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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-27-2010, 10:25 AM   #21
bpiersma
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Solvang, CA
Posts: 25
My Ride: E46
UPDATE//CONCLUSION
Just got a new fan from BMWPartsWeb.com (I ordered Wednesday night, it arrived Friday morning...awesome...free shipping, no tax to CA).
First, I connected it but did not install it (just had it sitting on my engine) to see if upon startup, the thing would go on at 20% as my Bentley's manual indicates it should. It did not.
Then, with it installed, I shorted out the temp sensor in the lower radiator hose to see if the computer would read that the temp is very hot, ergo turn on fan...it did not.
Finally, I put it all back together with the new fan, drove like mad with the AC on, and pulled over and let it idle to simulate sitting in traffic, and lo and behold, the fan turned on.
CONCLUSIONS:
1) for some reason, the computer does not kick on the fan as a diagnostic check as the manual says it should
2) shorting out the temp sensor is NOT an accurate way to test whether or not the temp sensor is good/bad
3) my fan was indeed toast, and that is why I had intermittent overheating in bumper to bumper traffic. The plastic cover on the FSU looked warped as though it had actually fried inside.
4) there really is no conclusive way to test the fan for functionality without replacing the whole thing. This is a bummer because some of you fanatics have overheating problems that *could* be fan related but could be some other component such as the temp sensor. Seems like if you have overheating when in traffic and have checked your thermostat and bled the coolant appropriately, you probably have a fan issue.

Hope this helps someone. PM me if you need any more information about my specific situation
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #22
canaryM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 676
My Ride: is strong like bull
I had the SAME EXACT PROBLEM. I changed the t-stat, coolant, etc. no dice. Long story short, my fan was bad. I ordered a BOSCH fan from pelican I believe and my problem has been solved. The siemens fan that I took out of the car looked like crap compared to the BOSCH. DIY is ridiculously simple. Took me about 10 minutes +/- to change.
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