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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 11-01-2006, 07:00 AM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 318i
Heating problem when idling?!

Hey guys/gurls,

I have a problem: My car has wonderful heat when I'm driving. Even when the main temp dial isn't on full heat. My problem is when i'm idling the temp will never get hot...I changed the thermostat thinking it was that. I think I bought a high temp thermostat before. My cooling system is working fine. What's going on? I need to fix this before it get's really cold up here.....any input would be great!

Thanks!
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- 1995 BMW 318i (own)
- 1988 Mazda RX7 10th Anniversary Turbo II (owned)
- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2006, 09:06 AM
silverbmw528 silverbmw528 is offline
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Maybe a silly question but is the stat in the right way ?

Is it that your not getting heat in the cockpit even whrn the temp gauge is on normal ? or that you car is over cooling ?
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If it has boobs or wheels sooner or later your gonna have problems with it…

86 E28 528i
89 E30 320i Coupe (Sold)
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2006, 09:45 AM
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Bimrpwr Bimrpwr is offline
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so after you drive your car for awhile get up to normal temps and then sit at a stop light your car is blowing out cool air??
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2006, 05:11 PM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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i know it's stupid...The thermostat isn't the wrong way. The car doesn't over heat. The eng. temp. is fine. I mean when it's idling when I start it, it doesn't blow hot air until I drive it...i don't get it.
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- 1995 BMW 318i (own)
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- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)

Last edited by DJ Redline; 11-02-2006 at 05:14 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2006, 06:34 PM
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Bimrpwr Bimrpwr is offline
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so no matter how warm the car is or you been driving it for awhile it blows cool air at idle??
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2006, 08:40 PM
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Andycapps Andycapps is offline
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Hey my 94 325is does the same thing. It only blows warm air out when i'm moving. When I come to a stop, it stops blowing heat. I replaced the thermostat&housing,water pump,fan clutch&fan blade,radiator&low temp fan switch, flushed and bled the entire cooling system and it didnt help. It blows really hot going down the highway..almost too hot sometimes. If there was air in the system, I'd think it'd blow cool off and on at highway speeds or blow no heat at all. any ideas? Maybe a heater flow control valve?
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2006, 12:58 AM
silverbmw528 silverbmw528 is offline
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I'm guessing that your water pump isn't pushing the coolant through your heater core at slow speeds. This could be a worn pump, heater valve or clogged core.
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Andy

If it has boobs or wheels sooner or later your gonna have problems with it…

86 E28 528i
89 E30 320i Coupe (Sold)
93 E34 525i Sport (Sold)
97 E36 328i Sport
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2006, 05:24 AM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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I tend to agree that the cause is insufficient radiator fluid reaching the heater core during idle, where you must be getting less pressure for some reason. I'd have the heater core valve checked out, which regulates and allows the fluid through the core (air forced through the core creates the heat). Hope it's not a heater core problem (pricey), but I think you would have become aware of that by now....
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2006, 05:34 AM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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I just replaced almost everything in the cooling system this past summer. Still recovering...

I've been thinking about the heater core thing myself...hopefully I could just get around it.

I won't be able to just in the middle of the park during the middle of the night then...damn. LOL
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- 1988 Mazda RX7 10th Anniversary Turbo II (owned)
- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2006, 07:00 AM
silverbmw528 silverbmw528 is offline
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DJ, my first stop would be pump if you haven’t done this already.

It could be an early warming of a falling pump impeller, which could catch you out causing bigger problems if it goes completely. The Heater valve and core are not detrimental to the running of the engine.
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Andy

If it has boobs or wheels sooner or later your gonna have problems with it…

86 E28 528i
89 E30 320i Coupe (Sold)
93 E34 525i Sport (Sold)
97 E36 328i Sport
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2006, 01:33 AM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmw528 View Post
DJ, my first stop would be pump if you haven’t done this already.

It could be an early warming of a falling pump impeller, which could catch you out causing bigger problems if it goes completely. The Heater valve and core are not detrimental to the running of the engine.

I've already changed my pump, thank you!

I really think it's the heater core though...
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- 1988 Mazda RX7 10th Anniversary Turbo II (owned)
- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2006, 06:58 AM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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I'd look to the heater control valve (or whatever it's called), that regulates the flow to the heater core first, before ripping into the get to the heater core. You may be able to either clean, or most likely replace this part, since you've already replaced the water pump. I think if your heater core is going bad, you would have noticed (by smell first, and soon after by chronic condensation at the bottom of your windshield on the inside, and soon after that, tell-tale wetness in your footwells or on your driveway).
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2006, 05:54 AM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveho View Post
I'd look to the heater control valve (or whatever it's called), that regulates the flow to the heater core first, before ripping into the get to the heater core. You may be able to either clean, or most likely replace this part, since you've already replaced the water pump. I think if your heater core is going bad, you would have noticed (by smell first, and soon after by chronic condensation at the bottom of your windshield on the inside, and soon after that, tell-tale wetness in your footwells or on your driveway).
hmmmmn..heater control valve, eh?

sounds interesting. I'll look into that, thanks mate! yeah, I guess if my heater core was finished it would probably be leaking all over the interior...I didn't even think of that.
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- 1988 Mazda RX7 10th Anniversary Turbo II (owned)
- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2006, 05:11 AM
pracklam pracklam is offline
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This sounds like the classic symptoms of trapped air in the cooling system. I would start first by bleeding the system. It's free and easy. I was experiencing the same thing last week and here is what I did: Turn key to "On" position (don't start) and set heater knob to red zone (hottest temp). Open small bleed screw next to overflow tank cap. Remove overflow tank cap and pour in antifreeze until it flows out of the bleed hole. Grab hold of the upper and lower radiator hoses with each hand and slowly squeeze about 20 times. Top off with antifreeze if needed. By keeping topped off you are squeezing air out but not letting any air in.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2006, 02:07 PM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pracklam View Post
This sounds like the classic symptoms of trapped air in the cooling system. I would start first by bleeding the system. It's free and easy. I was experiencing the same thing last week and here is what I did: Turn key to "On" position (don't start) and set heater knob to red zone (hottest temp). Open small bleed screw next to overflow tank cap. Remove overflow tank cap and pour in antifreeze until it flows out of the bleed hole. Grab hold of the upper and lower radiator hoses with each hand and slowly squeeze about 20 times. Top off with antifreeze if needed. By keeping topped off you are squeezing air out but not letting any air in.
whoa i'm going to try that. Sounds like it makes sense. Before I got my cooling system overhauled, my heater was working at idle and not while driving ( clearly the complete opposite) hopefully I could get some results from that, thanks man!
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- 1995 BMW 318i (own)
- 1988 Mazda RX7 10th Anniversary Turbo II (owned)
- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)
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  #16  
Old 11-12-2006, 04:41 PM
DJ Redline DJ Redline is offline
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pracklam View Post
This sounds like the classic symptoms of trapped air in the cooling system.
I want to thank you for helping me fix my car! It was a simple problem of just making sure there wasn't air in the system. Unbelievable! I guess it goes to show that most problems can be solved from just simple problem solving! Thanks again!
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- 1995 BMW 318i (own)
- 1988 Mazda RX7 10th Anniversary Turbo II (owned)
- 1990 Honda Civic Si (w/JDM B16 swap) (R.I.P.)
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2006, 11:29 PM
pracklam pracklam is offline
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Hey, glad you were able to fix the problem and thanks for following up with us afterwards.
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  #18  
Old 11-16-2006, 07:44 PM
harry s harry s is offline
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Mein Auto: 325cic 318ic 318is H2 s60
Bleed all air out of system ,with the heater on high.
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