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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > E90 N52 Engine Coolant Change



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      05-25-2013, 09:45 PM   #111
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Much thanks for the DIY tut. Finished doing this on my car today.. Those damn hoses were a pita to remove but did it with joy.

TIP: To help not to drain your battery too fast when doing the bleeding process. Turn off DRLs in cluster. Turn radio off. Turn interior lights of permanently by holding front center dome light butto n for 5 secs. This will disable even the leds in the door handle.

Good Luck.
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      10-05-2013, 03:29 PM   #112
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Thank you op very good directions. It made the coolant change a breeze.
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      02-05-2014, 05:46 PM   #113
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Anyone aware of a similar DIY for the N57 330D? I have not been able to find one. It has a different water pump (belt driven I think) and the thermostat housing is completely different.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...66&hg=11&fg=35
How do you bleed the system of a non-electric water pump ?
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      02-22-2014, 01:14 PM   #114
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I tried venting several times, but the pump seems to always stop in a few minutes, not 12. I have a battery charger attached.

TIS says to:

"Switch on the low-beam headlights to perform the bleeding procedure. If the low-beam headlights are not switched on, the ignition (terminal 15) will switch off automatically after a certain period of time and interrupt the bleeding procedure."

I did that too, but still the same thing - pump seems to stop after a short time.
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      02-22-2014, 01:46 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylim View Post
I tried venting several times, but the pump seems to always stop in a few minutes, not 12. I have a battery charger attached.

TIS says to:

"Switch on the low-beam headlights to perform the bleeding procedure. If the low-beam headlights are not switched on, the ignition (terminal 15) will switch off automatically after a certain period of time and interrupt the bleeding procedure."

I did that too, but still the same thing - pump seems to stop after a short time.
I've done the bleeding procedure at least 5 times, so I know it pretty well. Do you have the vent screw closed? The pump does pause several times during the process, maybe you are thinking it stops and then does not restart. You have to wait at least 3 minutes if you restart the procedure to allow the DME to reset. The version of the TIS I have does not mention turning on the low beams, but I've never seen a 3-series turn on the headlamps until the engine is actually running.

All the procedure is doing is making sure the cylinderhead has coolant in it. If the pump runs for several minutes, I'd bet the head has coolant in it and it is safe to drive. The system will naturally bleed itself once the engine is running.
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      02-23-2014, 10:44 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I've done the bleeding procedure at least 5 times, so I know it pretty well. Do you have the vent screw closed? The pump does pause several times during the process, maybe you are thinking it stops and then does not restart. You have to wait at least 3 minutes if you restart the procedure to allow the DME to reset. The version of the TIS I have does not mention turning on the low beams, but I've never seen a 3-series turn on the headlamps until the engine is actually running.

All the procedure is doing is making sure the cylinderhead has coolant in it. If the pump runs for several minutes, I'd bet the head has coolant in it and it is safe to drive. The system will naturally bleed itself once the engine is running.
Thanks Efthreeoh. I did have the bleed screw and the coolant cap closed. After the bleeding I saw lots of foam at the coolant cap, so I closed it back and waited until the next day, and the foam seems to have disappeared, so I think they are just the remaining air bubbles. The coolant level is way over max though so I used a new, clean turkey baster to remove the coolant until it drops to max.

Then I drove around for a while and the level seems steady

A youtube video I saw did the venting with the cap open, and the coolant seems to be quite hot during the process. But mine was completely cold.
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      02-24-2014, 06:48 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylim View Post
Thanks Efthreeoh. I did have the bleed screw and the coolant cap closed. After the bleeding I saw lots of foam at the coolant cap, so I closed it back and waited until the next day, and the foam seems to have disappeared, so I think they are just the remaining air bubbles. The coolant level is way over max though so I used a new, clean turkey baster to remove the coolant until it drops to max.

Then I drove around for a while and the level seems steady

A youtube video I saw did the venting with the cap open, and the coolant seems to be quite hot during the process. But mine was completely cold.
The You tube video was probably for an E46 or other BMW without an electric water pump. E90s with the N52/54 are bled cold with just the water pump and the cap and vent screw closed.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 02-24-2014 at 06:56 AM.
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      02-26-2014, 01:04 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
The You tube video was probably for an E46 or other BMW without an electric water pump. E90s with the N52/54 are bled cold with just the water pump and the cap and vent screw closed.
This is the one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQWO4Z5xdkQ, e90 335i... The coolant seems hot!
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      02-26-2014, 07:57 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylim View Post
This is the one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQWO4Z5xdkQ, e90 335i... The coolant seems hot!
Thanks for providing the link. I have the BMW TIS procedure (that I downloaded in April 2009 before the Bentley manual was published) and I have since bought the Bentley service manual. Both procedures call for bleeding the coolant when the engine and coolant is cold using the procedure prescribed in this DIY. I did my first coolant change in April 2009 when my car hit 76,000 miles. Since that mileage I've replaced the t-stat (134K), then the water pump (152K), OFHG (161K - drained the radiator), and replaced the hoses at 236K; so 5 times I've done the procedure all without any issue. I followed the procedure in this DIY.

What I think you see is someone who is doing the bleeding procedure as a demonstration (to show how the pump moves the coolant back into the reservoir) after the car had cooled off to the point the system was not pressurized and safe to open. The coolant was probably still warm and it was very cold in the building he was making the video in causing the vapor seen coming from the reservoir. Whoever made the video did not use the correct bleeding procedure. You do not bleed the system with the reservoir open or with the bleed screw open. The procedure shown in the video is wrong. I'd also add he is not using BMW coolant and he said he was using a 80/20 mixture ratio (which seems extreme even for a far north winter climate), which tells me he's a hack BMW shadetree mechanic anyway. And though I'm not familiar with the sound the 335 pump makes, the E90 pump does not make that loud grainy sound; the N52 pump is very quite and smooth sounding.

I suggest you follow the procedure in this DIY because it is the correct procedure.
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      02-26-2014, 02:28 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Thanks for providing the link. I have the BMW TIS procedure (that I downloaded in April 2009 before the Bentley manual was published) and I have since bought the Bentley service manual. Both procedures call for bleeding the coolant when the engine and coolant is cold using the procedure prescribed in this DIY. I did my first coolant change in April 2009 when my car hit 76,000 miles. Since that mileage I've replaced the t-stat (134K), then the water pump (152K), OFHG (161K - drained the radiator), and replaced the hoses at 236K; so 5 times I've done the procedure all without any issue. I followed the procedure in this DIY.

What I think you see is someone who is doing the bleeding procedure as a demonstration (to show how the pump moves the coolant back into the reservoir) after the car had cooled off to the point the system was not pressurized and safe to open. The coolant was probably still warm and it was very cold in the building he was making the video in causing the vapor seen coming from the reservoir. Whoever made the video did not use the correct bleeding procedure. You do not bleed the system with the reservoir open or with the bleed screw open. The procedure shown in the video is wrong. I'd also add he is not using BMW coolant and he said he was using a 80/20 mixture ratio (which seems extreme even for a far north winter climate), which tells me he's a hack BMW shadetree mechanic anyway. And though I'm not familiar with the sound the 335 pump makes, the E90 pump does not make that loud grainy sound; the N52 pump is very quite and smooth sounding.

I suggest you follow the procedure in this DIY because it is the correct procedure.
Couldn't agree with you more on all the points! I just wanted to show you the link
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      02-26-2014, 11:33 PM   #121
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Thanks for the DIY.. Soon as I saw it I went straight to Bmw and bought some coolant and stopped by the store and picked up some distilled water. The car had 7 year old coolant in it but kept a perfect temp. No need to panic fellas if you go a long time without changing your coolant but this time I'm going to try and stick with the intervals. It looked bad after that long though..
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      04-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #122
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How much does it usually cost in labor for this? I got quoted $60 from a local shop that I go to for my family's vehicles. He doesn't really specialize in German cars abut I do trust him for work that I need done like T-belts and WP.

When I asked him about changing my coolant on my 328i. He told me on my car is kinda difficult. He said to get the air bubbles out he’ll have to drive it around then let it cool then do it again or something. Does that sound right to you guys? It seems like the bleeding procedure in the OP is a lot simpler.
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      04-09-2014, 09:42 AM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero_09
How much does it usually cost in labor for this? I got quoted $60 from a local shop that I go to for my family's vehicles. He doesn't really specialize in German cars abut I do trust him for work that I need done like T-belts and WP.

When I asked him about changing my coolant on my 328i. He told me on my car is kinda difficult. He said to get the air bubbles out he’ll have to drive it around then let it cool then do it again or something. Does that sound right to you guys? It seems like the bleeding procedure in the OP is a lot simpler.
The procedure in this DIY is spot on. Driving around with air packets in the cooling system is a bad idea with any car period.
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      04-09-2014, 03:39 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero_09 View Post
How much does it usually cost in labor for this? I got quoted $60 from a local shop that I go to for my family's vehicles. He doesn't really specialize in German cars abut I do trust him for work that I need done like T-belts and WP.

When I asked him about changing my coolant on my 328i. He told me on my car is kinda difficult. He said to get the air bubbles out he’ll have to drive it around then let it cool then do it again or something. Does that sound right to you guys? It seems like the bleeding procedure in the OP is a lot simpler.
Your mechanic doesn't know what he is doing regarding the E90 coolant change. There is no need to run the engine to get the system bled. The system is bled cold using just the electric coolant pump.

Take it to a reputable BMW independent mechanic.
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      04-10-2014, 12:10 AM   #125
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ok thanks. Ill check my local shops
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      06-03-2014, 02:32 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Your mechanic doesn't know what he is doing regarding the E90 coolant change. There is no need to run the engine to get the system bled. The system is bled cold using just the electric coolant pump.

Take it to a reputable BMW independent mechanic.
My mechanic bled the system while the engine was running idle. Would this have been bad for the engine?

I followed the venting procedure this morning (drove it 30 miles yesterday) and noticed that the coolant level was a bit low. Took it to the mechanic who topped off with 1/10 to 1/5 of a gallon of distilled water. Is this ok or will this be a problem because it is no longer 50:50 coolant:distilled water?
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Last edited by bmwarg; 06-04-2014 at 01:29 PM.
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      06-04-2014, 06:13 AM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwarg View Post
My mechanic bled the system while the engine was running idle. Would this have been bad for the engine?

I followed the venting procedure this morning (drove it 30 miles yesterday) and noticed that the coolant level was a bit low. I topped off with 1/10 to 1/5 of a gallon of distilled water. Is this ok or will this be a problem because it is no longer 50:50 coolant:distilled water?
If it didn't overheat, then no, it didn't damage the engine. Not sure where you live, but you should be okay. That amount of water did change the ratio much. You can always check the coolant protection level with a antifreeze hydrometer.

Your mechanic doesn't know what he is doing either. Take your car to a mechanic who is trained to work on BMWs.
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      06-04-2014, 01:03 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
If it didn't overheat, then no, it didn't damage the engine. Not sure where you live, but you should be okay. That amount of water did change the ratio much. You can always check the coolant protection level with a antifreeze hydrometer.

Your mechanic doesn't know what he is doing either. Take your car to a mechanic who is trained to work on BMWs.
Next time I'll just take this DIY and ask them to follow it. I never got an engine overheat signal (at least not when I was operating the vehicle). I live in San Francisco so the temperatures are pretty moderate.

This morning I ran the venting procedure again when the engine was bone cold and removed the excess coolant with a siphon because it was past the max indicator. Apparently the mechanic added too much distilled water when topping off.

Do I have to bleed or vent again because I removed some coolant from the reservoir?
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Last edited by bmwarg; 06-04-2014 at 01:29 PM.
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      06-04-2014, 10:52 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwarg View Post
Next time I'll just take this DIY and ask them to follow it. I never got an engine overheat signal (at least not when I was operating the vehicle). I live in San Francisco so the temperatures are pretty moderate.

This morning I ran the venting procedure again when the engine was bone cold and removed the excess coolant with a siphon because it was past the max indicator. Apparently the mechanic added too much distilled water when topping off.

Do I have to bleed or vent again because I removed some coolant from the reservoir?
No, leave it a lone now.
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      07-17-2014, 08:16 PM   #130
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Anyone doing this may just want to go ahead and replace the radiator drain plug to be on the safe side.

I didn't and ended up with a very small leak from it because I guess the O ring is just old.
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      11-14-2014, 12:21 AM   #131
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Excellent DIY

Excellent instructions. I did have to google the "radiator cover". After looking over pictures on google images - my car does not have one (328xi, 03/08 production date). Either someone didn't replace it or the x-drive's don't have them.
Getting the connector lock off the t-stat connector looks impossible because another part is blocking it. It's possible - be persistent.
Also, I didn't get a hissing of air after running the water pump procedure. I did it twice, with a timer - waiting 15 mins each time. I could hear the process running - took 12 mins each time. I'm disappointed I didn't get a hiss, but I checked carefully for leaks & drove her for 20 mins. All seems well.
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      12-01-2014, 11:59 PM   #132
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Just completed a coolant refresh and these procedures where very helpful. I used an Airlift tool, however, so I didn't need to perform the bleed process. The tool is very simple to use. It creates a vacuum in the coolant system and you just drop the feed line into a bucket of premixed coolant and it sucks it up. After the initial fill I had a little more coolant left compared to the amount that came out. After running the engine for about 5 minutes followed by a cool down, I topped off the system. It took slightly more than drained out (probably a little low when I started) so I'm sure bleeding isn't necessary. I wish I could figure out why about a 1/2 gallon of coolant isn't drained though. Seems like about 1.5 gallons is all that can be drained.

Also I forgot to mention that the other advantage to using the Airlift is it's able to verify that there are no leaks in the system before the fill. One of the best tool investments I've ever made.
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