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Old 11-21-2016, 01:35 PM   #1
Semajio
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Coolant Bleed

Hey everyone,
I have had my fair share of coolant issues with my old e46. I am pushing 240k and I love the car, it's just once a year just about for the last three years I have a coolant system failure. Tis the season and today I left my car running in between deliveries to charge my battery as it was dead this morning when I began my shift. (Have already found the solution for that issue) As I look out at my car to check on it, I see the oh so familiar coolant drain from the expansion tank. Last year, I replaced all of the hoses, the expansion tank, radiator, and thermostat. Other than some tolerance issues from the chinese radiator I was sold (nothing a pack of o-rings, some hose clamps, rubber hose, and a dremmel couldn't fix haha) the job was rather easy. The hardest part and to this day I still can't figure out is how to properly fill this damned and frustrating system.

Soooo, with this being said and after all of the videos I have watched online as well as advise I have taken from others, What is the best way to properly fill and bleed all of the air from this system? Pretend I know nothing because I am sure I am not the only one having troubles with getting the correct process down.
Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:42 PM   #2
Spannerhead
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Right here in the first post:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:59 PM   #3
das_autobahn
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Coolant Bleed

i was able to get over a gallon and half into the system in one shot and work most of the air out by hand without starting the engine. fill then squeeze the upper hose then cover the bleed hole with your thumb and release the hose. this creates a pumping vacuum in the entire system pulling all the air out allowing the pump and heat cycles to get the small bit of air out later. have your heater on while doing this also.

i did this before i drove it and was on level ground. ive bled it while hot and only once did it have air. i allowed it to cool down fully which will draw coolant from expansion tank and just top off expansion tank till it is full. i do mine between full and low.

doing it this way gave me immediate heat and no overheats.

Last edited by das_autobahn; 11-21-2016 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:01 PM   #4
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just remember use the upper hose to get as much air out and use the bleed screw while engine is running and coolant is hot (pressure and circulation will push air out) and refill ex tank when cold.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:22 PM   #5
lingon300k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semajio View Post
Hey everyone,
I have had my fair share of coolant issues with my old e46. I am pushing 240k and I love the car, it's just once a year just about for the last three years I have a coolant system failure. Tis the season and today I left my car running in between deliveries to charge my battery as it was dead this morning when I began my shift. (Have already found the solution for that issue) As I look out at my car to check on it, I see the oh so familiar coolant drain from the expansion tank. Last year, I replaced all of the hoses, the expansion tank, radiator, and thermostat. Other than some tolerance issues from the chinese radiator I was sold (nothing a pack of o-rings, some hose clamps, rubber hose, and a dremmel couldn't fix haha) the job was rather easy. The hardest part and to this day I still can't figure out is how to properly fill this damned and frustrating system.

Soooo, with this being said and after all of the videos I have watched online as well as advise I have taken from others, What is the best way to properly fill and bleed all of the air from this system? Pretend I know nothing because I am sure I am not the only one having troubles with getting the correct process down.
Thanks.

I'm going to make a photo DIY for this when I change my thermostat this week. Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic that it will have any effect, no matter how simple I make it.

It's not difficult or frustrating.

KEEP THE ENGINE OFF.

Raise the front of the car on jack stands or ramps. Turn the key to on WITHOUT STARTING THE ENGINE. Turn the climate control temp to high heat. Turn the center venter dial to full hot. Leave the fan on low. Remove the expansion tank cap and bleeder screw. Slowly pour in 50/50 coolant/distilled water until it comes out of the bleeder port with NO BUBBLES. Reinstall the bleeder screw, then the expansion tank cap. Start the engine. Sit in the car and watch the temp gauge to make sure it doesn't go past the middle. Turn the fan up a little bit. When the temp gauge is in the middle, you should be getting hot air from the vents. If you are, and the gauge has stayed in the middle for a few minutes without going past it, you can lower the car and go for a short test drive. If the gauge stays in the middle, and you're still getting hot air from the vents, you're finished. Check the level in the expansion tank, when the engine is cool, in the morning, to make sure you're not losing coolant.

Last edited by lingon300k; 11-21-2016 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lingon300k View Post
Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic that it will have any effect, no matter how simple I make it.


The unfortunate truth is that the ability to follow the bleeding procedure seems to be what separates the "men" from the "boys" around here, DIY-wise.

I think you should post DO NOT TURN ON THE ENGINE about 57 times for good measure.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:32 PM   #7
lingon300k
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Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post


The unfortunate truth is that the ability to follow the bleeding procedure seems to be what separates the "men" from the "boys" around here, DIY-wise.

I think you should post DO NOT TURN ON THE ENGINE about 57 times for good measure.
57 seems a bit conservative. I might err toward a few hundred. Maybe even make it all one word--DONOTTURNONTHEENGINE--and use it between the words instead of spaces.

The procedure annoyed me a bit in the beginning because it seemed like overkill, but I've come to appreciate it. It's quite error-proof compared to the more common expansion tank only fill procedure, that easily welcomes air pockets.
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