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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the new E90 doesnt have a temperature gauge, what information does it provide to the driver? Say for instante there is a cooling problem with the engine (water pump quits, thermostat stuck, etc) -- with a gauge I would notice the engine running warmer than normal and pull over before the needle is in the RED.

If all we get is an idiot light, I'm afraid it woudlnt come on until the red area, which to me seems like too late a warning before you start running the risk of damaging the engine. Also, I wont be getting I-Drive.

I'm wondering if its anything like the oil level display, where we would get some sense of Normal Operating Temperature, Warmer-Approaching-Hot, and Overheat/Danger.

So does anyone know how it works?
 

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I share your preference for gauges, but recent experience tells me idiot lights have come a long ways. In my 99 Ford, the battery light came on several days before the gauge started to show a reduced charge - the alternator quit a day later. I ignored the idiot light and went with the gauge - which cost me a new battery! I guess both would be great - esp. if the light doesn't tell you how severe the problem is.
 

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More Than Idiot Lights

The E90 3-series, like all other newer BMW models, has more than just the Engine Temperature Warning light that comes on when worse comes to worst. The rev-counter has a series of lights all the way around it, much like the M3, but the lights are much better executed and have no visible gaps. When the temperature of the engine is low, the lights will extend all the way to 4000rpm or so. As the engine comes to operating temperature, the light bar retreats back to the 7000rpm mark. The lights, therefore, provide you with all the information you need to determine whether you can use the engine to its full pontential yet or not.

The warning light is only needed to determine if the temperature is too high.
 

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The E46 has hidden OBC functions which one can unlock to display the actual engine temperature. I expect the E90 to have the same capability. So don't fret. If you really need to access the engine temperature in the E90, you probably will be able to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So, does anyone know what temperature will set off the warning lights?

Say if the thermostat is a 195 degree stat, and "red zone" on the usual analog gauges is 290*F, I want that light to come on around 260 or so... (just throwing out numbers, but you get the idea)... If the light only comes on after the engine is hot enough to start causing damage or warping, then whats the point of it?
 

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M3Mad said:
The E90 3-series, like all other newer BMW models, has more than just the Engine Temperature Warning light that comes on when worse comes to worst. The rev-counter has a series of lights all the way around it, much like the M3, but the lights are much better executed and have no visible gaps. When the temperature of the engine is low, the lights will extend all the way to 4000rpm or so. As the engine comes to operating temperature, the light bar retreats back to the 7000rpm mark. The lights, therefore, provide you with all the information you need to determine whether you can use the engine to its full pontential yet or not.

The warning light is only needed to determine if the temperature is too high.
I'm not sure about that. I wish it was true, but when I asked my dealer if the E90 had the variable tacho lights he said that only the M models had this feature. Other people who I have asked on other forums tell me that this feature does not exist on their E90s.

The cold-start warm up phase and the lack of an oil dipstick in the engine bay are the two things that are most worrying me when I pick up my 325i in June.
 

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Picked up my 325 last week. Fantastic car! The level check is made whilst you're driving using the onboard computer - you just have to put your faith in the electronics.

I thought that the red line on the tacho dropped when the engine is cold therefore acting as a king of temp gauge. However, whilst I have a series of bars above the red line which look as if they should move in the same way that the new cruise control indicator moves around the speedo, they remain static. I'm going to drop into the dealer next week to check it out.
 

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Good news about the oil level checking thing. I haven't ordered iDrive with my 325i - I take it it will still measure the oil level for me?

Let us know what the dealer says about your tacho lights - I for one am very interested about this feature. If this feature isn't on the E90, how are you supposed to know when the engine has warmed up enough to take the engine to the redline?
 

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Resurrecting this somewhat old thread with good news!!

I discovered today that the tachometer DOES have a way of telling you if the car is cold or running at normal temerature. I don't know if this is new or it has been posted before, but I didn't find it when searching and it is not in the user's manual.

The red line in the tachometer in my 330i starts at 7000 rpm. However, there are a number of small lines that go from ~6750 to 7000.

When you first start the car, these series of lines are red. After a while, they turn white! I think this means that the temperature is now normal!! I'm psyched... now I will know when the engine is warmed up and can safely start stepping on it!
 

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silverado said:
When you first start the car, these series of lines are red. After a while, they turn white! I think this means that the temperature is now normal!! I'm psyched... now I will know when the engine is warmed up and can safely start stepping on it!
Good to know. May be the weather is too warm that I never notice it was red when I got it in early May? But still don't know when the oil/water temp getting hotter...
 

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M3Mad said:
The E90 3-series, like all other newer BMW models, has more than just the Engine Temperature Warning light that comes on when worse comes to worst. The rev-counter has a series of lights all the way around it, much like the M3, but the lights are much better executed and have no visible gaps. When the temperature of the engine is low, the lights will extend all the way to 4000rpm or so. As the engine comes to operating temperature, the light bar retreats back to the 7000rpm mark. The lights, therefore, provide you with all the information you need to determine whether you can use the engine to its full pontential yet or not.

The warning light is only needed to determine if the temperature is too high.
The E90 does not have a variable engine redline :confused: , with regards to the lights extending to 4000rpm, the E90 does no such thing. At least in my 330i production 05/05.

Also, I haven't been able to see the red "lines" that are at approx. 6750 rpm. Did a cold-start today and the white lines between 6750 - 7000 rpm are, well, always white. I will double check this on another cold-start. That would be kewl if the "lines" do indeed go from red to white.
 

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I think I was fooled by the Auto lighting setting while I was in my garage this morning (and being half asleep). I'm beginning to think the "red" I was talking about might have been the VERY amber instrument panel lighting. It of course went away when I drove out of the garage.

:stupid:

I will double check again later while being more careful (read awake and caffeinated). But my enthusiasm is waning.

Where are those delete privileges when you need them?! :loco:
 

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Just a question about the temp gauge on previous generations 3-Series... How often did you really need to consult them? Mine started cold, in the blue, and then moved on to the middle after a while, and it never moved from there afterwards, on any trip, for more than 5 years owning the car. I wasn't looking to it anymore - The engine has temp sensors all over the place and does a good job of managing it's heat.

So I don't think a warning light coming on when something wrong happens is such a bad thing... At least it'll get the driver's attention.
 

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Wolf359 said:
Just a question about the temp gauge on previous generations 3-Series... How often did you really need to consult them? Mine started cold, in the blue, and then moved on to the middle after a while, and it never moved from there afterwards, on any trip, for more than 5 years owning the car. I wasn't looking to it anymore - The engine has temp sensors all over the place and does a good job of managing it's heat.

So I don't think a warning light coming on when something wrong happens is such a bad thing... At least it'll get the driver's attention.
I agree. No gauge is fine with me. I would use the gague to know when the coolant temp is hot enough to rev the enging. Although it was indeed a COOLANT temp gauge not an engine temp gauge, I would still use it as a reference. Now I suppose i can just keep track of distance traveled to gauge when i should rev it hard. No big deal.
 
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