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E36General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.
I have a 1994 318iS. It starts fine, and runs smoothly (except for the fact that it needs plugs and wires). After running for about 10 minutes antifreeze starts dripping out of the bottom-right hose where it meets the radiator and there is no pressure in the two upper-hoses running through the head.
I'm wondering what I should try or do to fix this problem.
While it's running, I put the heat on max and there isn't any warm air coming out. The head gasket is fine because I checked the oil for antifreeze and there is no visible smoke at all coming from the tailpipe (unless I floor it, but it's a blackish color from sitting for a few months). No funny smells.
Also, I don't know which fan is supposed to be on while it's running. There's the belt-driven one that's obviously always on and the one in front of the radiator that doesn't seem to work.
Anyway, the antifreeze doesn't seem to be circulating and the car overheats.
Is it the water-pump.. thermostat.. radiator.. something else?
If I didn't include enough information, just let me know.
NOTE: Happened in February after I got stuck in the snow and was trying to blast my way through it. Snow got packed up under the car and then it overheated. I immediately shut it off. Didn't go past the red.
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Your Ride: 1995 325i
A couple of (rather dire) thoughts... E36s had a notorious problem of the ceramic water pump just disintegrating, without any warning, I think at about the 80,000 mile mark. I don't know if this occurred with the 4-cylinder engines, but I know for a fact that it happened with the 6-cylinders. So unless you know that the pump had been replaced with a metal one, that could be the problem.
Also, and you'll have to do an Internet search on this, but there was a problem with the 4-cylinder engines (again, I'm not sure whether the M40 or M42 or both) with the timing chain seal or water pump seal some such thing, causing loss of coolant in that area of the engine.
Needless to say these are some of the more dramatic things that could be the explanation, I hope it's something less involved.