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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 03-15-2013, 05:14 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Radiator Fan Switch - 3 Prong

Hello everyone, hope you are well...

As I was reaching for my cell phone in my pocket, I mistakenly revved by 530i too high and the fan violently flew off, cutting various hoses and intakes, etc.

The whole thing cost me about $1700 to fix. The car is definitely running better now.

It is not cooling the way it used though. It used to stay really cool, but now the temp stays firmly in the middle as opposed to a quarter way.

Should I install a radiator fan switch and run it cooler? It gets so hot here in N Carolina in the summer I dont want to get too hot.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2013, 06:20 AM
damengoodsman damengoodsman is offline
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Did you happen to replace the thermostat while you are in there? Engine temps reaching the center mark on the temp gauge is an indication of a properly operating thermostat. If your thermostat was operating properly before the fan blew up, there is no way your temp gauge shouldn't reach the center mark on any drive less than 15 minutes. It isn't anything to worry about.

What things did you replace other than hoses? rad? coolant pump? thermostat + cover?
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:04 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Water pump was replaced and I assume they changed the thermostat as well. I've driven it around and at the end of the day the coolant sensor comes on. I just called the mechanic and they said it might be a bigger problem so bring it in for a compression test. There is smell of coolant coming in through the vents, but there is no coolant leaking anywhere.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:47 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
Water pump was replaced and I assume they changed the thermostat as well. I've driven it around and at the end of the day the coolant sensor comes on. I just called the mechanic and they said it might be a bigger problem so bring it in for a compression test. There is smell of coolant coming in through the vents, but there is no coolant leaking anywhere.
I agree that your cooling system was not operating properly by only heating to 1/4 on the temp gauge; likely a t-stat stuck open. Not the worst thing to happen, but your engine was likely running rich which is hard on the catalytic converter. Old fan blades are known to explode resulting in the carnage that you had. Thatís why it is important to replace it with a coolant system overhaul. BTW, word is that you should only use an OEM fan blade. Itís not that much more than aftermarket blades anyway.

Are you actually low on coolant when the message comes up? You may just need to top off your coolant to the proper level. The coolant level sensor is known to fail. Make sure to check the wires leading to it. Mine had become frayed and I was getting false error messages prior to my coolant system overhaul.

If, after you ensure that you have the proper coolant level, your car is overheating, then you may need to have the compression test done. However, I highly doubt that you have blown a head gasket. First of all, the 530 heads are less susceptible to HG failures, partly because they are shorter. Secondly, I imagine that you did not run the engine after this catastrophic failure of the fan, so I doubt you overheated your engine. So, if your car is not overheating, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If the mechanic wants to do a compression test free of charge, then I'd say let him. Just make sure that you get a copy of the readings he gets so that you can independently confirm that they are ok or bad.

As for the smell of coolant through the vents, I would first suspect that your engine bay was bathed in coolant with the fan failure and resulting carnage. This could take a while to dissipate and go away. Another possibility is a loose hose that carries coolant. One more possibility is that the heater core has a leak. I would highly doubt that the heater core is now leaking after the event as it would just be coincidence anyway.

Main thing is to keep an eye on the coolant level and engine temp. Your car SHOULD run with the coolant temp needle straight up at the 12:00 o'clock position. As said above, this indicates a properly functioning coolant system. Good luck with it and let us know how things turn out.
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It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #5  
Old 03-15-2013, 09:01 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Wow, thanks for that information! I did not run it after the epic disaster. I immediately pulled into a gas station. I am more inclined to think its the heater core since the heat did not kick after running it for a while all the while the gauge was dead center. It was blowing cold air, then suddenly the air warmed.

I will drive over the weekend and see how it fares before taking it in to the mechanic.
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2013, 09:13 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
Wow, thanks for that information! I did not run it after the epic disaster. I immediately pulled into a gas station. I am more inclined to think its the heater core since the heat did not kick after running it for a while all the while the gauge was dead center. It was blowing cold air, then suddenly the air warmed.

I will drive over the weekend and see how it fares before taking it in to the mechanic.
Regarding not having heat for a short period of time, that was likely air trapped in the system. Almost all of the BMWs of our vintage need to be manually bled of the trapped air and lack of heat is the primary indicator of trapped air. However, the 540 and 530 have self-bleeding systems. Once the air was bled out, you had heat again. This trapped air was likely displacing some coolant and once the air was bled, the coolant level likely dropped accordingly.

Again, keep an eye on the coolant level and top off as needed. I think you will be fine
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #7  
Old 03-15-2013, 09:59 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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thanks
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:56 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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I had to take into the shop. It was losing coolant all weekend. Hopefully, its nothing major.
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2013, 11:18 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
I had to take into the shop. It was losing coolant all weekend. Hopefully, its nothing major.
Sorry to hear that. Fingers crossed for ya'.
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #10  
Old 03-19-2013, 09:22 AM
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ross1 ross1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
Hello everyone, hope you are well...

As I was reaching for my cell phone in my pocket, I mistakenly revved by 530i too high and the fan violently flew off, cutting various hoses and intakes, etc.

The whole thing cost me about $1700 to fix. The car is definitely running better now.

It is not cooling the way it used though. It used to stay really cool, but now the temp stays firmly in the middle as opposed to a quarter way.

Should I install a radiator fan switch and run it cooler? It gets so hot here in N Carolina in the summer I dont want to get too hot.

Thanks!
Temp needle should be in the middle. Your previous indications along with an exploding fan tell me you likely had a siezed fan clutch which caused overcooling and, failing to release at high revs destroyed your fan.
Did you previously have lots of fan noise?
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:16 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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I took it back, it appears there was air in the system. I kept adding coolant and now its working fine. I revved the engine really high (by accident and it only took a second) and that caused the fan to violently fly off and commit Hara-Kiri. It had been making a fast noise, as if I had a turbo installed previously.
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Last edited by Bull City BMW; 03-22-2013 at 07:18 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:56 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
I took it back, it appears there was air in the system. I kept adding coolant and now its working fine. I revved the engine really high (by accident and it only took a second) and that caused the fan to violently fly off and commit Hara-Kiri. It had been making a fast noise, as if I had a turbo installed previously.
Sounds like Ross' theory is dead on correct.
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #13  
Old 03-22-2013, 12:38 PM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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It sounded like a jet engine before. I did not think anything of it cause it sounded kinda cool. That'll learn me.
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2013, 01:34 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
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Posts: 5,264
Mein Auto: 1992 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
It sounded like a jet engine before. I did not think anything of it cause it sounded kinda cool. That'll learn me.
Yeah, I had a fan clutch go bad on a 73 Olds Cutlass after a severe overheat secondary to a leaking heater core. After the engine cooled down, the fan clutch was completely locked up and turning 1:1 with the crankshaft. There was a tremendous roar when the car got up to about 20 mph. Fortunately, it had a metal fan blade and I replaced the fan clutch before there was a problem.

Relating the above, in my young and dumb days, the Olds started skipping. I ran it up to 90 mph at WOT twice to "blow it out" I saw the coolant temp light blink once and immediately pulled over and shut it off. The engine was so hot that the oil on the motor was smoking like it was going to catch on fire. It turns out that that the reason that the passenger floor board was soaked was because the heater core was leaking I don't think there was a drop of coolant left in the block when all was said and done. It took aobut an hour before the engine cooled enough to put water in it without it boiling out.

That Olds Rocket, 4 bolt main engine was bullet proof (and idiot proof as well ). It never gave me a moment's trouble after the overheat. That's when I learned about heater cores and the importance of them.
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #15  
Old 03-30-2013, 04:39 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Originally Posted by Bull City BMW View Post
It sounded like a jet engine before. I did not think anything of it cause it sounded kinda cool. That'll learn me.
Want to sound Koool again?

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  #16  
Old 03-30-2013, 08:00 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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^ Talk about gheto
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #17  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:49 AM
Bull City BMW Bull City BMW is offline
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Radiator Fan Switch - 3 Prong

Just saw this post! Sounds kewl!


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