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Old 04-16-2019, 11:01 AM
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X5 - E53 Overheating

Thank you for looking at my post. Im stumped here. I have a 2004 e53 3.0i. Im new to BMW vehicles but not to auto repairs.

About 2 weeks ago my expansion tank exploded. Replaced expansion tank. Car now overheats. Found the fan clutch faulty so i replaced it, no change.
Yesterday replaced the faulty auxiliary water pump for the heater so I could bleed the system of air. No luck.
Last year (about 10,000 miles ago) I replaced the water pump, t-stat and all the hoses, radiator, expansion tank.

Something that does help is when the engine starts to overheat, I can turn the heater on and in about 1 min the temp drops back to normal, turn heater off and temp climbs again.
I did check for combustion gases in coolant with a tester. I do not have any coolant in the oil, nor does it smoke at all.

T.I.A. for any input!
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:11 AM
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New doesn't mean operating properly. Watch temp real-time as it warms up. My M54 (and wifes also) hit about 90C and the t-stat opens and the temp stays +- 3°. If the temp keeps climbing the t-stat isn't opening, the pump isn't pumping or the radiator isn't cooling.

The heater core cools not 10% of what the main radiator cools so the engine isn't making a lot of excess heat if the heater can remove it.

Do you have a scanner that will show you the radiator outlet temp, also does your Electric fan kick on when you are having hot flashes?
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:22 AM
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It sounds as if your radiator is plugged. If the pump wasn't pumping or the thermostat was somehow stuck shut, I don't think you'd get any relief from running the heater like you are. Did you ever add any sort of "stop leak" sealant or similar to the system? How does the coolant look? Plugged radiators are not common these days, but I can't imagine what else it could be.

Additional thought... I guess the auxiliary pump could be doing the work to get you relief with the heat turned on, so maybe you have something like a broken impellor on your main WP?

AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:45 AM
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Watching the temp with a scanner it will go to 235-240 degrees, above 2455 then it starts to climb.
Upper rad hose is hot as hell and pressurized, lower hose is pressurized however barely warm. Which is where the temp sensor for the fan is at. So the fan won't come on with the temp sensor. It did before the expansion tank exploded. If I turn the a/c on then the fan comes on. I agree that "new" doesn't mean new, been there done that before. It does tend to eliminate those items though. Although in this case all is suspect.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attacking Mid View Post

Additional thought... I guess the auxiliary pump could be doing the work to get you relief with the heat turned on, so maybe you have something like a broken impellor on your main WP?

AM.

That was my thought. It's the aux pump maybe adding extra pressure maybe the t-stat is just opening a little not enough. Also the DME can force the t-stat open so maybe can measure the heater lead on the tstat and verify if the DME if trying to open the t-stat
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:55 PM
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Fan clutch?
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:02 PM
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Mentioned as replaced but outlet hose not hot = not the problem. Low airflow coolant comes out hot. Low coolant flow coolant comes out cold.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:19 PM
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With the lower radiator hose remaining cool, I lean towards insufficient flow through the radiator. Thermostats fail in "open mode" allowing too much flow through the engine and radiator keeping operating temperatures low. The fact that the heater cores can drop the temp indicates your radiator is not dissipating heat well enough.


With the radiator being that old, there's reasonable chance it's plugged.


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Old 04-16-2019, 06:00 PM
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:35 PM
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Does the car overheat only when idling, or does it still overheat while cruising down the road (35+mph, not towing a trailer)?

I had exactly the same thing happen. Wife was driving, got low coolant then high temp message. Expansion tank had blown. Replaced expansion tank. Car still overheating, but I noticed it was only at idle or stop and go. Fan clutch was bad AND electric pusher fan was bad (I think the electric fan failed first). Even though you replaced the mechical fan clutch, make sure it feels stiff when the engine is stopped. If the fan continues to spin at all when you 'fling' spin it by hand, your new fan clutch is bad, too.
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