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Old 04-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
Cpconst
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Cooling system post overhaul blunder

I did my cooling system overhaul on my 2004 325i about two months ago and everything has been trouble free until today. After a short trip to the store I pulled into my driveway and my engine compartment filled up with steam. I couldn't tell where the leak was so I filled the system up with antifreeze and started the engine. After about 8 minutes I saw steam coming from the lower rad hose at the radiator, it blew off! Wtf? Anyway I pushed the hose back on till I heard the clip seat and began to bleed the system. I set the heater to low and cracked the bleed screw which let the thing blow out steam like a freight train. No heat at the vents and the temp gauge was heading into the red so I shut it down till it cooled off. I repeated it a second time and it did exactly the same thing. My question is this, because I ran the engine without the lower hose connected did the cooling system suck in an abnormally huge amount of air? Still no heat and loads of steam.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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No, it didn't suck air in. It lost its fluid and what fluid was left has turned to steam.
You should let it cool and then add fluid. Bleed it and add more fluid until it is correctly filled.

Did you drive it in the red at all?
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
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Never touched the red zone thank God!
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Don't forget the OBC menu to get coolant temp, instant gauge
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Sure hope you didnt eff up the car!!
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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Dude this EXACT thing happened to me 5 days ago. I did a cooling overhaul last Sunday, last Tuesday I was parked but idling, I saw the temp over on the red (wife was driving and I didn't notice it until it was too late), shut the car down, saw the lower radiator hose was popped off. I put it back in, refilled/bled system and so far things seem to be ok. I was scared I blew a head gasket but since the car was only idling maybe it's ok. So far there are no signs of a bad head gasket so hopefully I dodged that bullet.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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re-bleed
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Let us know how you make out.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:57 PM   #9
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Your car should not be running while you bleed.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #10
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Your car should not be running while you bleed.
Don't you need water pump running to bleed system, circulate the fluid and expel air at the bleed point?
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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How do you think you're suppose to bleed the system without the engine running? Anyway, after filling and bleeding the system numerous times I finally got all the air out and all is perfect again. I think I was trying to be gentile with the lower radiator hose in not wanting to break the plastic port on the radiator. Live and learn!
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #12
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Did the exact same thing when I did mine about 9 months ago. Made it about 20 minutes down the road and noticed the temp gauge starting to go up. Luckily I was 1 minute from the office. Made it there and waited almost an hour before I put the hose back on and filled the system with water (all I had) then bled the system. Drove home and promptly drained and refilled with the correct 50/50 again. I never made it to the red thankfully and its been fine since.

Moral- don't be a wimp putting that hose on and tug on it to make sure.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #13
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The original bmw bleeding instructions say do it with the car off.

There's another method (search Mango's thread for my post with 'alternative bleeding.'

Now, the bottles of coolant say to bleed it with it running.

But, the risk of the later is that coolant expands when hot...and you need two cups of air at least in the ET when it's cold. Be careful not to overfill.

BTW, just running it wouldn't be as good as the alternative method for knocking air bubbles out of the system, because you rev the engine to 3-4K rpms for 20 seconds (starting when cold).

Also, with alternative method, ET cap and bleeder screw are on and tightened.

Read more threads with cooling in the title...and keep checking that lower hose--especially if you used any aftermarket parts.

GL...hth
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:36 PM   #14
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Best way to install the lower hose is to pull the clip up, slide the hose on far enough and then lower the clip so that it fits in the grove in the radiator outlet.

The real problem is when you want to take the hose off after it has been on the car a long time. It can be very difficult to pull off.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpconst View Post
How do you think you're suppose to bleed the system without the engine running?
A better question is; How are you supposed to bleed it while its running, if it keeps overheating?
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #16
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Well seems no need to run water pump after all, (From Mango's thread)

(Mango's thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109 )
CAUTION: ONLY DO THIS WHEN CAR IS COOL AND ENGINE IS OFF. At no point should the engine be turned on.

1) Remove expansion tank cap and bleed screw and set aside

2) Turn ignition to ON (dash lights on but do NOT start the car)

3) Set heat to MAXIMUM (90) and fan speed to low (this opens heater valve)

4) Begin to fill your expansion tank with ideally a 50/50 mix of Genuine BMW coolant and distilled water (do not use anything else--no reason to. The proper stuff is cheap) The system might take a while to swallow the water. Massage the hoses if you think it will help. Keep pouring. Water will begin to pour out of the bleed screw hole with air bubbles. The point is to keep filling and filling until the bubbles are gone. This may take a while--be patient.

5) Once you are satisfied that a continual stream of bubble-free water is emerging from the bleed hole and that your cooling system is adequately filled, go ahead and replace the bleed screw (do not overtighten). The expansion tank will be full to the top at this point so you'll need to siphon off any excess so that the appropriate tank level can be achieved.


***From Mango***

Last edited by David McMahon; 04-15-2013 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Added direct link
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:16 PM   #17
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Don't you need water pump running to bleed system, circulate the fluid and expel air at the bleed point?
No. Air will rise to the highest point naturally. The system is not air-locked pre/post thermostat.

Quote:
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How do you think you're suppose to bleed the system without the engine running? Anyway, after filling and bleeding the system numerous times I finally got all the air out and all is perfect again. I think I was trying to be gentile with the lower radiator hose in not wanting to break the plastic port on the radiator. Live and learn!
By following my instructions which are the instructions set forth by BMW AG.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #18
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BMW Captain,

You said it all when you said, "The real problem is when you want to take the hose off after it has been on the car a long time. It can be very difficult to pull off." Is there a trick of the trade you can suggest. I'm redoing the cooling system and I'm stumped at getting that lower hose off.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #19
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BMW Captain,

You said it all when you said, "The real problem is when you want to take the hose off after it has been on the car a long time. It can be very difficult to pull off." Is there a trick of the trade you can suggest. I'm redoing the cooling system and I'm stumped at getting that lower hose off.
On a cold car, maybe try pouring some hot, hot water onto the connector so the connector expands but not the radiator piece. If you are gentle, you could also insert a wide blade flat head screw driver or trim removal tool b/w the hose connector and the radiator connector flange. Twist the tool so it pushes the hose connector away from the radiator fitting. Be gentle, and move locations around the circumference of the hose.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:28 PM   #20
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BMW Captain,

You said it all when you said, "The real problem is when you want to take the hose off after it has been on the car a long time. It can be very difficult to pull off." Is there a trick of the trade you can suggest. I'm redoing the cooling system and I'm stumped at getting that lower hose off.

What I do is wiggle it left to right and then up and down at the same time pulling it off.

I also put silicone grease on the fitting when installing the new one. This helps it to go on easily and makes it easy to pull off in the future.
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