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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 12:24 PM
daverp daverp is offline
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2007 E90 Overheating. Fan or pump?

Couple weeks ago, driving up a long uphill in about 105 degree temps, suddenly I got the yellow overheat icon, and immediately the red, with the cut in power. Pulled over, let it cool down, and went on my way. Figured it was just the long hill and high temps.

Last weekend, same thing, but on a fairly flat stretch of road. Highway speeds, suddenly the yellow, then red icon, then power down (engine at idle speed, but would not accelerate).

Both times I was able to get over immediately. The coolent resovoir cap popped on the first time, but not since.

Last time I had a generic OBDII reader with me, so I plugged it in and let it run so I could see watch the engine temps. Running between 180 to 205, with the peak hitting 220 momentarily.

Ordered up a water pump and thermostat last night.

Figured as long as I watched the temps, I'd be okay.

Driving today, on a cool morning, all seemed as last time. 180 to 200 temps. Then, watching the gauge, it suddenly started to sky rocket. Went from 180 to 220 in the span of 10 to 15 seconds. I immediately started trying to get over. In the 20 or so seconds it took me to get to the shoulder, it hit 245 with yellow warning light before it started to come down. With traffic and being on the shoulder, I did not get to see or hear if the fan was running.

Restarted the engine, and watched temps come down. Once they were down to 180, I limped the last mile to work, carefully watching the engine temps.

When I hit the garage at work, the temp started climbing to 205 again. I pulled into my space, and noticed I didn't hear the fan on. Popped the hood. As the temp went to 220, still no fan. Turned car off, and restarted. The fan came on and was quickly up to high speed and cooling the car down.

Is this a stat / pump issue, or a fan issue? I don't know the sequence of operation for the fan, but seems to me when the car is at 220 and temps are climbing, the fan should be on.

AC was on during these episodes.

Tried heater on the way in. Blasted at full, and heater is pumping out hot on demand.

I don't want to go replacing the stat and pump, only to find out it is the fan. Things are a little tight at the moment.

Does anyone have an idea here, and any DIY on how to troubleshoot this?

Car will be towed home tonight. Inspecting it last night I saw no signs of any head gasket or warped head issues (no bolt heads popped that I could see, coolant looked clear, oil looked normal, no smoke). Car runs normally, but hot. Hopefully I dodged that bullet.

Last edited by daverp; 07-02-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2013, 01:09 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Get a BMW specific scan tool. That will tell you if your coolant temp sensor is bad. You might also have a shadow fault indicating a deviated flow rate for the water pump, which means it's on its way out.

With these electric pumps on these newer cars, failure is immediate with little warning. A decent indication of a failing water pump is that your fan will kick on high on start up and remain on high throughout the drive, as well as after shutting the car off. It will sound like the fan is screaming.

The tstat is designed to fail open so an overheat condition is minimized.

I doubt it's your fan since it does kick on. I think it's a temp sensor.

I suggest you get this figured out ASAP and stop trying to drive your car. You will blow your head gasket.

Last edited by fdriller9; 07-02-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2013, 01:27 PM
daverp daverp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
Get a BMW specific scan tool. That will tell you if your coolant temp sensor is bad. You might also have a shadow fault indicating a deviated flow rate for the water pump, which means it's on its way out.

With these electric pumps on these newer cars, failure is immediate with little warning. A decent indication of a failing water pump is that your fan will kick on high on start up and remain on high throughout the drive, as well as after shutting the car off. It will sound like the fan is screaming.

The tstat is designed to fail open so an overheat condition is minimized.

I doubt it's your fan since it does kick on. I think it's a temp sensor.

I suggest you get this figured out ASAP and stop trying to drive your car. You will blow your head gasket.
Car is parked but to pull it out of the parking garage tonight so the tow truck can get to it.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2013, 01:35 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daverp View Post
Car is parked but to pull it out of the parking garage tonight so the tow truck can get to it.
Yea that's fine. Running the engine for a couple minutes is ok. But repeatedly overheating your engine will lead to more damage.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2013, 01:43 PM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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my usual repair process is to start with the least expensive part and work toward the most expensive parts if you are replacing with out knowing exactly what is bad
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2013, 05:33 PM
TXFred TXFred is offline
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Your car is able to drive for a bit and maintain temperature, then the temperature skyrockets. That makes me think that you have an intermittent water pump failure. It's possibly the relay on the pump.

Look up the procedure for bleeding the cooling system. It lets you activate the water pump while the car is off. That will let you test the pump. If you hear this at any point, the pump is toast.



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  #7  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:07 PM
daverp daverp is offline
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Went down while waiting for the wife to pick me up, and ran the following test:

Car on and idle.

Temp climb to 227, fan on low speed.

Fan off at 225.

Fan cycles on and off between 227 and 225 a half dozen times.

Turned car off.

Turned car back on.

Fan on hi speed until 190.

Fan remained off until 227 again, then came on at low speed.

Fan off at 225.

I'd of thought the operating temp / fan kick in would be below that.

Can anyone confirm if these are normal operating temps for this car?
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 10:21 PM
daverp daverp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXFred View Post
Your car is able to drive for a bit and maintain temperature, then the temperature skyrockets. That makes me think that you have an intermittent water pump failure. It's possibly the relay on the pump.

Look up the procedure for bleeding the cooling system. It lets you activate the water pump while the car is off. That will let you test the pump. If you hear this at any point, the pump is toast.


Frederic
I did bleed the system last night. Did not sound like that. Sounded more like the expected "washing mashine" noise I'd read about.

Well, long story short, things did not work out as planned, and I drove it home keeping a close eye on the scanner and temp. It stayed in the 203 to 215 range the entire time, and was settled between 205 and 207 for most of the drive. I'm assuming that's the temp the stat tries to maintain, but cannot find comfirmation anywhere.

Still thinking it must be an intermittent problem with the water pump, or thermostat?
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2013, 02:12 AM
sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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You, my friend, have what leans heavily towards a temp sensor problem that is kicking your fan on and off. Replace your coolant temperature sensor. It kicks the relay on and off for your radiatior fan. Or, you can just wire your fan to run at all times via a toggle switch like I do. Happened a lot in Toyota Minivans. And my MB 300E. Replaced one for a guy who was in disbelief after delear told him he needed an entire new coolant system! Bought me dinner and drinks he was so happy. Almost everything is a simple fix.

Click HERE to get one
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2013, 08:54 AM
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GarySL GarySL is offline
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I bet it's a bad pump. Good luck
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2013, 05:37 PM
daverp daverp is offline
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Put in the water pump and stat, but in the process, managed to nick a tube on the radiator while taking out the fan. WTF...really? Another $150 and a week down. At least it wasn't as bad as I thought...as soon as I saw the nicked tube leaking, I was furious with myself thinking well chit, there goes $1k". Could have knocked me over with a feather when I found a new one for $150. Relatively inexpensive lesson learned there.
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