E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-25-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
jerseyrider
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 269
My Ride: 2001 330Ci-06 K1200s
Temp gauge question

Before anyone tells me to search, I already did and couldn't find a definitive answer. I apologize in advance for my long-windedness.

So, last Saturday, I replaced my water pump, thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses, expansion tank and WP pulley. Before I did this, I had a P0128 code and figured I would do the complete overhaul instead of just replacing the thermostat. When the CEL was on, the temp gauge would sit slightly to the right of the center line. When I checked the actual coolant temp in the hidden OBC menu, it ran around 84-90 degrees. A little low due to stuck open thermostat. When the CEL would go off, the gauge would sit dead in the middle. After the overhaul the CEL was still lit but went out and the temp gauge was still slightly to the right of center. The actual temp hovered around 95 degrees C., which is normal. The CEL went out on it's own after a few run cycles but the gauge is still sitting to the right of center. I tried resetting it by performing the gauge cluster test. At first it didn't change anything but when I did the cluster test yesterday after work, the gauge went to center. Then, this morning, after the car got to operating temp, the gauge is sitting just to the right of the center line. I don't think I need to worry about this, but it bugs me because I know it's supposed to be dead center. Does anyone have any answers / solutions?
jerseyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 10-25-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,826
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
The temp hovering around 95 seems about right...but it could be a few degrees high depending on what you're doing at the time. I'll really only see 95-7 when I'm idling a bit or driving very slowly after reaching op temp.

Thus, my questions would be what components did you use? Did you replace temp sensor, check belts/pulleys, use OE coolant mixed with distilled?

My random guess is that the thermostat is, I hope, aftermarket, maybe an aluminum housing with crappy electronics. If you used such a therm, that'd be my guess.

Also have to ask...you said you thought your therm was stuck open before, but that the needle was 'right' of center...meaning overheating. If therm was stuck open, the needle would be to the left of dead center. Please clarify.

Keep monitoring temp using cluster...monitor coolant level, because it will drop after major work, even if you bled properly.

HTH...last thing I'd think is a gauge problem, unless you had cluster off to do some silly mod...in which case, check the cluster connections.

GL!
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set

dmax on the radio every Wednesday 7-9 p.m. NYC time. Call in! (661) 449-9340 watsonnwatson.com
dmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
jerseyrider
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 269
My Ride: 2001 330Ci-06 K1200s
"The temp hovering around 95 seems about right...but it could be a few degrees high depending on what you're doing at the time. I'll really only see 95-7 when I'm idling a bit or driving very slowly after reaching op temp."

Thus, my questions would be what components did you use? I bought the cooling system overhaul kit from Tischer. Did you replace temp sensor, yes check belts/pulleys, yes use OE coolant mixed with distilled? yes


My random guess is that the thermostat is, I hope, aftermarket, maybe an aluminum housing with crappy electronics. If you used such a therm, that'd be my guess. No. OE BMW, part of kit from Tischer which includes:

OEM BMW E46 3 Series Cooling System Repair Kit
OEM BMW E46 3 Series (non M) Cooling System Repair Kit. New E46 M3 Cooling Kits now available!

Kit includes genuine BMW:

Thermostat w/ housing/gasket (11537509227)
Waterpump (11517527910)
Upper radiator hose (17127510952)
Lower radiator hose (11531436408)
Expansion Tank (17117573781)
Radiator Cap (17111742231)
Engine drain plug crush ring (07119963200)
Lower hose temp sensor (13621433077)
1 gallon BMW antifreeze (82141467704)

Also have to ask...you said you thought your therm was stuck open before, but that the needle was 'right' of center...meaning overheating. If therm was stuck open, the needle would be to the left of dead center. Please clarify.
Actual temp was 82 to 86 degrees C. according the the hidden OBC function.

Keep monitoring temp using cluster...monitor coolant level, because it will drop after major work, even if you bled properly. Checked 3 days in a row after replacing averything.

HTH...last thing I'd think is a gauge problem, unless you had cluster off to do some silly mod...in which case, check the cluster connections. I'm going to unplug and plug the cluster back in this weekend. Everything else seems normal except for the fact that when I get on the gas more and rev higher, the temp starts to drop into the 80's. I thought it should go up. Maybe my cooling system is too efficient. Lol

I'm thinking it's a gauge issue as I've read quite a few posts in my search process where people have mentioned that their gauges don't read dead-center.
jerseyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
jdstrickland
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 6,805
My Ride: '94 325iC & '00 323i
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyrider View Post
Before anyone tells me to search, I already did and couldn't find a definitive answer. I apologize in advance for my long-windedness.

So, last Saturday, I replaced my water pump, thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses, expansion tank and WP pulley. Before I did this, I had a P0128 code and figured I would do the complete overhaul instead of just replacing the thermostat. When the CEL was on, the temp gauge would sit slightly to the right of the center line. When I checked the actual coolant temp in the hidden OBC menu, it ran around 84-90 degrees. A little low due to stuck open thermostat. When the CEL would go off, the gauge would sit dead in the middle. After the overhaul the CEL was still lit but went out and the temp gauge was still slightly to the right of center. The actual temp hovered around 95 degrees C., which is normal. The CEL went out on it's own after a few run cycles but the gauge is still sitting to the right of center. I tried resetting it by performing the gauge cluster test. At first it didn't change anything but when I did the cluster test yesterday after work, the gauge went to center. Then, this morning, after the car got to operating temp, the gauge is sitting just to the right of the center line. I don't think I need to worry about this, but it bugs me because I know it's supposed to be dead center. Does anyone have any answers / solutions?
HOW FAR TO THE RIGHT?

If you are obsessing over the thickness of the needle, get over it. The needle can easily be off center by its own thickness, or double, without alarm.
jdstrickland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
lcoleman
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: the barnyard
Posts: 2,458
My Ride: '79 Massey Ferguson
I was under the impression that the cluster needle was basically an "idiot light" and would read dead-center for a wide range of temperatures?
__________________
lcoleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,631
My Ride: M54B30
yes shanneba confirmed that the needle is calibrated to read dead center with something like a range of 85-115 range. (something like that)

OP, if your gauge is cocked to one side during normal driving (basically all day) then the needle was possible messed with (repositioned) at some point. It should read dead center under normal operating temps (assuming your cooling system is healthy and bled correctly)

gl
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
daki_bmw
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Serbia
Posts: 818
My Ride: 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyrider View Post
...
Also have to ask...you said you thought your therm was stuck open before, but that the needle was 'right' of center...meaning overheating. If therm was stuck open, the needle would be to the left of dead center. Please clarify.
Actual temp was 82 to 86 degrees C. according the the hidden OBC function....
What was the needle "showing" at these times? Also slightly off-centre?
__________________

Last edited by daki_bmw; 10-26-2012 at 01:23 PM.
daki_bmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
jerseyrider
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 269
My Ride: 2001 330Ci-06 K1200s
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
HOW FAR TO THE RIGHT? 1 mm

If you are obsessing over the thickness of the needle, get over it. The needle can easily be off center by its own thickness, or double, without alarm.
Not obsessing but just concerned because at one point in my ownership of the car, it was at dead center.
jerseyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #9
jerseyrider
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 269
My Ride: 2001 330Ci-06 K1200s
By the way, this was a pretty simple DIY for anyone who's concerned about the skill level needed for this. The worst parts were coolant getting all over the place and getting the old expansion tank off. What a b!tch!
jerseyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
jerseyrider
OEM ///Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 269
My Ride: 2001 330Ci-06 K1200s
Quote:
Originally Posted by daki_bmw View Post
What was the needle "showing" at these times? Also slightly off-centre?
Yes, about 1 mm to the right of center. I believe it's something with the servo for the gauges because when I shut the car off, the needle comes to rest between the white line and the blue section. Also, during the cluster test the needle goes past the white line on the red side the same amount that it's off-center. Before I did the overhaul, the needle would sporadically fluctuate between dead center and where it's sitting now for days at a time. I've decided not to worry about it because I have no leaks and the actual temp is in the normal range.
jerseyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use