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My car is hot

  • 02-10-2007 6:54pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,974 ✭✭✭


    My bimmer (E46 US import) is heating a lot, not overheating at all, even when stuck in traffic for 2 hours, but when I stop it, the pipes are making a lot of noise (Like the metal is cooling down). Even if I drive normally and do not push the engine.
    Even if I leave my car for 2-3 hours, after I ride it again, the temp goes straight to the middle (Which is the normal temp on bimmers).

    Because my car has initially been bought in Boston, Massachusetts, I was actually wondering if I might have an especially adapted thermostat for cold weather because it is supposed to be a bit chilly in the area in the US.

    I know depending of the region where you buy your bimmer (And other manufacturers I suppose) you would have a different thermostat (Or other piece) depending of the average weather.

    When I stop the car, the fan stops as well, I suppose it should be running a bit to cool the engine down ?

    Do you guys know if this can be reprogrammed or if I need to get a new part ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,147 ✭✭✭E92

    I wonder is the thermostat simply faulty?

    The first thing to ask is how long have you the car here and has it always done this.

    I don't see BMW doing different thermostats for different US states, I know that they modify the cooling system for hotter countries.

    I don't think that the temperatures should be a problem; Boston gets 100 degree temperatures in the summer, I've no idea what 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius is, but I do know that is hotter than the Med is in the summer(I know this because I've been in Boston in the summer, and in the Med at the same time of year).

    And Boston gets a lot of snow in the winter too, so I think that there is definately something wrong with your car.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,974 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the feedback.
    This is the feedback I just received from a specialised BMW forum.
    There is a "cold climate" setting that a dealer can turn on/off, but I believe what you're experiencing is 100% normal. My 330i does the same thing - stays warm for a long time. This is actually part of the design - it saves fuel and emissions (catalytic converter is still up to temp).

    If I need to work on the car after driving it, I open the hood to help it cool down faster beforehand.

    So hopefully everything is ok

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,147 ✭✭✭E92

    When you say it is heating a lot, do you mean the the engine temperature guage goes right of the dead centre position?

    The needle should be dead straight when the engine is warmed up, if it is going to the right, even if it doesn't actually go to the red zone under normal driving, then something is not right. High speed/performance driving can sometimes send the needle moving a bit to the right(to the white marker right of centre at most), and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

    I wouldn't worry about the engine taking an age to cool down at all(assuming that the engine was at the correct operating temperature of course). It is much better for an engine to be running at normal ntemperature, in fact most of the wear and damage caused to engines is done when the engine is warming up, as most people forget that the car needs to be driven gently while the car is warming up.

    The fact that your car's engine takes an age to cool down will prolong the engine life and save a lot of fuel and therefore money.

    I wish more cars had this kind of feature!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,974 ✭✭✭

    It does not go straight to the middle, it takes 2-3 minutes only when I drove the car 2-3 hours before and it takes the engine several hours to cool down.
    When the car is cold, takes roughly 5-10 minutes I think.

    I use to drive a 4 Cyl. E36 and it takes more time for it to go to the middle so I suppose the guy is right.

    Thanks for your input

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,147 ✭✭✭E92

    So am I right in saying that the needle just goes to the dead centre, and doesn't go to the right at all? If so, theres nothing wrong with the car.

    If you start driving a modern car straight away after starting it up vfrom cold, the engine will have warmed up after at most 5 mins anyway.

    The oil takes about 2-3times that to warm up.

    Really, an engine is not properly warmed up till the oil has warmed up.
    That applies in particular if you are intending to take the car by the scruff of its neck though!(and for highly tuned engines like say an M3)

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,974 ✭✭✭

    Yes sure it stays in the middle, does not go to the right.
    That's my 5th bimmer, had a E46 in 2001, never seen this, so I was a bit confused :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,616 ✭✭✭milltown

    I would think the thermostat would be the same internationally as all it does is open up the rest of the cooling system once the block (or the coolant in it) has reached the engine's optimum operating temperature.
    For extreme climates, some manufacturers may fit, say, oil pre-heaters for very cold climates or larger fans and rads for hot ones. These would be very extreme cases and we'd probably all be very surprised at the temperature range a standard car can operate normally in. I'm also none too sure how many cars BMW expect to sell in polar regions and the Gobi desert.