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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Sep-23-2009, 04:25:56 AM   #21
GRKM3
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My car's been doing this as well since ambient temperatures have dropped. The needle will slowly move to the left of center, but never past the quarter mark.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2009, 04:44:48 AM   #22
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Thanks for the input. I've never driven this car under 80 degrees ambient temp before today, so I was kind of alarmed, but I am glad to hear it's normal.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2009, 05:29:43 AM   #23
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not sure this is normal in regards to temp gauge.. I daily drove my car last winter in Lvl. (average temp 15-25 degrees), and never once noticed this. I've tracked my car and the water gauge never hits the red either.

Your oil temps are spot on. It should be under 210 unless you're pushing it, or stuck in traffic on a hot day.

However, I will watch for this in Iowa, as soon it will get cold as balls.. (won't be dd'ing though).
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2009, 03:15:35 PM   #24
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I drove some more in some stop and go traffic this morning. The water temp needle would sit at the middle when I was in low speed traffic but would bump to the left when I would go at a higher speed.

If it is the thermostat, has anyone ever replaced it themselves? I found a DIY on the forums, but it is incredibly brief.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2009, 05:59:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by BHenderson View Post
I drove some more in some stop and go traffic this morning. The water temp needle would sit at the middle when I was in low speed traffic but would bump to the left when I would go at a higher speed.

If it is the thermostat, has anyone ever replaced it themselves? I found a DIY on the forums, but it is incredibly brief.
Thermostat is easy to replace(check this diy http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...=1#post3384640). Took about 1 hour. You will need to drain coolant and refill. I did that but the result is still the same. (coolant temperature still fluctuates in colder weather)
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 10:29:02 PM   #26
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

Bumping an old thread - does anyone know what the proper coolant temperature for these cars is? I would guess 80 degrees Celsius since that's the temperature the stock thermostat is set to open at, but the one guy was saying 220 degrees Fahrenheit which is over 100 degrees Celsius... In my own car's case the temperature will hover right at 80 when I'm cruising on the highway. At 80, the needle is just below vertical. The needle becomes fully vertical between 82-85 degrees Celsius, and from 86+ (which I do hit on occasion) it actually leans to the right. Given that behavior, i would think 100 is way too warm, but maybe I'm wrong. My thermostat is brand new (< 1000 miles on it). My old one was stuck open and the temp would drop as low as 65C with low load.

My oil temp rarely goes above 100C unless it's really warm outside and I'm stuck in traffic, or I'm really driving the **** out of the lower gears while it's warm outside.
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 11:06:44 PM   #27
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

Generally, anything below 99C (210F) is okay. If you go above 95C, the temperature needle will start to climb.

Your temps look fine to me. You want to stay from 180 (~80C) to 210 which will depend on the ambient temperature.

In other words, as long as your temperature needle isn't to the first dot to the right, you are okay.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 03:22:20 AM   #28
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

Funny this thread gets resurrected as both my oil and coolant temps have been running lower than normal the last bunch of times I've had the car out. And being stored in winter, I know it's not ambient temps causing things to run cool. Oil temp has reached just short of 210, and coolant to 12 o'clock only once or twice in the last week or two of driving.

Car is getting tech inspection this week for a DE so I'll bring it up to them.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 04:06:19 AM   #29
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

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Originally Posted by krell View Post
Funny this thread gets resurrected as both my oil and coolant temps have been running lower than normal the last bunch of times I've had the car out. And being stored in winter, I know it's not ambient temps causing things to run cool. Oil temp has reached just short of 210, and coolant to 12 o'clock only once or twice in the last week or two of driving.

Car is getting tech inspection this week for a DE so I'll bring it up to them.
Your thermostat is probably stuck open.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 04:44:22 AM   #30
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

have same problem now, just started last month

the water temp ( the gauge on the right) would fluctuate.... stop and go traffic it would go to the middle like it is suppose to, and when on highway, or driving at constant speed, the temp is almost at the quater mark

so is it the thermostat?
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Discussing Another coolant temperature question in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)