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Have got a e46 n46 318 ci coupe 107k radiator and bottom hose always cold, if car is idling for 5 minutes or so the car will smoke (white ish) temp gauge always in middle and never moves any further, fitted new thermostat and waterpump seems ok fan never comes on. any ideas
 

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Airlock or physical blockage?

Wrong thermostat, wrongly fitted?

Temp gauge does behave normally showing it warms up?
If yes then might be trusted
If not then sender may be u/s or gauge frigged to show midrange (call me a cynic)

Is there liquid in bottom hose? Give it a squeeze see if you can sense any, though be prepared to replace as the rubber may crack, so maybe gentle squeeze :)

Test lead with 12v, see if the fan will turn if you provide direct power, if it spins suspect the temp sensor providing activation, try work your way back.

Relatively easy enough to drop bottom hose with bowl ready to collect antifreezed water - don't let puddle cos several animals may drink and die, reconnect bottom hose and refill following whatever anti airlock procedure your model has - might be a bleed nozzle somewhere around top level, check youtube see if any vids around :)

Presuming you're actually going for a drive long enough to get it thoroughly warmed? It still being spring...

May be more than one thermostat...?
Might have had odd leaky problems that someone has 'fixed' with copious amounts of radweld?
 
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