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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 06-06-2013, 10:23 PM   #1
Blind_Shooter
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E46 fan questions

I have an automatic e46 323i. I have a few questions I'm trying to figure out with the fan. Click image for larger version

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I want to confirm that Is how the fan is supposed to be plugged in. I don't think so since the wires don't match up.

What direction does the e46 fan spin? Mine spins counter clockwise and seems to slow the mechanical fan down. It also seems to be pushing instead of pulling.

Only thing is it looks like the fan is supposed to spin that way. Problem is when I plug the fan in like I have it in the pic it never stops running. When I plug it in the other way it never runs at all. So confused over this.

Engine never overheats.
A/c works fine. Ice cold
Replaced thermostat on lower hose.
No check engine light.
No errors though the pa soft either.

EDIT:
should also add that my clip for the fan is broken
also heres a video of what im talking about



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Old 06-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #2
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Your electric fan is spinning in the correct direction, it's supposed to push the air through the radiator when the car is stopped.
I looked at that connector on my car, it's plugged in like that, with the brown wires lined up.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:49 PM   #3
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E46 fan questions

Thats how its supposed to be? are you sure? It doesnt stop spinning when hooked up like that.

This is how it looks when all 3 are matched up. But nothing happens when plugged in like this. Can you take a pic of yours. I have no reference point to look at. Click image for larger version

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just to be clear, the aux fan at full speed will slow down the mechanical one at idle a little bit? It just never stops running

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Old 06-07-2013, 04:40 AM   #4
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If you have the A/C on, the fan will continue to run. Try turning off your compressor (snowflake button) and see if it doesn't allow the fan to shut down.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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it turns on and stays on full bore even with the car shut off
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind_Shooter View Post
it turns on and stays on full bore even with the car shut off
I've seen that here, and it required changing the fan because the fan controller can't be replaced separately.

Search for aux fan issues. There have been a few over the years.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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Judging by the last two seconds of your video I appears the fan is turning the opposite direction than it should. It seems to be blowing air out of the front of the car, instead of blowing the air over your radiator and condenser. The engine fan is probably compensating well enough for you not to overheat but this needs correcting. Since the fan is turning in the wrong direction (which is my opinion from the video) then it seems the electric motor is getting reverse polarity. In other words the wires are reversed, so it is not plugged in properly.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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E46 fan questions

Thank you. That's What I thought. But I don't have anything to compare it to. If you look in the video, you will see that the flag is blowing Because of the auxiliary fan going the wrong direction. If I plug it in the other way nothing happens. The strange thing is I bought another used fan and it did the same thing. Maybe both of them had a bad relay I guess.


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Old 06-07-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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So when properly plugged in does it come on with the air conditioning?
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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It will, yes.

I am curious as to how you are able to plug in your fan in multiple ways. It is an idiot proof connector (as are all connectors on cars). You shouldn't be able to plug it in wrong.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #11
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My fan would run after I shut the car, hence my new fan. Not cheap either. If you're strapped for cash just unplug it every time you shut the car and you can make it last until you save enough to replace.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:58 PM   #12
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honestly, I would recommend the electric fan conversion. Just buy a Bosch fan from BMA parts for $180 and install it, removing the front electric fan and mechanical fan. Easy.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
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So when properly plugged in does it come on with the air conditioning?
nope not at all. only if i reverse the polarity on it does it run.

WDE, the plug is broken thats why i can plug it in upside down. Didn't notice the fan never worked until months after i bought the car and the expansion tank blew in tampa traffic.

I can't get that fan to turn on under any conditions to be honest.

I am currently looking for a used electric fan, as I'm a little broke right now. About to graduate college, got a BS speeding ticket from a State Trooper in a plane. I was def not going 85 probably 80 with the flow of traffic

I wanted to try and verify it was def the fan before I spent that kind of money right now.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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Also to verify, any fan from any e46 should work correctly for a 2000 323i automatic correct? Even the stick shift electric fan just plugs into the existing aux fan plug?
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:05 PM   #15
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Also to verify, any fan from any e46 should work correctly for a 2000 323i automatic correct? Even the stick shift electric fan just plugs into the existing aux fan plug?
Yep. You only need to acquire a fan. No extra parts are needed. I would recommend removing the electric aux fan as well.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #16
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While that may be true, there are two different fans a "pusher" like yours which mounts in front of the radiator and a "puller" which mounts between the radiator and the engine. The latter is the one for the conversion.
This may help http://www.oembimmerparts.com/BMW_E4...rts_s/1863.htm

However, you are obviously getting voltage to the fan so it could be the ecm signal or a sensor. Also please keep in mind those expansion tanks are known to blow even if the car doesn't overheat. Since money is an issue right now a little more trouble shooting might be worth it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Just as an update in case anyone comes across this thread.

I replaced the fan with a new one (3rd fan now) and voila it works fine, spins the right darn direction and everything. Also maybe its the beer talking, but I swear the AC is colder too

RECAP: old fan didnt work, replaced with junk yard one, same problem, replaced it again and it worked. 1st two fans had blown relays.
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