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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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Old 07-05-2011, 01:24 PM
IanFG IanFG is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 328 Cabriolet
96 328 cab overheating

Ive read all the threads on overheating here and in the manual, so I think I know the problem/answer, but I thought I'd check with the car detectives to seeif there are clues that can save me time and money.

some months ago replaced the cap on the expansion tank as was losing coolant. Months of delightful, top down driving followed ( yeah!!) LAst week I inadvertently "red lined" (RPM) the car in second gear overtaking - no problem - car ran smoothly for another hour or so. as I arrived near home the temp gauge went into the red. Pulled over and let it cool a bit then coasted home. steam around everywhere. Seemed like the cap wasnt on tightly. Topped up with coolant. ( didnt bleed) next day after a mile or so temp gauge in red again so coasted home. rad and hoses cool, engine hot. no apparent leakage.
\engine oil is not milky coolant isnt oily so far as I can tell, car starts and runs beautifully.

Questions: Seems like a jammed closed thermostat? Did thew "red lining"incident have anything to do with this or is it coincidence? what does the evidence suggest? Was it just failure to bleed after first top up after loose cap incident?

Before I start stripping to get to the thermostat, would appreciate sage advice.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:31 PM
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BMRfanatic BMRfanatic is offline
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Mein Auto: Bad Luck 46
I would try bleeding it first

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Old 07-05-2011, 04:35 PM
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drive by72 drive by72 is offline
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Mein Auto: 3 series
+1 to bleeding. However the symptoms you're describing sounds like a Tstat stuck closed. The red-line incident shouldnt have anything to do with it, its pure coincidental. Just feel the end-tanks on the radiator after about 5 minutes. they should be gettting warm as a normal tstat should be opening by that time
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