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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 06-19-2007, 12:48 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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Help please i need answers?

P:ease can any1 help me get out off this nightmare. A Few weeks back while sitting in car with engine running i failed to notice car overheating until all i can describe as a loud noise like aeroplane landing on the roof, looked out window and then boom my car had exploded in front of me. As i got out and steam cleared i watched as fluid run out of car and could only think the worst. When got car to mechanic he said that engine had blown pipes and needed replacing along with fluids. Few days later got car back and thought that all was ok until i started to notice thick blue smoke coming from exhaust and then car began overheating when idle. Also when dipped engine for oil it seemed very weak and way above mark and also found fluid in exhaust. Mechanic then told me the head gasket must have blown and he would need to get this analysed. 3weeks passed and when i contacted him about car he said that the fan had not been working and he replaced small part and this seemed to think this had been problem and just take it easy for while and hoped this was end of my problem.
Well i drove car for few weeks now and all seemed ok until car while sitting at traffic lights began to overheat again only to regulate the moment i began driving and never noticed any overheating for days after. When turned ignition off and then on again the car would idle and not overheat at all. Today though car continually overheating and when dipped engine for oil noticed a slight rise. Am now getting mechanic recommended to me by close friend to take car and he is looking at it tommorrow. Until then can any1 advise me on what to do as this is becoming to expensive without getting anywhere?
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2007, 12:54 PM
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Welcome to the fest buddy

I am very sorry to say that your symptoms all point to a head gasket problem. I think the original over-heating could have been caused by a fan coupling/thermostat/radiator problem but the blue smoke means oil is getting into your cylinders.

Take your oil cap off and see if you have yellow/white gunk mixed with the oil...
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2007, 01:22 PM
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A warm welcome to the Fest.

+1 so sorry about your problems. Common scenario where you get a mixed bag of possible causes ie changing this, changing that, which all cost money and the problem is still there. It is so annoying and EXPENSIVE

Keep us informed
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2007, 02:09 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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I have noticed the oil cap was the first thing any1 checked on my car and seem surprised that there is no white gunk and there has never been any signs of gunk. I have to admit i have very little knowledge on problem but have spent every minute i have reading and trying to gather anything i can on this problem. So may be totally wrong but when car has been running and is heated up i notice that the radiator hose at the top hot as hell and the bottom hose is cold. Is this the opposite to what they should be? Also it might help to mention that since got car back last time i have not noticed any smoke or fluid in exhaust. Is there any test that i might use to confirm head gasket as i have just about accepted this
as the problem but due to someone mentioning that there is so many faults with cooling system that it might be worth trying everything there first as it can be very difficult to diagnosis heating problem and at the same time others are saying it is head gasket . I had one person tell me that head may just be cracked, is crack still serious enough? thank you for replies to original post it is much appreciated.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2007, 02:12 PM
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I had very similar over heating and hot heat issues and it was a mixture of a buggered viscous fan coupling (stupid design) and a faulty radiator

Basically, the middle of my radiator was not getting hot and so the viscous fan clutch was not kicking in

The blue smoke from your exhaust is the worrying thing as blue smoke equals oil being burned...
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2007, 03:35 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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Any idea or estimate off cost to repair head gasket? It obviously is not good and the thing i hate most is the way every person i have mentioned to that the head gasket seems to be whats up .The face that they all pull is near identical and then without fail it is followed by oooaaahhh which is just enough to let you know the job is a big one. With exception to one local garage owner who is known as bit off a rogue who proceeded to tell me that job could be done by a monkey and is even more true with my type off car. The funny thing is that his monkey wants 2,097 to fix it which is not what i call peanuts.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:39 PM
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Trust me, a monkey could not to a head gasket job on a Bimmer and if they could, it would be worse than when you took it to him!!

No idea of cost, but i am VERY sorry to say it will not be cheap at all. A few hundred euro's at least. The gasket is very cheap but you need to take half the engine off to get to it.

Have you got oil in your coolant?
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:08 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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no sign of oil in coolant and level seems fine, the only thing that i can see is oil seems thin and level is high. The thing i find difficult to understand is that car had after getting back last time has been driving great and showed a quite remarkable improvement like i say there no more smoke in exhaust and if car started overheating just turning ignition off and on would
ensure temp was stable and when i look up symptoms i never see head gasket as reason that car would overheat and there also not no sign off leaks has me more confused to it all?

Last edited by martymo; 06-19-2007 at 04:14 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2007, 04:11 PM
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Very odd

The car overheats with gasket issues because it loses coolant. If you have no loss of coolant and no water in your oil, then i am stumped

Try changing the oil mate, it maybe the wrong type and too thin. Doesn't explain the overheating though
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:26 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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I cannot seem to get away from thinking that the hoses to radiator could be sign of radiator being blocked but really only a guess as i do not know. Any chance mate how i could check for block in radiator ?
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:28 PM
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Get the engine hot (in the middle of the gauge) and check to see it the fan is blowing air away from the radiator and also feel the fins of the radiator (be careful) to check it is hot at the top and cooler at the bottom and the drop in heat is uniform as you go down the fins
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:56 PM
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in the event that you may have to get a new radiator (not that that is the case) but dont go to the BMW dealer...go to a radiator dealer if there is one in your area. i got one for my mum's 735i for a third of the price
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:57 AM
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just read through have you checked the water pump is working
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  #14  
Old 06-20-2007, 08:02 AM
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lol, good call

The impeller could have disintegrated (the original plastic ones did...A LOT)
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2007, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martymo View Post
I cannot seem to get away from thinking that the hoses to radiator could be sign of radiator being blocked but really only a guess as i do not know. Any chance mate how i could check for block in radiator ?
a good way is to take the bottom pipe off undo the bleed valve and then just put the hose pipe in the top water should just run
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:21 AM
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well if your car has overheated, that could have damaged many parts of the cooling system and engine. Majoirty of the time with the engine it just blows a head gasket sometimes it will crack the block or some other component. Even if your not seeing symptoms of the blue smoke and stuff anymore, you may want to get a compression test or something to see if your head gasket is really blown or not.
And as for your cooling system, i would check the thermostat, water pump, and the sensors. If your thermostat ousing is made of plastic you might want to consider upgrading to an aluminum or steel housing as that will be more durable with heat/expansion.
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  #17  
Old 06-22-2007, 12:19 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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Thanks for all advise and i have decided that i just lack the knowledge to try to find fault much as reading a book is no match for having hands on experience. So right at this moment i am taking car to get problem sorted out once and for all by mechanic who has very good reputation and after 6 weeks of me being a nuisance has finally decided to take it on in spare time. Not sure what damage is as yet to the car or my pocket but will post details as i get them. thanks again and fingers crossed i dont have to re mortgage house to finally have an engine that will be worthy to run inside a car that the other day dealer said was just astounding how 10+ yr old bodywork is and can be in just perfect showroom condition.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:04 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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Talking

Well after mechanic looked at engine he said there absolutely no doubt head gasket is blown to bits and said that he bullsh*ts nobody and that i have serious problem in head. Also the pressure and heat are so extreme to drive any further would risk literally unrepairable damage. After that i just asked how much money he would be looking to sort this nightmare out and then braced myself. Well then for him to quote me 375 i never thought anything could make me happy but when i expected it to be 700-1000 you can see why. Then to top it all he told me that the extension being build onto house has him working night and day to try and get the money to finish job as cost of tradesmen today is shocking to say the least. So being a plasterer myself and mentioning it he asked if i would look and see if the prices he has were the norm. Anyway had look and gave him quote that was 350 cheaper any off the other 3.he had. About to leave he started to talk about what work was involved in maintaining a car my age and said engine will wear depending on how car has been looked after in terms of servicing etc. A badly maintained car could need full engine overhaul early in life while well serviced car can Top 300,000 miles quite easily. I thought about it a minute and asked what cost involved in overhauling and he replied if cost to plaster was anything to go buy then not enough i suggest he do complete overhaul off my car and i would do plaster work for him he was more than happy and in week when he returns from break its all getting sorted. I am just in a state off amazement and still cannot really believe how a day that i thought could not possibly have got any worse, within space of half an hour could make me happy as i could imagine ,feeling knowing this man that never gets a bad report and is locally considered as best around is goin to overhaul my hole engine has left me estatic to be honest. Thanks to every last person who gave me any advise and wish you all good luck with ur BMW.

Last edited by martymo; 06-22-2007 at 04:16 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2007, 04:22 PM
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That is very cheap mate, have my fingers crossed that it fixes it (no reason to think it wont)

Best of luck
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:25 PM
martymo martymo is offline
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I was put in touch with this guy buy a friend that sells and valets cars for living and has never had anything but praise as he does all his work but to see this mechanic is something you could never imagine. I Reckon he has not spent much time anywhere but under a bonnet and the smallest funniest squeeky wee man that you ever could imagine and i myself believes is actually more exited about the work work than the money ,the fact that to see and hear him is enough to trust that the job is going to be one that is done correctly and enthusiastically by one very unique individual.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:48 PM
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I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune. Yes, the engine does need serious attention. That first mechanic seems to be a complete moron.
Is there a real BMW shop in your town? That may be a step in the right direction. I hope the second mechanic works out.
My car now has 112,000 miles and runs flawlessly. I bought it used but I have done a bit of work including a new radiator and thermostat. I am careful to never, ever have the engine overheat.
Good luck, and keep us updated.
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