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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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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  #1  
Old 06-08-2017, 10:35 PM
Teddy1972 Teddy1972 is offline
Teddy1972
Location: Vilonia, Ar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 323i
Runs warm

Hello, I am new to the BMW world. I purchased a 2000 BMW 323i for my daughter to drive back and forth to college.
It has 124K miles. So far , it runs good. With it being an older vehicle, it has a couple issues. One being that it runs warm. I can start it, within a few miles the gauge goes to the halfway point then stays there. The previous owner replaced the thermostat and it's been running like that the while time . Is that normal?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2017, 04:25 AM
jcase jcase is offline
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Location: Floida
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 110
Mein Auto: 2002 330CI
Halfway point should be fine.
On my 2002 it is normal. This thing warms up very quickly which is nice for the 2 weeks I need the heater in Florida.
The faster the warm up the better the fuel mileage.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2017, 05:45 AM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is offline
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Mein Auto:
Google "BMW E46 hidden obc functions." Test #7 will show you the true engine temperature in centigrade degrees. After a few miles it should read in the 95*C to 100*C range. Be advised that the temperature gauge is controlled by the engine computer. The gauge needle will be at the 12 o'clock position as long as the temperature remains in a factory determine temperature range.

Has the cooling system ever been overhauled? It should have been overhauled at 100k miles. It's the car's Achilles heel.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2017, 09:17 AM
justinhartl justinhartl is offline
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Location: Killeen
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 325i
The temperature needle should ALWAYS be directly in the middle of cold and hot... as long as it doesn't go over and lean more towards the hot side, then your good. If it does start to lean to the hot side, don't drive it at all as you can blow gaskets. But yes in your situation you are good to go!
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2017, 04:16 PM
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Gryphon Gryphon is offline
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
 
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Posts: 3,650
Mein Auto: 2005 ZHP, Wife's Prius
Quote:
Originally Posted by justinhartl View Post
If it does start to lean to the hot side, don't drive it at all as you can blow gaskets.
And warp the head requiring a new engine. The thermostat movement is damped so once it's out of the 12 o'clock position shut the engine down as immediately as is safely possible(i.e. pull over NOW).
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2017, 07:15 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Gryphon`s post is excellent advice....the temp gauges are heavily buffered (i.e., they don`t respond in "real time"). If you continue to drive until the gauge gets into the red zone, it will be too late, and your (previously) nice BMW engine will likely be irreparably damaged. BMWs do not tolerate overheating at all ! Which is why we place such a heavy emphasis on maintaining your cooling system.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2017, 05:36 AM
Nachfolger Nachfolger is offline
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Location: MD, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 330
Mein Auto: 2009 335i, 2003 330i
BMWs run hot. Don't be concered about that. Be proactive with maintaining the vehicle.

Also, a BMW for your daughter driving to college? Hopefully she has luck in her hands.
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2017, 12:58 PM
GermanAutobahn GermanAutobahn is offline
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Location: Connecticut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 50
Mein Auto: 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy1972 View Post
Hello, I am new to the BMW world. I purchased a 2000 BMW 323i for my daughter to drive back and forth to college.
It has 124K miles. So far , it runs good. With it being an older vehicle, it has a couple issues. One being that it runs warm. I can start it, within a few miles the gauge goes to the halfway point then stays there. The previous owner replaced the thermostat and it's been running like that the while time . Is that normal?
I hope your daughter will appreciate your good choice for her safety and trouble-free car.

There are honorable 'indy' mechanics in you're area (specializing in BMW car) that may be as much as 1/3 less the cost of BMW dealer expense-experience.
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