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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 02-08-2013, 03:09 PM   #41
MercForHire
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Air in the coolant
I had some problem, fixed by following dermaco's youtube video on coolant bleeding
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:54 PM   #42
shimmy81
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My Ride: BMW E46 2000 318i
Hi all im new to this forum from the UK. Wondering if anyone can help me please as I have a similar problem....My 2000 e46 (191000 miles - manual) blows out cold heat when idle but warmer air when the car is moving.....I have also noticed that my coolant level drops somewhat (the amount of the narrow part of the ET where the cap fits) but has not gone so low that the car has overheated.This has been going on for abou 2-3 months now. Also my head gasket blew in july 13 but was repaired and so far so good its holding up well. In fact the temp gauge is bang on in the middle. I had thermostat replaced about 4 months ago. ET has been replaced twice (2007 and 2011). Radiator in 2009 and water pump also if i remember correctly. The other day in the parking bay at work i noticed some coolant under the car - not alot but enough to know there is a leak. I checked and could see the splashboard a little wet but could not spot a leak. The next day at work there was somemore coolant under the car - about the same amount. I checked the coolant level and it had dropped, the amount of the narrow part of the ET. There was still coolant in the ET. I drove home and as soon as got home i popped open the lid and could see some leaking under the ET, near that blue plug/screw that u can use to let out coolant. Im thinking that i will prob have a crack in the ET or a leak on/near that blue plug. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys!
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:05 PM   #43
Jred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercForHire View Post
Air in the coolant
I had some problem, fixed by following dermaco's youtube video on coolant bleeding
I also solved my intermittent heat problem by simply bleeding the cooling system.
So, before jumping to any conclusions and spending your hard earned $ on something you may not need right away, try that first.

My situation was that when this cold snap hit the northeast recently, I set the central dash vent to "red" and manually set the temp setting to around 75, figuring that should give me a little heat,
but nothing changed. And this was on the highway, so it should have started heating up pretty soon. I had to increase the temp up to the 91 limit before getting any heat at all. Then, when I set it back to around 75, all the heat stopped again.
So, the next morning, when everything was cooled down, I set the temp to the 91 limit, removed the ET cap and slowly opened the bleeding screw and heard air being pushed out past it while the coolant level float rose up to the top, so I didn't add any more coolant and just closed everything back up.
That's all I did and I had plenty of heat going into work that day. I did the same thing that evening before driving home and purged more air out of the system and now the system works like new again without spending a dime!
Hope this helps someone else with similar symptoms.

Cheers
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #44
Jred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jred View Post
I also solved my intermittent heat problem by simply bleeding the cooling system.
So, before jumping to any conclusions and spending your hard earned $ on something you may not need right away, try that first.

My situation was that when this cold snap hit the northeast recently, I set the central dash vent to "red" and manually set the temp setting to around 75, figuring that should give me a little heat,
but nothing changed. And this was on the highway, so it should have started heating up pretty soon. I had to increase the temp up to the 91 limit before getting any heat at all. Then, when I set it back to around 75, all the heat stopped again.
So, the next morning, when everything was cooled down, I set the temp to the 91 limit, removed the ET cap and slowly opened the bleeding screw and heard air being pushed out past it while the coolant level float rose up to the top, so I didn't add any more coolant and just closed everything back up.
That's all I did and I had plenty of heat going into work that day. I did the same thing that evening before driving home and purged more air out of the system and now the system works like new again without spending a dime!
Hope this helps someone else with similar symptoms.

Cheers
Update:

As it turns out, I wasn't hearing air being purged from the system,
but being sucked into the system. Thus the reason for the coolant level rising without having to add any.
So, I was making the situation worse, rather than curing it.
Fortunately, no damage was done.
Not sure why this appeared to solve my heating problem.
I'm going to guess that cycling the temp setting from min to max several times might have loosened a sticky heater valve (?) Go figure.
Regardless, use a proven means of bleeding the system instead of what I did.
Sorry for the red herring.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:32 PM   #45
KCbam
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[QUOTE=aikmanson;14936694]Do you mean you have no heat when the car is stationary and warming up, but you so when driving and warming up.. Or do you simply not have heat when stationary but you do when moving?

The first problem I have come to see as pretty common for e46s and just BMW's in general. If the second problem however, you should check and replace your cooling system. If you don't know when it was last replaced, replace it. A good rule of thumb for BMW cooling systems.

First thing you should do is check coolant levels daily and see if it is low/you have a leak somewhere. Also, open the OBC menu function 17 and monitor coolant temps to see if the thermostat is indeed on its way out.

I came across this reply and you mentioned my exact problem in the first scenario but further addressed the second one. Mine only does it when warming up at idle but is fine once you begin moving.
What might be the cause of this in a 2004 BMW 325Ci Convertible 135,000 miles
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:55 PM   #46
BMW-North
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Did you just buy it? Check the coolant for evidence of stop leak? It is used to hide a blown head gasket but it slowly clogs the heater core so you only get heat at high revs (none at idle) then eventually you get no heat as nothing goes through the core. or check the heater valve.
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Download a clean working copy of BMW Standard Tools with Special Tests for e46 :
Single NRG file: Complete BMW Standard Tools Suite You will also need ISO Workshop (free edition - linked) to create the install directory (image) or disk. NRG file: 347,183 Kb
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Old 12-10-2016, 01:10 AM   #47
KCbam
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I just purchased a 2010 535xi last month but this is actually happening to my wife's '04 325Ci Convertible. We've had that car since '08 with 25,000 miles. It's been a great car and still runs strong. It's just the kind of car that will do you right for a long time you just have to put up with a rare quirk to scratch your head over while she continues to run.

The only item in that whole heat/cool system that was replaced is the water pump and the resevoir tank, the thermostat was, of course changed at the same time. This was about 2-3 years ago.

She doesn't have remote start so, in the winter, when she plans ahead and prestarts her car to warm up, she still won't have heat until she actually drives it about a mile or so down the road.

By the way, thank you for your response. Since I have now fallen prey the cohesive joy of these cars, I have been doing a lot more research. I just finally joined this site today and this post is my first.

I'm interested to know your thoughts on the heat.

In case it helps to know my skill level.....I'm not very skilled with engines at the moment,

But:
1. I am a skilled carpenter and able to do small engine related items like remove and clean a throttle body, belts, tensioners, etc.
2. I'm logical
3. I am not afraid to fail for trying. I have always wanted to work on cars, honestly, was too damn poor to fail. Situations different and I feel comfortable with her car. I can't say the same with the 535i though....a tone of computer involvement. Now I'm just too poor to afford the computers......lol.
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Old 12-10-2016, 03:03 PM   #48
BMW-North
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The coolant gets pushed through the heater core by the water pump but you say that's new and the t-stat? There is a heater valve on the drivers strut mount to the right of the intake tube. It controls flow through the core also. Check that. See if it feels warm when the car is cold. The internal coil sometimes short out. Other times the plunger gets clogged. I've cleaned it with CLR successfully on one car but had to replace it on another. It may be long time failed so it might not feel warm. If you get a little u shape 3/4 plumbing pipe you can clamp that on the two hoses and bypass it to see if the heat improves and to work on the valve without losing tons of coolant. If need be search on here for heater valve troubleshooting. Remember to bleed the coolant after letting air into the system.

Here's a vid I found so you know what I'm referring to.

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BMW-North E46 Electric Fan Guide

Download a clean working copy of BMW Standard Tools with Special Tests for e46 :
Single NRG file: Complete BMW Standard Tools Suite You will also need ISO Workshop (free edition - linked) to create the install directory (image) or disk. NRG file: 347,183 Kb

Last edited by BMW-North; 12-10-2016 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:05 PM   #49
Swiff
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A couple of things I noticed about the BMW cooling system. The reservoir (expansion tank) is not higher than the motor in the cooling system so the system is harder to self bleed (It is more like a surge tank than a reservoir). The need for more pressure to push the coolant up stream to the heater core. Usually the bypass hose comes off of the thermostat housing which is higher than the heater core placement in the vehicle. Because of this I usualy jack the front of the car up @ 2' off the ground to get trapped air out of the system. Then on level ground siphon out of tank to stick level. Many newer vehicles have the radiator lower than the top of the engine block which cause heat problems because of the design of the car. Just my .02c
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:07 AM   #50
KCbam
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Thank you both for the how-to's and tips. I will post back to confirm my findings.
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