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Distilled water (local grocery store)
Metric Socket Set; https://www.bavauto.com/cta10100
Form-a-Funnel: No Longer Available
Spill-Free Coolant Funnel: https://www.bavauto.com/b8800082
Garage Guard Absorbent Mat: https://www.bavauto.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=garage+guard
Coolant Drain Pan (New Improved Black pan): https://www.bavauto.com/b8800011
6mm flexible hose clamp driver: https://www.bavauto.com/b8800073
Bentley repair manuals: https://www.bavauto.com/tools-manuals/manuals.html?brand=3862
Floor jack and jack-stands, ramps or vehicle lift
Metric combination wrench set (8mm through 17mm)
Flat head screwdrivers
Phillips head screwdrivers
The coolant flush is not especially difficult, but it does require more than simply removing the radiator drain plug. In this video we will demonstrate a coolant flush and change on a typical BMW with a later model 6-cylinder engine. The procedures shown can be applied to most BMW and MINI models. In our example (2002 E53 X5 3.0i), we'll show the specific steps to properly drain and flush the system, then fill and bleed with new 50/50 mix of distilled water and coolant. Watch the video and see the parts and tools used, below. For further assistance, please contact our agents at 800-535-2002 or visit our online store at bavauto.com.
The Bentley repair manuals will cover model specific points, torque values and fill quantities. This DIY will assume that the DIYer has the applicable Bentley manual for additional references.
Our BMW and MINI cooling systems have the thankless task of dissipating the heat generated by our engines (and automatic transmissions), keeping them at an optimal operating temperature; not too hot, not too cool. In addition, the cooling system must keep corrosion and sediment from attacking the metal, plastic and rubber parts of the systems. Like the engine's lubrication system (oiling), the cooling system must function mile after mile and hour after hour for hundreds of thousands of miles and thousands of hours. Faults within either of these systems will typically result in catastrophic failure and potentially terminal engine damage. With these thoughts in mind, we can begin to understand why regular maintenance of the engine's cooling system is just as (or more) important as the other regular maintenance tasks that we perform on our BMWs and MINIs.
We recommend a coolant flush every two to three years if using the BMW/MINI coolant and distilled water (more often if other coolant or "tap" water is used). While the base Ethylene Glycol (EG) Antifreeze/Coolant (basically) holds its antifreeze properties for a very long time, the additives for corrosion protection, lubrication, etc, do not. The recommended 2-year interval is due to the Silicate anti-corrosion additives that are "used up" and begin to drop out of solution after about two years of service. When this happens, silicate build-up can happen within the radiator, heater core and engine passages.
When adding coolant, between flushes, always add the same coolant as the original fill. While adding a common green, orange, yellow or other, coolant (which have differing additive packages and base pH) will not immediately destroy your engine or cooling system, it will reduce the effectiveness of both the base and the added coolants. This will, at least, greatly reduce the service life or, at worst, start a corrosive cycle.
We mix the coolant with the distilled water in a 50/50 ratio. Using distilled water for your 50/50 mix is not specifically required, but in doing so, your coolant mixture will be much more stable and far less corrosive in the long term. This is due to the absence of the minerals and impurities that are removed in the distillation process. These impurities encourage electrolytic corrosion to the engine block, cylinder head, hoses and gaskets, damaging these parts and causing failures and need for repairs.
All products noted in this video can be purchased in our online store, http://www.bavauto.com/, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are also welcome to e-mail us at email@example.com or call into our headquarters and speak to our knowledgeable advisors at (800) 535-2002 (Mon.-Thurs. 8AM to 9PM EST, Fri. 8AM to 7PM EST, and Sat. 9AM to 4PM EST).
Thanks Auto! Great video. But, since the spill proof kit uses a funnel that is open to outside air, wouldn't the cooling system bleed air to the outside through funnel opening? Is it even necessary to use the bleeder screw?
Hi Bavarian, My engine is E87 BMW 118d, 2008. What happen if I not over filling like you and not use the special funnel and adapter. Just filling to max level and ventilate by start the engine, heating system to max and fan to min and fill more ... ??? Grateful for feedback.
Can you post pic of the exact amount of distilled water equalling 5 quarts along with the exact same thing for the BMW blue coolant...I got the full gallon in initially, I'm not certain upon second gallon amount to equal 5 quarts coolant. Thank you Ty
I have changed the thermostat which was stuck in the open position. I have bought the recommend BMW type coolant blue in color. And it's draining into vehicle. This is my second time putting coolant in. I see that you suggested 5 quarts straight BMW coolant..then put 5 quarts of distilled water. So maybe that's why I'm having this problem...I will adjust and get back to you. Now the first four I put in vehicle were of a 50/50 mixture. Half water into a clean coolant container with the rest being half of BMW coolant.
Hi. Great videos and learned a lot. I think someone commented already but this is important. The expansion tank does NOT get filled right up. Always remove coolant once done bleeding to right level. That's the indicator just to top of bottle. Use a pipe or turkey baster to remove coolant. Then check after driving a few times.
HI, sorry if this has already been asked, but did that Spill Free funnel come with the correct attachment for the BMW or did you need to adapt/source a part somewhere? I'm based in New Zealand and looking to purchase via Amazon so don't want to get something shipped all the way here just to find I can't fit it to my 2005 318i (with the N46 engine).
Thanks for all the vids. I have a clicking sound every 10 -20 seconds as the car idles at temperature. Could this be the thermostat opening and closing ? M54 with 38K miles. Would this indicate an issue with the Thermostat if I am correct? Thanks for your reply
ook, alil advice if possible
I've a 4 cylinder e46 2004, I've just replaced the radiator, thermostat & water pump...
I've noticed a small leak near a thermostat bolt, everything else seems OK regarding leaks anyway now I've noticed when I've the Heater turned on the engine temp drops, when the heater is off the engine temp is normal... any ideas?? could it be trapped air in the system still or possible something else???
Hi BavAuto, nice video. I have a question though.
You also have a drain plug on the engine block. How man Liter coolant is storaged in there?
And does that drain plug have a specific "pattern". How is it recognizable?
Is it highly recommended to open that plug as well? Or will the drain plug on the radiator do?
Thanks in advance
I'm having trouble bleeding air from the cooling system on my M43TU engine after replacing one flange. Instead of releasing bubbles like usually (like in 12:27) it spits out gradually over a liter of coolant while making loud noises. After about 15 minutes of spitting coolant the engine overheats. I tried it twice with the same result. What could be the cause of this behavior and how do I solve this issue?
I don't remember him mentioning the heating system. It's best to turn that to high inside the car with the fan off or at least on low to make sure the heater core is also getting flushed, full and burped of air.
I recently added coolant to my BMW X5 and the very next day I had to add more. I thought it might have been a leak, but there is no evidence of that. I added more today and waited to see if the coolant went down, it did so I kept adding more. My question is can it be leaking from somewhere else?
Great video! I was not able to add more than 5 liters (5.2 Quarts) after the flush before the system was full on the M54 engine which should take 8.4 liters. First I did this with DEMINERALIZED water, only 5L could go in. Then drained, then again with water and then with the coolant (Croon SP11 already mixed coolant). The car was level on a car lift. Two questions:
1. Is is possible that there was still 3 liters left in the car?
2. Is it an issue that there are probably remains (3 liters) of the DEMINERALIZED water in the system?
hey i have replaced , the water pump, thermostat, thermostat sensor , radiator and fan clutch. and i have bled my car out multiple times. i can drive for about 10 minutes and my car starts overheating slowly . i go to check my car engine it is still fine, what could be my problem????? could you please help
why are german vehicles so difficult to maintain...most power steering pumps you will hear loud noise from the steering gear if you run out of fluid, on a bmw the whole unit melts and causes damage to the ac clutch as well...i've never even heard of having to bleed coolant from a vehicle, you usually just fill it up and that's it.
Does BavAuto recommend a specific vendor for underbody/under engine splash shields. I have a 1998 328i that came with a missing section, directly under the engine. Just recently, the narrow shield that protects the serpentine and lower radiator fell off somewhere...so I'd like to replace these. Especially with winter around the corner.
Great video thanks, do you sell just the cap adaptor for the funnel ? I own the funnel and an adaptor for Nissan but need a BMW adaptor now
You are the only one actually running the car to bleed which is the right way to do this
Thanks Otto for an excellent demo. The question about the engine block drain plug has been asked many times. It is not that intuitive and clear from your video, as you seemed to be showing the plug from the front, and then removing it from the back with the form-tube in the front. If you could add a few still photos, zooming in to help locate it (at the point or at the end) to your video, it would be great!
+Bavarian Autosport working on a 04 325xi. what is the best way to get the engine block
drain plug? it seems to be in a very inconvenient place. or is there
another way to drain the coolant system completely? thanks and always
+Frank J We really couln't get any good shots on this 4wd model, but.......
The plug will be the only large hex-head (like a bolt head) on the side of the engine block. The newer 6-cylinder engines have the plug between cylinders 1 & 2 or 2 & 3. The earlier engines have it located between cylinders # 4 & 5. The plug will be a few inches above the mating seam for the engine block to the oil pan.
Have you guys heard of repeat thermostat failures? It's probably a coincidence, but my aftermarket thermostat was stuck closed a couple of weeks ago, and now my OEM thermostat is stuck closed and I just put it in last week.
What do you think about replacing the original thermostat with and aftermarket one in order to reduce the coolant temperature (Since I am assuming that the thermostat cannot be adjusted) ?
My car is 2008 750li and the coolant temperature reaches 113 Celsius while stationary, I drive in areas reaching an outdoor temperatures as high as 50 Celsius and I am using 50/50 water+coolant mix (I guess it should not exceed 100 Celsius so that water doesn't evaporate)
The high temperature result in damaging most plastic and rubber under the hood.For example, the reservoir now needs to be replaced as its plastic got damaged from the excess heat and it now allows coolant to leak through it. Also the cabin filter boxes plastic broke into pieces. I discovered that most of the plastics in the hood cannot handle such heat.
Please help me with your suggestion to reduce the engine heat, keeping in mind that there are no problems in my cooling system and this is the factory set temperature range,thanks a lot in advance :)
i have a 2002 bmw 325i and when i got home a heard a hissing noise from the engine-i popped the hood and saw steam come from the engine and a little coolant from the area of the thermostat- i have started the engine but don't see any coolant-what can it be?
No, but flushi9ng the cooling system will also flush the heater core (do the flush with the heat on HIGH). If you have a partially clogged heater core, you can try running a hose directly through the core ... via the core inlet and outlet pipes at the firewall.
Thank you for the video, its great to have professional help on these vehicles. I am a new owner of a 2000 BMW 323i for about 3 weeks. During researching the car before purchasing it, I saw that the cooling system is a weak point so I have done a complete cooling system overhaul. New radiator, water pump, thermostat, expansion tank, hoses, and temperature sensor as well as the coolant level sensor. After bleeding the system over a couple of days (allowing the engine to cool down overnight and adding fluid immediately in the morning) my coolant level light comes on after the car warms up indicating low coolant. I have read that overfilling the expansion tank can cause it to rupture prematurely so I have only added fluid to the COLD engine to where the coolant level bobber just hits max. Although the plastic bobber mechanism is slightly covered with coolant I can clearly see the mechanism through the fluid. I noticed that you filled the expansion tank to the rim when hot which would equal about halfway when cold. My long winded question is can you explain proper coolant level inside the expansion tank. Thank you.
You're fine to fill the tank close to the top. This will not cause the tank (or anything else) to crack. As the coolant expands (as it heats up), the excess will be expelled through the overflow, via the pressure release in the cap. This would be normal. Sooo ... just fill it up and let it find it's own level as it gets to running temp. People that have talked about overfilling and cracking tanks or whatever, have simply experienced coincidental failures. The only other possible point would be a cap that has a faulty pressure relief valve that is "stuck closed".
Otto then if I am going to use 4 gallons of coolant that means that that is what I am going to get from the car I mean the old coolant because I drained it from the radiator and I just got less than a gallon
We're not exactly sure just what you're asking. However, if one gallon was removed 9and the system was full), you will be refilling with one gallon. Now, if you are doing a flush, you will get more than a gallon out if you remove the engine block drain plug and the radiator drain (or remove a lower hose). There will still be coolant in the system where it can't be readily drained. this is why we do the multiple flush and drain procedures, with the water .... so that what is left in the system is just clean distilled or ionized water.
As for the Z4 specific DIYs; we need to consider the overall usage each of the videos that we produce. Most of what we do can be used and adapted to your Z4. However, tasks that are specific to a Z4 model may not be covered well by our videos. Hopefully, Bentley Publishing will have a Z4 manual soon!
You can do this, but you will have to do more flushing with the water only, in order to get rid of the excess coolant that is in the engine. The drain plug on your 325i is in the same place as shown on this X5 (same M54 engine),. Also, you can get another view of the plug in our water pump replacement video, which was done on a 2005 325i. Click the link to go to the video. The plug is shown starting at time 5:54.
heard a lot of good stuff about BMW antifreeze. I have heard it is a good antifreeze for aluminum block engines along with asian pink coolant.
Honestly how does this coolant stack up against the green stuff? Not looking for a big debate but I have thought the green has a 60+ track record of working just fine while this is still relatively new. So curiosity has got me thinking. I already know there are coolants that are the death of an engine (yes I am talking to you GM) but I've never heard anything bad about this coolant and so I am actually considering putting this into a GM car with an LX5 engine (all aluminum engine). I want to keep the car alive (It being the final model of Olds before it went belly up its an Intrigue) and recently had a water pump failure so it gave me a chance to flush the deathcool and refill with a coolant of my choice.
Personally I like to take a lot of care of the cars I get so I think BMW has made some really good advancements and many that other manufacturers have followed (yeah GM even copied the bleeder on the radiator on this car as well). I believe the LX5 was GM's answer at the time to all aluminum DOHC V6 design that other overseas cars carried. The Intrigues body style was an attractive one and has left me wanting to breath new life into this car.
Thanks in advanced for any light you may shed on the coolant used in BMW's
This is by far one of the best videos I've seen! I have a question, not BMW related but an Acura. I replaced the radiator and have filled it with coolant using the spill free funnel. The heat controls are electronic so I couldn't really have the heat up without running the blower. My coolant starts to bubble up and the level rises way over and splashes around the funnel. What am I missing here? Thanks
+BavarianAuto I had it running for about half an hour just to be sure that I had all air out. Now what I was doing was, turn the heat off and then the coolant level would rise and start to bubble out of the funnel. Now everything seems to be working fine, I've driven it on the highway and no overheating issues so far.
Yes, it will mix while running in the system. This is really the only way to assure that you are at a 50/50 mixture (or what ever % mixture is desired) as we don't know for sure how much water is left in the system.
when I flush the system with the water to wash out any old coolant do I run it to operating temperature and then let it fully cool down and repeat or could I just flush the plain water when still at operating temperature and just be cautious also you said some gets left in the system did you do this on purpose or is it just because some gets left behind ? thanks
You don't have to wait for a full cool-down ... but just be careful of the hot water. Yes, some water is just left in parts of the system that you can't readily drain. For this reason, we suggest that the water flushing be done with distilled water (just like you'll use for the final fill).
Why mixing distilled water with coolant fluid? Any common problems if not mixed?
I drive a '08 335i, and just added a little bit of BMW coolant fluid after low level checked, but without distilled water.
Had a problem like 1 month after, seems like water pump and thermostat are out... is it in relation with?
You guys still use that Blue / green stuff? Here Europe that is not even allowed anymore. It is to harmful for the environment.We use G12 or Coolant SP 11 that goes undiluted into the reservoir, it is especially made for cars with and aluminum engine block. It is not corrosive. For the engines made out of cast iron you can use the blue stuff.
BMW coolant is a minimum 50%/50% depending on your local weather, because the OEM stuff is NOT PRE-MIXED
do NOT use 100% BMW coolant, because 100% coolant will NOT cool down your engine (funnily enough) the water component does the cooling.
No, your current pump/thermostat issues are not due to adding 100% coolant. Adding just a bit of straight (100%) coolant will not cause any problems.
First, we use distilled water so that the minerals are removed. This keeps the electrolytic corrosion to a minimum over the life of the coolant. Secondly, we mix it 50% with the water as this is what the coolant is designed for. We would only use a stronger concentration if we needed very low temperature freeze protection (typically below the -30-f range). Since the coolant does not transfer hear as well as water, this is why we do not run it stronger than 50%, unless required, as just noted.
Why do people only drain the coolant from the radiator? Is this enough when it comes to draining? Or would you have to also drain the engine block? Also, the heater in my car seems to be not working. Will this affect my flush by overheating the engine?
Draining just the radiator will only remove about 1/2 of the total coolant from the system. You need to also drain the block and do the flushing in order to achieve a full 100% removal of the old coolant. We can't say why your heater is not working (many possible issues) but this should have no effect on a flush job.
I have the 99 bmw 328i E46 model, where exactly is the engine block drain plug? on the 2.8L? Also when flushing, can I use plain pipe water to fill and flush the system, and do I have to have the engine running to operating temp before I drain the water?
The block drain on your M52TU engine will be in the same relevant position as shown on the M54 engine, in the video. We would suggest using distilled water to do the flushing since some of it will be left in the system when you are ready to refill. The reason to run up to operating temp is so that the thermostat opens and allows full flow of the flushing water through the engine and radiator.
I have a F25 2011 X3 28i and I can't find the radiator drain plug. Did BMW do away with the radiator drain plugs on the F models? If so, do you know what the procedure is for replacing the coolant on the F25 models?
We have been noticing the lack of a drain plug on the latest models. The micro-film drawing shows a plug in the lower radiator hose at the end connecting to the thermostat. other than this, you would just remove the lower hose from the radiator nipple to drain, as well as opening any other hose connections that are convenient to work with.
Hey, my question might seem a bit stupid, but should I bleed the cooling system if I have opened the radiator cap just to check the coolant level and then closed it again? I am not experiencing any kind of overheating or AC abnormalities until now. (BMW e46 318i).
Hey, my question might seem a bit stupid, but should I bleed the cooling system if I have opened the radiator cap just to check the coolant level and then closed it again? I am not experiencing any kind of overheating or AC abnormalities until now. (BMW e46 318i).
Just to point out on sentence 'Normally, one time is plenty' at 5:30.
I flush my system 4 times with destilled water until i got clean water. Heater was set to max, and both engine block and radiator drain plug were drained. Thermostat is the key. It remains closed until temperature is high enough. If you don't have patience and time to flush many times like i do, there is better way which ensures total system flush (without old coolant in the system).
- Warm engine until radiator fan turns on (Thermostat is opened long before this happens but wait for it just to be sure).
- Flush cooling system from both engine block and radiator until thermostat is opened. This step is crucial and most dangerous, because coolant is still very hot. I recommend using gloves and extended tools for opening drain plugs.
- If this is first flush of old coolant, additional flushing with destilled water (again while thermostat is opened) should be plenty, and guarantees clean cooling system.
- Now it is ready to fill with 50:50 mixture.
I got a 98 E36 323is, how much coolant will I need?
Also when you flushed out the system with water you said you had 2 qts left in there when you started adding the coolant. Did you flush out the water with the drain plugs out, put the plugs back in then added the 2 qts of water? Hope to hear back quick, thanks.
Your 98 323is needs 2 gallons of coolant (www.bavauto.com), to mix with 2 gallons of distilled water. This is a total of 16 quarts, which is enough for most BMW and all MINI systems. The two quarts of water is what is left in the system after the final draining. This is left in areas of the system that can't be drained without total dissassembly.
My car is an e46 325i. My upper rad hose is not too hot to touch but very warm + hard. I noticed this after filling my expansion tank full. As it was just hitting the lip of the opening where the cap goes, it continued to very slowly rise and overflow, which lead me to put the cap on. I didn't notice any air bubbles as it rose. Also, my temperature gauge was dead center at normal operating temperature as this all happened. The gauge continues to stay normal WHILE the hose is very warm and hard. This is a NEW hose i just replaced but i'm still worried. What could be the problem with this, considering all these factors?
The Bentley publishing repair manual for the E36 models will include the coolant fill capacities. The 325i models have a capacity of 10.5 quarts (10 liters).
Bentley repair manuals:
The Bentley Publishing repair manual for the E60 chassis, notes that the fill capacity for the N52 models is 10.6 liters for manual transmission and 10 liters for automatic transmission.
The Bentley repair manual is available in our online store at bavauto.com
I may not own a bmw but i find your procedure very useful. I actually used this method on several of my friend´s vehicles from a chrysler to a Nissan. My house has very hard water and i was concerned aboout doing a traditional garden hose flush. It never occured to me to fill with distilled water and drain again. Saved my buddies and i allot of money as well. Distilled water is allot cheaper than pre mixed coolant off the shelf.
The general procedures will be similar, but your block drain, radiator drain and expansion tank fill will be different. The bleeding procedure is also different since you have the electric water pump. See our video on replacing the electric water pump for the filling and bleeding procedures.
The 328i/Xi (and all N51/N52/N54 6-cylinders in the E90x 3-series chassis) has a total capacity of 2.17 gal for manual trans and 2.23 gal for auto trans.
Once completely full, does a small amount of fluid not need to be siphoned back out to get a true full reading? Also, do you have a video on how to bleed an electronic water pump with the self bleeding feature?
Once you "fill" the reservoir and replace the cap. The system will stabilize as the engine is run and brought up to regular operating pressure. As the coolant heats and expands, any excess will vent from the expansion tank. At this point, the system will be stabilized and at its normal "full" level.
Watch our video on replacing the electric water pumps for the bleeding procedure on vehicle equipped with these new style electric water pump cooling systems. The bleeding procedure is near the end of Part-2.
Video DIY - BMW electric water pump replacement:
Hi Otto, have followed a few of your DIY's and they are spot on. I am currently experiencing a problem which is related to this DIY and I hope you can offer some advice.
After a drive and my car cools down, I check my coolant level and I see it has dropped to below minimum. If I loosen the bleed screw some air escapes through it and my coolant level indicator rises back to max. If I go for another drive and check my coolant after my car has cooled down the same thing happens. No coolant loss and no leak obvious.
I have tried to bleed but maybe I am not bleeding properly and waiting for the air bubbles to escape fully.
Any thoughts would be helpful
I will be needing to fill my coolant soon, should I get it flush before refill? since I'm not sure if the cooling system has been maintained at one point. What type of coolant do you think is best to use? .
You can use the BMW coolant with distilled water. The system should be flushed every two years ... three years max. If this has not been happening, you really should consider a flush at this point. The BMW coolant 9and the other tools shown in the video) is available at bavauto.com or 800-535-2002.
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