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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:42 AM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by christopherr117 View Post
Just got home from dropping off the car at Elite Auto Repair. Their looking at everything for me now. I'm praying that the fan, shroud, and radiator are the only problems. I'm also praying that its all covered under parts warranty seeing as this stuff was JUST replaced.




I was told this at the shop. Its due to the cheap/thin plastics that are used to make things like the fan. I'm really hoping that the fan had a chip or a flaw in it that caused this and not something else like the water pump. (Which I also JUST had replaced 5 months ago). I'll keep everyone up to date on the happenings. Thanks all for the speedy responses!!
You MIGHT, if you are very lucky, get a new fan under warranty for the original being faulty. But I sincerely doubt you will on the radiator or anything else.
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:50 AM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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I completely agree with you. Its a long shot but if I can cut back on the cost, why not? In all reality its not very hard to recognize that the fan is what caused all of the damage to the car. Literally just got a call while typing this. Turns out that that the fan took out the expansion tank as well (Which I've already replaced this year). Looking at about $850 for this one. I've contacted my original repair shop and they are in contact with the manufacturer and are actually being pretty helpful about the whole thing. Just for fun I attached some pictures from this morning. WARNING: Pictures are of explicit nature.
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Last edited by christopherr117; 11-15-2012 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Adonde es mi picturas??
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:09 AM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
The exploding fan is at least a somewhat known issue. It has happened to quite a few people. It's been a while since I've seen a thread about it, but there was a time when it was not an uncommon occurrence.
I just had my fan clutch replaced to prevent my fan from exploding... as it was locking up fully and causing fan to spin at high speed always under load.
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:34 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Put in a cheap crap Nissans for $120 and you'll regret it sooner rather than later.
I put almost 140k on my old car that had a nissens radiator with no problems. I would say that it is one of the better aftermarket radiators.
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  #30  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:36 PM
macheton macheton is offline
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hey am new here and am looking to see if anyone can give me a help i drop my 550i and am having rubbing issues on the front am running a 245-35-19
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  #31  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:55 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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Alright so heres a quick update. Total repair cost came out to $844.25. Thats parts, labor, and a free car wash (Hooray??). Silver lining time. The shop that I use at home wants to see the damaged parts and pursue what they can in the way of warranties. Hopefully this will yield some positive results. There have been about 10 different mechanics that have looked at the car and simply cannot figure out what cause the "sudden self destruction" of my fan. The only negative was that I was told I'd have the car by 5:30 today and its now approaching 7 and I haven't even had a call to tell me that it isn't ready yet. Despite being set back a day in my trip home, I would much rather have the car in the best working order.
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  #32  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:59 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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(sigh) This is Classic Fan Clutch Failure. It's not the fault of a shop that did some work, your fan clutch failed. The fan clutch's job is to disengage at speed so the fan does not turn at the same rate and speed at the engine. The clutch did not disengage and the plastic fan was turning too quickly, and the fan blades came off and the damage you now see is the result. That being said, the only way to test a fan clutch is to take a cold engine, start it up, and see if you can stop the fan blades with the tip of a rolled up news paper. If it stops, the fan clutch is good, if the fan chews up the newspaper, it's bad. It's one of those parts you change out over time as preventative maintenance.

Guys - this is a repair easily done in the driveway with basic hand tools.

I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but some basic attention to BMW preventive maintenance and a little willingness to get your hands dirty will save you THOUSANDS of dollars.
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  #33  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:46 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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Originally Posted by charlesberry View Post
I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but some basic attention to BMW preventive maintenance and a little willingness to get your hands dirty will save you THOUSANDS of dollars.
I'm from South Carolina, but live in the dorms of college in Rhode Island. I literally have no access to any tools or any equipment whatsoever. Nor do I have the time to purchase parts and wait for them to arrive as I work two jobs and need to travel for Thanksgiving. I dont really want to hear anything about preventative maintenance, because (if you read) all the damaged parts have already been replaced within the last 5 months. I appreciate your suggestion about checking the fan clutch, however, before insinuating that I'm lazy I'd appreciate it more if you understood my circumstances.
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  #34  
Old 12-20-2012, 03:54 PM
jay330 jay330 is offline
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There is a CHEAP $15 (made by MTC) replacement fan for the auto transmission model E46, it is sold as an aftermarket replacement, but it is slightly different in size. It will start tapping its edges on the uppermost part of metal nearest the fan. This will cause your new (CHEAP) fan to break apart soon after install. I bought and installed one and after reading about its problems, I carefully looked at mine for clearance issues. It looks perfect, but after a few miles you will start to see where it is actually hitting as it turns. Just look at the blade edges for proof. Maybe your repair shop used this cheap fan for your replacement as well. As for your radiator, I also had the same thing happen, But was upset because I just replaced the radiator too. So I took mine to a local auto repair shop and had them weld the wholes from the broken fan blade. The cost was $50.
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  #35  
Old 12-20-2012, 03:57 PM
jay330 jay330 is offline
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If your fan clutch is still good, you could sell it and buy an electric fan used in the manual transmission E46. That would solve the exploding fan blade issues we Auto trans guys have.
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  #36  
Old 12-21-2012, 06:07 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesberry View Post
(sigh) This is Classic Fan Clutch Failure. It's not the fault of a shop that did some work, your fan clutch failed.
+1. I'm surprised it took a whole page before this was even mentioned.

I've seen blades exit the hood on an E39 when the fan explodes.
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  #37  
Old 12-30-2012, 09:57 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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Apparently I forgot to give everyone the final results. The cause WAS a faulty fan clutch. The distributor for the shop that I used said the fan clutch was up to spec when it wasn't. The clutch allowed for the fan to wobble and the engine compartment is tight enough to where the fan blades would knock and break off after hitting other parts of the engine, and then causing the damage. Total cost for the repair was just over $1,000.

On the positive side, the shop that I use in Columbia is extremely customer friendly. They COMPLETELY reimbursed me for the cost of the repair. All in all it was an unnecessarily painful process that I was lucky enough to have covered by a loyal shop. Thanks for the input and help guys!
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  #38  
Old 01-01-2013, 11:51 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherr117 View Post
The cause WAS a faulty fan clutch!
Thanks for that update.

I'll cross reference it to this set of references:
- What could cause a BMW fan blade to explode or disintegrate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

And, the pictures are nice for this pictorial thread:
- Pictorial look at typical cooling system failure modes (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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