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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 10-11-2011, 05:46 PM
SIRvive SIRvive is offline
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1995 525i Overheating

Had this car for a few years now, been reading posts and DIY's on this forum for a long time but never signed up until now...

I've gone through just about every post I could find about anything relating to the coolant system on my 95 525i.

So far i have replaced the radiator, water pump, thermo, and hoses. I do know the headers are NOT cracked, and the Aux fan does work.

Any other ideas of what could be wrong with it? Right now i am flushing the coolant from the engine using [http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?t=523954] as a guideline. This is probably the 3rd or 4th time doing this. Yea i know crazy doing it over and over hoping for a different response.

The only thing i can think is maybe some air is trapped in the block. Any help is appreciated.

Thank you,
Bryan
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:04 PM
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See this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ght=thermostat
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:13 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Welcome to the Fest Bryan. A couple of quick things.

- Did you replace the fan clutch?
- Do you get heat out of the vents when the engine is warm (prior to it hitting the red area on the temp gauge)?
- Probably more importantly, did you make sure that your heater was on full heat with the fan on full blast when you bled the system of air? If not, re-bleed with the heater on full. It DOES make a difference.

These things can be finicky. Bleeding the cooling system can be a pain. Hang in there and for Pete's sake, don't let the engine temp get anywhere near the red mark. And, I hope you meant that you know that the "head" is not cracked rather than the "headers". A blown head gasket is always a possibility, but usually doesn't happen unless the car is allowed to overheat. I assume that didn't happen previously, right?

I used a trick when I overhauled my coolant system. While I had the t-stat out and the housing off (water pump in place of course), I ran a funnel into the opening and filled the block with coolant. Once it starter spilling out, I then put the T-stat and housing in place. It made bleeding the system much easier.

Anyway, welcome to the Fest.

Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #4  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:54 PM
SIRvive SIRvive is offline
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Thanks for the fast reply's.

LVr: you are right. I meant the head gasket :P I had the heater on full blast and i was getting heat the entire time the car was on (from cold to 3/4 mark on temp), waiting for the engine to cool off now. If this doesn't work I will check the fan clutch. Thank you for the help. Bleeding this beast does seem very finicky. Never had a problem with any other vehicle I've bled before.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2011, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIRvive
If this doesn't work I will check the fan clutch


Fully read the thread I linked to above. I'm trying to save you a lot of work.

Drilling a small hole in your thermostat is the secret. The reason the other cars were easier to bleed was because they use a poppet style thermostat (ie. they have a small hole in the thermostat that the BMW thermostat lacks)
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2011, 07:03 PM
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Let me ask this. What prompted the coolant system overhaul? Did you do it as a preventative measure or was it the result of an overheat situation? Were you losing coolant with no aparent source of a leak?

If you were having no problems prior to the overhaul (meaning the car was running at normal operatiing temp) and you did it as a preventative measure, then your current overheating problem is likely coming from air trapped in the system. Although, it does sound like you were bleeding it properly.

If however, the overhaul was due to an overheat situation, then it is indeed possible that your head gasket may have failed. You probalbly already know, but look for white steam out of the exhaust, milky residue on the oil fill cap or milky looking oil on the dipstick. Any of these could signal a HG failure.

If you suspect a HG failure, then a compression check would be a good first diagnostic test.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you,
Steve
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Quote:
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It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #7  
Old 10-11-2011, 07:07 PM
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+1 Steve's on the trail. What prompted all the repairs in the first place?
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2011, 10:04 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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I have had great success with this procedure. Park on a incline, 50/50 coolant, fill the lower hose as full as possible to fill the radiator,connect it to the thermostat. Disconnect the upper hose at the radiator hold it up, pour in as much as possible to fill the block. Fill the over flow tank 3/4 full ,run the heater on high. tighten all hoses put the cap on the radiator. let her warm up releasing air every Minute from the bleed screw .As the normal operation temp approaches. if your not seeing a lot of air bleeding out along with coolant being pushed out. The pump has not caught prime and no circulation of coolant,It will quickly boil to over heat. There are many theory's as to cause and remedy of this condition. We can talk about all the ways folks do it and alternative fixes if needed.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2011, 04:20 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Good morning LD. I like the trick about filling the radiator with the lower hose and then connecting to the t-stat housing I will plan to give that a try next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckydog View Post
... Disconnect the upper hose at the radiator fill as much as possible to fill the block ...
I'm a little confused by the statement above. I would think that the thermostat would be closed and that you would essentially be filling the top hose and that is all unless the t-stat is somehow open.

Are you using coolant that has been pre-heated or something like that?

Steve
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #10  
Old 10-12-2011, 08:11 AM
down19992000 down19992000 is offline
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I did something similar except I let the engine get warm while I boiled some coolant on the stove and them filled the upper radiator hose until coolant came out of the radiator. That was the only way I was able to get all the air out of my system. I had followed the bentley manual to a t and could not get all the air out my system the way it said to do it and that was the only idea I had left to try and get the job done.

Last edited by down19992000; 10-12-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2011, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR_LVR View Post
Good morning LD. I like the trick about filling the radiator with the lower hose and then connecting to the t-stat housing I will plan to give that a try next time.



I'm a little confused by the statement above. I would think that the thermostat would be closed and that you would essentially be filling the top hose and that is all unless the t-stat is somehow open.

Are you using coolant that has been pre-heated or something like that?

Steve
The upper hose is the return from the engine to the Radiatior. the lower hose is the one with the thermostat. They are seperate ports. You can fill the block from the top hose.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2011, 08:54 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckydog View Post
The upper hose is the return from the engine to the Radiatior. the lower hose is the one with the thermostat. They are seperate ports. You can fill the block from the top hose.
Most excellent informatin LD sir. Thank you very much including for the pic and diagram. I LOVE learning stuff like this!!

Steve

EDIT: I noticed that the diagram is for the M52. Is it the same for our beloved M50?
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold


Last edited by BMR_LVR; 10-12-2011 at 08:56 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2011, 10:18 AM
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Yes the same except for the sensor locations and bleed screw location ,and m50 does not have a electrically heated thermostat. .
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2011, 12:21 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down19992000 View Post
I did something similar except I let the engine get warm while I boiled some coolant on the stove and them filled the upper radiator hose until coolant came out of the radiator. That was the only way I was able to get all the air out of my system. I had followed the bentley manual to a t and could not get all the air out my system the way it said to do it and that was the only idea I had left to try and get the job done.

Yknow, I've been on these forums for 2 years now and I've never had any problems bleeding my m50 engine without going through hoops. I really think we are overcomplicating a very simple issue.

1. Fill radiator up to the brim with coolant, with the bleed screw and rad cap off.
2. Start the engine and let it reach operating temperature.
3. Activate the cabin heater fully.
4. Pour coolant into the radiator until bubbles stop coming out of the bleed screw.
5. Screw the bleed screw in while coolant is spilling out of it.
6. Fill the radiator right to the brim, then screw in the rad cap tightly.
7. Drive the car for a day or two, then follow the exact same procedure that's listed above in the morning, when the engine is cold. This is not strictly necessary, but after getting spooked by bimmerfest, I just do it anyway.

That's it !! I've never had any problems !! I've done the exact set of things even after completely draining the radiator. Boiling coolant and filling this hose and that hose....c'mon, think about it, would they have designed the car's cooling system to be that complicated?

If you need to go through hoops to bleed the radiator, you're either overkilling the issue for the sake of peace of mind (which is fine), or you have other problems in the cooling system/engine matrix (which is not fine and needs to be traced).



rgds,
Roberto
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2011, 01:45 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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I too have not had difficulty bleeding the system on my M50. However, the trick that I suggested (using a funnel to put coolant in the block) was due to my lack of knowledge that LD mentioned above. I was under the impression that NO fluid would circulate to the block until the t-stat opened and did not understand how the t-stat could open if there was no fluid in the block. I was incorrect in that assumption. I now understand that coolant can be circulated to the block via the opening in the head where the upper hose connects to the t-stat housing.

I continue to seek to learn more about our beloved E34's. Also, at one point, we were all new to the BMW and there is a steep learning curve. I am still on the upward side of that curve, continuing to climb, and will likely never get to the downward side. I don't forget from where I came and gladly share any tips that I can.

Hopefully all will eventually get the Bentley manual and learn to follow it to the letter, but not all have it yet.

Let's stay positive please.

Steve
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold


Last edited by BMR_LVR; 10-12-2011 at 01:46 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-12-2011, 03:17 PM
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Many are fortunate for not experiencing over heating after a repair or overhaul. The closed cooling system usually is quite reliable. But when parts start failing . recently this car was leaking coolant . the air was entering the block on cool down and causing problems . The cooling channels are very narrow about the size of a pencil. Now Add 20 years of use and abuse. The effects of hard water and a 12v iron block grounded elect system . Now cooling channels and Rads can clog from electrolysis if not flushed at least evey 5 years. Trapped air behind the thermostat and in the head prevents the hot coolant from circulating at full prime. Its no fun over heating so many cases of over heat in the closed system cars from fatigued parts . A friend saved his m50 by not driving on a over heat from a old plastic w/p the the shaft bearings seized and the shaft was leaking water and taking in Air. Sweet car too 325 with a m50. we saved it by replacing the bad pump with a brass pump i had filled and bled it using the process described earlier

Last edited by luckydog; 10-13-2011 at 10:08 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2011, 08:14 AM
SIRvive SIRvive is offline
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Update on the Bimmer

Well, I did what Radian posted. Drilled the little hole in my thermostat. I rechecked my oil to make sure it wasn't turning creamy. Check the fan clutch with the old cardboard in the fan. The fan clutch is shot, ordered a new one so should have it in the mail by the middle of next week. Thank you all for the help. I'm just glad I this big blue girl could be saved.
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  #18  
Old 10-14-2011, 10:50 AM
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Excellent, Hope you bought a German made fan clutch.
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2011, 08:17 PM
down19992000 down19992000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Yknow, I've been on these forums for 2 years now and I've never had any problems bleeding my m50 engine without going through hoops. I really think we are overcomplicating a very simple issue.

1. Fill radiator up to the brim with coolant, with the bleed screw and rad cap off.
2. Start the engine and let it reach operating temperature.
3. Activate the cabin heater fully.
4. Pour coolant into the radiator until bubbles stop coming out of the bleed screw.
5. Screw the bleed screw in while coolant is spilling out of it.
6. Fill the radiator right to the brim, then screw in the rad cap tightly.
7. Drive the car for a day or two, then follow the exact same procedure that's listed above in the morning, when the engine is cold. This is not strictly necessary, but after getting spooked by bimmerfest, I just do it anyway.

That's it !! I've never had any problems !! I've done the exact set of things even after completely draining the radiator. Boiling coolant and filling this hose and that hose....c'mon, think about it, would they have designed the car's cooling system to be that complicated?

If you need to go through hoops to bleed the radiator, you're either overkilling the issue for the sake of peace of mind (which is fine), or you have other problems in the cooling system/engine matrix (which is not fine and needs to be traced).



rgds,
Roberto
I FOLLOWED THE BENTLEY MANUAL TO A T and could not get the air out of it. I am sorry if you don't agree with the way I did it but I messed with the car for hours and it still would get hot. If you think I am overkilling the issue so be it. Do you have a problem with me posting or is it I don't have 30,000 posts so my shortcuts and ideas are worthless compared to yours?? I don't agree with some of the things you suggest but if it works for you fine I don't to try and act like a big shot and shot your ideas down. Just curious?
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:01 PM
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Only someone who has experianced the loss of prime due to air,can understand how difficult and frustratin it can be. The important thing is we both found a way to make it work. your s a warm engine mine a cold engine. I watched a expert bmw mechanic fill and bleed the radiator in intervels through the bleed screw took about 15 mins, but he was sucessfull on a cold motor to regular opp temp. The point is do what works ,even when the regular ways dont work.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:45 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down19992000 View Post
I FOLLOWED THE BENTLEY MANUAL TO A T and could not get the air out of it. I am sorry if you don't agree with the way I did it but I messed with the car for hours and it still would get hot. If you think I am overkilling the issue so be it. Do you have a problem with me posting or is it I don't have 30,000 posts so my shortcuts and ideas are worthless compared to yours?? I don't agree with some of the things you suggest but if it works for you fine I don't to try and act like a big shot and shot your ideas down. Just curious?

All i'm trying to point out to you, if you will take a step back and pause, is that you've diagnosed your problem WRONG. Bleeding the radiator is simple enough for a 10 yr old child to do. Those people who heave ho with it, end up fixing the real problem that was present along the way but they fail to realise this.

Re read your outburst. You are too emotional to the point that you don't see the obvious. Thus, you will not fix your car, as you won't spot the problem, and the longer it goes without being fixed, the more irritated you'll get.

If you notice, bentley's ghost also stated (although much more compassionately) that bleeding this radiator is not a big deal. If you've bled the radiator till you're blue, you've bled the radiator enough, period. Don't fall into the trap where you need to get every little bubble out. No such thing and its not a big deal.

Go find the real problem in your car. First, relax. Take a shower. Sit in your car with a cold beer and listen to music for awhile. Be ok with it being busted. Know that this is very temporary. Pat the dashboard and say a few kind words to the baby. Then open the bonnet and look at the engine, while having your second beer. Then start the engine, close your eyes, and breathe in the fresh carbon monoxide and fuel rich exhaust that comes out and say "ahh! ". Smile, and take another look, go over what you've done, and if you've done it correctly, reassure yourself that THAT thing that you did has been sorted, and you need not think about it anymore, and consider other possibilities.

Be zen about it. Just a little. C'mon, give it a try. I've solved too many issues with my car with this same method and I believe everyone here who has been through enough crap with their baby would have created some similar routine for themselves as well. We do this because it works.

And yes, I have WAAAAY more posts then you. And i sincerely hope that you'll have no reason to want to catch up. Have a peaceful day.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-16-2011 at 02:47 AM.
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  #22  
Old 10-16-2011, 04:46 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by luckydog View Post
I have had great success with this procedure. Park on a incline, 50/50 coolant, fill the lower hose as full as possible to fill the radiator,connect it to the thermostat. Disconnect the upper hose at the radiator hold it up, pour in as much as possible to fill the block. Fill the over flow tank 3/4 full ,run the heater on high. tighten all hoses put the cap on the radiator. let her warm up releasing air every Minute from the bleed screw .As the normal operation temp approaches. if your not seeing a lot of air bleeding out along with coolant being pushed out. The pump has not caught prime and no circulation of coolant,It will quickly boil to over heat. There are many theory's as to cause and remedy of this condition. We can talk about all the ways folks do it and alternative fixes if needed.
LD, I've never had to do this at all. And I've emptied my radiator plenty of times via the screw at its bottom. All I've had to do was to fill it up with water via a hose until water shot out of the bleed screw. Then bleed the car normally i.e. let the engine hit operating temperature then bleed etc etc. At most, I do this a second time around the next morning after driving the car for a fair bit the previous day.

If you put a hose into the expansion tank, and then disconnect the upper radiator hose, and turn on the water, water will start coming out of the upper radiator hose in an endless stream. This shows that water going into the expansion tank eventually fills the radiator, goes to the lower radiator hose, up to the water pump area, through that and out the upper radiator hose. So there's no need to twist the upper radiator hose up and fill water in through that.

Assuming you've drained the radiator and then filled it with water from a garden hose, then dump in one can can of cheap sweet smellin' bright green' coolant, then pour more water into the expansion tank slowly and bleed the radiator, after operating temperature has been reached and with the engine running at idle. When all the bubbles have come out (and you can watch it for ten minutes if you like no big deal at all), then you can screw the bleed screw back, top off water into the expansion tank and replace the rad cap. Over a period of anything from 1-4 weeks, the coolant level will naturally fall from the very top to where it is supposed to be....roughly at the mid way mark when the engine is totally cold.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-16-2011 at 04:54 AM.
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  #23  
Old 10-16-2011, 04:52 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by down19992000 View Post
I FOLLOWED THE BENTLEY MANUAL TO A T and could not get the air out of it. I am sorry if you don't agree with the way I did it but I messed with the car for hours and it still would get hot. If you think I am overkilling the issue so be it. Do you have a problem with me posting or is it I don't have 30,000 posts so my shortcuts and ideas are worthless compared to yours?? I don't agree with some of the things you suggest but if it works for you fine I don't to try and act like a big shot and shot your ideas down. Just curious?
I re read this thread. Sorry, I thought you were the op. I read your post earlier. Ok, I know what the problem is. You clearly posses a belief that every single air bubble needs to be vented from the car for it to work safely. This is simply not true. Consider this....hot water is always going through the cylinder head and probably frequently vapourising into steam all the time where it comes closes to the cylinder head (where temperatures are nearest to combustion levels) and is being pushed right through where it condenses back to very hot water and moves through the rest of the block.

So steam i.e. a gas...is a natural part of the system. My take anyway. My point? I've never used hot coolant to bleed my engine, which means my thermostat probably wasn't open, which means there was some air bubbles stuck in the block, which means that my engine has more air in its coolant passages compared to down's car, yet there has been ZERO problems due to this. Ever.

Just bleed the car according to the bentley manual, but twice. The second time would be at least 1 day after the car was first bled, and then driven for a decent distance (at least 20 minutes at some speed would be ideal), and of course, when the engine is cold. Any stray air bubbles (which are no big deal, if not the engine would have overheated during that one day's driving right?) would have found their way to near the top of the bleed screw in the radiator's column, and would be waiting to be purged.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-16-2011 at 04:53 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2011, 05:14 AM
President President is offline
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Just curious. Can we run the car momentarily for a week or so without coolant to check for leaks etc after a radiator flush. This could save coolant wastage due to a probable leak. Will it harm the engine in any way? I mean no more than 50 to 100 miles without coolant.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:22 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by President View Post
Just curious. Can we run the car momentarily for a week or so without coolant to check for leaks etc after a radiator flush. This could save coolant wastage due to a probable leak. Will it harm the engine in any way? I mean no more than 50 to 100 miles without coolant.

Absolutely not. Never drive a car without coolant, or at least water. If you want to save money, use water without coolant (i've done this with no problems for weeks), and add coolant later.

However, you want to use coolant, especially if you want to check for leaks. I mean, sweet smelling, cheap, luminous green, non-bmw coolant. If there are leaks, the bright green droplets will make it more obvious....you might miss it otherwise. And its so cheap....just get the stuff off the shelf. Its cost like US$5 or less, compared to nearly $20 for oem coolant. So there is no need to save money either when its so cheap.

Flushing a radiator should not lead to leaks. However, I like the way you're being anal about your time machine mr president. :-) That will keep it that way much much longer.
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