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General E46 Forum
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
vthokie
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Check Engine Light

My check engine light came on a few days ago and came back with a P0128 code (something about the coolant temperature being too low). It did this once about 6 weeks ago, but the guy told me not to worry about it if the light didn't come back on soon. Should I be concerned about it? If so, how difficult would it be to fix myself instead of taking to someone and paying for them to do it?
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
Scott87
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"P0128 Range/Performance Problem In Thermostat"

Your thermostat lets water in to the radiator once your engine reaches operating temp to stop it exceeding safe limits. If it fails your car would over heat very quickly doing potentially a lot of damage. Buy a new one and get it fitted, it won't cost much at all. There is also a lot of preventative maintenance you can do while you're there. This is the FAR cheaper option than it failing and causing damage to your engine. Plenty of DIY threads on how to overhaul the cooling system, read up on one and get the info you need.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
froilanr
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does it take a long time to get your engine at normal operating temperature? you should try to get with somebody who has a Peake scan tool to know exactly what that code is. it could be a thermostat stuck open. the replacement is easy, but it also includes a refill of the coolant. I live in Virginia Beach. I have a Peake tool, but won't be able to help you on that. I don't have the adapter for the later model.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:03 PM   #4
vthokie
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I know NOTHING about cars. It doesn't seem to be taking any longer than it ever has to heat up and the engine temperature gauge run right in the middle.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
Scott87
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ht=cooling+diy

That thread has instructions on how to overhaul pretty much the whole cooling system, excluding the thermostat! Sorry for the bad example. I think it's better to do the whole lot if you can rather than lots of jobs replacing one part as each fails.

If you are ever driving and see your temp get any higher than usual be prepared to pull over if it gets near the 'red zone'. It will take a while for it to cool even with the bonnet open leaving you in a PITA situation. This is a sooner rather than later job.

Feel free to poke holes in my ideas constructively, i know i'm not 'all knowing' about cars but this is my understanding of the situation.

Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:09 PM   #6
Scott87
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermostat

Scroll down to "Wax Pellet" heading and that will explain the function of a thermostat.
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