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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-04-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
01tj
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Changing the brake fluid and antifreeze

I'm planning on changing my brake fluid, coolant and oil this week and wanted to make sure I have everything. The oil looks pretty straightforward, similar to the euro cars I've had in the past. I have never changed brake fluid though so have no idea what I am doing. I searched and found this

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=bmwbun

link but the pics don't work for me (maybe because I'm at work ) but I would like to avoid going out and buying something if I can do without. Does anyone have any pics or a link describing flushing/changing brake fluid. I am also planning on changing the CDV while I am at it. Will that require more fluid or are they (brake/clutch fluid) one unit?
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:32 PM   #2
NikolaiD
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http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_brake_bleed.shtml
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:52 AM   #3
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Any links that do not involve any type of pump at all?
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:19 AM   #4
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With no pump it's the same thing, but you have a friend sit in the driver's seat and build up pressure in the system.
They pump the pedal 3-5 times then hold it in, you release the bleed valve, fluid comes out, then you close the bleed valve and then they release the brake pedal.
Repeat until you see new fluid come out clear. Make sure you keep the fluid reservoir topped off so you don't suck air into the system and make sure your friend doesn't release the pedal before you've closed the valve.

A little tip for starting it out - Walmart has some $0.40 plastic mixing syringes in their automotive center. Buy one and use it to suck the old fluid out of the reservoir then top it off with new fluid. This way you're starting out with mostly new fluid already. Then use the plastic tube it comes with on the bleeder, it fits perfectly.

Try a google search on bleeding brakes if you're unsure. it's the same on pretty much all modern cars, and you might be able to find some videos.
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Last edited by NikolaiD; 11-06-2009 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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What do I do to bleed the line to the transmission? I am planning on eliminating the CDV when I am under the car anyway
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Old 11-08-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01tj View Post
What do I do to bleed the line to the transmission? I am planning on eliminating the CDV when I am under the car anyway
Same exact thing except you pump the clutch pedal instead of the brake pedal, and the bleeder valve is 7mm instead of 9mm.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #7
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honstly if you ever plan on doing some of these more than acouple times it is real helpful to buy a fluid evacuator. like this one


I use mine to change the oil without ever getting under the car, But this pump has been most helpful in break bleeding. Run a hose from the bleeder valve to the evacuator tube and give it about 6 pumps and loosen the bleeder. brake fluid will come out and keep comming out. Let the pump suck the fluid out of the caliper aand make sure you go to front and pour in fluid as it disappears from the master cylinder, and in no time fresh fluid will be from front to back.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titanium3Series View Post
honstly if you ever plan on doing some of these more than acouple times it is real helpful to buy a fluid evacuator. like this one


I use mine to change the oil without ever getting under the car, But this pump has been most helpful in break bleeding. Run a hose from the bleeder valve to the evacuator tube and give it about 6 pumps and loosen the bleeder. brake fluid will come out and keep comming out. Let the pump suck the fluid out of the caliper aand make sure you go to front and pour in fluid as it disappears from the master cylinder, and in no time fresh fluid will be from front to back.
I actually have an oil extractor. I may clean it out and give it a try
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titanium3Series View Post
honstly if you ever plan on doing some of these more than acouple times it is real helpful to buy a fluid evacuator. like this one


I use mine to change the oil without ever getting under the car, But this pump has been most helpful in break bleeding. Run a hose from the bleeder valve to the evacuator tube and give it about 6 pumps and loosen the bleeder. brake fluid will come out and keep coming out. Let the pump suck the fluid out of the caliper aand make sure you go to front and pour in fluid as it disappears from the master cylinder, and in no time fresh fluid will be from front to back.
What you're doing is gravity bleed, which is the same thing as just opening up the valve and letting it drip out, except you're accelerating it. (since you're not actually pressurizing the system, just using the oil extractor to catch the fluid).
Be VERY careful when doing this, so you don't get the fluid level dropping too quickly. If that happens, then you have to start bleeding the whole system backwards. This guy does a good demonstration on how to do that:
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikolaiDelov View Post
What you're doing is gravity bleed, which is the same thing as just opening up the valve and letting it drip out, except you're accelerating it. (since you're not actually pressurizing the system, just using the oil extractor to catch the fluid).
Be VERY careful when doing this, so you don't get the fluid level dropping too quickly.
My oil extractor sucks, I used it on our Jetta TDI and it would suck about 3 qt's out and stop. Hopefully it won't suck the brake fluid too fast

Back on topic, are you saying the safest way is to have someone pump the brakes?

Last edited by 01tj; 11-16-2009 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:36 AM   #11
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Is it possible to flush the brake fluid for the clutch at a different time than the brakes do the systems flow together. My Jeep has a separate reservoir for clutch fluid but I haven't seen a separate place to add to the BMW.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #12
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I flushed my brake first time using pressure brake bleeder from bav auto for $50 and had no broblem
just follow the detection provided with the bleeder. You better to get a different color fluied to know when a clean
starts to flow bubble free I did it using floor Jack wheel by wheel. Get it I think it is worth if you plan to bleed yor brakes.
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