it could be?

Was thinking it maybe the head gasket but the thing stays normal most of the time and it only seems to happen every now and then so was thinking it could be a sensor but not sure, any help would be great.

Thanks Hadleigh
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 12:20 AM
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if u have an auxiliary fan, make sure it works.

other than that, your fan clutch might have failed.

TIP: if the engine is stable, you are not losing coolant, the oil level does not rise, and no puff* puff* puff* type exhaust, no steam coming out of your tailpipe... chances are it is not a cylinder head gasket.
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:05 AM
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Have not seen any smoke and the thing seems to run great 99.9% thing it has used a little bit more water than normal as the thing gets hot but I will check the oil today but had the thing serviced about 3 weeks ago and the guy never said anything.

If it is the clutch is it a big job to sort?
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:45 AM
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I have just gone and checked the oil and water, the oil is as clean as it was when the thing was serviced, it has used a little water would say around 1/2 of the tank maybe a little more but I have done around 300 miles across France yesterday.
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Have not seen any smoke and the thing seems to run great 99.9% thing it has used a little bit more water than normal as the thing gets hot but I will check the oil today but had the thing serviced about 3 weeks ago and the guy never said anything.

If it is the clutch is it a big job to sort?
not a big job. the fan clutch is the center piece of the radiator fan. and on e34 should take an hour of work in between swigs of beer

TIP: Before you change the fan clutch, i suggest you visually check to see if the electric fans are working your problem might be a coolant temp switch that switches the fans on when engine temps go up, and that my friend, is a much easier and cheaper fix
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 02:01 PM
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Hum...as soon as I start the car the fan is always on, is that right or not?
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 09:03 PM
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Hum...as soon as I start the car the fan is always on, is that right or not?
that does not sound right.

Cold start, climate control off. electric fan should be OFF.

the auxiliary fan(electric fan) should turn ON when your temperature guage is anywhere between the halfway and 3/4 mark.

If your car does not perform as above, then have your Engine Coolant Temp Sensor and Auxiliary Fan Switch checked for integrity.

** you should observe the coolant loss more closely. if it becomes a constant loss, like a liter every 200 or so miles, and no external leaks, then that is indicative of head gasket failure in it's beginning stages.

Then too, you used the word "water". These engines are designed to work with a coolant additive. Plain water will not provide adequate cooling that these engines require.

Last edited by darkhorse737; 02-27-2010 at 09:07 PM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 03:33 AM
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Hum....the thing only has one fan by the rad and it comes on as soon as the car starts, and it does not seem to us any water in the normal, so does sound like something to do with the fan switch
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 02:00 PM
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Just to let everyone now I took the car to the garage and the guys took the water pump out and found that some of the plastic blades were smashed so all sorted
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 03:12 PM
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Good thing you found that! Glad it's sorted.

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#11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 04:00 PM
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Bit lucky, all I would have needed was the pump to go on the motorway or sat in traffic
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#12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 10:02 PM
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I have a 540i e39. Transmission is a bit lazy between 1st and 2nd gear. Rang transmission people and they tell me that sometimes the pressure drops or it could be a solenoid or bad electrical conection to the solenoid. Suggested a service and pressure check. I see though that BMW say that the transmission has a lifetime "No Service".
What to do! Is it best to service or leave as is, and, if I leave what do I do about the lazy change from 1 to 2. Car has 180,000ks. Looks beautiful and drives like a dream otherwise.
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#13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 12:28 AM
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Just to let everyone now I took the car to the garage and the guys took the water pump out and found that some of the plastic blades were smashed so all sorted
uggh... i hate that plastic technology. Particularly in places that u cannot visually inspect :-( am glad u found ur prob. the water pump is way cheaper than the fan clutch
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