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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
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How much Brake Fluid do I need?

2002 325XI

I'm looking to replace my Brake Fluid, I'm going to bleed the brakes. Should I flush the brake fluid reservoir? The dealership said they found abnormalities in it. Also if I were to flush it, should I just flush it with water? If so how much? Then when I fill it, how many quarts of brake fluid is needed?
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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When you bleed the brakes, your reservoir will be flushed as well. You need a quart. Go with ATE Super Blue, blue color will ensure a proper bleed.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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Oh man. Don't put water anywhere near there.

Two liters of ate superblue will do the job. You may want to try with a cheaper dot4 fluid if it's your first time. Maybe you should just have the dealer do it. It's not a good job for a beginner.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #5
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Water!! No!! You'll create more than abnormalities introducing water to your system.

As you bleed down the brakes, keep a sharp eye on the res level and do not run dry or dangerously low. When 3/4 down, add the Blue magic SeanC mentions. It will mix slightly. Add more new fluid as needed watching the color change while bleeding out the old to new, rear to front. If the res has crud in it, wipe it out with a clean, lint free cloth (when low). No flushing will be required.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:44 PM   #6
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you better leave the job to the pro. an indept shop can charge as little as $70-90 for the job. i don't think you know what you are doing based on your question.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:28 AM   #7
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No I didn't know what I was doing but that's why I asked, I'm going to be doing it with someone who does know what their doing beforehand, I just thought it'd be better for me to get everything I need and figure out what would be done so I'm not left in the dark and can help. I'm still in the learning process with all this, water seemed appropriate to clean something, but now I know it isn't. Thank you everyone, appreciate it.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:07 PM   #8
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Never ever use water to "clean" the inside(s) of any brake component! As far as needs; purchase 1 or 2 liters of ATE Super Blue Brake Fluid, the blue color will let you know you have completely flushed all the old fluid out. Other needs; a 12 inch long piece of vacuum hose to fit over bleeder nipples (this lets you direct the fluid into a catch container without running down the brakes, suspension, etc.), a catch can/container of some sort (a soda bottle will work just fine), the correct size metric box end wrench (a metric line wrench can be used, BUT do not use an open end wrench or a socket), a can of PB Blaster to soak the bleeder screws before trying to open, a floor jack and set of jack stands (never lift a car and work under it in any way, shape or form without supporting it on jack stands, DO NOT trust a jack alone!), and a buddy (easier to flush/bleed the brakes the old 2-person method than using a pressure bleeder, and cheaper, too). After car is jacked up and supported on jack stands in the rear, remove the rear wheels (easier to bleed with the wheels off), spray the bleeder screws with the PB Blaster and let sit/soak for a few minutes. Try to crack open the right rear screw, if it opens, close it, attach the piece of vacuum hose, get your catch container and begin with the right rear (always start with the brake furtherest from the master cylinder) (right rear, left rear, right front, left front). With master cylinder full and cap on, have your helper pump the brake pedal up and hold it on, crack the bleeder screw until fluid squirts out, then close it. Repeat for the right rear until you have blue fluid coming out. Then move to the left rear brake and repeat. Put the wheels back on when complete, torque the lug studs, lower the car after removing the jack stands and move to the front. Repeat procedure for the front starting with the right front (if it is a manual, you should do the clutch slave cylinder before the front brakes). While bleeding/flushing, make sure that you do not let the level of brake fluid go lower than half full in the master cylinder. At each wheel, before starting the flushing/bleeding procedure, inspect the brake hoses for cracks, replace any cracked hose before flushing/bleeding (if you have to replace any brake hoses, here I would spend the extra money and purchase a set of stainless steel brake hoses, they last a long time and they will give the blake pedal a firmer feel). When complete, top off the master cylinder again.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
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Sounds like this will be your first time bleeding brakes. We did a video not long ago on our E90 M3 (similar process on the E46) showing how to bleed the brakes properly, I've embedded it below. Most of the time one bottles of fluid is enough to properly flush the system, but if it's your first time you might want a spare.


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Last edited by ECSTuning; 11-29-2012 at 03:06 PM.
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