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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 Yesterday, 03:14 PM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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aux fan not running.

so i was on my way home from work today and my car was hotter than usual and i stopped on side of the road and the bleeder screw was puking coolant, it popped the top off. i had the wife bring me a gallon of water and topped it off and eased it the last mile and half home from where i was.

upon researching the problem i found that the fan isnt turning on and i figure that the culprit is that failure. the fan isnt stuck and the thermoswitch is practically new lower temp model. fan doesnt turn on with the a/c either. i checked the fuses 16 and 41 and they are not blown. is there a relay or something else i should check?
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  #2  
Old Yesterday, 03:33 PM
600$bmw 600$bmw is offline
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yes there are two relays 1 for high and one for low here is an image of the fuse box showing them
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  #3  
Old Yesterday, 05:24 PM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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I assume the relays are not reversable as well?
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  #4  
Old Yesterday, 05:25 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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The relays are the same. You can swap them between locations.
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 06:35 PM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
The relays are the same. You can swap them between locations.
Okay. I'll try that and see what happens. Thanks to both of you!

Do you know if the high cancels the low out?
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 07:19 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I don't know. You can download an electrical troubleshooting manual for your car in the Super Sticky thread, under useful links.

Link to the manuals here:
http://wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm
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guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
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Last edited by hornhospital; Yesterday at 07:21 PM.
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 10:59 PM
600$bmw 600$bmw is offline
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i dont think one cancels out the other, the speed is just based on coolant temperature and whether the ac is on or not whether it runs on high or low... but mine probably runs more often as i have deleted the clutch fan and run a lower temp t stat and a lower temp aux fan temp switch in the radiator.... 30,000 miles and no over heating problems yet in il with it 90 and the ac running:/
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  #8  
Old Today, 07:29 AM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 600$bmw View Post
i dont think one cancels out the other, the speed is just based on coolant temperature and whether the ac is on or not whether it runs on high or low... but mine probably runs more often as i have deleted the clutch fan and run a lower temp t stat and a lower temp aux fan temp switch in the radiator.... 30,000 miles and no over heating problems yet in il with it 90 and the ac running:/
same mods here. and has been that way for about a year and a half, the mech fan had fins break off so i did the fan delete then. plan on adding an e-fan setup but havent gotten around to it yet.
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  #9  
Old Today, 08:18 AM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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okay, what if my assumption is wrong, and the fan stopping wasnt the original culprit? what if the bleeder just fatigued and broke off from regular pressure, causing the water level to drop, thereby not having the thermoswitch submerged in water and causing the fan not to run? then i am chasing fan problems that dont exist...

because in reading, the fan only comes on with a/c when temps reach 91* at the switch, or i assume 80* with my low temp thermoswitch.

so i think i need to get the bleeder fixed and see if the fan runs, because all of my fan testing has come up working... now i can't find any ohm specs for the thermoswitch on the radiator so if anyone has a testing procedure or whatever with ohm specs for the thermoswitch then i would be appreciative as that would be the missing link in my testing.
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Last edited by diptenkrom; Today at 08:20 AM.
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  #10  
Old Today, 08:27 AM
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Your themroswitch theory is not sound and the aux fan is not your problem. You don't even need an aux fan installed in the first place for the engine to run at normal temp, if the rest of the cooling system is working correctly. So you have other problems going on somewhere else in the system, and you should probably do a comprehensive cooling system overhaul. My initial guess is that your bleeder screw failed and allowed air into the system, thereby causing it to boil over and overheat.

Also, I don't recommend deleting the mechanical fan. It is not particularly troublesome if you replace it every 7-10 years, and is the first line of defense to avoid an overheating. It only cost $35-50, so it's cheap insurance.
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  #11  
Old Today, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Your themroswitch theory is not sound and the aux fan is not your problem. You don't even need an aux fan installed in the first place for the engine to run at normal temp, if the rest of the cooling system is working correctly. So you have other problems going on somewhere else in the system, and you should probably do a comprehensive cooling system overhaul. My initial guess is that your bleeder screw failed and allowed air into the system, thereby causing it to boil over and overheat.

Also, I don't recommend deleting the mechanical fan. It is not particularly troublesome if you replace it every 7-10 years, and is the first line of defense to avoid an overheating. It only cost $35-50, so it's cheap insurance.

His car has had the FDM so he does need the aux fan for cooling at stops or at lower speeds.

Op, you can check fan by applying 12V to the high or low side contacts in the fan connector. You can access the fan connector by removing the plastics under the front of the engine. The connector is on the driver side. If you've got a multimeter you can also check for 12V coming from the fan connector in the car harness.
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  #12  
Old Today, 09:10 AM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
His car has had the FDM so he does need the aux fan for cooling at stops or at lower speeds.

Op, you can check fan by applying 12V to the high or low side contacts in the fan connector. You can access the fan connector by removing the plastics under the front of the engine. The connector is on the driver side. If you've got a multimeter you can also check for 12V coming from the fan connector in the car harness.
i did check the fan, if i jump the switch it runs on both speeds, (meaning all fuses and relays are good) which is what brought me to discover the fan only comes on at a/c and temp switch, so if the temp switch isn't in water the fan would not run. i also pulled the high speed fan relay and the fan would not kick on thus proving the relays and fuses have to be good.

so is there a ohm test procedure for the switch, as it is newish i would rather not replace it if is good?

i can temporarily jumper the fan to run, which would give me known fan running, but i still have to fix the incredible exploding bleeder... wish i could afford one of those awesome aluminum reservoirs
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Last edited by diptenkrom; Today at 09:12 AM.
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  #13  
Old Today, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
His car has had the FDM so he does need the aux fan for cooling at stops or at lower speeds.
Yeah, my argument is that he should actually reinstall a mechanical fan, since when installed, the aux fan is pretty much never used to cool the engine. Also, my hunch is that even the low-temp aux fan switch turns on at a higher temp than when the mechanical fan clutch would engage, so by relying on the aux fan, you're allowing the engine to get hotter before it turns on compared to when the fan clutch would engage.

So basically, I think relying on the aux fan to cool your engine is a bad idea for a few reasons.
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  #14  
Old Today, 10:52 AM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yeah, my argument is that he should actually reinstall a mechanical fan, since when installed, the aux fan is pretty much never used to cool the engine. Also, my hunch is that even the low-temp aux fan switch turns on at a higher temp than when the mechanical fan clutch would engage, so by relying on the aux fan, you're allowing the engine to get hotter before it turns on compared to when the fan clutch would engage.

So basically, I think relying on the aux fan to cool your engine is a bad idea for a few reasons.
And I agree with you argument, but I'm going to install a slim e-fan, just haven't done so yet.
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  #15  
Old Today, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diptenkrom View Post
i did check the fan, if i jump the switch it runs on both speeds, (meaning all fuses and relays are good) which is what brought me to discover the fan only comes on at a/c and temp switch, so if the temp switch isn't in water the fan would not run. i also pulled the high speed fan relay and the fan would not kick on thus proving the relays and fuses have to be good.

so is there a ohm test procedure for the switch, as it is newish i would rather not replace it if is good?

i can temporarily jumper the fan to run, which would give me known fan running, but i still have to fix the incredible exploding bleeder... wish i could afford one of those awesome aluminum reservoirs

It's a temperature switch so it should read open when it's internal temp is below 80C (176F) and near zero ohms above that temp. You can test it with a heat gun if you have one, or by holding the sensing end in boiling water for a few minutes. Don't submerge the portion of the switch with the electrical connections.
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