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The bmw 318TI has a METAL thermostat and its a good idea to change that at the same time you change the water pump. Cost in NZ around $35 on trademe. The thermostat is above the water pump and easy to get at. Drain your water below the reservoir side tank on the right bottom. Then undo top hose and bottom hose. Make sure you insert a rag into the bottom hose so nothing falls in and using a 10mm spanner take off the 4 bolts holding the casing. You will need an allen key to take off one bolt. Remember these are not tight so when you do back up use a torque wrench on its only 8-10 lbs- if you overtighten you may break the casing



Thermostat housing see below. I have broken the gasket and these are dear $27 NZ but use high temp silicon to replace or buy the gasket sheets from Supewrcheap and cut one out..

The 4 bolts 10mm have been removed and cover taken off.

The thermostat5 note position when you take out and the small hole should be at the top when you replace. Make sure you use lithium grease on the "O" ring and make sure you have the "O" ring on the outside housing not the on the inside of the thermostat facinf the block.

In this pic I have checked the thermostat on top and tested it in a pot of boiling water. The thermostat opens anmd watch the bottom spring as it expands and closes from cold to boiling. It opens when the water boils then take it out of the water & it should close------an easy test. On the left of the pump you will see a black wire encased. This is a sensor so dont damage it or your car will not go--see diagram below next to the bolt hole of the water pump in the front left.


My thermostat opens and closes. You may also find the fan doesn't turn on until you press your aircon then it will go. But make sure you bleed the screw by the radiator filler. I had lots of air and then filled that small orifice up until all the coolant started to come out. Did it a few times after starting the car then allowing the bubbles to come out.

Does your radiator fan still go? if not, check that the fans motor isn't dead and then get the thermo sensor switch in the side of the radiator check and replaced too. If you have a multimeter check the brown wire to earth. then check the other wires. The switch is on the side of the radiator. If this switch fails the fan stops from going and the temperature will go up quick.

a) Bleeding the system after coolant has been changed, bad head gasket will push water out fast from radiator and you get steam from your exhaust, when the car is warm.

b) Water pump - Early E36s had a plastic impeller in the water pump and this disintegrates over time until the pump no longer circulates the water. When this happens the hot water stays near the engine and none reaches the heater box. This can also lead to overheating either at idle or when driving.

c) Failed viscous fan - If the fan clutch (the middle bit) fails the fan won't spin properly and won't cool the engine. Replace but check the thermo radiator sensor on the right side of the radiator for the fan on/off at low and high speed.

Check also: http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...an-nut-t12095/
d) Blocked radiator - Regular flushing of the system should prevent this, however there is no easy way to check other than to remove the radiator.
e) Thermostat jammed shut - Not very common but it does happen but simple test put thermostat in cold pot of water boil & it should open then take out of the pot and it will close.



Engine fully warmed up, temp gauge sitting at 12 o'clock, idling in traffic
FAN NOT WORKING: If the fan don't run in low speed, CHECK. the radiator switch is set for 80C/176f LOW, then 88c/190F HIGH. If your fan comes on when you turn the A/C on, but doesn't kick on when the engine idles for extended periods, you should probably replace the high speed relay first.
1. High speed relay normally closed contact is bad
2. Resistor mounted in the fan is open
3. The slow speed relay control circuit is not closing, from either the absence of ecu input or from a bad radiator temp switch.


The 318ti only has a "puller" fan which operates in two modes. Low speed intermittent cools the radiator when the coolant reaches a certain temperature and high speed constant when the A/C is turned on. Furthermore, the 318ti does not have the clutch driven fan mounted on the water pump pulley like other e36's do. So it's imperative that the puller fan remain installed and function properly as it's the only way to cool the engine when the car is sitting at idle or the a/c is turned on. Engine began to overheat. High speed fan works/comes on when AC button depressed, But the low speed was not coming on. Low speed of the fan motor was at fault. Replace and test with multi meter before install of
new fan, to get both speeds great. Test the thermo switch.

The thermostat costs $35. A thermostat gasket is around $27 wow yes dear but use high temp silicone to make the gasket if you can't get. My Old one broke but I used high temp silicon not cheap silicon to make up the gasket Allow time to set eg 1 day and its working fine.

If you have parts for sale tell us and we will list for FREE. or wish to post your workshop experiences for others

Yes no cost to you buying or selling the 318ti


HOW TO DO REPAIRS: [ BMW 318ti sepentine belt ] [ BMW 318ti brake shudder ] [ BMW 318ti thermostat ]


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