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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 03-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #1
bparris78
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: south carolina
Posts: 3
My Ride: 00 323i
radiator fan problem

I have a 00 323i. Yesterday when my wife was driving and there was a strong odor, what she describes is the smell like when the car overheats, but she said the gauge was normal. When she shut the car off the radiator fan kept running and she disconnected the battery to make it stop. This morning I start the car, run the temp up to noon, or half way point and the fan will not come on at all. I tried to get the car to get hotter than the norm and the gauge wont go past half way(normal) Could this be a thermostat or is the fan bad. Any ideas?

Last edited by bparris78; 03-24-2012 at 08:28 AM. Reason: forgot key word
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
drivesacrj
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: houston
Posts: 119
My Ride: 2000 323i
The electric fan will keep running under some circumstances even after the car is shut off, do not disconnect the battery to disable this. There is an electronic logic that determines when the fan comes on and at what speed, just because the temp needle is at the 12 oclock position does not mean the fan kicks in. I think your fan is ok, just dont mess with it. I myself have very rarely heard or even seen my electric fan running, yesterday I popped the hood, started the car and switched on the AC just to make sure it works!!!And, even with the AC on, the fan didnt kick in immediately either.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
shanneba
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,176
My Ride: 2003 330Ci
Did you check the coolant level?

Our temp gauges are buffered. It will read "in the middle" at coolant temps from about 170-230F.
The temp sensor (in the engine) used by the temp gauge is NOT used for the electric fan.
The fan uses the temp sensor in the lower radiator hose and the A/C pressure (along with some other ECM inputs and calculations).

http://wds.spaghetticoder.org/en/zin...1214_M0KFK.htm
See the bottom of the link:

Coolant temperature gauge
The indicator characteristics of the coolant temperature gauge in the instrument cluster have been adapted to the higher temperature level of the engine due to the use of the characteristic map thermostat.
The pointer of the coolant temperature gauge in the instrument cluster is located in the mid-position at coolant temperatures of 75C - 113C in centre position.


(75C =167F, 113C =235F)

Fan info:
http://wds.spaghetticoder.org/en/zin...1214_M0ELU.htm
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Last edited by shanneba; 03-24-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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