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Old 11-08-2012, 06:33 AM   #1
the_carp
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Question Urgent Help needed - Overheating... Please help

Hi All,

Im looking for some help in regards to my 2001 E46 2.5 manual coupe overheating. I have read lost of posts but no one seems to have the same issues....

My car has now been off the road for nearly 4 months and is now really getting to me

The car drives fine,starts fine no issues at all, can be fine for days but as soon as you put your foot down it will overheat

After replacing the parts below - the AA said it was the headgasket but the tests below seem to show otherwise......

Garage have compleasted numarous tests -

Pressure tested twice, with plugs in & out (no coolant in bores)

Sniff test - The dye in the cooling system has not mixed...!

Coolant back flush


List of parts replaced so far

Fan belt
Fan
Fan cooling sensor/Module
Radiator
Expantion tank x3
Expantion pressure cap
After market thermostat & housing
OEM thermostat
Radiator Themostat (the one at the bottom)
Hoses
Spark plugs x 4

A round total of about 1500 so far....

What else could be the issue..........?

Thanks in advance - please let me know if you need any more info to help...

Thanks again

Ian
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
jporter
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Have you seen Mango's sticky? Go have a look there. Also what about the waterpump, I don't see it in your list
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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water pump

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Originally Posted by jporter View Post
Have you seen Mango's sticky? Go have a look there. Also what about the waterpump, I don't see it in your list
Thanks for your reply, I have replaced the waterpump, to the one with the metal propeller.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:00 AM   #4
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I'd try bleeding the cooling system again. You may have air trapped in there which is causing the overheating. If nothing else it's a cheap double check.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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Do you have any leaks around the sensor in the lower hose? It is possible that under heavy loading air is getting drawn into the system, which is detected as 'hot' when it moves past the sensor.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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I bet it's the aftermarket thermostat stuck closed. Wahler, afaik, is the OE maker.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
the_carp
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoJoe View Post
Do you have any leaks around the sensor in the lower hose? It is possible that under heavy loading air is getting drawn into the system, which is detected as 'hot' when it moves past the sensor.


Hi mojojoe,

Ill check that asap, i dont belive so but its worth a look, its defently under heavy load it happens


thanks for the reply
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
the_carp
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Wink

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I bet it's the aftermarket thermostat stuck closed. Wahler, afaik, is the OE maker.
DMAX,

The first garage fitted a cheaper aftermarket one, but the new garage i am using said the cheap ones are and fitted a OE one
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:28 AM   #9
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So you've seemingly replaced everything in the system.

One guess is that something isn't OE and/or is defective...like the temp sensor.

The other is 'bleeding' as mentioned above. Search for my 'alternative bleeding' method and try it (it's not mine...it's a bmw method).

When you're 'on the gas' normally the temp should drop right away as read on the cluster (you should drive with it on until you figure this out)...if there is air in the system, that could cause cavitation in the wp and less 'pumping' or the other theory is that an air bubble/pocket is blocking the flow of coolant somewhere.

Another area we haven't explored is the water valve/heater core. When bleeding, make sure the fan is on. I wonder if part of your symptoms are caused because of a bad bleed and/or water valve...and/or a really clogged up AC condenser (the 'radiator' in front of your radiator).

...and my final random suggestion is that you be meticulous about checking coolant level. Make sure you do it when the car is cold and on level ground. If you've got a small leak, you might not notice it on the ground...could be on the underskirt (and blow off when you drive)...but air in the system causes blockage or cavitation.

Oh, coolant on belts/pulleys, old belts, possible seizing pulleys, improperly routed belts (hmmm?), all lead to less 'drive' on the wp than the car wants/needs...so look into this. Wouldn't be the first 'belt routed incorrectly' issue we've seen here...maybe the shop that used the AM therm routed it wrong and the next shop just 'trusted' that routing? Tensioners fail...not often it seems, but they do.

The good news is that you've 'covered' almost everything, so your list of possibles is dwindling. If you don't find anything, go back to the beginning and consider the things you thought were good because they were replaced...like the temp sensor.

Good luck, OP!
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Last edited by dmax; 11-12-2012 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:00 AM   #10
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Air in system would be my first concern, this is a VERY common problem that people have a hard time bleeding the cooling system.

Has someone confirmed that the engine is really overheating with an IR thermometer and/or how hot does the radiator get? You may have a gauge or sender problem?

What about fans/fan clutch? If you hose the radiator down what happens to the engine cooling temp?

Why have 3 expansion tanks been installed? Are they bursting? Is this why the car is overheating?

Check my signature below for the Hidden OBC Menu, bring it up and monitor your cooling temp on directly on the OBC menu so you can see what it is really doing.

I feel for you guys where you have mechanics that can barely repair MG's & Spitfires, let along some fine German engineering!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:17 AM   #11
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Oh, not to bother you, OP, but it sounds like you were charged for both a fan and a 'fan module' which, afaik, comes on the fan and isn't a separate item. Although some have found the module (aftermarket chinese part it seems), no reports on reliability. But, the point is, that since you listed these two items, I suspect you were charged for two items...if the module was replaced, then in all likelihood, the fan wasn't replaced.

In any case, the fan shouldn't be involved in your overheating issue. If the issue only happened when you were idling, that'd be different.

Just study up a bit so shops don't take advantage of you.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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I'm backing up dmax and agreeing that you need to bleed the system. Read that cooling thread sticky at the top of the general forums. There is a small section on how to bleed the system. You can do it yourself very easily, so don't take it to a shop to do it. If you don't bleed correctly, then your system will not work. If you didn't have this work done at a BMW shop, then they probably didn't bleed it. Also, your bursting expansion tanks could be caused by overfilling, but the overheats probably did it. You need to fill the coolant/water level to just above minimum while cold. This keeps the pressure down a bit in the system.

I also like his suggestion of belt routing. I have heard that the Bentley manual belt diagram is incorrect. I'll try to find a good photo of a correctly routed belt.

Here is proper belt routing, courtesy of flashtwosix.


Last edited by WDE46; 11-12-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by the_carp View Post
Thanks for your reply, I have replaced the waterpump, to the one with the metal propeller.
What exactly do you mean metal impellar? Which "one" would that be?
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #14
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Everyone duck!
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #15
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What exactly do you mean metal impellar? Which "one" would that be?
If it's anything but the Stewart pump, Mango is gonna eat you.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:49 PM   #16
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check the water pump again. A shop installed one while I was on vacation. I was wondering why my car was still overheating, bought the whole entire cooling system and was still overheating. when I checked the water pump again and they had installed a cheap one with a plastic impeller, the impeller was in pieces.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #17
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My money is on air in the system.

Op....do u get any hot air when u turn on the heater? If no then this is a tell tell sign of air in your sys

Also...u have a manual transmission. Therefore there is no radiator thermostat. Go get ur money back cuz the shop ripped you off

I hope this helps. Good luck

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #18
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I wonder if that 'rad therm' is really the temp sensor, which otherwise isn't on his list. If you're right, though, that doesn't reflect too well on that shop.
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