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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Coolant flush question?



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      05-10-2016, 08:51 PM   #1
WhiteBeard
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Coolant flush question?

I just came from our local autoshop that specialize on German cars. They quoted me $150 for coolant flush which is drain and refill only as they told me it won't replace all coolant, but roughly 50% of it.

Are they right or are they just lazy? What should I do? Maybe I can tell them to do flush twice then so I at least will be left with only 25% of old coolant instead of 50%? Will they charge me twice for that or only for additional coolant used? To be honest I'm so confused as I was sure coolant flush on e90 was a breeze since we have an electric water pump

P.S. I was also quoted for $250 and up for transmission flush and $90 for break fluid flash - are that numbers ok?
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      05-10-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
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If they just drain the radiator then you'll get out about half, maybe a little more. If they disconnect one of the hoses from the water pump or thermostat then they'll get nearly all of it out (takes a bit more time).

They're lazy or they don't know what they're doing. It is very easy to do the N52 engine coolant drain, one of the easiest, quickest and least messy of any car I've done.

You could try it yourself, not difficult at all. Or, if you plan on doing it again in two years then just do the radiator drain. You won't get all of it out but you'll get enough fresh coolant for the next two years.

Oh, and you could probably bet that a lot of places, dealers included, drain the radiator only and the customer never knows the difference.
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      05-10-2016, 11:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNS View Post
If they just drain the radiator then you'll get out about half, maybe a little more. If they disconnect one of the hoses from the water pump or thermostat then they'll get nearly all of it out (takes a bit more time).

They're lazy or they don't know what they're doing. It is very easy to do the N52 engine coolant drain, one of the easiest, quickest and least messy of any car I've done.

You could try it yourself, not difficult at all. Or, if you plan on doing it again in two years then just do the radiator drain. You won't get all of it out but you'll get enough fresh coolant for the next two years.

Oh, and you could probably bet that a lot of places, dealers included, drain the radiator only and the customer never knows the difference.
Thanks! It's funny but I'm coming to Arizona, Phoenix from July for 4 years for work. Do you think coolant flush is a must, considering Arizona heat? I have only 37K miles, but it's not miles i worry - it's age - my e90 is 2007, it was just standing most of time.
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      05-11-2016, 06:13 AM   #4
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The TIS procedure calls for disconnecting the lower radiator hose at the thermostat to drain the engine block. It is difficult to disconnect that hose because it is a tight space and the hose uses BMW's quick-connect hose connection contraption. Disconnecting the u-shaped hose between the t-stat and water pump effectively does the same thing and it is a far more easier hose to remove since it uses hose clamps.

Find another shop.
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      05-11-2016, 11:31 AM   #5
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If the coolant is truly unchanged since 2007 then you should drain it all out and replace. Fresh coolant contains conditioners that help maintain the rubber and plastic (a lot of plastic!) in the cooling system.

In AZ summer heat you want your cooling system operating at its peak with no compromises.
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      05-11-2016, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
The TIS procedure calls for disconnecting the lower radiator hose at the thermostat to drain the engine block. It is difficult to disconnect that hose because it is a tight space and the hose uses BMW's quick-connect hose connection contraption. Disconnecting the u-shaped hose between the t-stat and water pump effectively does the same thing and it is a far more easier hose to remove since it uses hose clamps.

Find another shop.
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      05-11-2016, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Oh, and you could probably bet that a lot of places, dealers included, drain the radiator only and the customer never knows the difference.
That's the worst part - you pay top money and still get scammed
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      05-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNS

Oh, and you could probably bet that a lot of places, dealers included, drain the radiator only and the customer never knows the difference.
This is why I'm hesitant to go to the dealer for service and just do all the maintenance I can myself. I just don't fully trust them for things I can't verify.
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      05-11-2016, 10:19 PM   #9
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I've drained mine twice from tstat and WP replacements. You'll get most of it from the hose. It doesn't hold but about 2 gallons I think.
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      05-12-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
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So I went ahead and bought OEM BMW Blue Coolant Long-Life at the local BWM Dealership. Surprisingly 4L jug (roughly 1 Gallon) was only $22CAD - which is like 17USD or so. I guess not all OEM BMW stuff cost an arm and a leg I'll mix it 50/50 with distilled water to get roughly 8L (8.7L is total coolant volume for 328xi). I'll try to DIY soon. Thanks guys - you've been really helpful!
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      05-12-2016, 09:33 PM   #11
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Yep - no reason to use other coolant when the OEM is literally just a couple dollars more. Just be sure to bleed it correctly after you refill it and you shouldn't have any problems.
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      05-14-2016, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkasson
Yep - no reason to use other coolant when the OEM is literally just a couple dollars more. Just be sure to bleed it correctly after you refill it and you shouldn't have any problems.
This ^^

Follow the bleed procedure by hooking battery to a charger or tender. Key in on position not cranked. Hold down gas pedal like 10 seconds or until you hear WP start running. It will finish in 12 mins I believe. Then top it off.
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      05-14-2016, 12:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkasson View Post
Yep - no reason to use other coolant when the OEM is literally just a couple dollars more. Just be sure to bleed it correctly after you refill it and you shouldn't have any problems.
Most of the time you're okay mixing coolant brands but there some that are incompatible. I know this is true with Porsche coolant, for example. You'll get sort of a jelled messy mix if you blend the wrong coolant and it all has to be flushed out and done over properly.

I'm all for buying quality German parts and pieces over Genuine BMW when you can save a buck here or there but sometimes you want to stick with BMW OE. Just be positive the off brand coolant is okay to mix with BMW blue coolant.
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