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Old 05-01-2012, 12:07 PM   #1
Tex323GripIsKey
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Intermittent overheating issue. Please help, i've searched a lot and have an idea of

what to check. So first off-

2000 323i 4dr sedan. No cruise no vol control on steering wheel. Lever seats. (Just for an options idea of the car)
Manual trans - 5spd


Okay let me know if you guys need any more info on the car.

Some PO jackoff used regular antifreeze in the car.... FML.

Good news, car is only having heat issues when sitting in traffic on a hot summer day. Was doing it last summer, usually turning A/C off or to turn off auto circulate button and turn temp up past 70 deg F will help the over heating issue. Along with driving faster than 30mph and not gunning the engine. I have come to think it is either the thermostat or fan or fan switch in lower hose. I have checked to see if fan cuts on when over heating, not to my knowledge. It's fairly iffy on wether I have actually heard the fan running. When a/c is cut on you can see and hear the stress on the motor for a few seconds it bogs down to 600 rpm or 500 rpm then back to 700-900 rpm. I have tried the newspaper in fan while engine first starts(supposed to do a test run of the fan every time engine is turned on, is this correct? aka fan will cut on to test operation the first few seconds of cranking.) I have pulled the sensor in the lower hose that so many people talk about. Just to get a feel if I had to change it. Would regular anti freeze kill this sensor? or just time? How can I tell if my fan is completely dead? Just try every possible replacement for the sensors? What are possible causes? I really want to trouble shoot this fan problem(over heating problem reduced to fan being one of the culprits if not all of them). I have no thermostat codes thrown. Only P1189 and P1478. Ideas? Need more information? Need me to do something w the car to help you help me troubleshoot? Like I said I've read a lot of threads that have given me clues... none explaining the troubleshooting step by step for a manual trans car's fan.... wait. I've heard electrical fan then aux fan too. Same thing on manual cars?? Thanks for input. I was going to replace the coolant after a proper flush or two with distilled water. BMW coolant of course. I've bled the system too... no help. Again it only heats up in traffic. When I bled the sys it took the new distilled water just fine(does this mean my water pump is safe?) I have no PO maint records.. So idk what's been replaced already.

I was looking to replace the aux fan switch in lower hose(hopes to make fan cut on)
thermostat( do i need to if I can figure out for sure its operating properly?)(how hard is this diy? I assume easy)
I also need to replace CAB... Go with the after market Meyle HDs or OEM? Im not a poly guy. Change my mind? Why?
Bleed screw w a metal one
cap and expansion tank seem well, along with hoses seem intact.
washer pump for windsheild washer and gromit connection thingy
What is the sensor in the ET lower back end?
What fan would I need to buy to replace the one I have now?
I've read the relay on top of the fan has nothing to do with the fan itself. Why? Can I keep the relay when(if) I replace the fan now? Best place to get said fan?
Anything i missed that rings a bell? Please help asap I'm trying to order parts today!

One more thing... my rotor / brake pad light is on. My rear rotors need turning, after said turn, how do I reset the light?

I know there is some way to hack into the car's menu. How? Someone said if you do this you can check and see if the temp rises or falls in the aux fan sensor. This is a way to trouble shoot the sensor. True?

Also if I do have to replace the fan, has anyone had success doing this with OUT having to remove the front bumper? Just had body work done and the bumper was taken off, replaced with an ebay mock m3 bumper(I love it). Had the oem bumper removed, new bumper put on, door bondo'd and all painted to match and put together, good body work, all for $750. Best deal in town, guy works on 2012 sports cars too, nothing but them parked in his shop. Ebay said direct fit, lies. The OEM bumper has a lot of screws under the molding. No spot for these on new bumper, used license securing to eliminate the looseness. Looks great, but they also used some silicon to hold the bumper more secure.... I know I know. I don't need ridcule for allowing them to do this, had to be done. I'll post pics later. I promise it looks well and functions well. I just don't want to have the PITA of removing all of this stuff If it's just a sensor!!! Much love from Central Texas, e46Fanatics. You guys have been my inspiration/saving grace since i've owned my e46 since last OCT.

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Old 05-01-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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No troubleshooting has to be done, nor should be done. You need to replace the entire cooling system. Or you'll be posting threads galore.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
No troubleshooting has to be done, nor should be done. You need to replace the entire cooling system. Or you'll be posting threads galore.
Yes, thank you mango. I have seen you in endless threads saying this. Yeah I realize it all needs replacing. I promise, I do. It's hard for a new dad/husband/home owner to shell out half a grand or more to replace parts that are functioning. If you would like to sponsor me, i'll take a couple of days off and help you replace them. I'll buy the beer and BBQ, too.

If not, please, I need help trouble shooting. Minimum prev maint is my span of options right now....

Also, oil light comes on for 15-20 secs when starting the car. I'm inclined to believe it's the $90 sensor by the oil drain plug. Anyone want to tell me any other possible causes, if any?
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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To comment on the oil level sensor light... Its definately the sensor. Either replace or live with it (what i do)


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You sir, just thread jacked the sh!t out of OP.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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To comment on the oil level sensor light... Its definately the sensor. Either replace or live with it (what i do)


Killing time at work using BimmerApp
Thank you Mr. White. I am pretty mad at BMW for not designing codes for when problems like mine arise. It seems like it would be common sense to give a car a fault code for every sensor or major part... unless you want to make a lot of money in stealership fees.

My MAIN concern is the cooling problem.... Again. My thoughts are T-stat and aux fan switch. Two most common and cheapest repairs I know of and are likely to cause my over heating issue. Would the fact that green regular coolant is in the car, cause any paticular sensors to go bad or the Tstat to not function properly?

I KNOW I NEED AN ENTIRE COOLANT SYSTEM OVER HAUL. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION AT THE MOMENT. So please be kind enough to help me diagnose the main malfunction at this moment.

CABs just sound like music/fun to my ears. I want to change them sooo bad. I hate shimmy every time I hit the brakes 35-45mph. Such a cheap fix<$90 diy. Some men say you will be under your car no longer than 15-30 mins if you buy them pre pressed. I'm not about to go through the nightmare of pulling/pressing. Especially since I don't have 20" arms like I used to last summer... FML and help me lol (Please and thank you!)

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Old 05-01-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Side note- White, I like the bike rack on top. Are the racks multi purpose? I've been thinking about installing one for beach trips and anything else that might come up. I hear they are around $200 and easy to install. Fun afternoon project that will pay off in the long run. If MPG isn't affected much or at all. . .

(This is just a mod wish. Not something I plan to take care of before maintaince..)

To answer my multi purpose question-DUH look at his snowboard

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Old 05-01-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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if you engine heats up while sitting and cools down when you get up to speed, then the fan is not turning.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Sounds like the aux fan switch. A/C being turned on forces the fan to go on and air to blow over the radiator (which in turn cools the water and brings your cars temp back down)

Auto or manual?
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Thanks Mango! manual This helps reiterate my suspicion. How would I know with out a doubt? That I need to replace the aux sensor and not the fan itself? Is there any way to determine this with out replacing the sensor? It's only $16-$26 online. Worth shelling out the extra ten dollars for OEM? I know most swear it always is. www.autohausaz.com has FAE aux switch for $16.14. Should I go this route instead? http://www.oembimmerparts.com/catalo...38/4392191.htm I can pick one up at auto zone for around $30 I think which is a rip O.O compared to online. My commute consists of mostly highway driving so I can wait for it to show up in the mail w the CAB then just have an install party at my house....

Who else gets that... *tingly* feeling thinking about parts for our cars? ) It's like giving your woman an instant workout!

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Old 05-01-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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Just get the OEM one from oembimmerparts. if they say it's oem, it's oem. i trust them. That or keep your a/c running at all times !
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #11
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And sorry I didn't read your original post thoroughly. i see now you said it was a manual. I tend to do that when its a lot to read.. haha
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
And sorry I didn't read your original post thoroughly. i see now you said it was a manual. I tend to do that when its a lot to read.. haha
Same here man! Skimming is key... sometimes it helps you skip key words though I've done it before.

So I think my order is going to be

BMW Anti-Freeze/Coolant 1 Gallon
$22.50 $22.50
BMW E46 3-Series Front Control Arm Bushing Kit By Meyle HD
Select Model: 323 All 1999-2000
$84.50 $84.50
BMW E46 3-Series Auxiliary Fan Switch OEM
Select Model: 323 All 1999-2000
$19.99 $19.99
BMW E46 3-Series Windshield Washer Pump OEM
Select Model: 323 All 1999-2000
$26.50 $26.50

If applicable, enter a Promotional Code:


Subtotal: $153.49


Cheaper place to get washer pump oem? I can't find the needed grommet on his site... Also anyone know any promo codes for this website?


Okay so I have an idea of how to flush the coolant. How many litres of coolant will I need? I know a 50/50 mix of coolant and de-ionized water. What's the coolant's fully capacity in gal or litres?

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Old 05-01-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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8.9 qts. is cooling capacity, but one gallon of coolant should be fine. You said you were going to flush with distilled to get non-OE coolant out. Do that once or twice until it drains clear. Drain from rad/ET and engine block drain, drive a bit, repeat as necessary.

Then add the coolant straight and top off with distilled. Reason is you want a whole gallon of coolant in there, and if you mix first, you might end up with lower ratio...there will be some distilled hiding in your system somewhere that doesn't drain. Replace block drain crush washer.

Could be temp sensor on lower hose and I hope that's all it is. Search 'cluster test' to find instructions on reading temps live--SolidJake has a vid on this.

You don't remove bumper to replace fan, btw. On our car, its four plastic rivets to remove the shroud, the one torx screw and one more pull rivet on top of fan...unplug...it lefts out. 2 mins.

Clean connector on temp sensor too...just in case.

If the fan is bad, it's bad. It might 'only' be the relay, but I've only read mention of some AM ebay relay...no reviews on it really...but you could search that. Probably is the relay if it's a fan issue...but sort of does sound like it could be temp sensor.

Oil level sensor not an issue...do with your next oil change if you want; otherwise monitor oil levels regularly.

Technically you don't turn rotors...but you could measure their thickness...you should be able to put another set of pads on without replacing rotor...but be careful. If this light has been on a while, you don't have many miles to go until your metal backing plate touches rotor, and then you do need to replace it.

I was down to 1.5 mm of pad 700 miles after my pad sensor went off in front...after 60K miles on my OE Textar pads. Nice!

Get to brakes soon! But measure their thickness on the axle the light went off for...if you're not sure, measure all four rotors and inspect all pads, inside and out. The wear sensor is only one/axle, so you'll need a new one...and they're different front and rear iirc.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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Trust DMAX on the thickness thing. He's measured the thickness of many fanatics especially after his comedy routines.

OP, did you try bmapartS?
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tex323GripIsKey View Post
Side note- White, I like the bike rack on top. Are the racks multi purpose? I've been thinking about installing one for beach trips and anything else that might come up. I hear they are around $200 and easy to install. Fun afternoon project that will pay off in the long run. If MPG isn't affected much or at all. . .

(This is just a mod wish. Not something I plan to take care of before maintaince..)

To answer my multi purpose question-DUH look at his snowboard
The rack is OEM from BMW(200 bux) and the fairing is a Thule unit (75 bux) and from there you can use many different attachments. If you like you can find the thread called "show me your rack" and go through there to get familiar with them. I have the snowboard attachments as well as a cargo carrier and dont know how i could have lived without them prior.
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You sir, just thread jacked the sh!t out of OP.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
8.9 qts. is cooling capacity, but one gallon of coolant should be fine. You said you were going to flush with distilled to get non-OE coolant out. Do that once or twice until it drains clear. Drain from rad/ET and engine block drain, drive a bit, repeat as necessary.

Then add the coolant straight and top off with distilled. Reason is you want a whole gallon of coolant in there, and if you mix first, you might end up with lower ratio...there will be some distilled hiding in your system somewhere that doesn't drain. Replace block drain crush washer.

Could be temp sensor on lower hose and I hope that's all it is. Search 'cluster test' to find instructions on reading temps live--SolidJake has a vid on this.

You don't remove bumper to replace fan, btw. On our car, its four plastic rivets to remove the shroud, the one torx screw and one more pull rivet on top of fan...unplug...it lefts out. 2 mins.

Clean connector on temp sensor too...just in case.

If the fan is bad, it's bad. It might 'only' be the relay, but I've only read mention of some AM ebay relay...no reviews on it really...but you could search that. Probably is the relay if it's a fan issue...but sort of does sound like it could be temp sensor.

Oil level sensor not an issue...do with your next oil change if you want; otherwise monitor oil levels regularly.

Technically you don't turn rotors...but you could measure their thickness...you should be able to put another set of pads on without replacing rotor...but be careful. If this light has been on a while, you don't have many miles to go until your metal backing plate touches rotor, and then you do need to replace it.

I was down to 1.5 mm of pad 700 miles after my pad sensor went off in front...after 60K miles on my OE Textar pads. Nice!

Get to brakes soon! But measure their thickness on the axle the light went off for...if you're not sure, measure all four rotors and inspect all pads, inside and out. The wear sensor is only one/axle, so you'll need a new one...and they're different front and rear iirc.
Thank you for the helpful information. I will change the Aux sensor. the port DID look dirty!! how did you know Better yet, how do I clean the connectors/and or the aux switch itself?

The brake pads all look to have a lot of life left(between 1/4in to 1/2 in in each pad. This is just memory, wife has the bimmer atm so can't measure. The rotors in the rear are worn down about 2 mm i would say.

I'll do the cluster test tonight, then place my order if I can tell it is failing. What do I look for? Coolant temp? I would assume. . .

I'll also remember to order that crush washer... anyone care to offer up a part number? If not i'll dig it up, no biggie.

You guys must really enjoy helping people with their cars I'm glad to be in the brotherhood. Even though the *insert sig w flashing dash lights and the NOW WHAT?! text here* really explains it all
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #17
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If you got the brake pad light, you probably need to find a pad that's low...and the sensor is on the inside pad, so it's either under the car or remove wheel to check. I forget which side the sensors are on, but I think drivers front and pass rear (don't quote me).

How do you and your wife get along? You could just put elect. tape over the warning light and if she asks, tell her some guy on the Internet said that's how to fix that light.

Realoem.com for all the PNs you'll ever need. Enter your vin...I'll get you started:

BRB

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...66&hg=11&fg=10

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:23 PM   #18
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Mango, I haven't tried them yet! I may try building a cart and see how the pricing compares. I'm always for fastest delivery + cheapest and most reputable.

Ah... dmax you offer a very valid point. Brake pads on the inside of the rotor? Didn't think to check those .

We get along just fine... unless her savage side comes out because of what ever reason and I bug her enough about wanting to repair the bimmer she KNOWS BETTER than to let it heat up and get in or even close to the red.... hah the only time we don't get along is if i'm power tripping and thinking 'woman inferiority' keeps her from being able to remember and execute certain things I have requested /

Oh and thanks for realoem.com i'll have to check that out!
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:43 PM   #19
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Completely nessisary to drain from the block after draining from the two blue plugs? Or can it be flushed w heater fan min temp max engine off method?
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #20
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Not necessary but recommended. The more crap floating around in the block, the higher the chance you'll run into problem (aside from deposits forming)
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