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General E46 Forum
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
Azm
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HELP!: battery light on, engine overheating

so as i was driving it suddenly showed me the battery light (which i guess indicates electrical failure) then power steering stopped working. then engine overheated and started smoking. any ideas as to what could have happened? timing belt?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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gee, this is exactly what happens when the serpentine belt snaps.
poor thing.
$15 buck part causing $2000 in fixing. god bless your head gasket.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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Fuk that's bad. Your rubber water pump belt broke. You kept driving?
Why why why why wh w ...
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Thank god it's only a 323i
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
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Drive accesory belts. BMWs dont use timing belts. Even if they did, the symptoms are totally different.

This is either a $30 fix or a $3000 fix.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:13 PM   #6
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I'm sooo sorry for you Mr... If lights start coming on (and you don't know what they mean), you should stop...
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azm View Post
so as i was driving it suddenly showed me the battery light (which i guess indicates electrical failure) then power steering stopped working. then engine overheated and started smoking. any ideas as to what could have happened? timing belt?
Really?

If you need to ask, then you need to take the car to your mechanic.

At the very least you need to learn where the Hood Release is, and open the hood to look inside. You keep golf clubs in the trunk, the hood is at the other end and the engine is stored under it.

You made a potentially fatal error here. Not fatal to you, fatal to the engine.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:28 PM   #8
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Azm,

First of all, a battery light in itself is not a critical issue, nor is lost of power steering... (individually)
HOWEVER, if (they happen together : simultaneously and) you noticed your motor's temperature gauge moving (shooting) towards the right at the red section of the gauge and IF that red actually starts to light-up RED! And, you keep driving > This usually means some expensive $$$$ repairs ahead. Just a heads up.

Seeing steam/smoke from your engine bay is always a bad sign... Be prepared for some expensive repairs ahead. Just aheads up.

NOTE: Whatever you do... DO NOT drive your vehicle. Have it towed to a mechanic.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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textbook broken serpentine belt. have it towed to the mechanic.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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Hopefully the ET,hose or some other part blew spilling coolant creating the smoke, if not then the head warped and water leaked out(means you need a machine shop and $$$)
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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Time for 3.0 engine swap
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #12
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i didn't keep driving it. i was just a mile away from a parking garage so i pulled in there and then had the car towed to the mechanic. said he'll tell me tomorrow what's wrong with it
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:51 PM   #13
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i didn't keep driving it. i was just a mile away from a parking garage so i pulled in there and then had the car towed to the mechanic. said he'll tell me tomorrow what's wrong with it
That was wise... However, did you notice the temperature gauge go to the red? (at all..)
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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That was wise... However, did you notice the temperature gauge go to the red? (at all..)
yeah it suddenly just jumped to the red section and lit up right after i noticed the power steering issue. this all happened in a 5 minute period and then i parked it and called road side assistance and got it towed
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:38 PM   #15
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Five minutes was too long. Hopefully, you'll replace the belt and be back on your way. Otherwise you could be looking at significant repairs. By the time your car is in the red, you are already doing damage. Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #16
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yeah it suddenly just jumped to the red section and lit up right after i noticed the power steering issue. this all happened in a 5 minute period and then i parked it and called road side assistance and got it towed
if you see smoke, its too late.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #17
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Boy on this forum every time one of the cars has the temp gauge go into the red folk start jumping into complete engine replacement and warped heads before anything has even been diagnosed.

If you realize how our temp gauge works you will understand that anything over the "normal" range will cause the needle to jump to the top of the red. There is a range on the needle and if the coolant is within that temp the needle will always sit at 12 0'clock. Once the range is exceeded the needle jumps to the top.

Having the needle in the red doesn't necessarily mean the engine has been toasted. Lot's of factors will affect the extent of the damage if any:

Temperature reached
Length of time at the high temperature
RPM's and duration in the overheated period.
Whether the coolant remained in the system or leaked out completely during the overheat

Back to the issue of the OP. You have the car at a shop - correct - Before you start spending money have the mechanic do a basic diagnosis. Minimally include:

1. Oil change and inspection of drained oil (he's looking for signs of coolant in the oil)

2. Coolant flush and change & inspection of drained coolant (He's looking for signs of oil in the coolant).

3. Inspection of the following hose in the attached BMW Service Bulletin PDF. This is the telltale sign of how much damage has been caused to this engine from an overheating episode. If the hose is still in the "acceptable" condition and the first two items (oil & coolant inspections) show no leaks you should be ok.

After that you may want to do a compression test but if all is ok with the above 3 items I doubt you'll need it.

Good luck.
Talk about looking at the glass half full
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #18
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yeah it suddenly just jumped to the red section and lit up right after i noticed the power steering issue. this all happened in a 5 minute period and then i parked it and called road side assistance and got it towed
Did you take a look under the hood, to see if it was just steam.. or was it actually smoke?

Notice any fluids leaking?

Any videos or photos??
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:36 AM   #19
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Who cares, its at the shop now
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:38 AM   #20
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Sorry to hear dude
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