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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 10-15-2010, 03:50 PM   #1
Jim Murphy
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New aluminum thermostat housing - Fault code

I just installed one from one of the BMW aftermarket vendors and I get this fault code, change back to the OEM plastic one, code goes away. What gives?

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Old 10-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #2
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Uh, what fault code and what thermostat? Does the new thermostat setup accept the stock electrical connection?
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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I don't think it does, and it will throw a code if the connection for the heater element isn't doing anything. It shouldn't throw a CEL
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:25 PM   #4
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I've probably read 10 threads in the last year at least all pointing out that the aluminum therm, China made, don't work well at all.

Frankly, I've read a thousand posts that say don't go AM on any electrical component for our cars.

Anyway, that's what gives...bad electronics. OE or OEM...think it's Wahler, but don't quote me.

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Old 10-15-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
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I got a no start after using the aluminum thermostat for 3 days, it probably threw a code too but not one readable by Peake since I didn't get a CEL. The OE thermostat is heated electronically and that part of the electronics was simply not built right in these Asian models. I even question the benefit of aluminum - if the plastic warps a bit and there is weeping of coolant, this signals time to replace the thermostat.
Pull it, get your money back and put in an OE Wahler or Behr.

Last edited by xi_ter; 10-15-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:06 AM   #6
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Interesting. A neighbor down the street from me just replaced the majority of his cooling system parts in his 325.He bought one of those aluminum thermostats. The car threw the CEL right away. I scanned it and cleared the codes. The CEL came back on within 5 minutes. Again, it was pointing to the thermostat. I had a new Behr on the shelf, so he put it on. I cleared the codes and everything has been fine.

I checked the resistance across the terminals (I had a used thermostat on the shelf to use as a comparison) and the aluminum one had an open circuit but the stock one did not. Then, just out of curiosity, I checked between each terminal and the housing. One terminal was connected to the housing. I didn't try to take it apart but it seemed like one wire was broken internally and it was touching the housing.

He bought it off of ebay and I think he returned it. Since the first thermostat went 130K on an 8 year old car, I have a feeling that he's going to stick with the plastic one.
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:40 PM   #7
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I just bought one of the Zionsville T-stats which eliminates the element, and puts ina lower temp t-stat. Wonder what will happen?

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Old 10-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #8
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From reading that description, it looks like the M54 has some major problems with the thermostat. Then if you are going to race it, it will just overheat. I wish I would have known that back in 2001.

FYI: A regular thermostat can fail also.
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