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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 08-04-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
e46 eats my wallet
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New to forum! Experiencing over heating...

I have a 2003 e46. 2 weeks ago my expansion tank got a crack and over heated. I replaced it with an OEM tank and OEM upper radiator hose. I then filled up the tank but little did I know since its my first bmw i had to remove the bleeder screw and turn on my heat then fill up. So my car started heating up. Later i found out i was doing it wrong and corrected my mistake. I drove perfectly fine until i was stopped in traffic and my needle started rising! I thought it was air bubbles so i stopped and let cool down and bled it. The other day i was driving and was in traffic again it started heating a bit. But when I drove it, it went down... Could it be I have a bad thermostat? Or air bubbles still? Cant be the fan clutch since I just replaced it with OEM. Also if i replace the thermostat could I just be good using an after market one that's 45$ or OEM thats 149$ out the door? Please help! Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:00 PM   #2
mpvue
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hey, welcome! you need to do some reading, your situation is by no means unique:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109

and buy stuff from FCP Euro, use discount code MangoFCP5
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:09 PM   #3
lingon300k
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Thermostat=$50 with a lifetime warranty: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...y-11537509227b

Wahler, which I personally prefer, is the same price.

The BMW thermostat, which is the same as the Mahle I linked to, is $85 on that site. The only difference is a BMW logo and a BMW box. Literally.

You have a lot of reading to do: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109

You're very likely wasting money and hurting your car until you're read through that whole thread. There's another thread going right now in which the person who started the thread seems to have overheated their car and cracked/warped the head because the car overheated: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1109686

Read the first linked thread for info, the second one for a warning.

I'm personally against the whole cooling system replacement, but I have a coolant temp alarm. If I didn't, I would probably replace the whole thing. And still be worried about overheating. If you want an alarm, you can buy the Ultragauge and set an audible alarm: http://ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/ultragauge_wired.htm

Last edited by lingon300k; 08-04-2016 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:58 PM   #4
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Overheating only in traffic sounds more like a failed fan to me...
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Old 08-04-2016, 04:32 PM   #5
lingon300k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegr View Post
Overheating only in traffic sounds more like a failed fan to me...
It seems, from he said, like it's heating up when going slow or when stopped, which sounds more like a failing water pump or an improperly bled system.

If he replaced the fan clutch with an OEM unit, the fan is either mounted onto the water pump and moving, or it isn't. I can't think of much room for error.

The problem here, much like that other thread I linked to, is that his head could already be warped from the overheating.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:06 AM   #6
bobnagga
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Did you put the fan shroud back on? If can't do its job without that in place to prevent it sucking air from around the sides.

Heating up whilst stopped sounds like a fan not working... You move, and air gets forced through the radiator. So you know that part of the system is working.

I'd be looking at the fan.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:38 PM   #7
e46 eats my wallet
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I did. And I believe both my fans do work. Could it be possible that my thermostat closes when at a stop? I watched a youtube video on a guy with a very similar problem as mine and switched the thermostat and it fixed everything. Also when it starts to creep up at idle and I rev it a little, the needle starts to go down to normal temperature.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:40 PM   #8
e46 eats my wallet
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Also, I've never let my car heat up to red, but close.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:44 PM   #9
jmo69
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Replace the thermostat and the water pump if you don't know the history. Get the parts from FCP Euro and you're covered for life. I used the Meyle water pump and Wahler thermostat when I did the PM on my car and the pump is still fine but they did have to replace the thermostat due to a soft fail of the heating circuit in it.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:00 PM   #10
e46 eats my wallet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
Replace the thermostat and the water pump if you don't know the history. Get the parts from FCP Euro and you're covered for life. I used the Meyle water pump and Wahler thermostat when I did the PM on my car and the pump is still fine but they did have to replace the thermostat due to a soft fail of the heating circuit in it.
Okay thanks!
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