Bmw e90 radiator fan test

Bmw e90 radiator fan test DEFAULT
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  1. 08-24-2013, 11:26 PM#1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Western Pennsylvania
    My Cars
    335i 328i, 535xit, ++

    Some challenging E90 Cooling system questions....

    Hi all,

    Are you a real-deal BMW mechanic? If so, I would appreciate your thoughts on my little cooling fan problem. This seems to be a very common issue among E9x (E90,91,92, etc) owners and I think it deserves to be fleshed out with as many specifics as possible. There are five "mechanic" questions below. But to get an idea of how many folks have had cooling fan problem, question 6 is for you E9x owners. If you don't want to read my lengthy lead-in, jus skip to the questions in bold.

    I have read many threads on The E90 fan problem: the electric cooling fan spins up and sounds like a home air conditioner for no apparent reason. From what I've read and heard, there are a wide variety of possible answers ranging from a faulty coolant temp sensor, to a bad thermostat, to a bad electric water pump, to a bad A/C compressor (suggested by a dealer, of course) to control pulse issues in the ECM. OK, I get it. this cooling system isn't like the one in my E36, my E39 or any of my previous 7 BMWs. However, I take great pride in doing as much of the work on my BMWs as I can. So I at the very least want to troubleshoot and cover the basics and try a few little things to avoid potentially getting ripped off by the dealer. And considering my other two BMWs each have well over 200,000 mles on them, I think I can handle the details. I'm sure others would like to know, too.

    The car in question is a July, 2007 328i sedan that I bought recently for my daughter. Sport package but no other bells or whistles. Here's what I've got so far. The fan kicks in as soon as the OBD says coolant temp is 190-195 degrees (checked realtime via a GoPoint BT1 or with my OBD software on a PC). The car warms up normally and then pegs about 195 until I work it hard (mainly hills). I can drive the car all day and the engine temp never goes above 210 degrees or below 190, but the fan is roaring the entire time. I can't find the exact operating range for this particular vehicle, but 190-210 seems normal. IMHO, a failing pump or stuck thermostat would not keep the temperature so stable.

    First question: Given that the engine is actually operating normally with no apparent instability in the cooling system other than a runaway cooling fan, what troubleshooting checklist would you suggest?

    I always start with the little things... In this case, it was the (primary) coolant temp sensor and I set out to complete the very simple task of replacing the sensor in the radiator return hose. BAM! First surprise! There is NO sensor in my radiator hose! I've cross checked in a dozen documents including the Bentley manual, Real OEM and several other sources and all of them say it should be there. Picture below. Where the hell is it? This isn't a case of somebody just installing the wrong hose as far as I can tell, because there are no loose connections or taped over sections of the wiring harness. A

    Second question: Any ideas about this radiator hose sensor? Did they eliminate it?


    I looked all over and all I can find is the in-block temp sensor near the thermostat housing.

    Third question: Does it make sense to replace this temperature sensor as a troubleshooting measure?


    Fourth question: How many variations of the E90 328i cooling system are there? I now know there are at least 2... Are some of these configurations more prone to issues than others?

    OK, now that I've been more or less stalled in my effort to troubleshoot, I've had a chance to over-think this and develop a potential theory. It is STRICTLY a theory. I will gladly admit I have no fricking idea what I'm talking about, so please don't go off repeating it unless somebody on this terrific forum can validate it and hopefully fill in the blanks. Here goes. The temperature sensor, water pump and electric fan are linked in such a way that if any one of them fails, the fan can go into hurricane mode. I'm not talking failure in the normal sense, but failure to read or transmit pulse codes. These pulses tell the water pump how fast to pump and the fan how fast to run and they may control the thermostat as well. My guess is that either the temp sensor has failed and the rest of the system is in some kind of failsafe mode, or that the water pump is not pulsing properly, so the fan has gone into failsafe mode. The thermostat seems to be working, so it must still have a mechanical control function as well as the elctronic one. The tempurature sensor seems to be working because I'm getting a reading, but in older BMWs there are two sensors so it is possible that one that controls the fan has failed and the one that provides a reading is working. Since the fan operates normally until the temp gets up to operating level, it is not very likely to be the fan. So....sensor or water pump. All just a theory, but hopefully a good place to have a conversation here in this forum.

    The answer to this question may be in the Bentley manual, but mine has not arrived yet.
    Fifth question: How does the cooling control system work? What signals are sent and recieved by the various components and what is the most likely (or most common) point of failure?

    Oh, and I am also very, very curious about how common this problem is. Here is the last question and it is for all of the E9x owners out there.

    Sixth Question (for owners): Have you experienced a cooling fan or other cooling issue with your E9x and what was the resolution to that problem? Did the solution work as expected?

    Ok, thanks for reading my novel. If you've read this far, I'm hoping you will take the next step and respond either to the questions for experts (1-5) or the question for owners (6). I am certain that this information will be very, very helpful to me and to other E9x owners.
    Last edited by hodgess; 08-24-2013 at 11:59 PM.
    Current BMWs: 14 total. '12 X5, '09 E93 335i, '09 E91 328i, '08 E93 328i, '08 E61 535ix '02 E39 M5, '01 E39 M5, '02 E39 touring, '91 E34 M5, (2)'88 E28 M5s, '75 2002, 74 2002,
    Prior BMWs: Every E-body 5 series including tourings and every E-body 3 series. '74 2002 tii
    First rule of BMW Ownership: Buy a BMW specific scanner!

  2. 08-25-2013, 12:59 AM#2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    My Cars
    GM BMW hybrid :)
    Your water pump has likely set faults stored in the dme.. Either take it to the dealer or quality shop that has quality diag equipment or just replace the waterpump and thermostat.
    2006 X5 L83 5.3 6l80 swapped in progress
    1999 528i 5.7L 4l60e swapped w/ 31 spline 8.8 cobra diff
    2007 ZX-10r - sold
    1987 R-10 SWB L83 5.3L 6L80e swapped

  3. 08-25-2013, 10:14 AM#3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Aberdeen, NC (yes, again)
    My Cars
    E39M5, E500 4WD
    +1. The first step is computer diagnostics. And maybe a check of a/c pressures, if this only happens when the a/c is on. The BMW diagnostic computer can instruct the fan to operate at different percentage values; if the fan operates correctly at these values when instructed to do so, the fan is not the problem, nor is the dme.

    Personally, I have no idea what variations there may be in the cooling system electronics; I hook the car to DIS or ISIS, and let the computer tell me where to look. Sure, there are occasions when I'll need to resort to further investigations, but I'd start with whether the dme is actually commanding the high fan speed, and why.....

    Don't forget that the a/c system also commands fan speed, through the dme.

    Lastly, be aware that these fans do fail, in various ways, and all-too-frequently. And they're ridiculously expensive.

    I'm going to go out and tell my clutch fan just how much I like it.......

    Chris Powell
    Racer and Instructor since, well. decades, ok?
    Master Auto Tech, owner of German Motors of Aberdeen
    BMWCCA 274412

  4. 08-26-2013, 08:32 AM#4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Western Pennsylvania
    My Cars
    335i 328i, 535xit, ++
    Excellent information. Thank you. The fan runs fast whether the A/C is on or not, so hopefully that eliminates that area. Unfortunately, there are no good BMW shops in my area other than the dealer. I was just really hoping to avoid that since diagnositcs alone start at about $200. Looks like the pump is about $500.

    Thanks again for the info!
    Last edited by hodgess; 08-26-2013 at 10:01 PM.
    Current BMWs: 14 total. '12 X5, '09 E93 335i, '09 E91 328i, '08 E93 328i, '08 E61 535ix '02 E39 M5, '01 E39 M5, '02 E39 touring, '91 E34 M5, (2)'88 E28 M5s, '75 2002, 74 2002,
    Prior BMWs: Every E-body 5 series including tourings and every E-body 3 series. '74 2002 tii
    First rule of BMW Ownership: Buy a BMW specific scanner!

  5. 11-30-2014, 10:39 AM#5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Central Florida
    My Cars
    2007 BMW 328i
    Did you ever sort this out? I have a 07 328i sedan. Runs great and cool, but just this last week, the fan started running like a hurricane after engine warm up. When coming to a stop, it winds down. Then after starting it slowly climbs again. Hoping for a sensor before having to do the water pump. I have 124K miles.

  6. 11-30-2014, 11:04 AM#6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Aberdeen, NC (yes, again)
    My Cars
    E39M5, E500 4WD
    The water pump is a hugely common failure item; fortunately, the current needed to drive it is closely monitored by the DME. Therefore, the catastrophic failures of past generations are reduced. The computer monitors the system, and if it sees trouble, it turns the fan on full blast (and likely opens the thermostat fully, too.) It's not like there's any secret to what's wrong - the computer will almost certainly tell you why it's unhappy, and triggering the fan. You will, of course, need to have someone with a BMW computer connect to your car.

    Personally, I'd suggest new water pump and thermostat. At 124k, you are overdue.

    Chris Powell
    Racer and Instructor since, well. decades, ok?
    Master Auto Tech, owner of German Motors of Aberdeen
    BMWCCA 274412

  7. 12-01-2014, 03:35 PM#7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Kaneohe, HI
    My Cars
    1992 525i, 2007 328i
    reidowitz, you are overdue for a new waterpump, as Chris has stated. Even if it is a sensor issue, you should still change that pump.

  8. 12-05-2014, 10:13 AM#8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Western Pennsylvania
    My Cars
    335i 328i, 535xit, ++
    Hi All, I thought I would bring this to closure. I bought a DIS diagnostic system and it said that the thermostat is bad. The thermostat on E90s are not on the engine but a Jarvis-heart like thing that attaches to the electric water pump. The diagnostic says it is stuck partially closed when in fact it is not. So the cooling system thinks it has to work like crazy to keep the car cool and cranks up the fan. Pump is fine. Fan is still fine but I know it may fail eventually if I don't fix the thermostat. I bought a thermostat on-line and took the car over to my non-BMW mechanic. He said he might have to drop the front suspension in order to avoid breaking something (like a tab or hose fitting) on the thermostat when installing it. I have the sport suspension and looking at the loaded suspension, clearances are indeed tight. Unloaded? Probably enough room. I hate working under my cars and I don't drive this car very often, so replacing the thermostat is still on my to-do list. Oddly, the fan does not go into hurricane mode in the winter, so that is about 6 months of reprieve. I will circle back around if I encounter any other problems related to this, but for now, I really think it is going to be the thermostat. If you are having a similar problem and are going to have a mechanic do it, go ahead and spring for a new water pump while things are apart as the incremental cost should just be the cost of the pump and an extra half hour of labor.
    Current BMWs: 14 total. '12 X5, '09 E93 335i, '09 E91 328i, '08 E93 328i, '08 E61 535ix '02 E39 M5, '01 E39 M5, '02 E39 touring, '91 E34 M5, (2)'88 E28 M5s, '75 2002, 74 2002,
    Prior BMWs: Every E-body 5 series including tourings and every E-body 3 series. '74 2002 tii
    First rule of BMW Ownership: Buy a BMW specific scanner!

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Originally Posted by sfbayarea335dView Post

Did you ever get an answer from the dealership? I'm having the same issue.

Thank you!

Got evaporator core replaced at dealer back then. That was the last drop to all other issues I had. I was so done with german (over) engineering...

On top of it I could feel the beginning of AC bad smell return.... SOLD IT! The car was on its third water-pump, second engine....

My next car has:
- accurate speedometer reading
- oil deep stick
- water temperature gauge
- mechanical water pump
- oil temperature gauge
- oli cooler
- mechanical limited slip differential
- MT with close ratio gears
- great aftermarket support
- radio that is not called "Professional" but is capable of playing music much much much better and without scary distortions.

... and more....

Big, big mistake was buying BMW and owning it beyond warranty. I should've leased it.

It has "Ultimate Driving Machine" on the sticker, but I feel like this was scam.
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Hey guys, My cooling fan is not turning on.

Here's what I've done.

- Tested my fan in a friend's 2011 m3 - It worked

I put it back in my car and started testing with a multimeter.
- Fuse has continuity. (fuse is OK)

I read online that the red wire on the fan has constant 12v? If thats true, mine does not.
Signal wire is getting signal. I believe I saw .05v at the signal wire. Again, since its just signal, it can't be a lot of voltage, and .05 is probably enough to signal it ON.

Ground is fine

there is no continuity between my red wire on the harness to the + terminal by the motor. Also no continuity between Red wire of harness (+) and the + side of the 40w fuse (I believe its fuse 88)

I also do this while ignition is on, or even when car is running. there are no changes.

The coolant temps are up half way so I know the fan should be running. I even have my AC blasted (AC should turn my cooling fan on as well)

I'm stuck, please help
Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Dr. Anthony; 07-11-2013 at 10:22 AM..

How to solve BMW 335D 2011 Cooling fan not Working ! SD 480p
Grinchxvx's Avatar

Drives: 2008 135i

Join Date: Apr 2014

Location: Salt Lake City

Try turning your AC on to max and see if it comes on then, mine hasn't came on either lately but it's been really cold outside.

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JB4 G5 + BMS race flash, BMS meth kit, VRSF DP, Big tom Ic, BMS chinese tester CP, Custom Muffler Delete, BMS Oil Cooler Valve, Cowl Filters, Clutch Stop, B&M Short Shifter, Spec Stg 2+ Clutch W/ Oem dmfw, Vmr V710, KW v2, M RSFB, 1M Front and rear Bumper, Performance Side Skirts, slek trunk, Lci blacklines.]

Radiator fan e90 test bmw

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How to solve BMW 335D 2011 Cooling fan not Working ! SD 480p

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