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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
so i have a 2002 325 with about 163k miles. I had an overheating issue last summer, replaced the water pump, thermostat, and electric fan. haven't had a problem since. Last night, i was idling in the taco bell drivethru and my temperature gauge started going up and the car shut off. i opened the hood and coolant was spilled all over. i thought maybe i blew a hose but it appears that all of them are fine. i'm afraid it could be the fan again but i replaced it with a brand new one about 5 months ago.
 

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Look for any cracks on the expansion tank... Double check the top hose that connects to the expansion tank is connected properly? You might've not installed it correctly? Make sure that both ends that connect to the expansion tank are pushed all the way in and that the metal clips are clamping down the ends...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update

so the car is now overheating while idling and while driving. it's drinking coolant but i couldn't really tell if there was a leak. the radiator could be leaking but it was replaced only a few months ago at the dealership. i turned on the hot air on full blast while i drove and it kept the temperature from rising. i'm just having a hard time finding the problem
 

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Is it leaking still? Have you bled the coolent? It might be building up pressure because the system hasn't been bled right so it builds up pressure and leaks out from somewhere?
 

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Try refilling the coolant expansion tank to the correct level, installing but not tightening the pressure relief cap, and bringing the car up to operating temp. Tell us what the temp reads when the fan turns on, and if the coolant starts leaking out from under the cap.
 

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I'm assuming you drive a manual so there is no mechanical fan. If the car is still "drinking" coolant than you obviously have a leak. The expansion tank is most likely the issue but the water pump and thermostat are possible. Get under the car and take the belly pan off, and try to see where the leak is coming from, look for fresh drips of coolant. If the fan stopped functioning correctly then this could have caused the overheating and blown the tank or a hose.

Did you change the coolant temperature sensor in the lower radiator hose when the cooling system refresh was done last?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
started to take it apart today. thermostat is cracked up by the spring which surprises me because i replaced it a couple moths ago. clutch fan is bad. i took it off and it can spin with me barely pushing it. already ordered a new one
 
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