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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Engine temperature of a BMW 330i



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      05-02-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
Reflex_NL
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Engine temperature of a BMW 330i

Hi all,

About 8 months ago I bought a well-equipped pre-owned BMW 330i from 2006 with Sport pack and approx. 42k miles. It's a great car and I like to drive it :-). Still I don't like the fact that the car doesn’t have an engine temp gauge. This makes it hard to diagnose if something is wrong. I live in TX and after parking the car in my garage the air temperature in the garage rapidly increases (due to the car's heat). I probed the outside temp of the engine (on a typically day with 75 F air temp) and when opening the hood I pointed the gauge underneath the red circle in the picture. After parking the car it tops out at approx. 88 deg. Celsius. ~ 190 deg. Fahrenheit. This high to me because inside the engine it is probably even hotter.

Could you tell me whether this is normal or a deviation from the standard 330i engine running temp? Can you recommend other areas to probe or take a trip to the BMW garage…?

Thanks,

Reflex

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      05-06-2009, 02:46 AM   #2
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You pointed the gauge at the oil filter housing, just curious if that matters.

There actually is a way, so I have read, to find out the engine temp of the car. The OBC has hidden menus which you can access through the dash, and one of the readouts is in fact the coolant temps.

http://e90.wetpaint.com/page/BC+hidden+menus?t=anon

Scroll down to where it says coolant temp, and give that a shot one day to see what it reads. I would expect the coolant level to be around 90C while being operated. I should check today, since I also live in a very warm place and I will let you know what my temps look like after the car is warmed up.
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      05-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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aha, thanks for mentioning. I have not seen the hidden menu, but I'm sure I will try it out! Please share your temp readings.

Thanks,

Reflex

BTW: the turbo engines (335i) do have an engine temp gauge that sits at approx 230 F after driving on highways.
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      05-07-2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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Yea I know, and it sucks that we dont get one. But I dont think you can compare the engine temps of a 335i to us NA guys, not sure on that one.

So I checked, and we only get the coolant temp, which is a decent approximation of the oil temps. Here is what I found:

Cold start, engine is at around 50C. It takes about 8 minutes of easy driving to bring the coolant temp up to around 87C, which is when I hit the highway. Highway cruising takes the temps up to 90-95C, depending on throttle, etc. Cruising at a constant 70, the temps were reading around 91C, and then when parked in stop and go traffic, the temps hit a high of 96C. After sitting in a garage for around 2 hours at lunchtime (ambient temps today were like 38C) the coolant was at 74C. Took all of 2 minutes to get back up to the 90s and thats how the temp cycle goes for my 325i.

So it seems that the normal operating temp is around 200F for my engine, with an ambient temp of 100F. Hope that helps.
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      05-07-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clark192 View Post
Yea I know, and it sucks that we dont get one. But I dont think you can compare the engine temps of a 335i to us NA guys, not sure on that one.

So I checked, and we only get the coolant temp, which is a decent approximation of the oil temps. Here is what I found:

Cold start, engine is at around 50C. It takes about 8 minutes of easy driving to bring the coolant temp up to around 87C, which is when I hit the highway. Highway cruising takes the temps up to 90-95C, depending on throttle, etc. Cruising at a constant 70, the temps were reading around 91C, and then when parked in stop and go traffic, the temps hit a high of 96C. After sitting in a garage for around 2 hours at lunchtime (ambient temps today were like 38C) the coolant was at 74C. Took all of 2 minutes to get back up to the 90s and thats how the temp cycle goes for my 325i.

So it seems that the normal operating temp is around 200F for my engine, with an ambient temp of 100F. Hope that helps.

Nice info clak192. Now if only BMW would find a way to fit a coolant temp gauge on the 3 series like on the new F01's.
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      05-07-2009, 12:41 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

@clark182: Thanks; that’s useful info. With your help I also managed to unlock the BC and show the coolant temp on the screen while driving.

I live in TX and the ambient temp during the test was about 26 C.

Cold start, the engine temp was already 60C. A few minutes of driving and it went up to 80 C. After 5 more minutes cruising on the highway the temperature stabilized at 98 C. When I parked the car or got into slow traffic the temperature increased rapidly to 105 C probably because of less airflow. As my garage is not well ventilated the car remained pretty warm during a decent break and when driving it quickly reached 97~99 C again. Our results are reasonably similar; it also could be that the 330i engine gets a bit hotter than the 325i.

---------
Anyone willing to post their results as well ??

Last edited by Reflex_NL; 05-07-2009 at 01:25 PM.
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      05-10-2009, 07:43 AM   #7
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Could be the case. The only question that remain is what is the relation between oil temps and coolant temps in our cars. Since coolant temps are all we have to go on, I just kind of approximate when its time to start pushing the car, and keep my fingers crossed that the oil is up to the task.

Also, I realized that I have the Gulf spec of the E90. Traditionally this meant that these cars, while Euro speced, also have beefier cooling systems. Not sure if that meant AC only, or AC and actual engine cooling. With what you reported it sounds like that may be the case, but this is just speculation here.
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      05-10-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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So I checked a friend more knowledgeable than I, and he thinks that, with a heat exchanger which we have, it takes roughly 3-5 minutes longer to heat up the oil than the coolant to operating temps. So in my experience it took me about 10 minutes to heat up the coolant to 90C, so it looks like 15 min of easy driving before you are ready to go.
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      06-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for your thougths, I keep that in mind before pushing the car a bit more
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      06-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #10
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Don't forget that the engines in the E90 run at different coolant temperatures depending on the operating condition. I believe that the range permitted is around 80 - 120 degrees C. Under very light loads the engine will run at 120C for maximum fuel economy. Under extreme loads and or high RPM, it will run at 80C for maximum performance. Most of the time it will run in 'normal' mode which is around 95C.

Incidentally, this is why there is no temperature gauge - it would fluctuate too much. You'll get a warning icon if the temp gets a bit hot, followed by a big red warning icon if the temperature gets dangerous for the engine.

Don't worry about the heat the engine gives off, when I first got my E90 325i home from the dealers brand new, the heat coming off the engine was incredible! They are designed to run hot.
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      06-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #11
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BT SCAN TOOL & TEMP Measurements

THis is one area that I am interested in learning from my NEW BT Scan Tool.
Things like: If I switch to Redline 5W-30 -- does the oil temp drop as claimed.
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