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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm going to try posting this here since I didn't get any responses in the //M forum

So I was driving to my friends house today in my M3, drove maybe 3 miles and I suddenly glanced down at my temp gauge to see it was almost touching the red. I starting freaking out scared as I have a 323i as well where I've had the expansion tank blow on me. So I quickly pulled into the next parking lot. So here's the wierd part, the gauge moved up quickly to midway through the red, but the overheat light never came on. I ended up turning my car off but put my fan on full blast at high temp. It cooled down my temp gauge in a matter of about 30 seconds to mid way. I tried starting it up and again it was at mid way and starting VERY slowly inching it's way back up. I called up a friend of mine who used to have an e46 as well and has also had his expansion tank blow so that he could follow me home. I then checked in the manual and it says that the needle may reach to the edge of the red in normal operating conditions. So we started back to my house, the temp gauge would start in the middle, stay in the middle for a couple minutes of driving, and then gradually rise again. At certain times under slow driving conditions when the needle is nearing the red, it will randomly start to cool off and inch down, only then to start rising again. It will then reach about 3/4 into the red before I will decide to pull over to let the car cool off. This happened twice where I was forced to pull over for a couple minutes, let the fan blow full heat in the cabin and the engine temp is back down to 1/4 or 1/2. I then managed to get my car home.

So my question is...is this normal?? The engine overheat light never turned on although 3 times it was very far into the red. Is the M3 as prone to expansion tank explosions as the other E46s?

I did spend the day using my other E46 and when I got home not too long ago, I added a bit of coolant to make sure I was ok.

My A/C was not on, as I have read in other threads.

Could it be my radiator? thermostat? water pump? if anyone has any insight, it'd be much appreciated. I'm pretty sure my belts are due for a change, but could that be the reason? I was planning to bring my car to the garage for a couple other things, but I'm scared of driving it there at this point. thanks.
 

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2016 340i xD 6-spd
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Could be therm, though typically they break 'open,' but breaking closed is not unheard of.

OP...you should not drive your car now. Check coolant level when cool on level ground. Read cooling threads. Depending on your mileage, this may be a good time to overhaul the entire system, of course including belts, pulleys. Radiator probably not needed unless you're over 150K or so.

M cooling system is considerably more expensive than non-M, so if you need to, find the leak if one is evidenced. Check for obvious issues with temp gauge. It could be many things though...read the sticky above on cooling...and search for cooling in the M forum. You're not the first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, i'm going to risk trying to get it to my garage. Problem is that it's about 15 miles away. I guess I'll be doing a lot of starting/stoping. thanks guys!
 

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well, i'm going to risk trying to get it to my garage. Problem is that it's about 15 miles away. I guess I'll be doing a lot of starting/stoping. thanks guys!
Really? A ride on a rollback can't be THAT expensive!

:banghead:

Hope you enjoy replacing your engine.
 

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well, i'm going to risk trying to get it to my garage. Problem is that it's about 15 miles away. I guess I'll be doing a lot of starting/stoping. thanks guys!
Are you an idiot?
 

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Oh boy. Probably too late.

Not a good idea to do this. Save $100 towing and risking $1000-1500 head gasket, $1500-2000 cylinder head, or $2-4000 engine replacement.
His is the S54, so double any prices you just listed... :D
 

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Are you an idiot?
You should be a hostage negotiator.



On a tangent, a lot of automobile insurance plans and/or auto clubs will have a free or inexpensive option for towing, so you don't even have to worry about the cost of it should something come up. I pay something ridiculously small, like $20 extra every 6 months to cover rental car if my car is damaged (granted, smallest rental car) and up to 100mi towing whenever I need it for my own car.

Use it once every 8 years and it pays for itself. . .thereabouts.

Use your own judgement and everything of course. Some people find it useful, some don't.
 

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:rofl: OP never post back. Perhaps he's stuck on the side of the interstate :eeps:

My ET blew yesterday. Called my insurance company and got a free tow. I already had all the parts so I replaced the ET today with a fellow fanatic's help :woot:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
car's already at the garage guys ;) I had to stop three times on the way, but it was all good. Signs are definately pointing to thermostat.

Time to drive the old red E46.
 

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'All good' is a relative term. The 'garage' is your garage or 'a' garage?

Anyway, overheating an engine isn't good...driving for 15 miles with bad therm (if that's what it is) isn't good. Don't assume it's the therm, though...and seriously consider a cooling system overhaul. Also, now, an oil change would be a good idea too.
 
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