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Old 11-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
slowrunningE46
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No Heat in my e46

My 01 330i Check engine light is on. Something to do with the thermostat. I think the code is p0128, Cant really remember because I scanned it at the parts store a few months ago. But I dont have heat. Changed the thermostat and still no heat. Only mildly warm on the highway after 15 min of driving, but when I stop at a light, it turns dark cold. Only a little heat under acceleration only. Only warm air blowing out on drivers side and passenger side vents are still cold. But here are a few things about the car. I purchased it in Florida. So I thought it had a low temp thermostat since they dont need heat in Florida, but when i start the car if its 70 degrees outside, the light will not be on, if its cold, the light will be on. Sometimes it goes off and on. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I just need a route to go on this so I can save money and have heat soon. Thanks

Last edited by slowrunningE46; 11-22-2012 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Left out info
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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I would strongly suggest you start with re-bleeding your cooling system by the instructions, sounds like you might have an air pocket trapped in your system...
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
slowrunningE46
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no heat

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I would strongly suggest you start with re-bleeding your cooling system by the instructions, sounds like you might have an air pocket trapped in your system...
Already bled the system. Anything else it would be?
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #4
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^+1 on properly bleeding the cooling system. Search the forums here for more info on proper bleeding.

Also if you have a CEL still, get it read, it may or may not be a thermostat related code.

Also note that most of these thermostat fail open or open early and run too cold when they fail.

See my signature below for the Hidden OBC Menu, bring up the engine coolant temp directly on the dashboard.

The coolant temp should run close to 190-200F most of the time as I recall?
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
slowrunningE46
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Bleeding

I bled the system the proper way, I've owned 4 BMW's over the past 12 years, all of them 5 series except this 330 but I figured the check engine light would go off after a while of driving when I changed the thermostat. Just never ran into this issue before. The code pulled was indicating improper temp, but Im no expert and stuck with no heat. How about the heater core or heater control valve? I have a parts car I can swap parts off of at the local junkyard.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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First, verify that you have a working wp...with car cold, you should see squirt of water from top of filler neck.

Water valve is possible...but, not to argue with you...which means I'll just give it one shot...on the bleeding...did you try bleeding using my 'alternative bleeding' method...where you rev the car to 4K rpms for 20 secs. when cold (and heater on)?

Search for it...I can't right it again!

But, your symptoms are familiar to me, and I think it could be wp...or a slipping belt, bad pulley.

Somehow if your wp is pumping weak, for whatever reason, you'd have little pressure in the system to push coolant around...the danger is that the engine would get hot before the temp sensor on the lower hose knew about it...but I think there are other sensors to pick up if the engine gets too hot.

Try my alternative bleeding method, which also comes from a bmw tis, btw...so it's not totally made up!

I wish I could help you find this thread I recall reading...trying searching for your symptoms as best you can. (Also, hope you used OE thermostat) If not, and you wanted to test whether it was therm or not, you could simply remove the therm from the housing...it'd be open all the time...much better than stuck closed! Alum housing therms seem to pretty much suck...so therm is still a possible too).

Get your codes read again, as suggested...but I'd do some more diagnosis, honestly, before driving, just in case cooling system is seriously ill.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
slowrunningE46
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Quote:
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First, verify that you have a working wp...with car cold, you should see squirt of water from top of filler neck.

Water valve is possible...but, not to argue with you...which means I'll just give it one shot...on the bleeding...did you try bleeding using my 'alternative bleeding' method...where you rev the car to 4K rpms for 20 secs. when cold (and heater on)?

Search for it...I can't right it again!

But, your symptoms are familiar to me, and I think it could be wp...or a slipping belt, bad pulley.

Somehow if your wp is pumping weak, for whatever reason, you'd have little pressure in the system to push coolant around...the danger is that the engine would get hot before the temp sensor on the lower hose knew about it...but I think there are other sensors to pick up if the engine gets too hot.

Try my alternative bleeding method, which also comes from a bmw tis, btw...so it's not totally made up!

I wish I could help you find this thread I recall reading...trying searching for your symptoms as best you can. (Also, hope you used OE thermostat) If not, and you wanted to test whether it was therm or not, you could simply remove the therm from the housing...it'd be open all the time...much better than stuck closed! Alum housing therms seem to pretty much suck...so therm is still a possible too).

Get your codes read again, as suggested...but I'd do some more diagnosis, honestly, before driving, just in case cooling system is seriously ill.
I drove the car for almost 9 months with the light going on and off thinking the previous owner put in a low temp thermostat because of where the car was driven. Not until I moved up here and winter around the corner, I need heat, wasnt a priority when I lived in Atlanta. I used OEM thermostat. Bled the system the proper way. Replacing the thermostat had no effect on the heat. I was better off not replacing it. When I lived in Atlanta, I never had any overheating issues in the 100 plus degree weather. That was the benefit. I wouldnt even worry about it if I didnt need heat. I might just park it and drive my honda for the winter if I cant figure it out.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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You said you bled it the right way a few times now, but 'right' depends on where you were when you started.

My way will answer whether it's a bleeding issue. I've written these instructions too many times to repeat them.

If PO hadn't bled right, you'd never know until you turned on the heat...pulled coolant away and introduced air into, say, wp, where it's cavitating and not pumping...because of too much air.

I hope it's bleeding. You can replace parts if you want, but give my method a try. It'll take 5 mins.

Ask around, except for my issues with the guys here and what they do with their dogs, I'm usually a pretty good random guesser. I'm up to a 0.3% success rate here already!
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
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stop - p0128 is a bad thermostat code. Its failed open which is why your car is not over heating or making heat for that matter. I had this exact same thing happen last year in January no doubt. Change the thermostat, its fairly easy DIY. Dont buy an aluminum one period. You can find OES Whaler or Behr on most sponsor sites. While your in there, you should replace as much of the cooling system as necessary, hoses, ET, etc... Then follow the bleeding procedures. Took me about an hour start to finish in the fricking coldest day of the year standing outside.

edit - re-read, you already changed thermostat huh? which one did you use? I assume you cleared the code and it came back? Use the secret menu to read the coolant temp, it should be right around 90c IIRC. However, if its a bleeding problem, you would be overheating, if its a waterpump problem you would be overheating, if its a heater core issue, you would be showing normal temp driving, but would have no heat.

I would try replacing the T-stat again.

Where in michigan are you ?
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
slowrunningE46
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Thermostat

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Originally Posted by jgold47 View Post
stop - p0128 is a bad thermostat code. Its failed open which is why your car is not over heating or making heat for that matter. I had this exact same thing happen last year in January no doubt. Change the thermostat, its fairly easy DIY. Dont buy an aluminum one period. You can find OES Whaler or Behr on most sponsor sites. While your in there, you should replace as much of the cooling system as necessary, hoses, ET, etc... Then follow the bleeding procedures. Took me about an hour start to finish in the fricking coldest day of the year standing outside.

edit - re-read, you already changed thermostat huh? which one did you use? I assume you cleared the code and it came back? Use the secret menu to read the coolant temp, it should be right around 90c IIRC. However, if its a bleeding problem, you would be overheating, if its a waterpump problem you would be overheating, if its a heater core issue, you would be showing normal temp driving, but would have no heat.

I would try replacing the T-stat again.

Where in michigan are you ?

Properly bled system and used the wahler thermostat suggested by ECSTuning. Did not clear the codes, local parts store said the law changed and could not clear the code for me, but I did go back and it pulled up seven codes total this time. P0128,171,174,313,420 and (491 and 492 which I fixed because of a broken vacuum line but never reset the light at that time because I thought it would go off itself). But the ccv is leaking a lot, Haven't had time to replace it but the car runs great just like the day I bought it, No rough idle or anything, just getting a little less MPG. Any ideas what I should replace to start clearing the codes?

Located near GR in Mi
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:01 PM   #11
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Great to hear your bimmer is back running well!
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #12
slowrunningE46
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Great to hear your bimmer is back running well!
Sorry for the info I left out. But the car still blows out cold air. No heat. Frustrated like you wouldnt believe.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:32 PM   #13
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What's the condition of your temperature sensor in your lower radiator hose?
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #14
slowrunningE46
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What's the condition of your temperature sensor in your lower radiator hose?
By looking at it, its looks good, I drive on the highway for 15 min and the heat gets warm on the drivers side, but the passenger side vent still blows cold. I think the heater core is clogged or the heater valve is bad. Only on acceleration is when the warm heat on my side blows out. And thats after driving 10 miles before I get warm air. So something is restricted in the system.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:53 AM   #15
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had same problem, changed heater control valve
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:21 AM   #16
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Heater control valve is a good suggestion.
I went through the same scenario you're going through a couple of years ago. No heat at idle, some small amount in motion. My particular problem was a small coolant leak that had led to an air bound heater core.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #17
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i also bought my bmw from tucson, az and has a warm climate, my valve
was really clogged up and didn't operator properly, caused by not using the heater to often
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #18
slowrunningE46
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i also bought my bmw from tucson, az and has a warm climate, my valve
was really clogged up and didn't operator properly, caused by not using the heater to often
Update: Took the water valve off and jumped it with a 12v battery and it worked by engaging itself. Then I Blew water through the lines to the heater core. Left the cap on and continued to force water through both ends. At first before I started, the top line was hot and the return line was cold. I figured the heater core was restricted and clogged. The water didn't want to go in the first time, then I put it on the return hose and forced it the opposite way and then it finally flowed thru a little. I repeated the process to both sides and it had little flow. So then I put in the air hose and then the line flowed freely and had no restriction either way. I repeated the air process a few times and then went back to flushing it with water again. Hooked up everything and properly bled the system and let the car idle. Constant rev at 2k for a min, repeating the process and still no heat. But I did notice the passenger side started blowing Luke warm air out the vents when I accelerated for a while.( Never did before.) Both lines to the heater core were also hot. So either the heater core is still clogged or bad or its something else. The auxiliary fan came on so I don't think the sensor on the lower rad hose is bad. I did go under the dash and checked the fuses. Heat has 23,28, and 62. 23 had no fuse in it and only prong one visible. I put a 5 fuse in to try it and still no heat. Any info or suggestions on what I should do before I replace the heater core which I do not want to fool with in the winter weather. If it is the heater core, good chance its sitting for the whole winter.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #19
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Don't give up on bleeding...make sure your belts are routed properly.

I can't recall one incident of a bad heater core here...not that they haven't happened, but it'd be rare.

You don't happen to have your AC on while running the heater, do you? Use manual controls in case you're using the automatic feature.

HTH
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:32 PM   #20
slowrunningE46
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Don't give up on bleeding...make sure your belts are routed properly.

I can't recall one incident of a bad heater core here...not that they haven't happened, but it'd be rare.

You don't happen to have your AC on while running the heater, do you? Use manual controls in case you're using the automatic feature.

HTH

I will keep bleeding the system, Belts are routed the right way as in the diagram on the car. Ac is off and I dont use the automatic feature. When I did push the button though, air hardly blew out the vents and it stayed on 3 levels of blowing speed.
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