Couple weeks ago I couldn't get the heater to put out any heat while idling
at startup. Once i got on the highway it was ok. 2 days later i had NO heat
at all and the "check cooling system level" light came on. I added about a
gallon of antifreeze and it seemed ok until today. when I got where I was
going I had to sit and wait...steam started coming from under the hood. I
shut it off and had to leave the car for the day. Got in tonight and
everything was fine until I got stuck in stop n go traffic (NYC) for an
hour. The temp kept rising and the "check cooling system level" light came
on again. It never reached the red zone but I was running the defrost max
button and praying a lot. Once I got to the highway and could move above 40
it was fine.
Does this sound like I just need a new thermostat? 106,000 miles (mostly
highway) and at 100,000 I had the system flushed.
Any ideas are appreciated.
Dale, it sounds like your water pump impeller is slipping on the
shaft. Don't overheat your engine. BMW engines are very sensitive to
overheating. You can do major damage with what appers to be a minor
cooling problem. BMW water pumps are known to have problems.
Actually - the V8 pump on his car isn't known for this sort of problem.
It sounds as if the car is overheating when stuck in traffic, and that
could be several things..
o - Thermostat is always suspect
o - Leaks are suspect, especially on the V8 cars. Adding a gallon of
coolant is pretty much a clue that there is a SERIOUS leak. FIND where
the gallon of coolant disappeared to. It doesn't just "get low" - if
it's low there is a LEAK.
o - Auxiliary cooling fan can be a problem on that model, and will show
up when stuck in traffic. If it doesn't turn on with the AC - it's dead
and needs to be replaced.
To Dale - overheating a BMW can get very expensive very fast, since the
heads like to warp or crack when this happens. I would quit fooling
around with it and take it to a professional and have it looked at.
Certainly your choice - but if you manage to warp a head, you'll be
looking for a new car rather shortly.
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