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The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 06-22-2015, 12:00 PM   #1
syl3ntforce
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M3 temp guage over half

Hey guys i need help figuring something out

Yesterday i was driving on an on-ramp for the highway and apparently my temp guage was over half but not towards the red line yet and the oil temp was a bit over the halfway mark as well i just changed my oil the day before and it was 90 degrees out.

I was pushing the car a bit but nowhere near redline area

Any idea why this was happened? It hasnt happened again but im worried the next day we get 90+ degrees my car will overheat and then ill have problems

Thanks in Advance
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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The temp gauge usually remains around the middle but anywhere between the blue and the red areas is considered normal.
I'd just make sure your coolant level is fine.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:18 PM   #3
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Were you in stop-and-go traffic before that? How did it react after you got on the highway (assuming you were able to go at a decent speed). If it starts to overheat while mainly standing still, but cools back down when you're moving then your fan clutch may need to be replaced. It's easily tested by trying to CAREFULLY trying to stop the fan with something like a rolled up newspaper after the engine is at full operating temp. If you can stop it then the fan clutch is bad. There are youtube videos demonstrating this.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
Were you in stop-and-go traffic before that? How did it react after you got on the highway (assuming you were able to go at a decent speed). If it starts to overheat while mainly standing still, but cools back down when you're moving then your fan clutch may need to be replaced. It's easily tested by trying to CAREFULLY trying to stop the fan with something like a rolled up newspaper after the engine is at full operating temp. If you can stop it then the fan clutch is bad. There are youtube videos demonstrating this.
No i was pushing it a bit as soon as i got on the highway, as soon as it happened i let my foot off the gas and it began to cool down, could this still be a bad fan clutch
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
The temp gauge usually remains around the middle but anywhere between the blue and the red areas is considered normal.
I'd just make sure your coolant level is fine.

So past the half way mark but not on the red is ok? ill check my coolant level
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syl3ntforce View Post
So past the half way mark but not on the red is ok? ill check my coolant level
It's OK but I will keep an eye on it since it could be an early sign of potential overheating. (More if it always has been dead center)

From the owner;s manual page 77:

Blue:

The engine is still cold. Drive at moderate
engine and vehicle speeds.

Between the blue and red zones:

Normal operating range. The needle
may rise as far as the edge of the red
sector during normal operation.

Red:

When you switch on the ignition, the
warning lamp comes on briefly as an
operation check.

If the lamp comes on while operating
the vehicle: the engine has overheated.
Switch off the engine immediately and
allow it to cool down.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:52 PM   #7
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This would be a concern if the temperature continued to rise unchecked as you kept driving (or couldn't keep itself cool when the engine isn't being run consistently, as choxor mentioned), but if it just gets to a middle level and evens off then that sounds entirely normal. The engine isn't meant to run at the blue, cold end of the gauge and is safe as long as it's under the red. In fact, I'd even say that this is advantageous since you want the engine to be at a hot operating temperature, in order to get the full viscosity and protection of the 60 weight oil (which on paper, is achieved at 210 F/100 C).
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #8
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You can stop Abrams new fan clutch as well, it's more so how much resistance it has. If it's fully locked it'll thriw the blades apart and destroy everything under the hood. So the newspaper or trying to stop it with you hand trick isn't proof it's shot.

Just replaced mine and you can still stop it with your hand at full operating temp, it just has a lot more resistance
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:16 AM   #9
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Thanks guys i have been checking everything and everything is running fine, the temp guage hasnt gone past half since this happened, but since i have 130k on my m3 i will do a coolant flush and change the fan clutch soon. If it decides to happen again ill have to dig deeper, i dont want to have problems in the future with the engine overheating since im going to want to buy another car and keep the m3 as a weekend car
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:30 AM   #10
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M3 temp guage over half

Mine does the same thing and the whole cooling system was replaced. Never at a stand still does the temp rise. When I stop at a light right before getting on the freeway and merge at a nice pace, the temp rises. It always goes back down and never past the 3/4 mark.

I am planning to exchange my mechanical fan with a 2500 CFM 16" fan with an enclosed metal shroud. I hope this with a master on/off switch should cure some problems.

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Old 10-09-2015, 07:51 PM   #11
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It's 104 F outside and my oil temp is at 210-212 and that is past half. My temp is half and will go up too? I checked coolant level and its fine. Temp will sometimes pass the half mark. Should i be worried too? Lol
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:38 PM   #12
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Same happened with me today. My dash was reading 104 degrees here in Los Angeles on the highway and the temp gauge went a little over the 3/4 mark. I turned off the air conditioning and it went towards the middle slightly. Only other time this happened was on the way to Vegas.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:13 PM   #13
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I'm in San Diego. It was a very hot day. My oil temp was higher than normal. 212?
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:35 PM   #14
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ok kind of bringing up an old thread but now i got a 2005 m3 and in traffic today while it was 110 outside the car went up past half past the second dot. Of course the manual says this is normal but how many people have had this issue. in my 2003 m3 it happened once but in the 2005 m3 its happened twice, maybe the temp outside being over 100 would effect it?
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:27 AM   #15
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Get a bottle of this:
https://www.amazon.com/Red-Line-8020.../dp/B000CPI5ZK

It will drop the temp and is safe to run.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:34 AM   #16
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I would try to find the root cause first, it could be anything from a temp sensor to a faulty gauge fan clutch, even a clogged radiator. Adding external agents to the system when you don't know what's going on can cause more trouble than good.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cold m3 View Post
Get a bottle of this:
https://www.amazon.com/Red-Line-8020.../dp/B000CPI5ZK

It will drop the temp and is safe to run.
agreed, nice deal and this is your best bet

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Old 07-26-2016, 01:09 PM   #18
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Guys, I have been fighting this same issue for over a year. I fixed it, but it was laborious and frustrating. I live in TX, and track the car quite often. The M3 is NOT my DD.

Symptoms:
- Temp Gauge go into tip of the red zone ONLY when car was pushed (full throttle, High RPM, High Speed)
- Temp Gauge would return to middle as soon as I came off throttle. No Problems in the chicanes, only on straights (High RPM, High Speed)
- Temp gauge completely normal in stop and go, with A/C
- What was misleading was that when Air Flow through radiator was high (high speed), car would still tend to overheat

Steps taken to rectify:
- Changed WP to Lasso with metal impeller , Thermostat to Wahler. Changed Coolant, bled coolant system. Slight improvement, but not much.
- Reduced Proportion of Glycol/Water to 25/75, no improvement
- Added Water Wetter, no Improvement.
- Reduced Coolant Level in Coolant reservoir. This yielded a 5-7 F improvement (225-218). The Float in the reservoir was not lined up with the top of the threaded opening. It was way higher, so much so that the float would pop like a "Jack-in-the-Box" when I opened the reservoir cap.
- Bled System Again, yielded a 3 F improvement (215).
- Bit the bullet and replaced mechanical Fan Clutch with a Behr/Hella. This was the silver bullet. 10 F improvement. (215 to 205 F)

Was @ the track this past weekend. Intake Air Temp was between 130-140. Coolant needle NEVER budged. Steady between 205 to 210 F.

I use RaceChrono Pro with an OBD Bluetooth dongle to log all these temperatures. I can then "replay" this data and compare variables like throttle position, Engine RPM, Speed, Intake air temp, and Coolant Temp.

I also cross checked this data with Torque app. Both apps were spot on. (Torque allows you to data log a "drive").

So guys, I was in denial that the fan clutch could be bad...did the rolled up newspaper test etc. and it passed. But it was actually slipping at high temp and high RPM. The failure mode for the fan clutch predicted by the manufacturer is the "Fail Locked" position, where it spins based on engine RPM, and not variable based on Engine temp. Obviously, I didn't have that.

Obviously, if the fan clutch fix didn't work, I was going to target the radiator, but dodged that bullet for now. Fan clutch is <$90 and a 10 minute install. Well worth the try...
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:33 PM   #19
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Update:

thanks guys, i have just done a coolant flush and oil change and everything checked out fine. I noticed it happening twice after the coolant flush and both times i was going up a hill one was steep and the other was not so steep.

Could this be possible fan clutch?

My other M3 never had this issue and only went over half once 1 year ago and never did before or after in my 3-4yrs of owning it. This 2005 m3 on the other hand has been doing it and although some people say its normal to me its not.

I will try and replace my fan clutch and thermostat and water pump soon, first the fan clutch. I am hopeing this fixes the issue since i hate seeing the needle go past half and it worries because i hope it doesnt cause any damage to the head gasket.

Thank You and any more updates or possible fixes are appreciated.
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