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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 > Flush coolant or replace water pump/thermostat?



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      08-09-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
dwreckp
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Flush coolant or replace water pump/thermostat?

I am having overheating issues with my 2006 330xi. When I checked the coolant level it was low so I topped it off and decided to try the bleed procedure. I noticed this sputtering instead of a constant flow.


Car has 140k miles and I don't think the coolant was ever flushed. I don't think the water pump/thermostat was ever replaced either. Also, after doing this procedure (which I probably did incorrectly!), there is no heat coming from the heater now. Is that just air in the system now?

What do you guys think? Could a coolant flush fix the overheating or is it the water pump I need to replace? I'd hate to shell out $500-1,000 if I don't have to.
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      08-09-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
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Just replace the water pump + thermostat now before the car leaves you stranded somewhere...I have no idea how the stock one made it that long to begin with.
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      08-09-2014, 10:23 AM   #3
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You over compensated. There was no need to bleed the system, you just needed to top off the coolant level. You bled the system incorrectly. The system is bled fully closed, meaning both the reservoir cap and bleed screw are completely closed (by taking the video, you did it wrong - you kept the system open). Once the procedure is completed, you then open the cap and top off the fluid. But that said, if you are overheating, then the WP is probably on it's way out and needs to be replaced.

How much coolant did you need to add? It shouldn't have been more that 16 - 20 ounces (when the light triggers). If it was more than that, you may have a leak somewhere. If you topped off after the engine overheated, then it should be more than 16 - 20 ozs. As for the WP/T-stat. Get the car scanned with a BMW scan tool and check for WP codes. A faulty T-stat will trigger the OBDII (SES) light; the water pump doesn't. I'd leave the replacement to a professional if I were you.
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      08-09-2014, 10:29 AM   #4
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Even if you bleed the system with the cap off, I am pretty sure you should still see a more constant flow. After you topped off the coolant, doing the bleed procedure is fine, it's certainly not going to hurt anything. Make sure you did it correctly though:

Key in ignition and turn car on but don't start engine
Heat to highest setting and fan to lowest setting.
Hold gas pedal in for about 10 seconds until you hear the water pump start

After you do this, if the car overheats again then definitely change your waterpump. It does sound like the problem is probably your waterpump, and at 140k miles it would be a good idea to change it regardless.
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      08-09-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
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I didn't have to add much coolant and it was less than 16-20 ounces. I have never noticed any coolant leaks either.

I didn't see any codes thrown with my OBDII scanner (not a BMW scan tool though). I guess I may end up having to replace them.

How complicated of a DIY do you think it is? Dealer quoted $1250 but I know I can get the parts for $500 from tischer.
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      08-10-2014, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwreckp View Post
I didn't have to add much coolant and it was less than 16-20 ounces. I have never noticed any coolant leaks either.

I didn't see any codes thrown with my OBDII scanner (not a BMW scan tool though). I guess I may end up having to replace them.

How complicated of a DIY do you think it is? Dealer quoted $1250 but I know I can get the parts for $500 from tischer.
The DIY is complicated but not hard, but it depends on your skill level, tools, and facility you are working in. The car needs to be at least 20 inches up in the air on four (jack stands) so you have room to move around. You need some specialized tools that most home handymen don't have, like 1/4 drive sockets, ratchet, extensions, and universals, plus Torx and E-Torx sockets/drivers. If you don't right now have a good floor jack and four jack stands, then you'll have to get just those tools to start. On top of that, the xi makes it more difficult to get the pump out because the front drive takes up space to get to the pump. For the xi, I'd figure you need to pull the radiator to get the pump out from the topside. Pulling the radiator can be difficult on a 140,000 mile car because the hoses get stuck on the radiator side of the connectors and are almost impossible to remove. A good BMW indy should be able to beat the dealership's price by $500. If you don't have a lot of experience turning wrenches on automobiles, I think you may have a difficult time with the DIY.

I wrote the DIY for the N52 water pump. I have a lift, air tools, and 30+ years worth of a tool collection and working on cars. [Not bragging, just trying to qualify my experience]. I found the procedure not difficult, but like I said, experience and have the proper tools make all the difference. We had a member about a year ago do a WP in a parking lot of his hotel (his dad came down with the tools) and he did the swap in about 4 hours, but him and his Dad have been working on cars together for a long time.

Good luck with however you decide to go.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 08-10-2014 at 11:09 AM.
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      08-10-2014, 01:46 PM   #7
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The replacement isn't really too difficult, but since you have a xi, and 140k miles, some of those hoses are going to be a pain to pull off, trust me I did mine at around 120-130k miles.
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      08-11-2014, 05:41 AM   #8
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The replacement isn't really too difficult, but since you have a xi, and 140k miles, some of those hoses are going to be a pain to pull off, trust me I did mine at around 120-130k miles.
I replaced all my hoses back in December (around 230,000 miles). I had to cut the upper and lower rad hoses to get the radiator out. Then I had to tiedown the radiator to my work bench, dremel the connectors, and pry off the hoses. What a PIA.
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      08-11-2014, 12:43 PM   #9
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Wow! lol I probably would have replaced the radiator if I was doing all the hoses, but good to know all this stuff is holding up that long.
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      08-11-2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Wow! lol I probably would have replaced the radiator if I was doing all the hoses, but good to know all this stuff is holding up that long.
Had I known it was going to be such a PITA, I would have.
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      08-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #11
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You should consider getting AMSOIL coolant and cutting it 50/50 with distilled water. Also adding their coolant booster.
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      08-16-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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Thanks for the posts guys. I think I will attempt this myself next week. I should have all the parts and tools. I guess I just need to find some patience since it sounds like it could be a real PITA with stubborn hoses and working in tight spots. I will let you know how it goes.
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      08-17-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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I did this a month ago.
1 tool I VERY STRONGLY say is a MUST.
Flexible ratchet extension.
Mine Was 8 inches long.

Look at BAV auto on their Video.
The guy uses it all the time, but his is a screw driver.
You will needs it.

Ohhh and just go for it.

DN
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      08-19-2014, 05:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwreckp View Post
Thanks for the posts guys. I think I will attempt this myself next week. I should have all the parts and tools. I guess I just need to find some patience since it sounds like it could be a real PITA with stubborn hoses and working in tight spots. I will let you know how it goes.
I really suggest that you get the upper and lower radiator hoses just in case you need them. For the xi I think the best way to get the pump out is to pull the radiator. I'd also get the u-shaped hose too if you are going to replace the main radiator hoses. Once drained the first thing I'd do is try to get the radiator out. Believe me, it can be a real PITA.
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      08-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #15
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So I got the system drained and removed 2 of the hoses connected to the thermostat. Unfortunately I heard the pin pop off of this connector and I'm still looking for it. Any suggestions? I bought one of those magnetic wands so hopefully that will help. Attached is a pic of the connector that went missing along with a link to the full assembly: http://www.ecstuning.com/ES38387/
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      08-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #16
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nevermind. Just found it!
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      08-21-2014, 09:24 AM   #17
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Don't lose the clips!!! I've done that so many times and had to remove the belly pan and its always there.
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