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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 01-03-2011, 07:20 PM
Mike E Mike E is offline
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'04 X3 2.5 Cooling fan not turning on

2004 X3 2.5 110,000 miles. Noticed today that the radiator electric cooling fan is not turning on. Is this a typical problem for this vehicle? is there a quick-check to perform that would indicate what the problem could be? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011, 07:37 PM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Electric radiator fans are often thermostatically controlled; if there's enough cool/cold airflow passing through the radiator to keep the coolant at the proper temperature (especially this time of year, when outside daytime temperatures hang around the freezing mark in these parts), the fan may not turn on very frequently...

As long as your coolant temperature is staying in the operating range (as indicated by the instrument cluster gauge), you're probably fine.
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2011, 07:28 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1, but the sensors that turn these fans on do fail so keep your eye on it as the weather gets warmer.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:56 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike E View Post
2004 X3 2.5 110,000 miles. Noticed today that the radiator electric cooling fan is not turning on. Is this a typical problem for this vehicle? is there a quick-check to perform that would indicate what the problem could be? Thanks!
If you normally park the X3 in a garage, I'd say the fan should come on if you just leave it idling for a few seconds before shutting it down.
Even in freezing weather.

It does not seem to be common, but there have been a few X3 owners needed fans replaced.

Note that this one did not always show the temp. gauge reading high:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=476124

Best to check this out carefully, and not rely on the temp. gauge to indicate overheating!
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:48 AM
allwr allwr is offline
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I have a 2004 x3 2.5l and coolant keeps spraying out expansion tank/cap when driving. 1)can this short anything with coolant fan operation? 2)will this also cause head gasket to blow?
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012, 10:41 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Originally Posted by allwr View Post
I have a 2004 x3 2.5l and coolant keeps spraying out expansion tank/cap when driving...
You need to repair the problem or replace the broken part. Most likely it's the expansion tank itself; it is a well-documented 'weak' spot in the cooling system, and they are known to develop cracks. And yours, if the original tank, is certainly old enough for this to be the likely source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allwr View Post
... 1)can this short anything with coolant fan operation...?
It could potentially short any exposed wiring. That said, the wiring in the engine compartment is generally well-shielded from moisture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allwr View Post
... 2)will this also cause head gasket to blow?
Probably not unless you run out of coolant and the engine overheats and warps... Keep a close eye on your coolant level until you correct the problem; carry a sufficiently-sized bottle of BMW (the dark blue-green) coolant with you in the meanwhile.

I don't think you should mix other coolants (e.g., the old, generic greenish-yellow ethylene glycol-based coolant; or the newer pinkish-orange GM DexCool) with the BMW coolant. Just consult your Owner's Manual and replenish your reservoir with the correct fluid as necessary.
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:59 PM
allwr allwr is offline
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I replaced the expansion tank/cap, it still loses coolant. Can you tell me at what temp should the fan come on?
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:29 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Doesn't really matter what temp. it is meant to come on at - if it is not coming on with A/C or after less than 1 minute of idling in any weather, something is wrong.

If it does come on under those conditions then there is something else wrong in the cooling system. Such as air needs to be bled out. Or top hose needs replacing.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:10 PM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allwr View Post
I replaced the expansion tank/cap, it still loses coolant...
Well, all that coolant has to go someplace... Are you seeing any puddles underneath the car...? Either it's leaking out, or it's getting consumed by the engine (meaning your head gasket may already be blown... ). Any white smoke from the exhaust pipe? Any mayonnaise-like substance around the oil filler cap? Anything look like it's mixed in with the oil (aside from dirt) when you pull the dipstick?
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