Question about 1996 BMW 318

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I have a 97 bmw 316i, we have changed the water pump, checked heads and changed radiator, bleed it at a 40degree angle filled it with coolant and it is still overheating after a ten minute drive?

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  • lucy74 Jul 21, 2008

    We removed thermostat completely? thinking it may have a hairline crack in head

  • zaheerazam Feb 15, 2009

    i have 95 mw it ha been sitting on the drive for two years when i got round to driving it the rad blew put i knew one in a week later same thing hapened car over heted could this be the water pump or head gasket



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I have a bmw 318i auto 1998 model, ive changed the water pump, the radiator, took the themerstate out, put the fan on direct, & had the head gaskit checked & still it overheats when driving after 10 minutes. the temputure shoots up suddenly. please help me cure this problem. thanks.

Posted on Sep 22, 2008

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You actually need the thermostat in to pressurize your cooling system or the coolant won't cyle through the radiator, it'll just cycle around the engine. Most people think without the thermostat in the coolant will just pump freely through the engine and radiator, but it doesn't.

Chuck in a new thermostat, purge the air out of the system and see if it overheats then. I gaurentee it won't, if it does then you've got head problems (but they should already be obvious by now).

Posted on Aug 19, 2008

  • horimanu Jan 09, 2019

    The reason I know of the head problems is because my partner's 97 BMW (4 cylinder 318i) actually overheated after I had done the water-pump, radiator, all hoses, thermostat, coolant and purged the air properly. It was driving me nuts!!! What was happening is that the head gasket itself had developed a small leak near the fire wall. I initially suspected a water hose near where the leak was between the head and the firewall, so I carefully replaced that and sealed it a number of times too. That wasn't it! Running the car would heat and pressurize the water in the cooling system and once hot, it would escape through the gasket leak. Only after 15mins, once the engine had reached running temperature, would it be pressurized enough to blow out the gasket leak. I drove it for nearly 40kms before enough water had escaped, and only then did the water temperature gauge rise beyond halfway - so keep your eye on the temp gauge. Nearly cooked the engine twice!

    Anyway, I shut it down and got a tow truck home that night. Inspecting the car in the morning, I discovered the water leaking from the rear of the block between the head, near the firewall.

    When I pulled the head off, everything looked okay, but the end section of the head gasket near the firewall had corroded and looked like Swiss cheese. On a 318i engine, that at the time was just over 10 years old with only 120,000kms on the clock, you wouldn't expect to see corrosion like that on a head gasket, but there it was. It had a number of water galleries with thin passages to seal in the area, which is probably why it lost seal quicker than your average gasket.

    In the end I changed the head gasket, put it all back together an the engine ran cool for the rest of its life before I sold it in 2013.


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Thermostat stuck?

Posted on Jul 21, 2008

  • Kirk Vivian
    Kirk Vivian Jul 21, 2008

    That would ****... you know what. My room mate has a 740il for sale for 3500 bucks! Beautiful car. probably cheaper than fixing the head on your's.


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4 Answers

My 1997 540i bmw is still overheating after a replaced water pump and radiator and thermostat. What now.Also heater is blowing cold air.

You m?y have a blown head gasket letting exaust into the cooling system. The pump cannot push exaust. Try a liquid head gasket sealer before replacing gasket. But first open the radiator cap and start the engine. Watch for the coolant to bubble. Top engine and add coolant or water. Some times after doing work on a cooling system you may get air in the system and need to *burp* the systems.

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Cabin heater not working or not working good enough in BMW 3 series.

A common problem in the BMW 3 series of the 99 - 2002 year is that when there is a leak in the cooling system for what ever reason ( perished hoses leak in the 3 series a lot along with expansions bottles, radiators ) air leaks in as tiny amounts of water leave through the leak.
This air rises to the highest point in the cooling system which is the internal cabin heater matrix radiator in the 3 series models of the pre-said years.
As it fills with air over time the water pump can no longer circulate the coolant ( A pump designed for liquid will not move air only liquid ) leaving the internal cabin heater matrix radiator empty ,the coolant now takes the alternative route hence no heat.
A temporary solution is to put in more water or coolant remembering to ;

1 Loosen the air bleed screw or remove it when doing so.
2 Do it while the engine is running and cold and the pump is rotating.
3 Make sure the heating in the car is on full tempeture so as to allow the water to flow up and into the internal radiator.
4 Leave the bleed screw open for five minutes so to be sure all the air has purged.

After that tighten it and replace the filler cap and you should be good to go. if it does not fix the problem bring it to a garage to have the system pressure checked for leaks. they may also do a sniffer test to see if there is any combustion gases in there that should not be, this may indicate major machanical failure of the engine block head gasket or more common in the 2000 318 's is a cracked engine block head which needs total replacement.

So remember! practice and enjoy :)

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Bmw 728i over heating problem

The thermostat and water pump are both common failure points on BMW 6-cyl engines of this era. I would recommend checking the thermostat first, then moving on to the water pump. If the vehicle has overheated several times, you may need to remove the cylinder head and have it checked for warp.

Oct 05, 2009 | 1999 BMW 323 Series

3 Answers

Bmw 316i overheating

check if the water is circulating as you might have a blockage in the header tank. this can be checked by opening the radiator cap and check if the water is circulating on top.

Apr 22, 2009 | 1996 BMW 318

3 Answers


the thermostat (on bmw replacement parts) have an arrow that has to be installed facing upward.if this was done correctly,to bleed the system usually there is a bleeder screw on or near the expansion tank(where you fill the coolant) and possibly on the thermostat housing. i would recommend opening both bleeders and keep filling the system with coolant closing the lower bleeder first and then allow the rest of the air purge from the other bleeder screw.make sure the coolant stays full and be patient you can't wait TOO long.

Apr 20, 2009 | 1995 BMW 5 Series

2 Answers

My bmw 316i coupe 1998 is overheating

Good point above. Does the fan come on?

If you have no heat, you have air in the heater core.

You say the head gasket is ok because yoou have no oil in the water. Many times the head gaqsket blows combustion into the cooling system only. Get the car up to temp with the radiator cap off, put it in gear, hold the brake and load the engine. If you have a lot of bubblls out of the radiator, you have a blow heade gasket or cracked head.

Check the ignitin timing. Old BMW's would overheat in a heart beat with retarded Ignition timing.

My bet is head gasket because the heater core is air bound

good luck

Mar 16, 2009 | 1997 BMW 318

1 Answer


Seeing as you just replaced the water pump, there should be little fluid remaining.

Remove the drain plug from the bottom driver's side of the radiator. Let it drain into a large pan. Once draining is complete, remove the bottom radiator hose from the passenger side of the radiator just to get everything out of the engine if the engine block drain plug didn't remove all of the fluid. Replace the plugs and lines if removed.

Fill the radiator reservoir and start the engine with heat controls on high. open the bleed screw beside the filler cap just enough to let air out. Keep refilling reservoir as the engine sucks it into the radiator. Only fill it to the cold line. Once it stops moving below the Cold/KALT line, replace the cap and close bleed screw.

Nov 30, 2008 | 1996 BMW 318

2 Answers

Coolant level

One of two things, it is either leaking out somewhere, which you should be able to see puddles on the ground or while its running open the hood to see if its leaking out on your motor, hopefully its only a radiator hope or something, this is the cheapest fix. 2. It's burning out internally in your engine, if this is the case you should notice white smoke out of your tailpipe, bad news is if this is the case, its going to get pricey fast because that would indicate a bad head gasket or cracked head.

Oct 03, 2008 | 1999 BMW 318 ti

5 Answers

Bmw 316i overheating

Also check the radiator cap. If the spring in the radiator cap is worn, it is not pressurizing the cooling system properly and therefore it will cause the vehicle to overheat. This is often overlooked and is a cheap repair. Every additional pound above atmospheric pressure that the cooling system is under causes the boiling point of the coolant in the system to raise 3 degrees F if memory serves me correctly. So, if the cap is old it will boil at 212 instead of 230 (for example)-and cause the system to overheat--even though everything else in the system is new/operating perfectly. If this is not your problem you may want to check to see if the cooling system itself is, indeed, holding pressure. You can get a gadget that fits on your radiator from any auto parts store to pressurize the system--after you pressurize it...leave it alone for about 20 minutes and see if it maintains pressure. If it doesnt, you have a leak somewhere. Hooah.

Jul 21, 2008 | 1997 BMW 318

2 Answers


that's the problem
yes, you have to take the coolant filling cap off " expansion tank cap "
turn your car on for at least an hour
the bmw line has a very bad problem wich is " bubbles " inside your water system
you have to have your car inclined and running without the cap so he can bleed all the bubbles out.
sorry you spent all that money but after you replaced the radiator all you had to do was that, to get rid of bubbles.

so, do this. park your car on an incline position, engine up.
remove the cap. let it run for at least an hour.
refill as needed " coolant "
do that the following morning and for last refill the collant as needed.
problem should desapear.
hope this helps

Jun 08, 2008 | 1999 BMW 318 ti

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