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Electric Radiator Problem on e36 (1996) BMW 318i. The radiator fan does not seem to kick in when the car gets hot and so the radiator overheats, steams, leaking etc... Where is the common fault area for this, wiring, electric motor, fuses, relays, thermostat?

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  • webdude2000 Aug 05, 2010

    Hi, thanks, the problem is the thermostat

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Although this is not my expert point, I know from my own cars that the common problem point for these cases is the thermostat or the electric fuse. Take a look at both of these points. Also keep in mind that the ventilator's fan must be free to rotate.

In case of a problem or clarification, don't hesitate to post me a reply.
If you are satisfied, accept my solution.

Thanks and regards
Stelios
direct FixYa link: http://www.fixya.com/users/technical114

Posted on Aug 03, 2010

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1 Answer

2007 bmw 318 i is running hot


have a pressure test done on the cooling system to check for leaks. have a flow test done on the radiator to check for blocked cores. Have a compression test done to check for head gasket or cracks. If you have a viscous fan hub on the fan then replace it if the heating is indicated at stop lights and slow traffic. If automatic check that the transmission oil temperature is not overheating and putting that heat into the radiator from the oil cooler in the radiator tank

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1994 BMW 318i runs hot, just recently had the fan clutch and thermostat replaced and its fine. This seems to happen when I turn the AC on. I am a novice is there something I can do myself to check the air...


There should be an electric fan in front of your radiator. Check to make sure that it turns on whenever the air conditioning compressor kicks on, or whenever the car is too hot. If not, the electric fan may have failed, but the most common failure point is the relay for the electric fan.
There may be a temperature sensor in the end-tank on the radiator with a three wire plug. That is supposed to turn on the electric fan when the engine gets too hot. If you short the two hot wires to the brown ground wire with the key turned on, you can test to see if the relays work for the high and low speed settings. If the contacts have burned away in the relay, you will hear it click but the fan won't turn on. The sound will help you find the relay.

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I have a 1994 bmw 525i series it is over heating with a new waterpump and thermostat


Suspect #1 - air in cooling system. These can require several bleeding attempts to get all the air out. If the overflow reservoir is old and cracked inside, it will keep getting air back into the system.
Suspect #2 - radiator plugged internally with mineral deposits from hard water or silicates from using the wrong coolant. Does the radiator feel hot all over when the car is hot?
Suspect #3 - radiator plugged externally with organic material or the hair from the long haired cat that sleeps in your garage. Put a light behind the radiator and see how well you can see through it from the front grill.
Suspect #4 - failed fan clutch and/or failed electric fan. Does the overheating happen on the highway, or only when stopped or moving slowly? Does the electric fan kick on whenever the air conditioning compressor kicks on? The most common failure point on the electric fan is the relay.
A defective new thermostat is possible but unlikely.

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1996 BMW 328i overheat light went on on highway. Pulled over. Engine was super hot, but radiator was fine. Steam coming from oil cap when I removed it. Radiator was not hot, I opended it and it was...


SOUND LIKE FAULTY THERMOSTAT.IF RADIATOR COOL AND ENGINE HOT.THERMOSTAT STUCK CLOSE NOT ALLOWING COOLANT TO FLOW THROUGH THE RADIATOR AND ENGINE

Aug 22, 2010 | 1996 BMW 318

1 Answer

Radiator not switching on in e36 (1996) BMW 318i. My car does not seem to overheat but the water in the radiator does and it steams out the top. It would appear that the radiator fan is not kicking in....


hi, yes this happened to mine as well, i had a viscus fan and the clutch started slipping and the car overheated in traffic and blew the head gasket and buckled the head , i gather this is the straight six?, you have to be so careful with these things they are so prone to water related faults, you can test the fan buy running the engine, then if you have a piece of wood or a stick of some sort, just put it in front of the fan, if it stops with no feedback, the clutch has gone, if it try's to push the stick from your hand its ok, and it may be more than just a slipping viscus fan clutch, does it pressure up the hoses to the radiator? do they get really hard?, does the bottom hose stay cold and the top gets really hot?, if so it could be the head gasket and will need to be looked at straight away...after you have checked these get back to me ok..hope that helps

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Either the fan switch on the engine or the fan relay is at fault. Replace both for they are inexpensive to replace

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