Cooling system

Asked by Apr 07, 2016 at 08:48 PM about the 2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Low coolant light as always is on so I
check the coolant it was empty put
coolant in it after a couple miles light
came on check the coolant it was
fine I figured it was the sensor so I
ignored it drove 30 miles then drove
another 30 miles and on my trip
somebody on the freeway we slow
down to tell me there was smoke
coming out the back of the car so I
look to the coolant light it was in the
red but not a red light so I pulled over
on the freeway and waited 30
minutes to see if it would cool down
it didn't so I proceeded to exit the
freeway well I got out of my car the
heating element that's connected to
the radiator was hanging help

2 Answers

315

Wow, what a dramatic question/situation....and all I can do is deduce from your story-line.... If the coolant reservoir on the BMW is totally empty, it is likely that air has contaminated the system...so when you filled it back up, you really did not fill and bleed the system. As a result, there was not much coolant in the radiator, and a large air pocket I would imagine as well. When the car heated that pocket (which the water pump cannot push/remove) to a certain temperature...it may have compromised your radiator. Stop everything. Let the car cool completely. Then, start and refill gradually, making sure that all the air escapes and the system is full. Now, as you refill, if everything pours out of the radiator (perhaps at the temperature switch, as there is no "heating element,") Well then there is your problem... The cooling system has to hold pressure and be free of contamination/air...for that BMW to operate properly. Oh, and turn on the heat full blast...as that opens up the path to the heater core, and assists in bleeding air when you refill the system. It also confirms the flow of the coolant itself! That's the best I can do with what you have provided...but if you would like to give me further details...I can help you knock this one OUT!

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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109

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