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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 07-28-2016, 05:35 PM   #1
codyneff
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Cooling system issue

I have a 2005 335i and I cannot for the life of me figure out what's wrong with it. I'm new to the forum but I've been doing some searches and can't find a similar situation. It started with my expansion tank cracking which I replaced. Then about a week later my radiator cracked, so along with replacing the radiator I replaced the hoses as well. However the car is still showing signs of overheating(temp gauge rising to red zone). I have bled the system 5-7 times using the different methods I've found here. I still have no heat coming out of the vents and the temp gauge now fluctuated wildly. Going from normal operating temp(12 o'clock) all the way to halfway to the red zone and then back down again while driving and there is no steam from under the hood. Can someone help me out please?
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:45 PM   #2
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At this point it wouldn't cost you much to replace the rest of the parts of your cooling system. Thermostat, water pump etc. Check the guide at the top of the forum for more info. The other possibility is your head gasket. It doesn't take much on these cars to damage the head gasket. If you are having overheating issues you really shouldn't be driving the car. If the head gasket is a possibility which it kind of sounds like it might be you should take it to a shop and have it pressure tested.
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:49 PM   #3
codyneff
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I thought head gasket as well. But I have no signs of oil in coolant or coolant in oil. It's been parked except for the short test drives to see if the issue was fixed. So I should just replace the rest and hope for the best?
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
lingon300k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codyneff View Post
I have a 2005 335i and I cannot for the life of me figure out what's wrong with it. I'm new to the forum but I've been doing some searches and can't find a similar situation. It started with my expansion tank cracking which I replaced. Then about a week later my radiator cracked, so along with replacing the radiator I replaced the hoses as well. However the car is still showing signs of overheating(temp gauge rising to red zone). I have bled the system 5-7 times using the different methods I've found here. I still have no heat coming out of the vents and the temp gauge now fluctuated wildly. Going from normal operating temp(12 o'clock) all the way to halfway to the red zone and then back down again while driving and there is no steam from under the hood. Can someone help me out please?
It sounds like a failing water pump.

But you're either on the wrong forum, or you have a typo. There is no E46 335i.

Edit: Sorry, just saw the 325 by your screen name.

Last edited by lingon300k; 07-28-2016 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:57 PM   #5
codyneff
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Okay. I will check the water pump and thermostat in the morning. Is there an easy way to tell if the thermostat has failed?
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by codyneff View Post
I thought head gasket as well. But I have no signs of oil in coolant or coolant in oil. It's been parked except for the short test drives to see if the issue was fixed. So I should just replace the rest and hope for the best?
Other people may tell you different on here but I feel replacing everything is your best bet. Also a blown head gasket may not show signs of oil in your coolant. I would replace the water pump and thermostat and still have a pressure test done just for piece of mind. My car went into the red last year when my cooling system failed. I pulled over and turned the car off immediately and had it towed to a mechanic. I ended up replacing my whole cooling system and it solved all my issues but I still had a pressure test done just to be on the safe side.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:51 PM   #7
lingon300k
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Replacing the entire cooling system and considering that to be the proper fix is like taking five different antibiotics for six months and saying that was the proper remedy for your infection. Of course it worked, but one antibiotic for ten days was probably all you needed.

There is, of course, some logic to replacing the whole cooling system after a certain number of miles. It's not my preferred method of maintaining a car, but I understand the logic behind it.

It's unlikely, based on the symptoms, that it's anything other than a block, or a broken water pump not pumping the fluid.

You said "going back down again while driving," which I take to mean that the temp goes up while sitting still, and drops while moving. That, mixed with the lack of heat out of your vents, are the classic symptoms of a failing water pump on any car. How long does it take for the needle to go to the center after you start the car from sitting overnight?

Even if the thermostat isn't bad, Travis424 is right to recommend replacing them at the same time. It's barely any more work to replace the water pump once you're doing the thermostat.

Last edited by lingon300k; 07-28-2016 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:17 PM   #8
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It takes about 10 minutes to reach the center. But today is the first day I've seen any fluctuation in the needle it usually goes straight towards red. When I parked after driving back home the needle stayed at the 3/4th mark while idling.
I appreciate the help guys ***55357;***56898;
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:39 PM   #9
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The temp gauge should always sit in the middle, a thermostat and water pump are under $100 together and take under an hour to do, might as well finish up your cooling system refresh. Is your electric fan running?
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:50 PM   #10
Travis424
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In my particular case the water pump was the only part of the cooling system that hadn't failed so it seemed logical to me that if I am already in there replacing my radiator and everything else I might as well replace the water pump while I was at it. Belts and hoses are obvious replacements for preventative reasons as well. Since he's already replaced the radiator, expansion tank and hoses there's no reason not to spend the $100 or so to replace the rest. Considering the condition the rest of the cooling system was in it's safe too assume the thermostat is aging and in need of replacement as well. It's not like he's being pushed to spend thousands of dollars here.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:22 PM   #11
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Yes the fan is running every time I turn the car on. Will replace therm and water pump tomorrow and update
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by codyneff View Post
It takes about 10 minutes to reach the center. But today is the first day I've seen any fluctuation in the needle it usually goes straight towards red. When I parked after driving back home the needle stayed at the 3/4th mark while idling.
I appreciate the help guys ***55357;***56898;
I absolutely could be wrong, but I strongly believe it's your water pump.

You're in a little bit of a precarious situation though, as you might already have had a bad overheat. Has the temp gauge been all the way into the red?
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:36 AM   #13
codyneff
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No I have never let the temp gauge get all the way to red. To
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:45 AM   #14
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Yes the fan is running every time I turn the car on. Will replace therm and water pump tomorrow and update
Which fan is the op talking about. Is it an auto and he's observing the clutch fan? If it's a manual and he's seeing that spin constantly at cold start something is also wrong with that. More data required.

I suspect it is an auto and the aux fan may not be running at all. What he sees is the clutch fan, which is saving the engine from getting to far red. When he's driving the moving air combined with the clutch fan restore normal temps (well at least within the buffer).

Edit. Just re-read OP's first post. What's the history of the car. Anyone ever put rad stop leak in the coolant?

Last edited by BMW-North; 07-29-2016 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
Which fan is the op talking about. Is it an auto and he's observing the clutch fan? If it's a manual and he's seeing that spin constantly at cold start something is also wrong with that. More data required.

I suspect it is an auto and the aux fan may not be running at all. What he sees is the clutch fan, which is saving the engine from getting to far red. When he's driving the moving air combined with the clutch fan restore normal temps (well at least within the buffer).

Edit. Just re-read OP's first post. What's the history of the car. Anyone ever put rad stop leak in the coolant?
good source, thanks for the tools

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Old 07-29-2016, 02:39 PM   #16
codyneff
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I don't think rad stop has ever been put in the car. It seemed to be well taken care of but I do not have any service history besides stickers on the windshield. When I did the expansion tank about a month ago I flushed the coolant and it was bmw blue.
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Old 07-29-2016, 03:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
Which fan is the op talking about. Is it an auto and he's observing the clutch fan? If it's a manual and he's seeing that spin constantly at cold start something is also wrong with that. More data required.

I suspect it is an auto and the aux fan may not be running at all. What he sees is the clutch fan, which is saving the engine from getting to far red. When he's driving the moving air combined with the clutch fan restore normal temps (well at least within the buffer).
How about the above - which fan are you looking at? Is your car an automatic transmission?
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Old 07-29-2016, 03:14 PM   #18
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Never do one by one. The whole system needs to go. Check me out: http://e46cooling.blogspot.com/2014/...6fanatics.html
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:15 AM   #19
codyneff
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Well now the entire system is replaced and it's no longer overheating but now I have a leak coming from underneath the brand new expansion tank I put in a month ago. I Can't win
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:05 AM   #20
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Don't get frustrated - if you replaced a lot of stuff it's not crazy to get a leak the first time. Crawl under there and make sure the ET is seated properly. You're almost home.
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