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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 Tue, Apr-12-2011, 05:02:04 AM   #31
BHenderson
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

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Originally Posted by twboy1999 View Post
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?
Yeah, sounds like it's stuck open. It's pretty common.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 05:22:03 AM   #32
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

thx for the info
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 01:46:59 PM   #33
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

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thx for the info
Just to clarify, did you mean the quarter mark on the right (hotter) or left side (cooler) when driving at highway speeds?
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 01:54:54 PM   #34
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

on the colder side
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 01:55:53 PM   #35
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

Ah, I just wanted to make sure. That's what mine was doing (thermostat was stuck open).
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 05:49:35 PM   #36
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

My CPO runs out at the end of the month, so this will be covered minus the $50 deductible, provided it is indeed the thermostat. From all indications here though, it sounds like it is. I'll find out tomorrow and can post back with something definitive.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 07:28:12 PM   #37
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

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Originally Posted by flyingmachine View Post
Coolant temperature normally stayed in the dead middle before winter but since winter, it rarely hitted middle mark. It's always somewhere between first 1/4 mark and middle. And the oil temperature is pretty much the same.

Is it normal? Or my thermostat is stuck open?

I use OBD tool to read coolant temperature. Engine outlet was 179F and radiator outlet was 126(after about 25 mins driving). Does it sound like normal operating temperature with E46 M3 engine?

On my M62 V8 engine, thermostat is designed not to open until 226F. How about the setting on S54 engine?
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Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
Your thermostat is shot. Running the engine at 126F is WAY cold, and will result in a very rich mixture going to the cylinders. That's not good since it tends to wash oil off the walls of the cylinders. The M3 thermostat is probably designed to run close to 220F or so - but BMW does change engine temperature to maximize efficiency. The water temp gage is buffered - meaning - what you see isn't what you have. BMW purposely makes it run at 12 noon so they don't get people complaining about the fluctuations in engine temp they use to maximize engine efficiency. If it's not at 12 noon - something is wrong. In this case - running cold - pretty much has to be the thermostat.
Sorry to bring this back up, but am I missing something here? The E46 M3 thermostat is for 80C or 176F.
179F operating temperature should be perfect.
My car is running the same and always has (except on track, where it gets to 90 sometimes). Sorry if this has already been covered, didn't read the whole thread.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 08:48:51 PM   #38
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

What else besides the thermostat could be the culprit?

I've changed the t-stat a few thousand miles ago and my coolant temp gauge still sits below noon.

Temp sensor was also changed in the past.

Not sure what else to look at?
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 08:50:59 PM   #39
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

How far below noon is your needle? Have you checked your actual coolant temperature? Is your aux fan stuck on?
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Old Wed, Apr-13-2011, 04:24:25 AM   #40
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Default Re: Another coolant temperature question

should we reflush the coolant while we are at it?

thanks
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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)