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General E46 Forum
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:18 PM   #21
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Engine fan does not engage

I would suspect the relay. Relays can be intermittent and do have a limited life span.

Have you run the car in your driveway at idle to see if it comes on? Is it truly intermittent or does it fail to come on each time under traffic/idle conditions


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Old 10-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #22
RazrE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewzer B Lewzer View Post
I would suspect the relay. Relays can be intermittent and do have a limited life span.

Have you run the car in your driveway at idle to see if it comes on? Is it truly intermittent or does it fail to come on each time under traffic/idle conditions


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Which relay do you mean? I am not aware of any relay in this specific circuit. I only checked fuse 37 (50A). Note that the fan does engage when I run a test via DIS (diagnostics software).

Yes, lately all tests are being done idling in the garage. We wait till the car reaches normal operating temperature and then we start monitoring closely. We see both coolant sensors (on the engine and the one on the lower radiator hose) reporting increasing temperatures.

When the temperature gets >105 degrees Celsius the radiator starts to 'steam' since it isn't being cooled down (overheating starts). A little after this point we shut the engine off since the fan should have engaged already.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:22 PM   #23
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Engine fan does not engage

Post #10 screen shot referenced a relay, I see now that it is for the e36 not e46.

Steam should not come from the radiator at 105c. This tells me that it is either wet from previous overheats or it has a leak. The car should operate all the way to 113 before the gulags comes off of dead center without steam.

Will think on it some more and post if I have any other ideas.

GL


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Old 10-12-2013, 06:17 PM   #24
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So, to summarize:

- The fan itself is OK (replace with new unit).
- The fan control unit is OK (part of the fan assembly replacement, see above)
- There is a +12v DC on the fan, the PWM signal cable is also present.
- Wiring seems to be OK since the DIS electric fan test runs OK (fan spins for 30 seconds).
- Lower radiator hose temperature sensor is OK (checked reporting value with DIS + the sensor is new)
- All fuses are OK, also fuse 37 (50A). (otherwise the diagnostics test would also fail)
- For what it is worth water pomp and thermostat are also replaced/new.
- System is properly bleeded, hoses are all nice and clean - no leaks
- Error code 108 is still thrown '(108) 6C Activation, electrical fan'

Tomorrow I run a couple of more test. What happens when I disconnect the coolant temp sensor while the engine is running (fan should engage?) and if the fan spins briefly after I start the car. Is there something to test in regard to the DME? How big is the change the cause of the problem lies within the module (taking in mind the DIS test that does work)?

Last edited by RazrE46; 10-12-2013 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #25
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Check the coolant sensor wiring. One of the wires may be broken inside the sheathing and making intermittent or no contact - even though the sensor is new and good. The DIS would not need this wiring intact to send a test PWM signal to the Aux Fan Relay.

However if the sensor wiring is working you should be able to read live data including coolant temperature

You may need to short the wiring to test a PWM signal to activate fan not just remove the sensor.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #26
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I dont think disconnecting temp sensor in lower hose while engine running is a good idea. If it does pop on, not much wiggle room or clearance
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:26 PM   #27
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Well there is a ton of room down the left side - no pulleys nearby and left of the fan - - there is no clutch fan on the manuals. He's only disconnecting the connector - no need to pull the actual sensor from the hose.



He could always disconnect it before starting and lift it up out of "harms" way to jumper the terminals to test. See my pics


Last edited by BMW-North; 10-12-2013 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:07 AM   #28
RazrE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
Check the coolant sensor wiring. One of the wires may be broken inside the sheathing and making intermittent or no contact - even though the sensor is new and good. The DIS would not need this wiring intact to send a test PWM signal to the Aux Fan Relay.

However if the sensor wiring is working you should be able to read live data including coolant temperature

You may need to short the wiring to test a PWM signal to activate fan not just remove the sensor.
DIS does show live data of the coolant temp sensor. The reported temperature values by the coolant sensor seem realistic. I assume that the sensor and its wiring is OK.

Later today I will run the test of disconnecting the coolant sensor while the engine is running, just to see what happens.

I did a lot of research on the WDS system (wiring diagrams) but there is not a lot else I can test. Does anyone have experience with opening the DME and testing the parts inside (with a multimeter or so?).

Interesting is that the description of the wire running from the fan module to the DME is described as 'T_ELUE' or 'Activation, electrical fan' in WDS. This almost equals the error description I am getting. The error message has 'open circuit' appended so my guess is still something related to the wiring / module is off. Not really a clue on how to test the DME or its inner parts though (can you even open the DME?).

Last edited by RazrE46; 10-13-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:08 PM   #29
RazrE46
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Update (positve)

Did some tests today:
  • First thing I tested is running car and disconnecting the coolant sensor. Result? The fan engaged at full speed shortly afterwards.
  • Secondly, I connected my old fan assembly (so with the fan relay) to the car. Then I ran the fan test via DIS. The result was that the fan made an attempt to spin up, but directly come to a full stop again. This repeats continuously. With the new fan the test does run without problems. Conclusion? The old fan assembly is indeed broken (or at least the fan relay / module is).

So I did put everything back together and started up the car. I let it idle until it reached about 105 degrees and notice the thermostat opened. After a little while the (lower hose) coolant sensor temperatures started climbing. At 90-93 degrees at that sensor the fan was given 10-13% speed from the DME (checked with DIS) - and indeed, the fan started engaged! Rapidly after the fan engages the coolant temp drops till 60 degrees and the fan switches off.

All seems to work good - BUT - there is still the error code present in the DME I mentioned before (108 Activate electrical fan - open circuit). However, the fan and the DME do communicate, and the fan does get activated properly...

Could it be that since the fan is an aftermarket one (brand reads TYC) it's module/relay is not fully compatible with the DME so it writes an error code? Thank you guys so much for your help and great ideas!

EDIT: Just stumbled upon this: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...60&postcount=4. Apparently this guy also installed some aftermarket fan which kept returning the activation error. He resolved it by replacing the aftermarket fan by an OEM / BMW unit (which is twice as expensive). As long as my cheaper fan works I could just ignore the error right?

Last edited by RazrE46; 10-13-2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #30
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Glad you were able to confirm the fan is kicking in when it should. This will avoid any major overheating issues. I use an aftermarket fan in two manual e46's (325 & 330) - no errors. Actually I don't use the whole fan shroud assembly - I used only the Aux Fan Relay Module - I bought the cheaper aftermarket unit only for the AFR since the OEM has proven itself no better only lasting a few years on each vehicle. I mount the aftermarket AFR on the old shroud and use the OEM fan & motor (which is a Bosch unit).

BTW if you search for one of my prior threads you will find one where I describe buying the Fan Shroud assembly for an Automatic E46 and using it on the manual tranny cars by moving the fan motor & AFR to your old shroud. For some reason the automatic fan assembly is priced cheaper (was at that time) but has exactly the same components as the manual tranny fan. If your shroud is in good shape you can just move everything over.

I also recall when the AFR fails it gives a very clear error code that it has failed Something like AFR Unit Failure - not the 108 error that you are reading. Just monitor the car for a wee while but I think you are fine. Good job.
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