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Old 06-18-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
daverous
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Another overheating question before I buy more parts

Just picked up a 2000 328i with some overheating issues. Previous owner did a new radiator, upper hose, water pump, thermostat, and overflow tank. Drove it two weeks and it started overheating again. So he sold it to me for cheap. Here's what I've figured out so far, since I can't get alldata.com to pull up the info on this car I figured I'd ask.

The car idles at temp fine for extended amounts of time in the sun with the AC on full. It will make one or two quick runs down the road before starting to overheat most of the time. I've attempted to re-bleed the system using the correct method with the screw and heater on low with three red dots and car not on, and I don't get bubbles out of it. With the car running when it gets to a normal or higher temp I can hear bubbles at the upper radiator hose. The bleed screw is stripped and allows water to escape is problem one (What is the elbow section with the fitting called for ordering purposes?) The heat will not get warm even though its damn near 95 outside right now. So there's air in there somehow, but I can not seem to get it out.

After idling for a bit the car warms up unusually fast, around 5 minutes or so. the upper hose is hot to the touch, the lower is still cool with no fluid in it. I can squeeze the lower and hear air come out of the overflow cap and bleeder screw. I am assuming the direction of flow for the system is top to bottom? Cool water being pulled from the bottom and pushed back up to the overflow tank? As I'm not able to force air into the car in the other direction but can easily squeeze the lower hose to produce bubbles.

Now, having both a new radiator and new water pump I'm not sure if maybe one happens to be faulty, or possibly the thermostat. I'd like to avoid just guessing and pulling everything loose and buying new since it was recently done. Given the symptoms of the car, anyone have a more precise guess before I rip it all apart? Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
blarf
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Coolant will boil at a lower temperature at the ambient pressure. Boiling coolant will be less effective at removing heat from the engine, take up more space and potentially extricate itself from your cooling system. A proper seal is essential. The bleeder screw fits into the upper hose. If the threads on the fitting are toast, you need a new hose (less than $30 from Tischer, boy that's a nice change from the $80+ hose my Volvo needed...). If just the screw is toast, you may be able to get it separately.

No heat out of the vents equals air in the heater core. You need to bleed and then seal the system.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:52 PM   #3
daverous
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So the plastic elbow section is included with the upper hose? The break downs and item pictures for upper radiator hoses I've sourced seemed to be just the rubber hose running from the thermostat to the elbow section that connects both to the radiator and overflow tank. If it's all one piece that would explain why I can find it, but every picture I check seems to just be the hose.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
daverous
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Found it, 27 bucks. Thanks, I'll start there. If anyone else thinks there may be an additional problem here let me know! It concerns me that the lower hose does not get warm. I went out and squeezed on it a bit more and can feel water coming through it now, so perhaps the radiator is indeed good. Maybe a water pump or thermostat is to blame, I've heard the thermostats are known for failure even when new.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
dmax
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If the bleeder is letting coolant out, then air is taking its place...so first, you need to replace upper hose...it comes with bleeder screw iirc.

Also, prior to then, check your coolant level...it's low.

Check it when cold and keep its level so the ET stick rises so that one ball is above the et filler neck and the other is below...i.e., keep it to between min and max.

But fix upper hose first.

Many instructions here on bleeding...mine are always right...at least for the last few months...and I've posted many times on this...just yesterday.

I don't know you need to look further for an issue yet...but do not drive when it's overheating...when the needle rises above dead center, you should stop car, get towed to where you can fix it.

BTW, how do you know PO did all that he said he did? There are tags on all the parts with date stamps...a flashlight and mech mirror will verify...nothing personal to PO if you knew him or her.

Also, as I've just read recently, don't forget to make sure your fan is working...and check pulleys and belts too...but it sounds right now that you have a known issue, which issue would cause your symptoms. Let it cool...fill as I said...don't drive when overheating...fix issue asap and enjoy your car! It's a great one good for many miles!

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Old 06-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #6
daverous
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It's not a DD so it's parked in the shop I was given all receipts from the dealer for parts and labor included, and the parts do appear to be newer. I've been checking the levels before every attempt at something new. I did try to tap out the hose and try a new bolt and o-ring to check things before ordering. Coolant doesn't always bubble out the bleed screw, but it is certainly not the best fit and I suspect it is leaking even though I don't notice water escaping.

I hope I can get everything worked out, as it'd make a wonderful DD at 1500 bucks. If not I suppose I'm not out too much.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:34 PM   #7
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So the plastic elbow section is included with the upper hose? The break downs and item pictures for upper radiator hoses I've sourced seemed to be just the rubber hose running from the thermostat to the elbow section that connects both to the radiator and overflow tank. If it's all one piece that would explain why I can find it, but every picture I check seems to just be the hose.
Yes, it's all one piece :/

On my car, the expansion tank still had a sticker indicating a build date of either April or June 2000, and the upper hose had a date code of '2Q00'. But the thermostat and water pump (and pulley) had likely been replaced at some point.

Depending on how much money you want to invest in the cooling system, you can just go all in for about $500-$600. Tischer's got a cooling system overhaul kit for about $300, an aftermarket radiator costs about $150 (manual transmission), engine drain plug costs about $5 (the head on mine was a bit mangled so I decided to replace it). Add the heater core hoses if you're super anal, drive belt pulleys cost about $80 for the set (aftermarket) if they're bad. That's nearly everything you can get to from under the hood. Lots of shared labor.

Obviously you don't know if you need all of those parts, but take a peek. Pull the fan and belts, spin the idler and tensioner pulleys and check the belts for cracks. Check the water pump pulley for a date code (if it's old, replace it). Check the lower hose for any leaks (there's a sensor that clips into the top). Are you missing dust covers for your tensioner and idler pulleys? Grab those while you're at it. They're cheap and will prolong the life of the bearings. I also like to have some spare plastic rivets on hand (for the intake ducting) as they get chewed up easily if you use a screwdriver or pliers to pull them.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
daverous
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More info if it matters. The sensor for the fan is located on the lower radiator hose isn't it? Without that getting warm the fan is not kicking on. At idle temp, with the make shift bleeder screw not leaking, the fan is not on. Also there is a slight "Whirl, whine" noise coming from the area of the thermostat housing. Maybe my water pump is also to blame.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:46 PM   #9
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Take the belts off and spin the water pump by hand. If it's not smooth or it feels loose, replace it. You can certainly replace everything piecemeal, but it'll cost you more in time and currency. Get in there, poke around, and see what is in obvious need of replacement besides the upper hose. Order it, install it, and be satisfied with the peace of mind you get from knowing you did the job the proper way.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
daverous
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Thanks for the insight, alldata is about useless on everything but some removal instructions on these cars.
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