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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 07-18-2012, 03:43 AM   #1
arkadur
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Unhappy minor overheat issue

2 month ago i replaced my radiator during overheat.
the radiator was the original (11 years on the car), on the way i replaced the reservoir too - yes, 11 years too.

my thermostat and the fan replaced about 1 year ago. (i got only 1 electric fan, it's manual car)

yesterday my car has a minor overheat in idle, i turn on the heater on max, and the temp start to drop, i step on the gas softly and the needle back into the middle. the car stand in idle only for 10 minutes

i have no idea what is the weak link on the chain.
i thinking that the water pump is the reason. i've no idea what is the condition of the water pump, maybe it's changed maybe not, perhaps it's have a worn plastic impaler that cant spin the water in idle, but it's spins the water in higher RPMs.

it's could be the thermostat too? (half opening?)

- the car dont lose coolant (even not a drop)
- no signs of leak
- the fan working in different speeds
- thermostat working (maybe its the faulty part) - the radiator hoses are hot
- i can see a coolant cob in the res when the engine is running

i dont want to replace working good parts, but i must to solve this.
there is no problem at all while i'm driving (in the last two month)
it's happen only when the car stand in idle - but not every time

thanks.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
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I dont know how the WP could be bad unless its leaking from the seals. as far as pumping coolant, it would never change.
I would properly bleed your cooling system.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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bleed it again with the upper hose screw? do you think i have air pocket in the system?
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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Doesn't hurt to bleed it again. Let us know if that makes a difference. I would also look at the coolant temperature in the on-board computer settings for the cluster.

Hold left stalk, go to test 19, click to turn it on, test 7 7.0
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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Some of the engines had plastic water pump impellers, they could get loose on the shaft and not spin properly and they can also have blades break off then partially blocking coolant flow.

Suggest you read the Cooling System sticky thread, one of the first few threads on the forum for more info.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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WP's are VERY easy to change out.(Read the DIY's) What is the mileage on your car?, and if your water pump is original [11 yrs old](and is the plastic style) then you should change it. Every E46 owner should learn about their cooling systems! Most late model BMW's have weak cooling systems...i.e....they don't last! That is FACT. Search e46 cooling systems and Youtube as well. Tons of info with plenty of DIY's. Rule of thumb/moral of the story......Change out your ENTIRE cooling system, it's real life is 100,000 miles max....end of story. Do it once and do it right....anything less and you have set yourself up with a cooling system failure... guaranteed. BMW engines overheat SUPERFAST! and the cost of replacing a BMW engine will stop your heart. Do not be lazy and/or cheap and BE PROACTIVE on your E46's ENTIRE cooling system.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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thanks for the info!

i dont have problem with DIY, i replaced my radiator lately.
the only part that i haven't touch it or replaced is the WP
in the cluster i read a 90-96 Celsius degree, the car has a 160KM on the counter.
should i bleed the system in the regular method, or i should consider to bleed it from the radiator bottom screw too?
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
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Check or replace temp sensor on lower hose...and also, be careful to check coolant level in a.m. on level ground. Fill only to between min and max.

If bleeding solves your issue, then I think you have a little leak somewhere, unless you haven't checked your coolant level since you've done the last work.

Have you removed underskirt to look for leaks. Where you live, you want a good cooling system!

Also, if the coolant has never been completely flushed, might be time. Could be a number of things and safest bet is to replace all that you haven't. Aftermarket therms aren't that good; actually same for ETs!

See if your fan is coming on too...and if you haven't ever done so, make sure your AC condenser isn't clogged up...maybe rinse with a hose.

I'm thinking temp sensor, wp/therm...but you really need to be sure you don't have an air bubble...which would be a sign of a small leak (that you've missed)--temp sensor o-ring is a likely suspect.

GL...hth!
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
arkadur
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by the cluster test, it seems that the temp sensor in calibrated (95 deg C when the needle is centered in the gauge)

since the last work (radiator replacement), i'm checking the coolant level 3-2 times a week, even a drop isnt missing.

i didnt found any leak underhood or underskirt. and yes - after the last work i've checked for leaks a few times.

my thermostat is 'behr' and its working as excepted for 1 year.

the fan is coming on with no problem (in different speeds), and i can feel the heat coming out under the car. the AC condenser is clean, with no damage fins.

how to bleed the coolant? only in the regular method (get the car warm, then play with the upper hose screw?, maybe to bleed the radiator from the bottom?)

i live in Israel, and this is the hottest month in the year (JULY- AUG), the temp outside can reach to 40+ C deg.

thanks again - all of you.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:00 AM   #10
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sorry for the bump - but the issue didnt solved yet.
yesterday i noticed that the fan (only electric one on the rad), didnt work at all. even if the car warm to 118C deg!

there is any way to diagnose the fan? maybe it's the sensor temp on the lower rad hose?
i dont want to replace working components. specially expensive one like the fan.

any info is welcome
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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i connected the computer to the car and:
1. the outlet temp sensor (lower rad hose), seems to work properly. when the value is hot, the hose is hot...
2. the fan not responding to the car at all. at any temp from the cluster \ computer (engine head temp sensor)
3. i can control \ operate the fan from the computer. sometimes he work continuously , sometimes alternating (i have no idea if it should be like this)

these all the findings that i know,
i still have no idea what parts i need to change, (water pump, thermostat, electric fan, temp sensor)

please help me in this PITA issue.
thanks.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #12
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I can't help you a lot, but maybe a little.

You can confirm that the temp sensor on lower hose is working by finding out what it's signal should be and what you're getting. The fan shouldn't often come on, but should when you start the car and turn on AC...but the fan itself does go bad...seemingly from the relay built into it.

There's been mention of AM replacements for just the relay...otherwise you have to get a fan...if that's it.

If you have the money, look into just replacing everything. Here $300 gets us a complete cooling system (almost)
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #13
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thanks for the very fast comment dmax,
even if i turn on the AC, the fan didnt come on.

the Auxiliary Fan Switch did show the correct temp. so - why the fan dont come on? if the Auxiliary Fan Switch is bad i had to see wrong values i guess?
this is the sensor:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-323...g/Fan/ES34327/

but - where this sensor located? engine head? thermostat?
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-323...ensor/ES34326/

i dont know what test left to do. i have no idea what parts to replace, and i dont want to spent lot of "Benjamins" on it.

___

Edit:

the Auxilliary Fan Sensor Relay Module 64116917001 can cause any problem in all this issue?
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:33 PM   #14
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The fan is controlled by the temp sensor on lower radiator hose...afaik.

Search user Shanneba and "fan input" or something like that...

You can search for a fan relay replacement...maybe you can source one...if not...here in USA fan can be had for around $250 or so.

I know some have rigged up a switch to control the fan from inside the car too...search 'inlovewithe46' I think it was her (Leslie) who did this.

I think the fan is likely your issue, since you're only overheating at idle. But it could also be the therm, I suppose. They rarely break closed, but they do. A free 'test' for that is just removing the thermostat from inside the housing.

If you replace any cooling system parts, I'd suggest you just drain the whole thing and fill with 2 gals. of distilled water until you know you've got the issue worked out. Then drain that and refill to 50/50...you'll get an extra rinse.

It does sound like the fan, but the therm is a free test...you can put the therm back inside the housing (oh, did I ask if you'd ever done therm, and if so, was it OE? It should be).

Read Mango's cooling thread too...will save me a lot of typing if you do! LOL
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:38 PM   #15
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inb4 mango telling you to replace the entire cooling system
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #16
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The OP says he's replaced many of the parts he hasn't. For preventive, yes replace the rest. However, in this case, it sounds like the aux fan (if manual) and aux fan switch should be replaced. If air is NOT moving over the radiator, then your water isn't getting cooled.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:30 PM   #17
arkadur
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thanks for the help!

i read Mango thread,

i still dont know what to do, but i'll start with the cheap replacement, the fan switch on the lower hose (despite he gave me normal values),
if that wont solve the problem - the fan will be replaced.

let me know if you think different.

my friend with another E46 came to help me to diagnose my car - had the Auxilliary Fan Sensor Relay Module on the fan shroud.
we both have auto AC - but in my manual car (he got auto) i dont got this relay, this is sense? i can see the place this unit should be, but it doesn't exist. i even cant see the connector or any wires from the left headlight.
the AUC locate here: (this is not my car, the pic from Google)


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