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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:00 AM
Cotwell Cotwell is offline
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Location: Niagara falls NY
 
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Question Thermostat replacement

2 days ago my car wouldn't reach proper operating temperature due to my thermostat. It's the original thermostat so I will be replacing it myself. The problem is I ordered the thermostat on wednsday with second day air but it won't be here till Monday. On Sunday night I need to head back to Ohio which is about 220 miles away. I'm unsure if it will be safe (for my car) to travel that far with a lower than normal temperature. Would I create engine damage if I drove?
Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:16 AM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotwell View Post
2 days ago my car wouldn't reach proper operating temperature due to my thermostat. It's the original thermostat so I will be replacing it myself. The problem is I ordered the thermostat on wednsday with second day air but it won't be here till Monday. On Sunday night I need to head back to Ohio which is about 220 miles away. I'm unsure if it will be safe (for my car) to travel that far with a lower than normal temperature. Would I create engine damage if I drove?
Thanks in advance!
What will happen is that the engine will run at a much lower temperature than normal, so you will get very bad gas mileage, and will have very little heat, or no heat in the cabin. It sounds like your thermostat has stuck in the open position. Symptoms are that the temp gauge stays on the low side, and not the middle of the gauge, as it should be. I would give a cautious yes, but keep a close eye on the temp gauge for any overheating, and pull over IMMEDIATELY if you see the gauge climb any higher than the middle of the gauge, and then get a tow, or you WILL destroy the engine. I would also check the expansion tank and check to ensure that the coolant level is ok. Wear very warm clothes and visit a sporting goods store and get a couple of chemical hand warmers.They are very cheap ( you will thank me later for this). Check back here before you leave as others may have more or better advice. Post back when you get home and let us know how you made out. Good luck! BTW, I suggest you change the oil when you get home as it could possibly get some fuel dilution.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:20 AM
Cotwell Cotwell is offline
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Will do. Thanks for the help!
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:30 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Drive it very carefully as stated and dress very warm. Keep an eye on your needle as much as you can and use the hidden OBC function to show your coolant temp.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:42 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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As others have said, I've seen them fail open (can still drive it that way) and then the same one fails closed later on (causing you to be stuck). Be careful.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:20 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
As others have said, I've seen them fail open (can still drive it that way) and then the same one fails closed later on (causing you to be stuck). Be careful.
"others"? Jeez I thought I had a little cred around here! Have to wear my cup when I post in the future!

JK of course! I always defer to the master of the E46!
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Cotwell Cotwell is offline
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Location: Niagara falls NY
 
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Well a local parts store decided to call me saying they found one instock fortunately.... So I just got finished installing and checking the new thermostat so the bimmer is back in action! Thanks for the replys
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:26 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Cotwell View Post
Well a local parts store decided to call me saying they found one instock fortunately.... So I just got finished installing and checking the new thermostat so the bimmer is back in action! Thanks for the replys
Good news! Still going to be a rough trip with the weather. Bring supplies!.
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