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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:10 AM
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So that others find this more readily, I repost this information posted today over here:
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > How to bleed the air out of the cooling system??

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
Hmmm. Apparently there are a bunch of bleeding procedures/TIS out there. I followed this one this morning, but then realized it didn't say anything about the bleeding screws (even though title is bleeding).
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/34/82

I then checked out BlueBee's 3 links and the 2nd link had below. I noticed the first link from CN90 also had similar saying to fill coolant to very top of expansion tank (neck) which contradicts the TIS. Guess I'm confused now. I followed TIS to the letter (almost). I had no idea when the thermostat opened so let car warm up half way from cold temp to just about 10 oclock on the needle temp gauge. Car is cooling now. I didn't touch either bleeding valve. Not sure if safe to open bleeding valves at this point, but will let car cool and try below. However, I'm a little concerned that once I'm done with bleeding and following below of overfilling coolant (to bleed), that once I'm done, it will still be overfilled? Do I take the extra out?


Written Procedure;

1) With car cold turn on key to run position(do not start the car), set HVAC system to 90 degrees and fan on low.

2) Remove coolant pressure cap on expansion tank and the bleeder screws from thermostat cover and expansion tank.

3) Begin to pour coolant into expansion tank keeping level near top of tank until air free coolant flows from thermostat cover bleeder hole, install screw and close bleeder.

4) Continue to fill expansion tank until air free coolant flows from the bleeder screw on the expansion tank, you will need to keep the expansion tank filled to top to complete this step. When no more bubbles then install and close the bleeder.

5) Fill coolant in expansion tank to near top of tank then install the filler cap.

6) Now take the car for a drive and get it warmed up to temperature, at least a 10 min drive, try to get some higher RPM driving in as well(like a short section of open road)

7) Park car and let cool to ambient temperature(at least a couple of hours) then check the level of coolant in the expansion tank. If it is empty then repeat the bleeding process above, if after a repeat it is still empty then you have a bigger issue such as a leak or a damaged head gasket. If the level is low then top up to the full cold level indicated on the tank or slightly above.

8) Monitor coolant level for several drive cycles adding coolant as needed to maintain the full cold level, coolant level should stabilize in one or two drive cycles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Personally I think BMW TIS procedure made coolant bleeding too complicated.

1996-98: Engine cold: fill reservoir all the way to the brim, it will flow out the bleeder on the tstat housing. Then bleed the bleeder @ reservoir. It took me a long time to discover the trick of "filling to the brim" of the reservoir. If you fill to "KALT", it is not enough to push coolant out of the bleeder on the tstat housing.

1999-2003: models with Aux Water Pump. Same as above, except you turn the heat on to move the coolant inside the Aux WP circuit.

Then prepare some 50-50 coolant and carry it in the trunk (just in case you have to fill it), go for a test drive around your blocks, not too far from home, just drive around. Then bring the car back and check coolant level once the engine cools down.

That is it.

You will find that by filling to the brim, the level will settle down very nice at "KALT".

Also, check coolant level everyday for about 1 week.
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  #52  
Old 07-19-2013, 05:44 PM
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For the record, this was asked today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gstob View Post
Hi

My car is a 520i 99/9. Except the engine obviously, its 90% parts wise like the 528i

I`ve followd the thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=558386

My car does not overheat, but after 15-20min off driving i lose heat in the cabin.
To get the heat "back" i have to set the temp up 5-6c (ex 24c to 30c) but this only works for another 10 minutes, and when im at 32c the heat disappears completely, Even if i press the window defogger, it only blows cold air..

I`ve "logged" the coolant temp with an obdii reader when im driving, and it stays a 92-93C with the enging heated up

When i try to bleed like suggested in the other threads (car in a slope, both bleeder screws off, heat to max and and just one bar at the fan speed)

Coolant gushes out from the bleeder screws. You can hear the aux pump "struggling" pushing the coolant. if i close the bleeder screws, the pump runs fine. I`ve also try`d bleeding the system without the pump running, but no success...

Oh, and i also pressured tested the cooling system, no leak...

Any suggestions?


(Sorry for the English )
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  #53  
Old 07-20-2013, 03:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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For those who look for a quick drain/refill, this is what I did recently.
Basically a ghetto technique that saves time.

- I want to avoid removing the splash-guard and drain from the petcock. This is b/c the petcock can crack during removal, causing more problems!

- D/C the lower Rad hose, remember that this hose sits about 4 inches from the very bottom of the radiator, so a bit of coolant will stay in the radiator. But since I am not looking for a perfect job, this is fine with me.

- D/C the heater hose at the bottom of the reservoir. Now push this hose down toward the splash-guard to drain more coolant. During re-assembly, make sure the hose fits properly to the clips at the bottom of the fan shroud, otherwise this hose may hit the AC pulley!!!

- Re-attach the hoses and tighten the clamps.

- Open the tstat bleeder screw (I use the brass screws), remove it completely. Fill the reservoir with 50-50 coolant mix. Go SLOW! It takes time for the cooling to fill up the engine block and comes out of the tstat bleeder hole. The TRICK is to fill coolant above the KALT marking on the reservoir. It takes about 3-4 min for coolant to trickle out the bleeder hole.

-The mistake people make is: they fill coolant too quickly and close the bleeder screw too soon, so some air is still in the system!

- This is it. Keep the coolant about 1 inch above KALT. Drive around the blocks and check the level frequently. I discovered that since I use this technique, the coolant level always settles down properly and I never have to fill coolant afterward!

HTH.
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  #54  
Old 08-03-2013, 03:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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These posts from a bleeding question today should be useful in this thread ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
For reference, typing /bleed F3 in the best links nets this, among others:
- Various methods for draining & refilling (1) (pdf) & bleeding the cooling system for all E39s (1) (2) (pdf) & instructions specific for the V8 (1) & the BMW TIS for bleeding the cooling system (pdf) & for working on the cooling system (pdf).*******>********>
Bleeding_the_bmw_cooling_system.pdf (2.78 MB, 451 views)
BMW_TIS_17-00-005_Draining_and_topping_coolant.pdf (215.4 KB, 351 views)
BMW_TIS_17-00-039_Bleeding_cooling_system_and_checking_for_leaks .pdf (118.7 KB, 375 views)
BMW_TIS_17-00_Instructions_for_working_on_cooling_system.pdf (168.8 KB, 312 views)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie528iT View Post
Gstob,
When doing the cold rev bleed:
Before you start and rev the cold engine, close and keep closed the bleed valves once bubble free coolant comes out. See 2/ in my post
Heater on max temp and fan on slowest setting. Max temp opens heater valves and keeps them open continuously, no pulsing open and closed. Fan on slowest speed starts auxilliary water pump.
Just place cap loosely on expansion tank, dont tighten it fully closed. This is to stop coolant blowing out of the top of the expansion tank when you rev the engine.
Start engine and within 30 secs rev COLD engine 3-4 times to 3000-4000 RPM. This is the important bit. This is what forces the coolant flow through the heater and flushes out any air. See 3/ in my post.
Once you have done this there should be no air in the heater. DO NOT open the bleed valves again unless you want to do the bleeding process again. See 2/ above.
Check coolant level in expansion tank and add or remove coolant until its about half full - end of level float flush with top of tank.
Close cap fully and and go for a drive. DO NOT open expansion tank cap again until engine is cold. Check and adjust level if necessary when engine is cold.
The expansion tank does not have an overflow tube. Coolant is vented through the cap (cap is hollow inside) and any over flowing coolant will leave white stains around the top of the expansion tank. This is normal but leads some people to think their expansion tank is faulty and leaking.

See the TIS 17-00-039 reference in bluebee's post above. This is for a V8 but the process is exactly the same for all BMW engines and is not E39 specific. This has been the same procedure for years. There are some variations if you have independant heating or latent heat options. Some systems need dealer equipment or INPA, IIRC "Independant Heating", to bleed the system properly.
Edit Added to bluebee reference.

Hope this helps
Good Luck
Regards
RonR
99 528iT M52TU
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  #55  
Old 11-18-2013, 01:18 PM
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This question came up today about draining the coolant:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > M54B30 block drain plug
Quote:
Originally Posted by zersys View Post
Hi all,

Started to do my cooling system overhaul this evening after work, was the first time getting under the hood of a BMW so I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with the jacking points, where everything is, checking out all the running gear etc. (and might I say, what a wonderful machine).

Anyway, I finally decided to get to work and I got to draining the coolant, drained from the blue radiator drain plug, and then I was stumped by the drain plug on the side of the engine block. I located it, but I'll be damned if I can reach it let alone get enough leverage with all the power steering hoses in the way. I spent some time looking at it, trying to find the best way to get at it, but was too tired and decided to call it a night and see what the fest had to say.

I did some searching, and I've seen some posts from cn90 who claims that with the WP being in line with this drain plug you'll get most of the coolant out when you take it off (since I'm doing a complete overhaul, I'm hoping this is the case!), but unfortunately I've only seen cn90 post that. And the other drain guides I've seen around don't really mention it, and my Bentley's says that I've got to take it off. What's the right answer here? Or is there a trick or a good combination of tools to get to that very hard to reach drain plug?

So far I've got 3 litres out by using the drain plug on the radiator, so there's a total of 7 litres of old coolant still sitting in the system. However the front of the car is pretty high up at the moment, can comfortably get my head under the rear main seal, gets a little cramped at the trans. I'm thinking maybe if I lower it down to the ground and open up that drain plug I'll get a lot more of it out?

Is there a proven consensus on draining the coolant out of the engine block?

Thanks!
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  #56  
Old 07-08-2014, 06:37 AM
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This was posted in a thread today, which should be useful to others:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Maybe I'm not bleeding correctly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Try this...

Bleed cooling system

Follow the bleed procedure below - and if that does not solve the issue then I would suspect a thermostat issue or aux coolant pump.

About the temp gauge - it leaves the blue zone at about 75C and immediately goes to the centre of the gauge. It stays there while the temp continues to climb to the normal operating temp of about 107C. But you should still be getting heat shortly after it leaves the blue zone since the heater is fed directly from the engine block.

Cheers
Jim Cash
-----------------
Cooling system bleed procedure M62 engine (E39 97 version)

- with cold car
- top up coolant to proper level.
- leave rad cap loose

This stage bleeds air trapped in the heater system.
- turn on ignition switch to position 2 (no start)
- set temperature selectors on the climate control to max temp.
- manually set the fan speed to low (lower end of speed range)
- start engine (check that climate settings have not changed)
- after 5-10 seconds of running rev the engine 3-4 times to about 2500 RPM - hold
there for about 5 seconds each time.
- shut off engine (should not run for much longer than about 30 seconds - you just want
to shut if off before it starts to generate any heat and expand the coolant).
- inspect the coolant level and top up again if necessary.
- tighten the coolant fill cap.

This stage bleeds air from the engine, rad and fill tank.
- now warm up the engine (drive a bit if you wish)
- with engine running CAREFULLY / SLOWLY open the bleed screw. Hold a rag around the area to prevent any excess splashing. Keep the screwdriver in the slot of the bleed screw so you can close it quickly.
- you should have some air/steam escape - progressing to some bubbles of coolant.
- as soon as it progresses to the stage where you are seeing liquid coolant come out then close the bleed screw. Do not over tighten - it is all plastic threads and you can easily turn too far at which point the screw jumps back a thread and you have to re-tighten. Just make it snug with all coolant stopped.
- when the car is cold again re-check the coolant level and top up again if necessary.

You may have to repeat the bleed procedure 1 or 2 more times over the next week. Can "probably" skip the stage for the cold start bleeding of the heater system.

If the level continues to fall below the correct level then have the system fully pressure tested - explaining to your service manager what you have already done.

It is very important that all leaks be sealed so that the system can operate at full pressure. The engine computer is programmed to keep the coolant temp at about 108C at "most" times (there are exceptions) and the only way it can maintain that temp is if the pressure can be maintained - system fully sealed.

Jim Cash

Cooling System Bleeding

1) Using ramps or a jack get the front of the car 1' or more higher than
the rear. That will make the radiator and bleed screw the highest point
on the engine and facilitate removal of air.

2) With the bleed screw open, add coolant until no more air comes out of
the bleed.

3) Leave the filler cap off, or at least loose, and set the heat for max
temp and fan speed. Leaving the cap loose will prevent air that's still
in the system from causing a "coolant fountain" once the engine heats
up. Start the engine and allow it to warm up to operating temp. As it
warms up occasionally crack the bleed screw to release any air and top
up the coolant as necessary.

4) Once the engine is at temp bring it up to 2000-2500 for a few seconds
several times. Then crack the bleed until no more air is released. At
this point the heater should be throwing lots of hot air, which
indicates that the heater core is filled with coolant. You may have to
repeat this a few times to get all the air out.

5) Drive the car a bit, allow it to cool back down, and recheck the
bleed for air. Over the next few days you may get very small amounts (a
few bubbles) of air out of the bleed screw.


Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL
BMWCCA 335857
http://www.bmwcca.org
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  #57  
Old 07-16-2014, 06:15 PM
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On the topic of draining, this was posted today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Can i drain my radiator with my car on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
Hey guys, Deathstroke here.
(see previous threads)
(optional read) As ive mentioned, ive changed out CCV(PCV), cleaned ICV, and Throttle body, replaced TB gasket, new MAF. changed oil (Full synth M1 0w-40), new plugs (NGK Plats).
The reason for all these changes was that, well, besides the obvious, that my CCV was out, my car would stall rough on cold starts and no power to the wheels, running rich etc..
Well, after a heavenly 2 weeks, my car has been running rough on cold starts again, really rough. Sputters at 500rpms (usually idles smooth at 700rpms). so ill let the car warm up for 5 min, turn it off, and turn it back on, runs and idles smooth.
I noticed that my VCG is bulged in a corner of the Valve cover, literally, so ill be replacing the Valve cover gaskets, the Vanos seals, the Fuel filter/regulator, and another oil change (because i added seafoam to this oil change, the previous owner had over 8 quarts in the engine, and the oil was pitch black. no bueno.)
I mention this for you all to stay tuned with the results on how the car runs after changes. (end optional read)
after this is replaced i will be draining out my coolant system.

My car is too low, and i have no mechanic friends, and i have one jack, no jack stands, so i cant get to the engien block coolant drain bolt.

Will it work the same if i were to unplug the bottom hose on the drivers side, heater on, and just run the car that way? just literally let the car run with the hose unplugged, will that get it all out? or atleast most of it?
Please advise, any suggestions or precautions will be appreciated!
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  #58  
Old 07-25-2014, 01:41 AM
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We probably should have a separate thread on bleeding the I6 vs the V8 in the bestlinks, but we just have this one referenced, so, I'll append edjacks helpful information today here ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Overheating damage Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Make sure the cooling system is filled with coolant (50-50 antifreeze and water). Follow the bleed procedure below.

You may be lucky - the V8 (M62) tends to be a little more tolerant of overheating. You won't know until you get it fully bled, and then begin driving again.


Bleed cooling system via Jim Cash

First - coolant should never be to the "top" of the expansion tank.

I think there are 2 versions of the expansion tank but I suspect they both have the float and indicator stick. Assuming you have the stick indicator it the top of it should never be above the lip of the filler opening rim.

That "expansion" tank is supposed to be mostly air - leaving room for the coolant to expand and compress the air as the coolant heats up.

If you overfill it then it will come out the escape valve and suck air back in - air in the system can cause levels to vary and bring on the alarm.

Bleed the system with the following proceedure - and it is necessary to raise the front end of the 6 cyl cars to do this


------
Cooling system bleed procedure M62 engine (E39 97 version)


- with cold car
- top up coolant to proper level.
- leave rad cap loose

This stage bleeds air trapped in the heater system.
- turn on ignition switch to position 2 (no start)
- set temperature selectors on the climate control to max temp.
- manually set the fan speed to low (lower end of speed range)
- start engine (check that climate settings have not changed)
- after 5-10 seconds of running rev the engine 3-4 times to about 2500 RPM - hold
there for about 5 seconds each time.
- shut off engine (should not run for much longer than about 30 seconds - you just want
to shut if off before it starts to generate any heat and expand the coolant).
- inspect the coolant level and top up again if necessary.
- tighten the coolant fill cap.

This stage bleeds air from the engine, rad and fill tank.
- now warm up the engine (drive a bit if you wish)
- with engine running CAREFULLY / SLOWLY open the bleed screw. Hold a rag around the area to prevent any excess splashing. Keep the screwdriver in the slot of the bleed screw so you can close it quickly.
- you should have some air/steam escape - progressing to some bubbles of coolant.
- as soon as it progresses to the stage where you are seeing liquid coolant come out then close the bleed screw. Do not over tighten - it is all plastic threads and you can easily turn too far at which point the screw jumps back a thread and you have to re-tighten. Just make it snug with all coolant stopped.
- when the car is cold again re-check the coolant level and top up again if necessary.

You may have to repeat the bleed procedure 1 or 2 more times over the next week. Can "probably" skip the stage for the cold start bleeding of the heater system.

If the level continues to fall below the correct level then have the system fully pressure tested - explaining to your service manager what you have already done.

It is very important that all leaks be sealed so that the system can operate at full pressure. The engine computer is programmed to keep the coolant temp at about 108C at "most" times (there are exceptions) and the only way it can maintain that temp is if the pressure can be maintained - system fully sealed.
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  #59  
Old 07-26-2014, 07:56 AM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
We probably should have a separate thread on bleeding the I6 vs the V8 in the bestlinks, but we just have this one referenced, so, I'll append edjacks helpful information today here ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Overheating damage Help!
I really don't think there is a need for separate threads. The procedure is essentially identical in either car even the diesels use the same procedure. The locations of bleeders move around minorly but everything else is the same.

On another topic bluebee why do you keep disseminating the flawed Jim cash bleeding procedure? It is dangerous it has been shown to create a ton of issues while trying to bleed the cooling system and is far more complicated than the BMW approved and specified procedure. You just perpetuate the same myths that have been debunked so many times over.

Finally I take exception to the fact that you truncated my thread on the cooling system so drastically yet are posting these other links fully. A lot of information is presented in that link that specifically debunks most of the junk that has been dumped out in this thread. If you wish to be thourogh and cross post other views and info. Please do not edit or take liberties with other peoples information.
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Last edited by NNY528i; 07-26-2014 at 08:00 AM.
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  #60  
Old 08-06-2014, 01:23 AM
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Here's another voucher for the trick of bleeding on ramps ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > My coolant fill - no issue at all. Old time trick I from my 635 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzbrown View Post
Okay, maybe I have an issue that will raise it's ugly at a bad time. I don't know but I had no issues filling my 528 after the head gasket replacement. My only other bmw was an 85 635 -
took it to an indi that did work for me on other cars and he said bmw's are easy. Trick he said was to put the car up on ramps and get the air going up. So, three days ago after the head gasket replaced, I took off the top radiator hose and put a gallon of antifreeze in. Then filled with water to the edge of the hose. Connected it to the radiator. Filled the overflow to cold line. Put another maybe 1 cup in the bleed valve of the hose. After 100 miles not a wiggle in temp gauge. Am I missing something. He said you have to elevate the front of a bmw and this was back in 85.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I posted this info in another thread but here you go. With engine COLD and OFF:

On the reservoir side, just lean down and look sideways, compare the reservoir markings with the tstat housing, and you will see that:

- The "Neck" of reservoir is at tstat housing's bleeder screw level (RED Arrows).

- The KALT mark is at the same level as the very bottom of the tstat housing (GREEN Arrows).

a. So if one fills above KALT, it will do the trick ---> coolant will flow out of the bleeder hole.
The idea is: the tstat housing needs to be completely filled with coolant. However, you will end up with coolant level above KALT. In my experience, this extra coolant will go to some air pocket some place in the vehicle and eventually settle down.

b. Option "b" is to fill to KALT, then stop. Get a tiny funnel and fill through the tstat bleeder hole, go slow as you don't want to spill/waste coolant. Then gently tighten the bleed screw.

Personally, I like option "b" better.


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Last edited by bluebee; 08-06-2014 at 04:58 PM.
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