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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 11-04-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
bimmer07
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Coolant flush and thermostat replacement

Alright so tomorrow i am going to flush my coolant out change my thermostat and put in new coolant. I've got the 1 gal. of bmw coolant and a thermostat that has a gasket already it looks like. What else do i need and any tips for the job?? my car has about 110,000 miles on it should i flush the system with something else before putting in the new coolant just for preventative measures. Any tips or tricks to make the job go as smooth as possible would be great. Also dispossing of the coolant should i take it to auto zone or something.

thanks,
Seth
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:45 PM   #2
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Follow this guide
http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_coolant_change.shtml

Yes, you will get the coolant all over the place when draining the engine block. 1 gallon of BMW coolant and 1 gallon of destilled water should be plenty
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:03 AM   #3
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ya i've already got the guide just wanted to know if anybody had some suggestions to add to it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by croat View Post
Follow this guide
http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_coolant_change.shtml

Yes, you will get the coolant all over the place when draining the engine block. 1 gallon of BMW coolant and 1 gallon of destilled water should be plenty
When I did my coolant change, not a drop spilled. Here's how: Get a piece of 1 1/2 inch corrugated plastic tubing, about 18~24 inches long should do. For a comparison, its the same black flexible tubing used for sump pumps. Run it up behind the steering rack boot and push until its against the engine block. It will stay in place because the area behind the steering rack boot is rather tight and holds the hose in place. Make sure you break the drain plug loose beforehand. Now reach up with one hand and slide the hose back slightly, just enough to get a thumb and finger in there to turn the drain bolt. Keep the tubing "over" the drainplug while turning. Once the drain bolt falls out, it travels down the tube and into your drainpan along with the coolant. When coolant stops draining, remove the tube, and replace the drainplug. Sure beats a mouth/face/eye/ear/nose full of coolant .

And yes, be kind to Ma Earth and dispose of it at an auto parts store that takes used coolant.

Last edited by shortyb; 11-05-2006 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:58 AM   #5
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the #'s on my old thermo and new thermo dont match even though it isnt the bmw part number. They both look the same and are the same sizes. The spring and all that on the old one look just as new as my new one which seems good my engine is dirty.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:56 AM   #6
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Everything went smoothly just not sure where to take the coolant. My autozone says no we just do oil so i have a bucket of dirty coolant in my garage.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:27 PM   #7
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Everything went smoothly just not sure where to take the coolant. My autozone says no we just do oil so i have a bucket of dirty coolant in my garage.
Just check some auto garages around your area. They know how to properly dispose of coolant and other various harzoudous liquids.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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I have a brand new BMW thermostat for a 330ci 99-2006 if anyone wants it.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:02 AM   #9
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What about dumping the coolant at those coin operated car washes. Some of them have special bays for engine cleaning where the waste water goes into a special tank. Just find one that has this, and dump it for free.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer07 View Post
Alright so tomorrow i am going to flush my coolant out change my thermostat and put in new coolant. I've got the 1 gal. of bmw coolant and a thermostat that has a gasket already it looks like. What else do i need and any tips for the job?? my car has about 110,000 miles on it should i flush the system with something else before putting in the new coolant just for preventative measures. Any tips or tricks to make the job go as smooth as possible would be great. Also dispossing of the coolant should i take it to auto zone or something.




thanks,
Seth
DO u know iof there is a DIY photo page for a thermostat change.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:57 PM   #11
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ok I did everything ok and things went smooth!!! Changed the thermostat and coolant with all bmw parts. The engine service soon light is still on...how do I get rid of it?

I ran the car through the computer and the code was to replace the thermostat. That's it...I heard soemthing like run the car for a few miles, ture or false? Thanks

I appreciate your help in advance!
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
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ok I did everything ok and things went smooth!!! Changed the thermostat and coolant with all bmw parts. The engine service soon light is still on...how do I get rid of it?

I ran the car through the computer and the code was to replace the thermostat. That's it...I heard soemthing like run the car for a few miles, ture or false? Thanks

I appreciate your help in advance!
Just a follow up, after a day of driving it, this morning the light was off. YAYY!!! So I didn't have to take it to the dealer to flash!
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:53 PM   #13
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Just a follow up, after a day of driving it, this morning the light was off. YAYY!!! So I didn't have to take it to the dealer to flash!
You said exactly what I was going to say...glad everything worked out.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:07 AM   #14
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It says to turn on the heat to 91 degrees, do you leave it on throughout the coolant change or....
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:11 AM   #15
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It says to turn on the heat to 91 degrees, do you leave it on throughout the coolant change or....
i left it on from when i started all the way to the very end and it worked out just fine.
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:00 PM   #16
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I just changed my coolant today. When I was draining the radiator, I first tried turning the black plastic "nut" that the blue drain plug sits inside of. I turned it about half a turn before I realized that all I had to do was remove the blue plug. I turned the black platic nut back to the built-in stops, but does anyone know what that thing is, or if what I did will hurt anything or create leaks? Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:22 PM   #17
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Not to hijack but, it's such a coincidence that I was going to flush my coolant this afternoon. Put the car on a ramp, take the shield off and 1. I couldn't unscrew the blue drain plug using regular screwdriver as my screwdriver wasn't big enough . Do I have to use a special screwdriver? and 2. My drain plug looked different, it was definitely not a 13mm plug. I have a picture of it but don't know how to attach a picture. I got the car used so the PO must have changed it. In the middle of the plug looked like some sort of star. Is it a hex screw? Any help will be apreciated, I really want to flush my coolant and since it's getting cold outside my window of opportunity is shrinking. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:25 PM   #18
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Not to hijack but, it's such a coincidence that I was going to flush my coolant this afternoon. Put the car on a ramp, take the shield off and 1. I couldn't unscrew the blue drain plug using regular screwdriver as my screwdriver wasn't big enough . Do I have to use a special screwdriver? and 2. My drain plug looked different, it was definitely not a 13mm plug. I have a picture of it but don't know how to attach a picture. I got the car used so the PO must have changed it. In the middle of the plug looked like some sort of star. Is it a hex screw? Any help will be apreciated, I really want to flush my coolant and since it's getting cold outside my window of opportunity is shrinking. Thanks in advance.
You might need a bigger philips screwdriver... if you're not sure about the engine block, you can perform multiple drains of the radiator only. It'll take a lot longer, but it can be done. You'll want to drain the radiator, put the plug back in, put in a 50% mix, drive the car with the heater full on until the engine reaches normal temp. Wait for the car to cool down, drain the radiator and repeat process a couple more times. This isn't the best method, but again, if you're not sure about the engine drain block, this will allow you to get the coolant changed. Just make sure that you wait until the radiator is cool before you drain it.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:09 PM   #19
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in order to call it a real flush youll need to actually buy 2 gallons....

flush...
put new coolant....
drive for a week
and flush again
and add new coolant...

thats how i did it...if you flush only once you wont really flush all the old coolant..some old coolant will stay...at that mileage i would go with my method.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:39 AM   #20
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Is this DIY almost the same for M3's?
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