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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2013, 10:51 PM
e30enthusiast e30enthusiast is offline
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over heating

I have a 87 325i and the problem im having is that the fan sometime comes on then sometimes it doesn't causing it to over heat. Any suggestions on what it could be?
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2013, 11:03 PM
Skinfather Skinfather is offline
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My first guess would be the thermostat. Any more info you can provide?
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2013, 01:08 AM
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even if the fan doesnt work, it shouldnt overheat. my 316i i used to have doesnt even have an aux fan.

when is it overheating? only in traffic? or at 100km/h? or in any situation? this will help diagnose the part thats dead. i assume you have checked coolant level before coming here? and also how long before it over heats from cold? (in terms of km's/mile's)
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  #4  
Old 04-27-2013, 04:05 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e30enthusiast View Post
I have a 87 325i and the problem im having is that the fan sometime comes on then sometimes it doesn't causing it to over heat. Any suggestions on what it could be?
What fan are you talking about?

Has your mechanical fan...with a viscous clutch...been replaced by an electrical fan or are you talking about the aux fan?
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2013, 08:35 AM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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check your fan clutch first
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2013, 11:50 AM
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woodenbmw woodenbmw is offline
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Re: over heating

Of course, it could also be a worn out coolant temp. sensor or temp.sending unit. But I agree, we all need some more info from op

Last edited by woodenbmw; 05-02-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:11 PM
e30enthusiast e30enthusiast is offline
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Coolant was low. I put some in, but after over heating it took about 1/4 of the antifreeze. Also my clutch fan is moving, but aux fan isnt. An its over heating in idle it takes about 15 mins to overheat.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:22 PM
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woodenbmw woodenbmw is offline
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Re: over heating

Sounds like you may still have air trapped in the cooling system. Have you tried bleeding it ?
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:06 AM
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if its overheating at idle, either water pump or fan clutch. if its overheating in other situations probably thermostat, common to fail on BMs
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2013, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e30enthusiast View Post
Coolant was low. I put some in, but after over heating it took about 1/4 of the antifreeze. Also my clutch fan is moving, but aux fan isnt. An its over heating in idle it takes about 15 mins to overheat.
but was the fan clutch engaged fully? do the newspaper trick to test it. just because it spins doesnt mean its good.

the aux fan could be bad, or a bad sensor
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2013, 04:04 PM
tyresebimmer tyresebimmer is offline
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hi i have a serious question and i hope to get the best answer becuase i love my 3-series and i would hate to get rid of it. but Recently my car has been reading low coolant and begins to overheat building pressure into the reservoir tank. i talked to this guy at autozone when i was about to buy some coolant and claims my car either has a cracked head or headgasket. now the car starts up fine and sounds nothing of the normal. also it doesnt overheat when driving at night time.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:02 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Re: over heating

Buy a test kit to check for combustion gasses in the cooling system. If it shows no contamination you probably have a hose leak somewhere, and the overheating is from a worn out fan clutch.

If the test shows contamination in the cooling system you have a blown head gasket at best, and a cracked head at worst.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2013, 10:35 PM
tyresebimmer tyresebimmer is offline
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ok thanks, now would there be any chance my radiator can be the the cause? i just drove it and is now leaking from the aluminum body.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2013, 11:44 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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That's probably where the leak has been the whole time and you didn't see it until it got bad enough since the coolant was evaporating quickly, but causing the overheating? Not likely. Thermostat, water pump, fan clutch. One or more of those.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
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Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #15  
Old 05-04-2013, 11:51 PM
tyresebimmer tyresebimmer is offline
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well i bought car off this guy and he had engine rebuilt less than a year ago. this radiator thats leaking now i got from a junk yard. my car was never doing this until i got this radiator and i already replaced the thermostat last week.
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2013, 12:33 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Sounds like you've already diagnosed it yourself. Replace the radiator with a GOOD one. I still say buy a test kit to check for combustion gasses in the cooling system. Then you'll know if you have internal problems or not. Being rebuilt less than a year ago means nothing. It could still have a blown head gasket or cracked head.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #17  
Old 05-05-2013, 09:35 AM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
That's probably where the leak has been the whole time and you didn't see it until it got bad enough since the coolant was evaporating quickly, but causing the overheating? Not likely.
now wait a minute. if the coolant is low it will cause overheating. so yes, since he had a coolant leak and lost so much coolant, it would cause the overheating issue. once the cooling system looses its pressure, then the coolant starts to boil over at a lower temperature.

get the radiator replaced and bleed the system. wouldnt hurt to change the coolant and throw in some purple ice or wetter water.
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  #18  
Old 05-05-2013, 05:02 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I am assuming he was topping it up each time he saw it as low. I'd like to know why the radiator was replaced with a used one from the junk yard. Was the car overheated before the rebuild? Why was the engine rebuilt? We're not getting the whole story.

Yes, low coolant can cause overheating, but he said the system was OVERpressurizing, a sure sign the head gasket is blown. The only way to know, short of pulling the head, is to test the cooling system for combustion gasses.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #19  
Old 05-05-2013, 05:09 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Yes, low coolant can cause overheating, but he said the system was OVERpressurizing, a sure sign the head gasket is blown. The only way to know, short of pulling the head, is to test the cooling system for combustion gasses.
a bad pressure cap can cause that same symptom but i didnt read anywhere on over pressuring, just over heating at idle and the aux fan not running.

its would still be good to do the test just to make sure the guy didnt eff any thing up, that or a compression test.
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  #20  
Old 05-05-2013, 08:24 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Re: over heating

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyresebimmer View Post
begins to overheat building pressure into the reservoir tank.
That^
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #21  
Old 05-05-2013, 08:32 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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i see, i was reading the OP posts.
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  #22  
Old 05-12-2013, 11:24 PM
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damalex damalex is offline
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Okay so I'm confused I thought the mechanical fan was the only one that worked to cool the car down an the electric aux fan was for the ac an only would come on when the ac was on I took out all the ac parts in my e30 along with the electric fan
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2013, 11:32 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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The electric auxiliary fan does double-duty. Yes, it runs when the A/C is on, but the radiator is monitored by two temperature sensors that will activate the fan on low speed when the coolant hits a certain temperature, and it kicks up to high if the temperature hits a certain higher level. I can't recall the exact temperatures, but you could look it up if you want.
__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?


Last edited by hornhospital; 05-13-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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  #24  
Old 05-22-2013, 01:09 PM
tyresebimmer tyresebimmer is offline
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questions...im letting my car idle with the coolant reservoir open to bleed out the air after replacing my radiator and theres alot of steam coming out. buy my temp gauge is reading normal. any ideas of possible problems?
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:57 PM
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woodenbmw woodenbmw is offline
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Re: over heating

You really should use the bleeder valve to bleed the coolant. The cap allows pressure to build up and force the air out of the bleeder valve. Also turn the heat on full blast. Some models even require you to elevate the front of the car while bleeding the system. Consult your manual for your specific model and year. As far as I know the steam would be normal. The coolant gets pretty hot, even at normal temperature.

1987 325e automatic sedan
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