Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #26  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:50 PM
Dud Dud is offline
Registered User
Location: Elmwood Park
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: 1994 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
As is the case with all liquid-cooled cars, the heat you get inside the cabin is sourced from the cooling system. Heat from the engine is absorbed by the coolant cycling through the block. In addition to passing through the radiator to dissipate heat into the atmosphere, the coolant also passes through the heater core, which is what allows you to have hot air inside the cabin of the car (the blower motor pushes air through the hot heater core, which then comes out through the vents). If the air will only blow hot when revving the engine (as the OP described), you either are low on coolant and/or have air trapped in the system. Since the OP replaced the t-stat, didn't bleed the system afterward, and now only gets hot air through the vents, I can say with total certainty that he has air trapped in the system which needs to be bled out.

The fact that warm air is only coming out on one side of the cabin is most likely due to the blender doors being stuck. Pretty small issue considering everything else going on here.
Yeah alright that explains a lot and was really helpful. Ill drain all the coolant tomorrow, and refill making sure to bleed the system while filling up and keep you all posted. Thanks a lot to everyone who helped! Means a lot
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:51 PM
hunter94 hunter94 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Washington State
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325I
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
As is the case with all liquid-cooled cars, the heat you get inside the cabin is sourced from the cooling system. Heat from the engine is absorbed by the coolant cycling through the block. In addition to passing through the radiator to dissipate heat into the atmosphere, the coolant also passes through the heater core, which is what allows you to have hot air inside the cabin of the car (the blower motor pushes air through the hot heater core, which then comes out through the vents). If the air will only blow hot when revving the engine (as the OP described), you either are low on coolant and/or have air trapped in the system. Since the OP replaced the t-stat, didn't bleed the system afterward, and now only gets hot air through the vents, I can say with total certainty that he has air trapped in the system which needs to be bled out.

The fact that warm air is only coming out on one side of the cabin is most likely due to the blender doors being stuck. Pretty small issue considering everything else going on here.
Okay, makes sense. But since he is getting heat on one side of the cabin and not the other the cooling system wouldn't have anything to do with that particular issue. Correct?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:57 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,847
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dud View Post
Yeah alright that explains a lot and was really helpful. Ill drain all the coolant tomorrow, and refill making sure to bleed the system while filling up and keep you all posted. Thanks a lot to everyone who helped! Means a lot
There's no need to drain the coolant you have in your cooling system already. Just leave it in there and add to it. As you bleed air out, the coolant level will drop. Continue adding a 50/50 mixture of coolant & distilled water to the reservoir with each bleeding session until it no longer goes down from the correct level as indicated by the markings on the expansion reservoir. It may take you 3-4 attempts before you get all the air out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter94 View Post
Okay, makes sense. But since he is getting heat on one side of the cabin and not the other the cooling system wouldn't have anything to do with that particular issue. Correct?
True, getting heat on one side of the cabin but not the other is a blender door issue, not a cooling system issue. It's just that he also said previously his air won't even get hot unless he's revving the engine, which is why I felt the need to explain a little bit about how the systems are related to each other.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 01-29-2013 at 09:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:00 PM
hunter94 hunter94 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Washington State
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325I
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
There's no need to drain the coolant you have in your cooling system already. Just leave it in there and add to it. As you bleed air out, the coolant level will drop. Continue adding a 50/50 mixture of coolant & distilled water to the reservoir with each bleeding session until it no longer goes down. It may take you 3-4 attempts before you get all the air out.



True, getting heat on one side of the cabin but not the other is a blender door issue, not a cooling system issue. It's just that he also said previously the air won't even get hot unless he's revving the engine, which is why I felt the need to explain a little bit about how the systems are related to each other.
Okay makes sense. I was just trying to get a full understanding of what was causing what. And if I was missing something. Thanks for the explanation.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:01 PM
Dud Dud is offline
Registered User
Location: Elmwood Park
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: 1994 325i
Well the thing is the car was sitting in a garage for a year without being started and had a dead battery when I picked it up. It was also empty on coolant so just to be safe and make sure the coolant doesn't have any clogs (other than air bubbles) shouldn't I flush the whole thing?
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:02 PM
Dud Dud is offline
Registered User
Location: Elmwood Park
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: 1994 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
There's no need to drain the coolant you have in your cooling system already. Just leave it in there and add to it. As you bleed air out, the coolant level will drop. Continue adding a 50/50 mixture of coolant & distilled water to the reservoir with each bleeding session until it no longer goes down from the correct level as indicated by the markings on the expansion reservoir. It may take you 3-4 attempts before you get all the air out.



True, getting heat on one side of the cabin but not the other is a blender door issue, not a cooling system issue. It's just that he also said previously his air won't even get hot unless he's revving the engine, which is why I felt the need to explain a little bit about how the systems are related to each other.
Well the thing is the car was sitting in a garage for a year without being started and had a dead battery when I picked it up. It was also empty on coolant so just to be safe and make sure the coolant doesn't have any clogs (other than air bubbles) shouldn't I flush the whole thing?
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:11 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,847
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
If that's the case, flushing the system and giving it fresh BMW coolant with distilled water certainly couldn't do anything but help. Just be sure to only use BMW coolant and distilled water.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:15 PM
hunter94 hunter94 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Washington State
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325I
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
If that's the case, flushing the system and giving it fresh BMW coolant with distilled water certainly couldn't do anything but help. Just be sure to only use BMW coolant and distilled water.
To further my knowledge lol. What is significantly different about BMW coolant compared to others? Why is it recommended?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:29 PM
jonesin's Avatar
jonesin jonesin is offline
The Canadian Prick.
Location: Fort McMurray AB
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12,610
Mein Auto: '96 328is Cosmos
BMW (and Mercedes and Zerex) coolants are considered G-05 coolants. This means in short that they are not corrosive to aluminum. Since the radiators and water jackets (and the cylinder heads as a whole) are aluminum, I'm sure you can see why this is important.

The majority of big box stores only carry coolants like Prestone (usually premixed) which is corrosive to aluminum.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:35 PM
hunter94 hunter94 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Washington State
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325I
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
BMW (and Mercedes and Zerex) coolants are considered G-05 coolants. This means in short that they are not corrosive to aluminum. Since the radiators and water jackets (and the cylinder heads as a whole) are aluminum, I'm sure you can see why this is important.

The majority of big box stores only carry coolants like Prestone (usually premixed) which is corrosive to aluminum.
Good to know. So I'm assuming using Prestone for example would cause water jackets to corrode? And that's why water jackets lose their original shape and look like little bites have been taken out of them? Or is that just normal ware?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:38 PM
jonesin's Avatar
jonesin jonesin is offline
The Canadian Prick.
Location: Fort McMurray AB
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12,610
Mein Auto: '96 328is Cosmos
There should be no 'normal wear'. So I would say that the pitting is caused by either using the wrong coolant, or by using tap water instead of distilled.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:39 PM
hunter94 hunter94 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Washington State
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 325I
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
There should be no 'normal wear'. So I would say that the pitting is caused by either using the wrong coolant, or by using tap water instead of distilled.
Alright thanks for the info.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:44 PM
southpark11235's Avatar
southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Saugerties NY
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,660
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 323is
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
There should be no 'normal wear'. So I would say that the pitting is caused by either using the wrong coolant, or by using tap water instead of distilled.
That,or he pissed of this guy .
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	jaws.jpg
Views:	155
Size:	32.1 KB
ID:	359828  
__________________
Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:47 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,847
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
There should be no 'normal wear'. So I would say that the pitting is caused by either using the wrong coolant, or by using tap water instead of distilled.
Or caused by electrolysis, which is the result of leaving coolant in for too long between flushes. If you leave coolant in for longer than two years, it starts to become acidic, and then electrolysis sets in and it starts eating at everything.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:50 PM
jonesin's Avatar
jonesin jonesin is offline
The Canadian Prick.
Location: Fort McMurray AB
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12,610
Mein Auto: '96 328is Cosmos
Good point, thanks Karl.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:53 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,847
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Which reminds me that I should probably buy one of those testers to see how my coolant is doing...
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:09 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
BMW CCA Member
Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,666
Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
Hey OP, as far as the overheating, it doesn't only take 1 overheat to kill your car and as long as you were not hammering the throttle while it was overheating (like in a racing scenario), your engine is fine. I track my car and the temp gauge sometimes goes to 1:00 and 2:00 o'clock. It is fine, so long as it doesn't keep going towards the right and remains there.

By the way, while the car is running, have you tried pinching the radiator hoses to make sure they are firm? Sometimes if there is an air leak in the hoses, you will be able to pinch them easily, suggesting there is no pressure. That is another cause for overheating.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 01-30-2013, 07:51 AM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,847
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
Hey OP, as far as the overheating, it doesn't only take 1 overheat to kill your car and as long as you were not hammering the throttle while it was overheating (like in a racing scenario), your engine is fine. I track my car and the temp gauge sometimes goes to 1:00 and 2:00 o'clock. It is fine, so long as it doesn't keep going towards the right and remains there.
You don't have to be driving hard or racing to overheat your engine, which is why so many street driven BMWs have their head gaskets blown and/or heads warped & cracked. And due to the aluminum head, it really does only take one overheating to kill the head on these engines. Due to the buffer built into the factory temp gauge, the needle should never EVER go beyond 12 o'clock. If it does, the engine has already gotten much hotter than the gauge is indicating, due to the buffer, and you're already doing more damage than you think you are.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:25 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
BMW CCA Member
Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,666
Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
You don't have to be driving hard or racing to overheat your engine, which is why so many street driven BMWs have their head gaskets blown and/or heads warped & cracked. And due to the aluminum head, it really does only take one overheating to kill the head on these engines. Due to the buffer built into the factory temp gauge, the needle should never EVER go beyond 12 o'clock. If it does, the engine has already gotten much hotter than the gauge is indicating, due to the buffer, and you're already doing more damage than you think you are.
I really don't mean to be a jerk here, and I mean that seriously. Nor do I want to mislead anyone. But I've overheated a couple times before, and still the lowest number I got from my leakdown test (last month) was 195. The rest were 200 - 205. My car is driven hard.

No head gasket issues, no cracked head, nothing. I didn't weld/loctite the oil pump gear nut either. I'm not going to say that it would never happen, but just saying in my personal experience, my engine is still going strong. This will be yet another season of the engine being beaten hard on the track and I bet it will still drive me home. The worst I've done was swap to a Dr Vanos Stage II, aluminum radiator, new clutch fan, and valve cover gasket. The engine currently has 145K on it.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:34 AM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,847
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
No worries.

It's just that the tales of people blowing the head gaskets in their E36s due to overheating are never ending. These cars are extremely sensitive to overheating, and it's probably the single most prevalent (serious) issue with these cars.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:51 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
BMW CCA Member
Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,666
Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
No worries.

It's just that the tales of people blowing the head gaskets in their E36s due to overheating are never ending. These cars are extremely sensitive to overheating, and it's probably the single most prevalent (serious) issue with these cars.
Oh not doubting it, since I seen them too. But one thing I noticed was the people that had overheating issues didn't go into detail: once the needle started spiking, was the car still driven like a bat out of hell (provided the needle is past 2 o'clock)? Usually you see responses of "I PULLED OVER AND ZOMGWTFBBQSAUCE!! MY HEAD IS CRACKED!!" But there is one thing missing in the equation... did the person lift off the gas and coast over? I bet the answer 80 - 90% of the time would be... "Duh wut? lulz".

I've had my engine spike past the red, for less than 5 minutes. I just let off the gas, coasted, and came to a safe stop (my mechanic's shop since I was going there anyways). Guess what? Still running strong.

Only thing I can recommend is when your car overheats or starts overheating, just relax and stay calm and let off the gas. A little gas is fine, but relax. Your engine is not going to blow up, crack, etc if you drive responsibly while the car is overheating. If you have an air bubble in your cooling system, you will see the needle bounce up and down. You're fine. Again, just relax on the gas pedal.

Usually on the track, I switch to Diesel Oil and that oil alone, as thick as it is, helps cool my engine as well (oil is a heat retardant hence why Porsche used the system until 1997 for emissions reasons). But I gotta clean my catalytic converters to get all the phosphorous deposits off before they dry up and clog the exhaust. It's a pain, but I track once or thrice a month. It's a German car and if you don't like tinkering as much as I do, or a whole bunch of other people on this forum, shouldn't be driving a German car in the first place.

Anyways, I am willing to bet that once the OP gets his overheating issues taken care of, he will be perfectly fine provided he didn't drive his car like a bat outta hell.

One other thing I can think of aside from possible leak in the coolant hoses (which can be deciphered by pinching the hose and feeling no resistance due to lack of pressure) is maybe the coolant journals may be clogged from debris or aluminum oxidation deposits lingering around. A full and thorough detergent flush would be in order.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:58 AM
jonesin's Avatar
jonesin jonesin is offline
The Canadian Prick.
Location: Fort McMurray AB
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12,610
Mein Auto: '96 328is Cosmos
Far and away the majority of posts of newbs I read here are along the lines of: "I saw my car was overheating, but I was only xxx miles from home, so I drove it the rest of the way. Will it be okay if I ignore the voices on this forum and keep driving it for a month before I check the coolant level"?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:26 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
BMW CCA Member
Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,666
Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
Far and away the majority of posts of newbs I read here are along the lines of: "I saw my car was overheating, but I was only xxx miles from home, so I drove it the rest of the way. Will it be okay if I ignore the voices on this forum and keep driving it for a month before I check the coolant level"?
Well if you drive it for a month like that, you're on your own. I'd check it almost immediately once you pull over and the engine has cooled a bit so you don't fry yourself from chemical burns.

Simply put, if you are far away from your home/garage/mechanic, just follow logic and pull off to the side of the road (patiently) and let the car cool and call a tow truck if you don't have any coolant (provided your water pump is not broke, or radiator/hoses is not cracked and squirting water everywhere).

Again, this is all under the auspices that you are far away from home, your temp needle is not steadily rising but rather quickly rising to the red, and you are well beyond 2 o'clock.

After I am done doing a heat, during the cool down lap, I watch my temp needle come back down to normal. Simple as that. I still check the coolant level anyways, since our coolant level sensors love getting stuck. :P
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 01-30-2013, 12:40 PM
Dud Dud is offline
Registered User
Location: Elmwood Park
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: 1994 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
Far and away the majority of posts of newbs I read here are along the lines of: "I saw my car was overheating, but I was only xxx miles from home, so I drove it the rest of the way. Will it be okay if I ignore the voices on this forum and keep driving it for a month before I check the coolant level"?
Haha yeah I live 10 minutes away from my school and it took me one hour to get home. I pulled over and let off every time and I was really patient with it. Didn't get too angry or stressed. Ill probably do everything tonight on tomorrow morning depending on the weather. It's just like 35 degrees and I don't want water to freeze when I flush the system.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 01-31-2013, 04:00 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
BMW CCA Member
Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,666
Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
I know this is going to sound weird to a some people, but if you really want to keep your engine running cool, use higher octane gas and thicker fully synthetic oil (20W-50 or Diesel Oil).
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms