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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 03-08-2013, 10:50 AM
BertStevens BertStevens is offline
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Location: Nashville, TN
 
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Mein Auto: 323i
Time for the cooling system

Just when I finally got all the grease out from under my nails from overhauling the VANOS, now I have to dig in again.

The thermostat appears to be stuck open. I've noticed the coolant temp gradually getting lower over the past couple of weeks. Today's drive to work barely got above the blue mark. And it was a cold driving in to work. Sooooo...rather than just replace the thermostat, I'm going to go ahead and do the water pump, thermostat, temp sensor, and hoses. Overflow, tensioners, pulleys and belts were replaced just 13k miles ago by previous owner.

Parts are on order and I guess I'll spend a few hours of my vacation next week getting it done.

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Last edited by BertStevens; 03-08-2013 at 10:51 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2013, 11:13 AM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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Mein Auto: 2000 328i
I feel your pain, if its not one thing its usually another.... hence the love/hate relationship at least youre staying on top of things though
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:35 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BertStevens View Post

The thermostat appears to be stuck open. I've noticed the coolant temp gradually getting lower over the past couple of weeks. Today's drive to work barely got above the blue mark. A
You're doing all the right things.
But add to your knowledge that the dash temp gauge is not an accurate refection of the temperature, or certainly the stability of the temperature.
Therefore for more accurate readings, use the OBC hidden functions to get the realtime temperature reading with precision. I think you'll be surprised how much more revealing this is.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:29 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
the dash temp gauge is not an accurate refection of the temperature, or certainly the stability of the temperature..
This may help a bit ... (it's for the E39, but it's the same engine as on the E46):
- What is the temperature of the coolant when the M54 thermostat opens under normal conditions (1)

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 03-08-2013 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:52 AM
BertStevens BertStevens is offline
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Location: Nashville, TN
 
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
... for more accurate readings, use the OBC hidden functions to get the realtime temperature reading with precision. I think you'll be surprised how much more revealing this is.
Actually, I did this last week when I suspected the thermostat was sticking. Only 66 degrees. That plus even lower dash readings now and lack of heat all point to a stuck thermostat.

But I appreciate your suggestion! The sharing of experiences and the DIYs are what makes this board great.


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Old 03-10-2013, 07:50 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
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Replace the expansion tank while you're at it (unless it's already been done).
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