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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 07-23-2010, 12:34 AM   #1
M3_for_me
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Overheating ONLY when idle

car overheats only while in idle especially on really hot days but as soon as i pick up speed it goes back to normal operating temp, i tought the fan was broken but it randomly turns on while the car is parked with keys out of ignition and also i just replaced my expansion tank 2 months ago and i have a 5spd
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:44 AM   #2
BimmersGarage
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How many miles on your vehicle?

1. Did you Bleed your cooling system properly after your installed the new Expansion Tank?
2. Check your thermostat.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:46 AM   #3
deadpass
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have you checked the coolant to make sure the level is high enough? just because your fan turns on sometimes doesn't mean it's working right all the time.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:53 AM   #4
Goondaddy
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Your viscous fan could be busted. Try holding a newspaper against the fan when it is spinning, it shouldn't stop. Could be some issues with bleeding the system.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #5
usernamehere
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I had the same problem a few months back, it was an early warning sign for me. Wait for it to cool completely off, check the level and bleed the system. I was able to catch a leaking issue. It was scary at a stop light, cause my needle slowly went near the red and I had to reev it to bring the needle back down.

I would also check to see if your fan is turning on.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:18 AM   #6
havnfun328
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Manuals only have an electric fan. Mine failed and the symptoms were similar. Does your AC kick off when you are sitting idle? The fan may still run, but not fast enough to cool the radiator and condensor.

It's an easy fix but the part is pricey.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #7
BimmersGarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goondaddy View Post
Your viscous fan could be busted. Try holding a newspaper against the fan when it is spinning, it shouldn't stop...
Good suggestion, BUT...

@OP

Since you have an electric fan, don't do this.
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