My 2006 Mini Cooper S temperature gauge rose quickly to the red zone. I pulled over and the engine fan went on. I checked oil which was fine and waited until fan turned off. Restarted, temp gauge was back to normal, but after driving for 20-30 min, same thing happened again. Any thoughts?
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check coolant level could be too low allowing air in the cooling system causing air pocket in engine around the engine coolant sensor.coolant sensor needs to be in hot coolant so it will cause the cooling fan to come on at a set temperature.make sure coolant correct level and the coolant level in the cooling overflow jug should be at full cold mark.the cooling overflow jug should never be empty,if you see empty cooling overflow jug air got in the cooling system so make sure when engine cold every time raise hood make sure cooling overflow jug coolant level at full cold mark.if jug stay empty you have cooling leak.so replace radiator cap,if coolant level all good,i would replace the engine coolant temperature and thermostat.when your car come to a long stop or driving along long line of slow moving traffic the engine coolant blower motor should running if not have vechicle code scan for faulty coolant fan motor control module.or ecm problems.
the fan comes on and off based on the "temperature sending unit" thats a thermal switch mounted on the radiator .. it is normal for the temperature to fluxuate as the fan turns on and off .. if it is allowed to get too hot before turning on then the temperature sending unit should be replaced ...while the car is moving the fan may never come on and isnt needed as long as air is flowing through the radiator .. as long as you are not loosing coolant then the temperatures are probably within proper range ... a sticking thermostat can also cause increased temperature range fluxuations .. that will show up as large swings of temp while driving .....
most likely is going to be a bad thermostat. when you are moving cold air comes through the grill cooling engine but when you stop you don't have that air and thermostat is not allowing flow causing overheating.
check your oil and coolant level to be on the safe side but it sounds like everything is normal if there is no airflow across the radiator the fan will operate when the engine gets hot even with the engine off