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Old 03-26-2020, 10:16 AM   #1
JoshUpNorth
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My Ride: 2001 BMW 325xi Touri
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Cooling System Refresh in Colder Weather

Hi, I own a 2001 BMW 325xi Touring and I have some questions about doing a cooling system refresh. I live in Minnesota and the temps are still in the 30's to high 40's. I've done as much research as I can and found that most people say to do the refresh in warmer temperatures but I haven't been able to find a specific reasoning for that.

Would it be okay if I replaced the water pump, coolant lines, radiator, expansion tank, thermostat, and the coolant distilled water mixture in 40-50 weather? The reason I don't really want to wait is I have seen small coolant puddles on the ground and the coolant light has come on every once in a while. I want to take care of it before something bad happens.

All help is appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:31 AM   #2
lllRazorlll
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The specific reasoning is that the coolant level is supposed to be checked at 68 Fahrenheit. Just fix what is needed, add coolant, bleed the system, and check back later after the engine is cooled down and after a couple of days.

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Old 03-26-2020, 10:39 AM   #3
BaliDawg
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Should be fine. When I lived in Minnesota (many years ago) we worked on cars in all temperatures, and it was NOT fun when it gets cold.
I wouldn't hesitate to fix an important issue like a cooling system leak.

FYI: the coolant bleed procedure calls for having the key on, heater on, and fan at lowest setting. But this isn't necessary on an E46 because its heater valve is open when unpowered.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
Knight
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40F is fine. Keep in mind, the expansion tank and venting cap are there to accommodate coolant level fluctuations driven by ambient temperature.

Two critical safeguards:
  1. Keep the coolant level to the minimum (top of the float right at the neck of the ET).
  2. Use a 1.4 Bar ET Cap.
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