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  E90 N52 Engine Coolant Change
ENINTY
04-04-2009
Coolant DYI

So I finally got around to changing the coolant in my 325i. I didnít take any pictures (sorry) because I didnít want to dirty up my nice camera, and anyway I left it in the trunk and realized it after I had the car in the air and the coolant was draining. Iíll be...
  #88  
By hxs80 on 03-05-2012, 09:25 PM
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Followed this DIY tonight and I sandwiched in the Oil Housing Gasket DIY (http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632565) in between Step 8 and 9. Every step is accurate and the write up was definitely descriptive enough. Took me about 3 hours for both DIYs. Thanks to everyone for all their input.

Looking back, I should of done the flush again because I DID have the rubber particles when I drained the radiator. I expected it and that's why I did the oil housing gasket replacement.

Performed at 61k miles.
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  #89  
By hxs80 on 03-05-2012, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helka View Post
Just finished with the venting porocess. Great write up! easy to follow. The only time consuming thing was taking the underpanel off lol.
Yes! The underpanels were the most time consuming. Especially because I forgot how the radiator cover with the brackets went! Figured it out eventually...
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  #90  
By ENINTY on 03-08-2012, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hxs80 View Post
Yes! The underpanels were the most time consuming. Especially because I forgot how the radiator cover with the brackets went! Figured it out eventually...
If I were to start anew with buying tools to work on my E90 the first tools I'd get are an air compressor and a 1/4 mini air ratchet. I have a nice Florida Air Tools compact 1/4-drive air ratchet and can remove the under pan in under a minute.
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  #91  
By hxs80 on 03-12-2012, 10:23 PM
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Update: 6 days later after I performed my flush I got a coolant low service light. Great. I open the hood to find the Expansion tank vent screw leaking in spurts and a pool of coolant in the under panel.

What do I do? Remove the screw, inspect it and hmm...looks ok.. screw it back on and lo and behold, the top broke off. Being a sunday morning, 1 am to be exact, and far from home, I ended up having to make an improv gasket "top" to seal it up and drive to the stealership where a $10 bill got me a new plug. (I bought two for backup)

I compared the gasket and the new one was definitely "fluffier" and not as flattened down as the old one.

Taking the rest of the screw out of the expansion tanks wasn't that easy but I finally got it.

Lessons learned, be careful when tightening that plastic vent screw. From now on, every time I do a flush I'll just go ahead and change that screw!
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  #92  
By ENINTY on 03-16-2012, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hxs80 View Post
Update: 6 days later after I performed my flush I got a coolant low service light. Great. I open the hood to find the Expansion tank vent screw leaking in spurts and a pool of coolant in the under panel.

What do I do? Remove the screw, inspect it and hmm...looks ok.. screw it back on and lo and behold, the top broke off. Being a sunday morning, 1 am to be exact, and far from home, I ended up having to make an improv gasket "top" to seal it up and drive to the stealership where a $10 bill got me a new plug. (I bought two for backup)

I compared the gasket and the new one was definitely "fluffier" and not as flattened down as the old one.

Taking the rest of the screw out of the expansion tanks wasn't that easy but I finally got it.

Lessons learned, be careful when tightening that plastic vent screw. From now on, every time I do a flush I'll just go ahead and change that screw!
So I edited the original post to highlight in bold and red font the note where I said not to over-torque the plastic screws and small hose clamps.
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  #93  
By hxs80 on 03-17-2012, 07:41 PM
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Thanks, hopefully someone learns from my mistakes..
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  #94  
By speedball73 on 10-23-2012, 08:43 PM
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Hi there,

Followed the procedure this weekend, worked like a charm, thanks for the excellent writeup.

I was very patient filling with coolant, did not detect any hissing when opening the coolant cap after bleeding the air from the system.

Thanks again,

Walter
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  #95  
By Bray0671 on 11-03-2012, 01:17 PM
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Why can't I do like I have on my 2001 330i. I drain the coolant fill rad with water run car heat on high let cool and drain rad repeat 2-3 times ad 50 percent of coolant top off with water? Does this not work because it is a electric pump?
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  #96  
By Efthreeoh on 11-15-2012, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bray0671 View Post
Why can't I do like I have on my 2001 330i. I drain the coolant fill rad with water run car heat on high let cool and drain rad repeat 2-3 times ad 50 percent of coolant top off with water? Does this not work because it is a electric pump?
You could do it that way, but why would you and you may not get the trapped air out before the head overheats. The procedure for the N52/N54 is so simple. Drain the radiator, pull a hose or two off to get a bit more coolant out, refill and bleed the system with the engine cold. No need to deal with hot coolant. Eninty's proceedure is basically BMW's procedure from the TIS, so that is what the MANUFACTURER recommends as the procedure, why not follow it?
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  #97  
By kiwi29 on 12-01-2012, 02:31 AM
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Great DIY. Just wish it had pics they're fun to look at lol
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  #98  
By kiwi29 on 12-12-2012, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blingman View Post
so I followed this procedure:

"17) Insert the key into the dash slot and hit the starter button (but donít start the engine Ė e.g. keep your foot off the bake/clutch).
18) When the ignition is on, set the heater to the highest temp (84 deg.) and set the fan on low.
19) Hold down the accelerator pedal for 10 seconds then release. This activates the water pump and it will cycle for about 12 minutes to vent all the trapped air into the coolant reservoir (it sounds like a min washing machine). Donít open the reservoir cap or bleed screw during the venting process! (youíll have start the process over) You may want to hook up a extra battery to the under-hood jumper points to keep the carís battery from running down."

but the water pump did not activate. tried it couple times and still nothing.
key in, foot off brake, hit start button, fan low, heat at high, foot on gas pedal down for 10 seconds and release. nothing happen :/

am i missing something? my car is 2006 325i if that makes any difference
If you still haven't had it figured out, I heard that not all e90 water pumps are electric (can't remember source) but that could be the problem. For that case, I forget the bleeding process sorry hope this kinda helps
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  #99  
By Sabao767 on 12-12-2012, 09:05 AM
Great post! I have to change my coolant since someone decided that it was ok to top it off with regular green antifreeze. BTW, do any of you guys know if the green stuff will do any damage to my car?
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  #100  
By blingman on 12-12-2012, 04:28 PM
I figured it out, it did work. Thanks!
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  #101  
By Efthreeoh on 12-16-2012, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabao767 View Post
Great post! I have to change my coolant since someone decided that it was ok to top it off with regular green antifreeze. BTW, do any of you guys know if the green stuff will do any damage to my car?
It won't for that small amount.
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  #102  
By Fpaliwala on 12-22-2012, 01:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by blingman View Post
so I followed this procedure:

"17) Insert the key into the dash slot and hit the starter button (but don’t start the engine – e.g. keep your foot off the bake/clutch).
18) When the ignition is on, set the heater to the highest temp (84 deg.) and set the fan on low.
19) Hold down the accelerator pedal for 10 seconds then release. This activates the water pump and it will cycle for about 12 minutes to vent all the trapped air into the coolant reservoir (it sounds like a min washing machine). Don’t open the reservoir cap or bleed screw during the venting process! (you’ll have start the process over) You may want to hook up a extra battery to the under-hood jumper points to keep the car’s battery from running down."

but the water pump did not activate. tried it couple times and still nothing.

key in, foot off brake, hit start button, fan low, heat at high, foot on gas pedal down for 10 seconds and release. nothing happen :/

am i missing something? my car is 2006 325i if that makes any difference
I'm having the same issue as blingman. I'm doing everything as stated to start the water pump venting procedure, but I don't hear anything happening. Anyone have any suggestions? I have a 2006 325i.
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  #103  
By blingman on 12-26-2012, 02:53 PM
maybe try it again holding the gas pedal down longer, maybe 30 seconds and see if that works.
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  #104  
By snowman81 on 02-20-2013, 03:12 PM
I might attempt this if I can't get the dealer to cover my water pump under warranty even though I'm 6 months over but I'm only at 46k miles. So the once question I didn't see an answer too was will the intercooler be in the way on a 335? I haven't gotten under there to look, and the car is at the dealer right now. They Indy shop around here wants $1300 for a water pump replacement. It looks like I can get all the parts from Tishcer for just uner $600, but can someone double check me on the parts list and let me know if there is anything else I should do while I'm in there? Here's what I've got:
Radiator Drain Plug x2
Water Pump
Water Pump Screw
Thermostat
Thermostat Screw
Any O rings, gaskets or anything else I should look into getting as well.

And thanks OP for the great write up!
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  #105  
By left123 on 02-24-2013, 01:25 AM
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Just completed the n52 coolant flush on my 06 330i (07/06 build). A few notes:

1. REMOVING BLUE DRAIN PLUG: Removing the blue plastic drain plug is not easy as its a very large flathead screw driver (which I didn't have). I used an old 5-in-1 painter's tool that had an ~ 1-1.5cm wide portion to turn the drain plug. Worked great (lots of solutions here).

2. Don't forget to remove the coolant reservoir cap when draining the radiator. When only about 1-2 oz of coolant drain out (and you commence freaking out as to why only so little drained/how your car didn't blow up w/so little coolant), you'll know b/c the cap is still on so a massive vacuum is preventing it from draining.

3. BLOWING TECHNIQUE: After draining the radiator (and squeezing the right side large radiator hose, as mentioned by OP), I used a small funnel that fit perfectly over the reservoir area and blew into it to flush extra coolant out (I got it to form a perfect seal by pressing down on it forcefully). I got quite a bit out, but nowhere near another poster's 95% claim. I know this b/c of point #4.

4. WATER PUMP HOSE DRAINING: After draining the radiator and blowing the coolant w/my lungs, I figured I might as well do this whole thing right and drain the water pump area too. I had to massage a small screw driver around the hose to loosen it's grip on the water pump. Then, I, w/2 screw drivers, worked one up into the hose, allowing coolant to start to drain. I held it there for ~5 min as coolant drained. I got A LOT of coolant out this way, even after draining the reservoir AND blowing the coolant (almost as much as the radiator drained). Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend you follow-through with this part of the procedure. It was a little tedious but once I got that screwdriver inside the U-shaped hose a little, coolant started flowing. Once it stopped, the hose came off real easy to allow the little left to drain.

For reference, here's the water pump hose referenced here and elsewhere:

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  #106  
By Fro826 on 03-08-2013, 01:22 AM
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Great DIY ENINTY.

Just got done with the whole cooling system she-bang - new water pump and t-stat, and used your instructions for the bleed procedure, which I did twice like another poster did and glad I did because after the first one, the "dipstick" hadn't really dropped at all, but after the 2nd one it definitely did and I had to add a small amount of coolant to bring it up to max.

Again, great job on the writeup, this e90post community is awesome, really glad to be a part of it and looking forward to some contributions of my own to pay it forward.
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  #107  
By 2007NC335i on 03-12-2013, 06:58 AM
First, please allow me to apologize, as I realize there are a number of posts on this general topic, but I have had a hard time finding a specific one for my application... 2007 335i US Manual Transmission, non-sport package.

I am looking to flush the coolant and it appears that this is not a trivial task, as to get to the radiator drain plug, you have to remove the FMIC (Front Mounted Intercooler).

My questions are as follows...

1) What is the easiest way to drain the coolant... I don't need to get every drop out - I just want to get the majority of the fluid?

2) I've been told to remove the lower radiator hose.... is this the way to go or is there another method for my specific car? I've got an 81 Corvette that I work on and would have no problem doing this on that vehicle, but does anyone have a very specific picture with a very specific procedure for removing the hose where it attaches to the radiator. I didn't see any simple 80's era screw clamps. :-)

3) I do not have access to a lift and consequently I usually just jack up the right side of my Corvette, put a car ramp under the right front and right rear tires and then do the same on the left. Is there a safe way to do this on my 335i? If not, what is the prescribed method for getting all 4 wheels into the air?

Again, please accept my apologies for this admittedly novice post - I just joined the forum and this is my first.

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated and pictures are worth a 1000 words, as I am not intimately familiar with the car yet.
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  #108  
By left123 on 03-12-2013, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007NC335i View Post
First, please allow me to apologize, as I realize there are a number of posts on this general topic, but I have had a hard time finding a specific one for my application... 2007 335i US Manual Transmission, non-sport package.

I am looking to flush the coolant and it appears that this is not a trivial task, as to get to the radiator drain plug, you have to remove the FMIC (Front Mounted Intercooler).

My questions are as follows...

1) What is the easiest way to drain the coolant... I don't need to get every drop out - I just want to get the majority of the fluid?

2) I've been told to remove the lower radiator hose.... is this the way to go or is there another method for my specific car? I've got an 81 Corvette that I work on and would have no problem doing this on that vehicle, but does anyone have a very specific picture with a very specific procedure for removing the hose where it attaches to the radiator. I didn't see any simple 80's era screw clamps. :-)

3) I do not have access to a lift and consequently I usually just jack up the right side of my Corvette, put a car ramp under the right front and right rear tires and then do the same on the left. Is there a safe way to do this on my 335i? If not, what is the prescribed method for getting all 4 wheels into the air?

Again, please accept my apologies for this admittedly novice post - I just joined the forum and this is my first.

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated and pictures are worth a 1000 words, as I am not intimately familiar with the car yet.
2007NC335i,

This should do the trick for a DIY coolant change for the 335i.

A note about the "search" function on e90post: I have a ton more success letting google search for me and just type "e90post ___________" into google. This is how I found the link above. I recommend you try that as it was the first hit I got (after typing "e90 335i coolant flush").

As for the lifting procedure, you really should get a floor jack to lift the center lift points and put either jack stands or ramps in. You can do both the front then the rears that way. Less torsional stress on the car (it can probably take what you are describing but this method is much easier). Some people actually have to jack up the side of the car to be able to access the center lift point (I do) so 2 jacks are needed. Or, you could just use one jack and put a ramp/jack stand on the side of the car, then access the center lift point with your regular floor jack (you have one of those right???).

Good luck.
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  #109  
By mario939021 on 03-13-2013, 01:57 AM
Thank you for taking your time to do this for us.
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