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Old 02-23-2011, 12:26 PM   #1
gkinslow
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Exclamation overheating and cannot find the cause

I have a 2000 323i automatic that is overheating,and I can't find the problem. I replaced the water pump about 5 months ago. A couple of weeks ago I noticed my low coolant light on so I added a bit of water. This became regular; I found the leak was a crack in the expansion tank. Every since I replaced it I keep having to add a bit of water to it after a long drive. I checked for leaks everywhere and the only place I have seen a leak is from the radiator / expansion tank cap. The other day I added water to it before leaving work. Then started driving home which is about 50 miles. About half way there the car started overheating. I pulled over, popped the hood and found water spueing from around the radiator cap. I grabbed a rag and was able to turn it just a little bit tighter. This stopped the large amount of spueing, but the cap is on so tight it's crazy. I changed the thermostat yesterday and filled it with coolant per the many, many instructions I have found so as to try and not get air pockets. The car still overheats. At one point last night after it had cooled, I started the car and let it idle. When I saw it get close to normal operating temperature I drove it around the block. As I was pulling back into my driveway the temperature gauge was rising closer and closer to the red zone. I got out in my driveway and noticed that the electric cooling fan was not running but my mechanical fan was going fast. After about 2 hours of cooling I checked my water level in the expansion tank and it looked ok. No water in the oil, no leaks any where but still overheating.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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System has never been properly bled.

Did you also replace the T Stat?
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:49 PM   #3
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I would start with properly bleeding the system. Then Thermostat...
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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Replace that cap. It's not meant to go on that tight and over tightening can damage the seal.

Id suggest you try to bleed the system again
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Do you have Automatic or Manual?

If you have manual you would have two electric fans. Check if they start when you car gets hot. There are two fans - in the front of radiator for the A/C at the back for the engine.

If automatic A/C fan is electrical and engine fan is mechanical driven by the belt and mounted on the water pump. It has viscosity clutch. When your car gets hot clutch must engage and fan must start spinning full force.

If you have a lot of pressure in the cooling system then this is a head gasket problem. Sometime no water is in the oil, but water disappearing though cylinders. Sometimes ini this case you can get hydro-lock when starting the car.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Elwin View Post
Do you have Automatic or Manual?

If you have manual you would have two electric fans. Check if they start when you car gets hot. There are two fans - in the front of radiator for the A/C at the back for the engine.

If automatic A/C fan is electrical and engine fan is mechanical driven by the belt and mounted on the water pump. It has viscosity clutch. When your car gets hot clutch must engage and fan must start spinning full force.

If you have a lot of pressure in the cooling system then this is a head gasket problem. Sometime no water is in the oil, but water disappearing though cylinders. Sometimes ini this case you can get hydro-lock when starting the car.
i am having the same problem,
mine is automatic fan does not go full force?
should i replace the fan or could it be a sensor?
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elwin View Post
Do you have Automatic or Manual?

If you have manual you would have two electric fans. Check if they start when you car gets hot. There are two fans - in the front of radiator for the A/C at the back for the engine.

If automatic A/C fan is electrical and engine fan is mechanical driven by the belt and mounted on the water pump. It has viscosity clutch. When your car gets hot clutch must engage and fan must start spinning full force.

If you have a lot of pressure in the cooling system then this is a head gasket problem. Sometime no water is in the oil, but water disappearing though cylinders. Sometimes ini this case you can get hydro-lock when starting the car.
Manuals only have one electrical fan
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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I've bled the system many times. I replaced the thermostat as well as the expansion tank, and the radiator cap.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:11 PM   #9
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What about the radiator? Didn't you mention it was leaking?
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Hey Drew!

He said radiator/expansion tank cap, and then referred to radiator cap, so think he meant 'leaking from the cap' but...

I was wondering what you were...radiator.

OP, which of the many, many bleeding instructions did you go with?

Also, when your system was overheating and spewing coolant...I know you were trying to do what you could to save coolant and thus your car, but as a result of that, you also trapped pressure in a system that otherwise wanted to release it.

The ET cap is a pressure relief valve...blows at 2 atm, I believe. The seal is two o-rings in the cap and a little gasket at top. It's not made to be tight at all. When it stops turning, so should you.

Just saying don't do that again...and I hope your car turns out fine.

Find the leak is all I can say. Clean things up, run distilled while you're hunting to find issue. If coolant is older than 2-4 years, might as well drain completely.

Read more threads...you'll find it. Could be bad hose connection...leaking bleeder screw fooling you...leaking radiator.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #11
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hey Dmax ... Ive read tons of threads in here until my eyeballs pooped out almost literally and i always see your name and your responses are the most helpful. I was trying to see if you could give me any insight on why baby is overheating...(2000 bmw 323i 4dr m52)

water pump failed on highway two weeks ago, as soon as temp gauge on cluster spiked i pulled off highway and parked at 7/11.
got car towed to my house.

work done since (DIY)
*new water pump
*new thermostat and housing
*new fan clutch
*used BMW "blue" coolant
*bled per YOUR method
(also replaced valve cover gasket as it had a leak and new plugs and lubro moly oil)

here's the problem the car still overheats then the next day when i went to move it from driveway to my garage it started in limp mode.

I pulled off the throttle body and cleaned it and i was running good (limp wise) took for a test drive and still overheated and limp mode is now intermitent.

I am totally at my wits end and am hoping you can give me insight towards the overheat and limp mode issue and if you know if the over heating would cause limp mode.

any ifo you can pass along would be great

thanks

Mike

also no water in my oil and no water in oil and no smoke from exhaust
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:14 PM   #12
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I stated radiator cap because many noobs my reference as so. I know that it's a coolant expansion tank cap. I did read that is was a pressure release cap; approx 2 bar or 30psi. I just got home with another new cap. I exchanged the one I just purchased. The dealer didn't want to but I started making a scene. The way I have filled it is removed the bleeder screw, then turned key to the on position. Next I turned on the heat to 91, blower on low. And slowly proceeded to fill the expansion tank until the level indicator is at max position on some fluid had came out of the bleeder screw hole. The I cap the tank and replace the bleeder screw and start the car. I let it come up to normal operating temp and shut it off. After the car has cooled I open the bleeder screw and remove the et cap to check the fluid level. I've added fluid as necessary. After doing this 2 to 3 times, I have driven it and it still began to overheat. I stop the car and look under the hood and you can see the fluid coming out from under the et cap hissing and what not as well.

Before making this response I have just done this procedure again but this time with the front of the car on jack-stands. I have allowed it to come up to temp twice but each time as soon as it gets to temp I shut it off and check the fluid. So far it's looking ok. My secondary fan, the electric fan, I have proper voltage to the connector that's on the fan shroud but what is the control voltage for it? 5v, 10v, or what? Anyone know? I do not think it's running when necessary and I would like to check it. It turns freely by hand. What I read in the manual is that its speed is controled via pwm, but I know you should be able to apply a steady voltage within its operating range and have the motor run.

Last edited by gkinslow; 02-23-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:25 PM   #13
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Not reading all of that.

Did you bleed the system?
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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You have the dial between vents to three red dots when you bled?

Also, you don't open up bleeder to check the level...and you don't check the level when warm...you check when cool.

Lubricate et cap with coolant whenever you put it on.

Also, when filling system...on level ground...you'll have the ET filled to the brim at the point that fluid comes bubble free out of bleeder...which doesn't have to be removed, just turned a little bit.

If you fill to max only, and not all the way up to the top of the filler next while filling after cooling work, you won't have enough coolant in, and I suspect that was your initial issue...maybe combined with an air bubble.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:29 PM   #15
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Well my electric fan is working.

Yes I have bleed the system.

I do have the dial in the center of the vents with the 3 red dots showing. When I remove the cap again I will be sure to lub the et cap seals with coolant. I have checked it before with it cool, but I believe that each time I did I had opened the bleed screw prior to removing the et cap to check the fluids level. I am waiting for it to cool right now. When it is cooled I will check the fluid level again without opening the bleed screw. I have before, and earlier today, filled the tank up to the top of the filler neck until fluid came out of the bleed screw. At which point I closed the bleed screw. Then capped the tank and warmed the car up and then fluid comes spewing out from under the et cap. Then I have to do it all over again because when it cools.. a little.. the low fluid level light is on. So I do it all over again. It almost seems like the cooling system is not fully circulating
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #16
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When you're just adding a little coolant, you don't need to go through entire bleeding process...just add to right level when cool.

You need air above coolant in ET tank, otherwise it will tank, coz it's not able to cushion the expansion.

Careful...think you should take my advice and read threads until you throw up...you sound perfectly fine to me...so I don't think you did that! lol

Sorry...cooling system is a challenge for many...and for many reasons!

Do not overfill...that's particularly important...so why I also say fill to between the min and max mark to be safe.

GL OP...got to get to bed as I'm old!

Doug
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
When you're just adding a little coolant, you don't need to go through entire bleeding process...just add to right level when cool.

You need air above coolant in ET tank, otherwise it will tank, coz it's not able to cushion the expansion.

Careful...think you should take my advice and read threads until you throw up...you sound perfectly fine to me...so I don't think you did that! lol

Sorry...cooling system is a challenge for many...and for many reasons!

Do not overfill...that's particularly important...so why I also say fill to between the min and max mark to be safe.

GL OP...got to get to bed as I'm old!

Doug
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:23 PM   #18
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Hey!

I'm on phone so if I wrote something stupid, it was probably the phone!
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:45 PM   #19
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Well I let the car sit all last night, and this morning I checked the water level without opening the bleed screw. I had to add about 1/4 gallon of coolant till it came up between min / max level. I then started it and let it idle for about 5 min. I then turned the car off and proceeded to leave for work in my other car. I didn't check anything under the hood before I left. Well the car sat for 10 hours before I got home and cranked it again. When I tried to crank it gave me a hard time but after a few seconds it started. As soon as it did I heard steam, hissing, and water coming out from the et cap. I looked under the hood and coolant was around the cap. I had my wife start it and as soon as it started cranking coolant was coming out; and the cap is on tight. The engine was stone cold and even the coolant coming out is cold. I removed the cap and had her just turn it over and as she did coolant started blowing out like something pressureing the coolant out.

Would this be a blown head gasket? The compression blowing into the coolant system? When it was idling this morning there was white smoke coming out of the exhaust. I was just hoping it would be excess fuel or something.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #20
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