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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 05-23-2017, 03:42 PM   #1
mickey513
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Wahler or Behr Thermostat?

I understand Wahler is OEM but threads in the archives have indicated the Wahler thermostat has a tendency to leak by the connector, is this problem still prevalent?

Just threw a code for a bad thermostat and seeing how old these cars are now I am deciding if it's time to go aftermarket OE to save money or just head down to the BMW dealership and buy OEM again .....
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:53 PM   #2
E46 330i Sedan
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Mine was stuck open and I did a DIY and used Wahler - Good quality and no issues so far.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:58 PM   #3
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Why pay twice as much for the same part? Whaler thermostat is the same part that you buy at the bmw dealer. I got mine from worldpac and you can see that the bmw logo and part # were ground off.

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Old 05-23-2017, 05:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by randy72877 View Post
Why pay twice as much for the same part? Whaler thermostat is the same part that you buy at the bmw dealer. I got mine from worldpac and you can see that the bmw logo and part # were ground off.

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Indeed. The Genuine BMW thermostat is just the Wahler.

This question, though, has no good answer in my opinion.

The Behr thermostat is crap, as far as I'm concerned. I've gone through three now, and they all keep the engine too cold. I see the pending code most days due to an Ultragauge I have installed, and get a set code with engine light every few months.

The Wahler thermostat does indeed leak from the connection. But I think it's far preferable due to keeping the engine at the proper temp. There's a good DIY to fix, or preventatively fix, the leaky heating element: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1111189
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:47 PM   #5
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Wahler. Ive been through atleast 4 with multiple E46's ive owned and the E53 and never had any kind of problem. Never any leaks either

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Old 05-23-2017, 07:25 PM   #6
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When my 2000 E46 was less than a year old, it had an issue with the original thermostat. The stealership replaced it with a Behr branded one. I have no idea why but it worked for 15 years after that.


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Old 05-23-2017, 07:59 PM   #7
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Pick your poison. Wahler will leak and Behr will keep the engine cold.

My Behr opens at 92 degrees instead of 97 like the Wahler.

However my Wahler started leaking after a few months from the electrical connector.

Original BMW is just a rebranded Wahler.

Last edited by camrydriver111; 05-23-2017 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by camrydriver111 View Post
Pick your poison. Wahler will leak and Behr will keep the engine cold.

My Behr opens at 92 degrees instead of 97 like the Wahler.

However my Wahler started leaking after a few months from the electrical connector.

Original BMW is just a rebranded Wahler.
Yeah, my Behr barely keeps my car at 94C...
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:28 PM   #9
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They both seem decent. It seems that both behr and whaler have been oem so...
Build quality on both looks good. I have both on hand - one from my car and one I bought. Me? I would probably buy behr next time. I prefer the design of the temp probe on them.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:29 PM   #10
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I just put a Gates on mine this month, working like a charm. Used Gates hoses too, but the upper hose doesn't hold the same value.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sicily1918 View Post
Yeah, my Behr barely keeps my car at 94C...


My car's current thermostat is a Whaler. The engine runs in the 95*C to 100*C range.


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Old 05-24-2017, 09:28 AM   #12
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BEHR, mines opens at 94C , never a leak or issue, when it was due I replace it with another BEHR, no issues, love it, my dad Wahler leaked, replace and now has a stuck open fault, my wife Wahler leaked too, I don't like them to be honest.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:18 PM   #13
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I'm curious, what's so bad about the temperatures the Behr Tstat keeps the engine at? I live in a pretty hot environment, and have been looking to lower my engine temps.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:54 PM   #14
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They're both supposed to be rated for 97c. Mileage will vary.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I'm curious, what's so bad about the temperatures the Behr Tstat keeps the engine at? I live in a pretty hot environment, and have been looking to lower my engine temps.
What you want is a thermostat that'll keep your engine at 97C... cooler is not better for these engines, are they're designed to run optimally at about that temp... a few degrees + or minus may not make a difference, but it looks as though they start to soft-fail and take temps into the mid-high 80's (if you're lucky), which means carbon build-up and slow damage to the cats...

I'll know later, but in my case, on a cold day (cold for LA), my temps will drop into the high-80's if I'm coasting downhill and not creep above 92/93 under load... I'd say that's borderline cold over the long-run.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:05 PM   #16
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Whaler 97c (stamped on the housing) no issues for the last 15K.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
both behr and whaler have been oem so...
yah, dis. behr, at 94-95c, seems to be doing ok on 2 cars so far (5 years or so...)

Original BMW branded Behr started binding physically- as in, there were scuff marks on the housing...

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Old Yesterday, 11:55 AM   #18
mickey513
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Well ... I opted for the Behr, didn't come on this board last week to see the posts in time. After seeing all these posts, I wished I had just gone to get OEM from the local dealership again. Will keep an eye on the Temp once the Behr is installed.

The one on the car now is stuck opened because I was getting really poor gas mileage the last couple of months even after an air filter and spark plug change. Finally threw a check engine P0128 code last week.
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Old Today, 05:47 PM   #19
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I've been using Wahler thermostats. They have a track record on here of failing every 2-3 years but at least it coincides with a coolant change interval.

Buy from FCP and enjoy the lifetime warranty.
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