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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:17 AM
mikey72378 mikey72378 is offline
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Mein Auto: 545i E60
Replaced Thermostat P0128 On No Heat

So it all started with a check engine light and "Increased Emission" message. I took my 545i to the stealer, since I have a limited extended warranty that may or may not have covered the issue. The dealer called and told me that I had a bad thermostat, which was not covered by my extended warranty. Since they wanted $525 to replace it, I opted to change it my self. I ordered a Beck Arnley 143-0869 thermostat and installed it. The code did not clear and my heater still did not work. I then replaced the coolant temp sensor right after the thermostat, which did not fix it either. I thought maybe the new thermostat was faulty so I exchanged it for the same kind and replaced it again, which was not the problem. At this point the car is drivable, but its cold even here in Texas, without a heater. The P0128 code is still active as well. Im just wondering what direction to go from here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have searched past threads, but have not found a solution. The coolant level is good and there are no problems with the fan running excessively. 75K miles.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:34 AM
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GOR777 GOR777 is offline
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Maybe you did something wrong while changing it? Indy charges about 200$ for it.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:51 AM
pcy pcy is offline
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Coolant Temp Sensor - there is a temp sensor mounted on lower radiator hose. Is that the one you replaced?
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2013, 07:20 AM
mikey72378 mikey72378 is offline
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@ Gor. The thermostat replacement is just 3 bolts and the 2 wire harness, Im pretty certain it was not any problem with the install. Pretty straight forward.

@PCY. The CTS I replaced was the one at the pump, just after the thermostat, at the front/top of motor.

Last edited by mikey72378; 01-19-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2013, 07:28 AM
ewill858 ewill858 is offline
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Had the same problem on my E46, and later found I needed to do a better job bleeding the air out of the system.

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  #6  
Old 01-19-2013, 10:24 AM
mikey72378 mikey72378 is offline
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Ok Will, that will be my next attempt at a fix. I think Im going to empty the whole cooling system and refill with fresh anti freeze. Ill fill ya in if it works or not. Im going to follow this procedure found another post.

(50% BMW antifreeze and 50% distilled water, 15 US qt) and venting system at the same time.
-Switch ignition ON without starting engine.
-Set blower fan to low and temperature for driver and passenger side to full warm. Set seat heat to MAX if available.
-Fill expansion tank slowly until Max level.
-Leave cap open and run engine at idle for 1 minute.
-Adjust level to MAX and close cap.
-Run engine to operating temperature.
-Shutdown engine and after engine has cooled, recheck coolant level.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2013, 10:48 AM
ewill858 ewill858 is offline
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That procedure sounds about right. Especially the part about doing it with the heater on max. Hope your battery is strong though. . I had to jump my car after this procedure, but it had a weak battery. (I just realized your instructions were with the car running. . I didn't do it this way, but I guess it's ok?)

I don't know about your car, but my E46 had a bleeder vent screw near the expansion tank. I had to remove the screw, and kept adding coolant/water until the liquid came out the hole, and I stopped seeing air bubbles.

I found I had to slowly keep pouring liquid into the coolant expansion tank until it was nearly brimming over, and then it would slowly settle lower. I kept adding until it stopped bubbling (spilling liquid as it went. . .), and then inserted and tightened the bleeder screw.

Then I found I actually had to extract some fluid from the expansion tank (using a turkey baster) to get it down under the MAX level.

Hope that helps.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2013, 12:52 PM
mikey72378 mikey72378 is offline
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Well I replaced all the coolant according to the procedure above and still no luck. I think my next move will be to take in.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2013, 11:37 AM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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I'm having the same problem

Hello,

I rebuilt the entire cooling system because the expansion tank coolant measurement stick broke off and the radiator was busted on my 2005 545i. I replaced the expansion tank, water pump, thermostat, radiator, drive belt tensioner and changed the two temp sensors. I also used the Beck Arnley thermostat and water pump. I got the PO128 OBDII service engine soon code. I assumed it was the thermostat too and wasted a lot of coolant changing the thermostat a second time. I also still get the PO128 code!!! Have you had any luck figuring this out?
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2013, 05:45 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyoung View Post
Hello,

I rebuilt the entire cooling system because the expansion tank coolant measurement stick broke off and the radiator was busted on my 2005 545i. I replaced the expansion tank, water pump, thermostat, radiator, drive belt tensioner and changed the two temp sensors. I also used the Beck Arnley thermostat and water pump. I got the PO128 OBDII service engine soon code. I assumed it was the thermostat too and wasted a lot of coolant changing the thermostat a second time. I also still get the PO128 code!!! Have you had any luck figuring this out?
Something else to check for is your thermostat heater coil.

I also changed my water pump and thermostat, using Beck & Arnley units. A few days after the change out I got a service engine soon light with the P0128 code (engine coolant not reaching proper temperature after a specific amount of time), which can be due to a number of causes. My system was working perfectly, including heating and engine cooling and I was able to track my problem to a faulty heating coil in the thermostat.

When the BMW engine starts the ECU checks for the presence of the thermostat heater coil (which is used to accelerate the opening of the thermostat by faster heating of the wax). If the coil circuit is not sensed an error will be thrown.

In my case the heater coil was faulty and I replaced the Beck & Arnley thermostat with a Wahler OE unit and my problem was solved. The thermostat heater coil can be tested by using a multimeter across the two conductors on the thermostat connection and measuring for about 16 ohms of resistance.

A damaged thermostat wiring harness can also cause this error, because the ECU measures the coil resistance and a break in the harness will appear as an open coil.

Clear the code and see if it comes back. Then measure the coil. If it checks out look elsewhere.

And, if your heater is not operating properly it is probably not the heater coil.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:23 PM
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Vapiano Vapiano is offline
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$525! I changed mine this weekend because I got a code that stated it was sticking. It took me 45 minutes to swap it out and cost $84 for the stat and one gallon of coolant; this was purchased at the dealership. I always wondered why it took a bit for the heat to really kick in. Changing the stat cured that problem; now the car feels like a sauna 6-7 minutes after warming up!
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2013, 10:28 AM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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thanks for the replies

Yes. I will go ahead and give up on the Beck Arnley thermostat. I tried two and still not luck. I am going back to my original OEM, as it still has some life left in it. I was planning to use it as a backup. What type of fluid do you all use? I called Prestone and asked tech support if the Any Model no sulfate, silicone, borate, etc. would actually work on the 545i and he assured me that it is good for the BMW. Has anyone else used this? I have already spent a fortune on coolant due to poor Beck Arnley designed thermostats!
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2013, 10:58 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Zerex G05 is what people been using but not sure why when BMW coolant is about the same price /gallon
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  #14  
Old 02-26-2013, 11:41 AM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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Yes, I think the Zerex GO5 falls in the HyBrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) category of coolants, while the Prestone ANY model falls in th Organic Acid Technology (OAT) category. It seems that the main difference is that the OAT contains zero phosphates etc. I'm not sure but I've heard that the BMW coolant contains zero phosphates also. I read that due to the water quality in Europe they specify the OAT specification because the phosphates etc., counteract with the mineral content in the water and causes corrosion. But isn't that why you should use distilled water? Does anyone know exactly which category the BMW OEM fluid falls in? Print the attached document for future reference. Great information...about_antifreeze.pdfThanks ALL!
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  #15  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:31 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Have you checked wiring to the thermostat? I'm not sure if these fail wide open or all the way closed, but I'd look at that.
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2013, 08:47 PM
H F H F is offline
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Stick with bmw coolant.. Oriely's carries bmw blue coolant..
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  #17  
Old 02-26-2013, 09:04 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Also do you have access to INPA and or an infrared temperature gun?

I'd like to see what values the computer is seeing for coolant temps with INPA

And also see what the actuals are across the system with the infrared gun

There's a way to get a water temp gauge to come up on the instrument cluster but I'm not sure how to do it anymore. May be helpful if no other options to see a little more of what's going on.

If water temp is normal then it's either air in heating system or a control valve stuck somewhere I'd think
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2013, 11:28 AM
H F H F is offline
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Hey Mikey..... just out of curiousity..... Did u check the idrive,,,, make sure the red bars are on the plus side ,on ur vent settings, ??
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:10 PM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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I thought about a possible wiring issue but this problem just appeared when I switched from the OEM thermostat to the Beck Arnley. By the way, I just realized that the sensor on the BA thermostat is actually turned the wrong angle. It probably will damage the connector if it hasn't already. I'm going back to OEM... It was practically new anyway. I just switched it bc I was installing a new Beck Arnley waterpump. I got the thermostat real cheap so I figured I'd replace it as well... BAD idea to use the Beck Arnley.

Good idea. I was actually at Oriellys yesterday ordering a bottom radiator hose coolant sensor for the 545i. I will check out their coolant.
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:15 PM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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called my local Oriellys. They said they do not carry BMW coolant. I told her its probably the equivalent, but you know these folks know hardly anything about cars. If they did, I guess they would have to pay them for their knowledge! Which brand is it?
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  #21  
Old 02-27-2013, 01:18 PM
H F H F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyoung View Post
called my local Oriellys. They said they do not carry BMW coolant. I told her its probably the equivalent, but you know these folks know hardly anything about cars. If they did, I guess they would have to pay them for their knowledge! Which brand is it?
hmm,, i called over the phone too. and went through two different people and i had them check the color ,they said it was blue for bmw.. so im gonna have to go over there and see for my self
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2013, 01:28 PM
H F H F is offline
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i just gave them my make and model,,,,, double checked and called again and they do carry it ,,, The name brand is Tentosin
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Last edited by H F; 02-27-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:14 PM
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gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is online now
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Or pentosin

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  #24  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:24 PM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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follow up on thermostat challenge

I went ahead and slapped the (not too used) OEM thermostat that I was planning to use for backup in the 545i last night, reset the PO128 code, test drove it last night for leaks and about 90+ miles today since I was planning to drive a lot today. Well alow and behold, no "service engine soon" light. I am pissed! You can't depend on a company that clearly states that they test all components on every application diligently for quality assurance. I purchased the Beck Arnley thermostat, got a PO128 code, wrote the company, got a reply saying it must be something else, called the online retailer who quickly sent me another unit, and that one does the same thing. I'm scratchin my freakin head and changing out other temperature sensors (since I had a lifetime warranty) from autozone and oriellys before I get smart and go back to the OEM thermosat!!! I went through 2-3 gallons of coolant before I decided to recycle in a clean bucket, but at least I got my cooling system flushed out...

I hope that this saves my fellow Bimmer enthusiasts some trouble and I plan to post this issue on every blog because it just doesn't make sense! By the way the Beck Arnley water pump seems to be holding up. It also has a metal impeller as opposed to the OEM which was a polymer type of material. Only problem with the Beck Arnley pump was that the fitment was not quite right for the OEM upper radiator hose. I had to fight and fight to get it on and ultimately had to alter a $90 OEM hose by snipping the little fitment tab thats supposed to line it up to the water pump housing where it connects. Please pass this on to any threads that you encounter anyone needing to change out their thermostat. I am very leary of Beck Arnley and Uno parts for that matter at this point. I did install an Uno expansion tank and it seems to be holding up. Here is a list of the parts I used for the cooling system rebuild.

-Beck Arnley water pump
-OEM or Wahler thermostat (do not use beck arnley)
- Uro coolant expansion tank

- new (Nisens) all aluminum radiator (busted maybe due to beck arnley thermostat (was not leaking before!) This radiator does not have a drain plug like original. I highly recommend that you get one that has a drain valve. It gets more fluid out of the radiator. :-(
- water pump coolant sensor
- lower radiator hose coolant sensor
- replaced (4) main coolant hoses
- replaced serpentine belt
-replaced belt tensioner
-replace AC belt
- lots of coolant

Last edited by nyoung; 02-27-2013 at 03:32 PM. Reason: misspellings
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  #25  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:35 PM
nyoung nyoung is offline
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I,ve her of Pentosin. I think they make transmission fluid too. Thanks I will see if I can get a Manager who knows what they are talking about.
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