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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 10-23-2004, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a 1997 528i and recently I experienced overheat problem. When I have AC on with stop and go trafiic, the temp. goes up gradually to the redline. However, when the jam is over, the temp. goes down as I drive normally. So what is going on?

possible reason:
both of your fans checked ( the belt driven one with the temp sensor clutch, and the electrical one)

How do you check the fan and the fan relay??????????
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Old 10-23-2004, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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mnguyen11111

you car is identical to mine. My thought will be to start a process of troubleshooting in step by step fashion...no guess work!

So the following will assume your radiator is filled/bleed properly. Just to make sure.
1. With engine running turn your AC on. Do you see/hear the electrical fan running? This fan has 3 speeds (low to highest) kicks in to keeps temp in the middle plus whenever you turn the AC compressor on. You can not miss the 3rd speed-- Loud and strong. No sound. Start with the fuses (glove box) relays (trunk above battery) temp. sensors etc then the fan itself. possible to hot wire it for testing; $300 piece of equipment.

Note: the harness "plastic connector" for this fan sits on the left side of the fan in the bumper (you can trace it starting at the black wiring in the fan itself) I have seen it melting from excessive heat. Check it out.
2. Fan clutch on the belt driven one. Although I won't go too crazy on this one.
3. Thermostat check. I doubt it though (your problem starts when the AC is on) but I would replace it either way cheap enough and winter is coming!
4. Next step??? Well when you done with the above let us know how you make out. Warning this next step will be more costly...and I hope not and that is head gasket/head problems.

wish you the best of luck
regards
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Oct 23 2004, 03:32 PM
mnguyen11111

you car is identical to mine. My thought will be to start a process of troubleshooting in step by step fashion...no guess work!

So the following will assume your radiator is filled/bleed properly. Just to make sure.
1. With engine running turn your AC on. Do you see/hear the electrical fan running? This fan has 3 speeds (low to highest) kicks in to keeps temp in the middle plus whenever you turn the AC compressor on. You can not miss the 3rd speed-- Loud and strong. No sound. Start with the fuses (glove box) relays (trunk above battery) temp. sensors etc then the fan itself. possible to hot wire it for testing; $300 piece of equipment.

Note: the harness "plastic connector" for this fan sits on the left side of the fan in the bumper (you can trace it starting at the black wiring in the fan itself) I have seen it melting from excessive heat. Check it out.
2. Fan clutch on the belt driven one. Although I won't go too crazy on this one.
3. Thermostat check. I doubt it though (your problem starts when the AC is on) but I would replace it either way cheap enough and winter is coming!
4. Next step??? Well when you done with the above let us know how you make out. Warning this next step will be more costly...and I hope not and that is head gasket/head problems.

wish you the best of luck
regards
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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billb,

thanks for your help.

Actually i don't have the AC on it is doing the same thing.
Even when I just drive the car for a few minutes after stop and go traffic.

When I turn on the engine, I see that the fan spin right away.
Therefore I believe the fan is work properly.

I took it out to Autozone and talk with someone I've spoke to a few times.
He said 90% it is the thermostat. He said there is pressure in the hose,
so when my car is stop the thermostat does not open and when I drive it ;
the pressure increase in the hose and force the thermostat to open so it cool
it down.

I am thinking about taking out the thermostat and submerge it in a boil contain.
let me know if you have others

again thanks

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Old 10-24-2004, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am thinking about taking out the thermostat and submerge it in a boil contain

I am not so sure what will the above accomplish other than a hard boiled thermo! These thermos are spring loaded once they go south they must be changed. why don't you buy a new thermostat for $10 and then install it? or better yet have a mechanic install one for you. You talking $25-$50 bucks at the most!
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Old 10-24-2004, 08:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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billb,

thanks for your help again.
I think I will buy a new thermostat since it is not too much.
I usually try to get my brother install it but i hate to ask people favor.
I usually try not to take my car out to the dealer or some shop,
since they always gave me ridiculous price.

Many times when i took it out to a shop, they always recommend to replace
this and this, then end up to be the whole system.
One time I owned an Audi, and the power steering fluid pump is leaking since
the o-ring is cracked and the mechanic recommend to replace the pump,
instead my father open up the pump and replace the o-ring cost less than
$5 (30 min work) instead of $800-900 to replace the pump.
I don't think all mechanic are bad, but sometime they don't want to fix your car,
but just looking for a way to get the most profit.
I guess we all have to making a living somehow.

I will give some place a call and see how much they charge to get it replace.

thanks again for all your help

mnguyen
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Old 10-25-2004, 06:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am sure there many good and honest mechanics out there I guess it is a matter of finding them!

Wish you the best of lucks
billb
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Old 10-27-2004, 11:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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can you explain how the cooling system work?

So when I drive, there is pressure through the engine that push the coolant
through engine???

thanks

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Old 10-27-2004, 06:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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NO SUCH THING AS PRESSURE BUILDING to push the coolant through engine!
This pushing business is the exclusive job of the WATER PUMP (coolant circulation) located at the front of the engine behind your belted fan. Its guts (impellers) are made of plastic and some better ones the guts are metal- Lasts Longer.

The coolant gets hot (firing engine) but AIR TRAPPED in the system and/or overheating are the guilty partners in building pressure in your system. A good feel/squeeze to your hoses will let you know if this is the case. When the coolant hose feels so hard (like it is going to burst) you know the system is building pressure. NO GOOD.

To summarize overheating and hence pressure building without going into too many details:
building pressure is bad =overheating!! Can be attributed to such factors such as:
1. Closed thermostat = Stands in the way of circulation = blockade. As I told you the other day.
2. Bad water pump= no circulation to the coolant thus no cooling effect. Coolant comes hot out of the engine heading towards the radiater asking for the mercy of COLD AIR. It must be cooled down somehow somewhat (at this point AIR is the man) so when the car moves it brings in air through the grill and hence the TERM NOSE to the radiater coupled with the action (rotation) of the belt driven fan (more cold air suction + kicking the no good hot air out)
3. Bad Belted fan usually the clutch= No air suction + engine cannot KICK out the trapped hot air under the hood.
4. No fan Belt= Nothing rotates PERIOD
5. Changing coolant without BLEEDING = Air trapped INSIDE the system.
6. BAD HEAD GASKET/Bad head: you don't want to know this one. It is costly!
7. When the above gets overwhelmed with heat (AC ON/ DRIVE IN THE SAUDI ARABIAN DESERT or NYC traffic) THE SENSOR screams at the electrical fan for help. When she kicks in AGAIN WITH EITHER SPEED especially with its thundering 3rd speed; it forces the HOT system to cool down and thus its action gets translating into a drop in our temp gauge; and thus a smile on our face!

I hope this explained a bit the agony of HEAT.

regards
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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billb,

First, thanks for you help, I really appreciate your time.

>>1. Closed thermostat = Stands in the way of circulation = blockade. As I told you the other day.

So according to this, if the thermostat closed,
the cool coolant never enter the engine and never leave the engine?
when I drive again and the gauge go back to normal???
so it is just the coolant exit the engine (remain in place) are cool by the air to the radiator??

I wish I have a good pic of how the system look and where.

Also can you answer this,
how come when i stop and put the car in N or Park and press the gas,
the temp goes down, (but this does not work as well as turning the heat ON
and blow high)


>>5. Changing coolant without BLEEDING = Air trapped INSIDE the system.

what do u mean by BLEEDING the coolant???
is it easy???
also u think u can email me directly too mnguyen12344 at yahoo

thanks

mnguyen11111
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hello Bill

i have a bmw e36 1992. for some reason i have circulation problems. i have changed the thermostat and the car was fine for about a month.

i have noticed that the rad is cold from the botton and warm only from the top. the strange thing is the car does not over heat? but the water is def not circulating, even the return pipe that goes from the termo housing to the bottom of the rad is cold....

i need your expert advice, its blowing warm air in the car ok so i just dont know.

could it be an airlock or water pump problem or a thermostat problem, im hoping its not a head problem as the car did over heat about 2/3 months ago b4 i replaced the thermostat and fan clutch.

your advice will be much appreciated.

thank you

Shieraz
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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In my experience, If she overheats in traffic but is fine on the road, the fan clutch is toast. If you had a thermostat ssue or water pump ssue she would overheat in all conditions.
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Old 08-27-2005, 12:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tony little@Aug 26 2005, 08:16 PM
Hello Bill

i have a bmw e36 1992. for some reason i have circulation problems. i have changed the thermostat and the car was fine for about a month.

i have noticed that the rad is cold from the botton and warm only from the top. the strange thing is the car does not over heat? but the water is def not circulating, even the return pipe that goes from the termo housing to the bottom of the rad is cold....

i need your expert advice, its blowing warm air in the car ok so i just dont know.

could it be an airlock or water pump problem or a thermostat problem, im hoping its not a head problem as the car did over heat about 2/3 months ago b4 i replaced the thermostat and fan clutch.

your advice will be much appreciated.

thank you

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I've sent you a reply to your PM...good luck

regards
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnguyen11111
I have a 1997 528i and recently I experienced overheat problem. When I have AC on with stop and go trafiic, the temp. goes up gradually to the redline. However, when the jam is over, the temp. goes down as I drive normally. So what is going on?

possible reason:
both of your fans checked ( the belt driven one with the temp sensor clutch, and the electrical one)

How do you check the fan and the fan relay??????????
That would happen to me all the time and then I found out I had a cracked head or something, I dunno, my dads fixin it now. The car would overheat like crazy all the time, it became un-driveable.
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You need to replace your coolant expansion tank, and do the waterpump and thermostat while you're at it. Make sure to get the metal impeller water pump and an aluminum housing for your thermostat.
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