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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-08-2005, 10:22 AM
e36chick e36chick is offline
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Location: East Aurora, NY
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 93 bmw 325is
93 325is heat problem

Hello, I'm new to the boards. Decided to join up because a lot of the threads I was reading were common problems I was having with my 93 325is. So this may already be answered somewhere, I apologize in advance.

Today I was taking the car up to the BMW dealership, and it was like 10 degrees outside, so I started it about 20 minutes before leaving, as usual the car hadn't warmed up at all and wouldn't produce heat. As I started driving down the road and got going, it started pumping heat. But there's two stop signs before I get to the interstate, and I noticed at every stop sign, the car stops blowing hot and blows cold (or outside air). As soon as I accelerate and get going again, its hot air again. Anybody have any ideas?

I didn't mention it to the dealership because they're already charging me an arm and a leg for an alignment and some electrical work. Most mechanic work is done by my fiance, but he just couldn't attempt the electrical stuff in the car, so I'm hoping with some suggestions at what the cause is, he can fix this for me.

Thanks for any suggestions. My temperature guage doesn't work in the car, could this maybe be a cause?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2005, 06:01 PM
QUASIMOTO QUASIMOTO is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: 98' 323is
Cool

hey, im new.. figured i drop my 2 cents here.
when your car has been sitting out in the freezing cold overnite, dont expect the heater to start working right away or even after waiting 20 minutes. waiting that long really eats on a cars gas, so next time wait about 5 minutes, you dont need to waste that much gas. the heater works properly or best only after you start moving the car, thats when a sufficient amount of gas and heat are being created from the engine. but, after you start moving your car the heater should never turn off, even if you come to a complete stop. and the temperature gauge has noting to do with your heater, but you should fix it.

the one silly problem that happens to virtually anyone in the beginning of winter time is that they dont check thier radiator fluid levels. a proper amounts of radiator coolant is very important in order for heat to adequately disperse throught the engine, then to the car. low coolant levels cause windows inside of the car to fog up, even when the heater is on full blast. low coolant cause the cars heater to kick in and out every once in a while. you can do this on your own, start your car and let it run for five minutes, turn car off. now, wait an additional five to ten minutes to let the cars engine cool. now open hood and open the black cap sitting on the top left side of the radiator. check to see the level of green coolant fluid down inside the radiator, if you cant see it then thats the culprit. get the coolant filled or do a coolant flush and refill at a local mechanic or tell your fiance about the situation. but dont do any of this work by yourself unless you have some form of experience and make sure you have your cars owner manual at hand. ALSO!, the coolant resivour should be filled every 6 months, so check that as well. if you have the time, get a pressure system check done, check for any "vacume leaks" around the a/c and make sure all the rubber tubes are clean and dont look dryed out. dryed out rubber has a tendency to crack and lets air through or lets fluids out! good luck, fix your temperature gauge, its very important, you need to know if your engine may possibly overheat! and if it overheats, it may or will crack the engines block! thats why a temperature gauge is there in the first place.

Last edited by QUASIMOTO; 12-08-2005 at 06:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2005, 07:18 PM
e36chick e36chick is offline
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Location: East Aurora, NY
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 93 bmw 325is
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUASIMOTO
hey, im new.. figured i drop my 2 cents here.
when your car has been sitting out in the freezing cold overnite, dont expect the heater to start working right away or even after waiting 20 minutes. waiting that long really eats on a cars gas, so next time wait about 5 minutes, you dont need to waste that much gas. the heater works properly or best only after you start moving the car, thats when a sufficient amount of gas and heat are being created from the engine. but, after you start moving your car the heater should never turn off, even if you come to a complete stop. and the temperature gauge has noting to do with your heater, but you should fix it.
i dont really expect it to work right away, but after a couple minutes, it should heat up. every other car i've owned heats up within 5 - 10 minutes, including older 90s and newer cars. when there's frozen ice on my windshield and the defroster isn't doing its job, something isnt right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QUASIMOTO
the one silly problem that happens to virtually anyone in the beginning of winter time is that they dont check thier radiator fluid levels. a proper amounts of radiator coolant is very important in order for heat to adequately disperse throught the engine, then to the car. low coolant levels cause windows inside of the car to fog up, even when the heater is on full blast. low coolant cause the cars heater to kick in and out every once in a while. you can do this on your own, start your car and let it run for five minutes, turn car off. now, wait an additional five to ten minutes to let the cars engine cool. now open hood and open the black cap sitting on the top left side of the radiator. check to see the level of green coolant fluid down inside the radiator, if you cant see it then thats the culprit. get the coolant filled or do a coolant flush and refill at a local mechanic or tell your fiance about the situation. but dont do any of this work by yourself unless you have some form of experience and make sure you have your cars owner manual at hand. ALSO!, the coolant resivour should be filled every 6 months, so check that as well. if you have the time, get a pressure system check done, check for any "vacume leaks" around the a/c and make sure all the rubber tubes are clean and dont look dryed out. dryed out rubber has a tendency to crack and lets air through or lets fluids out! good luck, fix your temperature gauge, its very important, you need to know if your engine may possibly overheat! and if it overheats, it may or will crack the engines block! thats why a temperature gauge is there in the first place.
haven't checked the radiator fluids, i'll tell my fiance to check that out. the coolant levels are fine though, my car use to throw coolant codes but we got a new coolent level sensor and its been fine since. i'll have him check for leaks too, only one he's found so far is a slow steering fluid leak, which he's order replacements for it. thanks for your help.

anyone else have any opinions?
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2005, 07:09 PM
fun2drive's Avatar
fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,618
Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
Sounds like a stuck thermostat

I would think based on your symptoms that the t-stat is stuck open. Since your gage is broken you have no way to tell if it is working at the right temp. If it was working it would go to the top of the blue line and stay there. T-stat stuck open will kill your gas mileage some too as it keeps the car in open loop mode which usually makes it run rich. If you run rich too long it will kill your catalytic converters too.
In regard to the power steering leak, tell your boyfriend to check where the leak is coming from. I am willing to bet you that it is at the location where the metal crimp is located. BMw power steering hoses lose tension on those hoses causing a slow leak. If that is where it is leaking he can stop the leak by putting a hose clamp in the crimp area and tightening it down to regain some tension. This is a cheap way to fix the leak if it is in that location.
Good luck and any information on the symptoms that you did not share may help us locate your possible problem...
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