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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:26 AM   #1
Emostuka
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Woohoo First SES Light!

Hehe, Six days into ownership and first SES light popped up today, code thrown is P0128. From reading forums it's probably thermostat or low coolant correct? I went for a drive with the hidden OBC open to the engine/coolant temp option, highest temp it read was 85. Time for that cooling system refresh I guess.

- My only concern is whether it is safe (for the car) to drive until I can fix the problem in perhaps a week or two. Time for parts to ship and all.

2003 325i 5sp w/ 45k on odo

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
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It is 99.9% safe, but rather bad for the engine. Your fuel economy will also suffer.

Make sure your coolant is full, of course. Almost always the thermostat.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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I wouldn't say it's bad for the engine necessarily. You'll be fine to drive it. Just get a new thermostat when you can. Takes <1 hr to replace. Apparently AutoZone sells the Wahler OEM thermostat. Just ask to look in the box at the part before you pay.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
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I had the same thing and it was a faulty thermostat pretty easy to do yourself
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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Almost always it's the thermostat. It's not too tough to replace but it should be okay driving it for a little bit
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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I drove a civic with a stuck open thermostat for 3 years. Still got 40mpg!!#@%
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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if u have an automatic be very careful taking off the water pump pulley fan, if u crack the pulley (plastic) your in more sh1t than u think. i would get aluminum pulleys too
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dwsounddesign View Post
if u have an automatic be very careful taking off the water pump pulley fan, if u crack the pulley (plastic) your in more sh1t than u think. i would get aluminum pulleys too
He has a 5 speed as he said in his post. Plus, why are you messing with the water pump pulley when you are changing the thermostat?

And I like how you said "if you crack your pulley youre in more **** than you think"... If you crack a pulley all you have to do is replace the pulley.... Nothing else to it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Plus, why are you messing with the water pump pulley when you are changing the thermostat?
There's no room to work with the mechanical fan in place. Doesn't matter regardless, OP has a manual like you said.


Don't get aluminum pulleys. Basically, ignore that entire post.

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I wouldn't say it's bad for the engine necessarily.
Yeah, perhaps it's more accurate to say the engine won't run as efficiently. You're not going to cause any irrepairable damage, but it is definitely better to have it working at proper temperature, especially the oil.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #10
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Idk how you'd crack the water pump pulley getting the fan off. I know about taking off the mechanical fan all too well... It's a pain.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhaurimn View Post
Idk how you'd crack the water pump pulley getting the fan off. I know about taking off the mechanical fan all too well... It's a pain.
You'd have to really screw up to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
Yeah, perhaps it's more accurate to say the engine won't run as efficiently. You're not going to cause any irrepairable damage, but it is definitely better to have it working at proper temperature, especially the oil.
Exactly
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
There's no room to work with the mechanical fan in place. Doesn't matter regardless, OP has a manual like you said.


Don't get aluminum pulleys. Basically, ignore that entire post.


Yeah, perhaps it's more accurate to say the engine won't run as efficiently. You're not going to cause any irrepairable damage, but it is definitely better to have it working at proper temperature, especially the oil.
Why would one not want an aluminum pulley?
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhaurimn View Post
He has a 5 speed as he said in his post. Plus, why are you messing with the water pump pulley when you are changing the thermostat?

And I like how you said "if you crack your pulley youre in more **** than you think"... If you crack a pulley all you have to do is replace the pulley.... Nothing else to it.
I have an automatic and for us we have to take off the fan to get to the thermostat. When i was changing it, I didn't have the "BMW Special Fan Clutch Tool" so we went old fashioned and did the screwdriver trick. When I replaced the thermostat and started my engine, the pulley shattered into tiny pieces. So I had to take the stuff baaaack apart and replace the pulley. I'm 4 months new into BMW and learned 90% of my stuff the hard way unfortunately
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:49 PM   #14
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Why would one not want an aluminum pulley?
yeah?
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsounddesign View Post
I have an automatic and for us we have to take off the fan to get to the thermostat. When i was changing it, I didn't have the "BMW Special Fan Clutch Tool" so we went old fashioned and did the screwdriver trick. When I replaced the thermostat and started my engine, the pulley shattered into tiny pieces. So I had to take the stuff baaaack apart and replace the pulley. I'm 4 months new into BMW and learned 90% of my stuff the hard way unfortunately
Ouch! And yup I know about the mechanical fan. It was in my first 330, so when I got a manual m3 I was pretty disappointed to see another mechanical fan -____-

Kinda sounds like me when I got my first BMW (330ci) . Definitely learned way more than I was hoping too :p
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:57 PM   #16
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what does ur gauges look like while driving?
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:10 PM   #17
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Thanks for responses everyone, good to know it should hopefully not be fatal. Gonna do whole cooling system refresh so I know everything else is good as well since I'll be in there.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #18
jhaurimn
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Thanks for responses everyone, good to know it should hopefully not be fatal. Gonna do whole cooling system refresh so I know everything else is good as well since I'll be in there.
Good luck man. Take your time, and either have a computer with multiple DIYs open or print them out. You'll find these cars are pretty easy to do work on.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:58 PM   #19
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The factory pulleys are lasting hundreds of thousands of miles. Thats a lighter, cheaper, equally-if-not-more reliable part from the factory.

To put it bluntly, Al pulleys are a waste of money at best and pure rice at worst. Buy a new water pump or ET instead.
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