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Gone Bonkers 09-29-2012 07:31 AM

E36 1998 Model overheating
Hi Folks

My car is driving me bonkers and so is my garage. Here is the history car started to overheat so stopped as my last E36 did the same thing, cooled down and had car taken to garage.
The water pump had gone as well as the viscous fan thingie so that was replaced, the mechanic said there was slight preasure at the top of the head and it might be the overhead gasket. Now the car still overheats and when you remove the cap from the expansion tank it takes around 15 mins for all the gurgling and hissing and bubbling to subside, apparently it has been blead twice.

Now my mechanic says it is bubbling and hissing because chamber 3 and 4 has blowen, now what I am not getting is that is runs very well and the fault is intermittent there is no lack in power and the oil looks clean. On start up there is a slight ticking noise that goes away when the engine heats up,also the temp guage is at half way after 5 mins and the engine block is cold.

I have also read other interesting facts on the internet that the E36 is a bitch to bleed and that distilled water and only BMW Coolant should be used as they are known for overheating issues.

I just don't understand how it can be the head gasket when it runs so well please help:bawling:

AndrewZ 09-29-2012 08:01 AM

Welcome to bimmerfest!

Gone Bonkers 09-29-2012 08:21 AM

Thank you The Raven
Hi there

Looks forward to the replies on my overheating E26 :thumbup:

dc_wright 09-29-2012 10:24 AM

Your mechanic should be telling you what diagnostics he's done to determine the head gasket is blown at cylinders 3 & 4. Did he do a compression test and get low readings on these cylinders? Did he do a leak down test and see a high leak down rate at these cylinders? Has he done a pressure test on the cooling system that failed and then seen signs of coolant in cylinders 3 & 4?
If your mechanic can't or won't give you this info it's time to find a new mechanic.
You are correct that E36s can be difficult to bleed. This procedure has always worked for me. You have add the coolant very slowly and let it overflow until you see zero bubbles, not even tiny ones coming out.
I use BMW coolant and distilled water for a couple reasons, first it's not really any more expensive than buy the other brands of pre-mixed coolants, and second in my own unscientific comparison testing it seems to have more lubricant and corrosion inhibitor in it than commercial brands do.
Good luck.

Gone Bonkers 09-29-2012 10:51 AM

Gone Bonkers E36 Gone Bonkers too
Thanks mate

The dumb blonde who is me aint so dumb any longer. By the way the way the garage was suggesting I get a donor engine for my E36 as that is what it needs. or what, I will try and get the machine bleed properly and keep you guys updated.

Many thanks


E36 Phantom 09-29-2012 11:07 AM

While I wouldn't want to take action without a proper compression and leakdown test, that certainly does sound like a blown head gasket is letting combustion gasses from the cylinder into the cooling system.

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Echo46 09-30-2012 07:21 AM

Yea, unfortunately I would have to concur with the blown head gasket but a compression test would be more determinative.

Gone Bonkers 09-30-2012 01:37 PM

Re overheating issue
Hi Folks

My thoughts is that the car is on the cusp of having overhead gasket issues, however it does not explain when the fault is not there it runs like a dream, to be honest when the temp needle moves from the middle to the first white it still runs like a dream but I panic.I would have though that overhead gasket blowen 3 and 4 chambers would cause performance issues.

Has anybody used Blue Devil in their beemer? apparently all my bubbling and hissing from the expansin tank is a symptom and this stuff has good:dunno::dunno: reviews, I would rather take that route than a doner engine etc etc

Thanks for your support

Gone Bonkers 11-24-2012 10:52 AM

Rsolution to E36 1998 0verheating
Hi Folks

You will know when I first posted this, and in the last month I received resolution from another garage who were aware of bad bleeding and guess what overheating.The machine has been serviced now and runs like a dream.

Let me tell you something when your garage starts bleeding you real good, look for another, overhead gasket indeed, its an easy cop out and a great load of cash for the guy who cant be bothered to do the job right.

Never give up and go to a decent garage who knows how to bleed the system as the E36 has a lean collant system therefore very difficult to bleed, Posting this as I would hate anybody to go through the rip off stuff I have been through, going to takr this further tho two receipts from old garage saying bleeding the coolant system eh no, the other garage charged ne 50 quid to bleed the system and a 30 mile run for road test assurance he has saved ny car, from sharks we all know they are out there be aware.:)

ZeGerman 11-24-2012 11:05 AM

Glad you got it sorted. I think it's always a good idea for people who are unfamiliar with cars to post their situation in the enthusiast forums to get a second (or third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh) opinion.

Gone Bonkers 11-25-2012 09:16 AM

E36 Back to normal
Hi Thanks

I was suspicious about my origional garage as they condemmed another E36 I had with the dreaded overhead gasket, so I sold it in haste to a relation and the car is still running around it had over 200000 miles on the clock, unlike the current machine whi is sitting at 77000. My view on them, well you really don't want to know that, however it seems to be a car in then get it out irrespective if there is no resolution, lets screw the customer for around 800 quid so as the car can lie in the customers drive for six weeks or so. Where the other garage took as long as it took to get all the air bubbles out, he did say if that did not fix it then the gasket was a prime suspect. I had him service the machine on Friday and he said there was no evidence in the oil to tell him that it was the death sentence. Its running like a sweet dream watch for those sharks out there guys and thanks for your support:) Buy the way the garage that I currntly am using is one that I used years ago why oh why I stopped going to him I will never know, prob the attitude that only a Performance garage could look after a BMW, well there is no truth in that just a garage and mechanics who will seek resolution for the customer and know what they are doing.:p

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