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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:32 PM
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Angry More bleeding woes

I posted a while back about completely re-doing all of the coolant hoses on my car. I got everything back together and the fan shroud broke the next day, followed by the temp sensor leaking. The level sensor was my fault (lost the o-ring), but now that it's buttoned back together this car WILL NOT bleed properly. Nothing is squirting from the little nozzle within the tank, but the guage is staying steady. We thought we were done until I took it for a drive. When I got home the AUX fan kicked on and you can actually hear the coolant boiling or bubbling within the radiator.

The car is even acting like the throttle is slightly sticking. When I step on the gas it wont settle down to 600rpm for about 30 seconds. It'll sit up at 800-900 until it finally settles.

Heater is on full heat/full blast and we're holding the rpm's at 1500. The temp guage only moved literally a hair over center, but it's to the point we're worried its a head gasket. There is no way to tell the real temps if coolant wasnt ever getting to the sensor in the first place. I purposely clamped the hoses off to prevent such an ordeal again.

Any veterans to bleeding these PITA's with any tips. Im tired of losing sleep over this car lol
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:40 PM
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:49 PM
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I've known about that thread... my problem seems to be a little more complicated than the basics covered there. The car will take the coolant and act fine. I got back from my drive and the aux fan kicked on. It has never done that before, but the needle only moved literally a hair passed center and quickly returned to normal. Loosen the screw...no liquid... take it all the way off nothing but hissing air. I let it cool down to try again. It seemed to be fine, so I took it for a test drive. When I got back you could literally hear the water bubbling/boiling on the drivers side of the radiator.

How long is this procedure supposed to take. Every DIY makes it seem like a 10 minute ordeal. I've done it twice including now.... it's taking me more like 2 hours.

I've been a browser of this forum long enough to know how annoying cooling posts can be. The difference is that I've read every diy and done all my homework.... I truly dont know where to go from here.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:02 PM
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Try bleeding the air out again, but this time follow these steps:

1. Raise the front of the car 8-10".
2. Start car, heat on high, fan on full blast.
3. Remove expansion tank cap and bleeder screw.
4. Add coolant/distilled water 50/50 mix (pouring slowly) until no more bubbles appear out of the bleeder screw.
5. Massage upper rad hose to help expel trapped air in the system.
6. ?
7. Profit.


http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...38&postcount=2


Bleeding the air out takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 74 hours.

Anywhere between 1 repetition to 86.4 is typically required.


There is no set formula, save persistence. Just as you think you've got all of the air out, start over and do it two more times. Then once for the Queen, and another for luck.
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:06 PM
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lol thank you. I appreciate the fast response. I will give it another go after school tomorrow. I always feel like Im walking a fine line between doing it right, and completely messing it up and blowing the HG haha. The fact that it is not doing anything consistently really makes it hard to read. Thank you again.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:11 PM
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When you're bleeding the system is the front of the car level with or higher than the rear? If not it makes it hard to force the air out. When you've done the bleeding procedure how much have you let it overflow to get the air out? I've seen it take a half gallon or more before all of the bubbles (including the very tiny ones) stop flowing out of the bleed screw hole.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:22 PM
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Its being done in my driveway, so there is some degree of angle present. Tomorrow I will jack it up and try again. Ive been through 3 expansion tanks worth of coolant draining out it. Every time the bleeder screw is loosened to rid the system of air the gauge starts to creep up.

Tomorrow I will try at more of an extreme angle and rev it a bit more while following the steps you guys gave me.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:26 PM
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I've never needed to 'rev it'. Only ever used idle speed with favourable results.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:30 PM
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Ive read a few diy's stating to hold it at 1500-2000 rpm. It made sense in my mind, considering the water pump would be forcing more pressure through the system. Tonight we just held it at 1000-1200. Im beginning to wish I went with the euro conversion lol.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:19 AM
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If you follow the procedure in the linked post, the engine isn't running. Just ensure the ignition is on and the heat is turned to full on. Add coolant very slowly a bit at a time. Without the engine running you can take your time and let the air work its way out.
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Last edited by dc_wright; 10-15-2012 at 04:21 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:07 AM
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Coolant bleeding in these cars takes for-ev-er. Took me 3 hours the one day to get it so it was dead on its an all day process can be very frustrating just keep bleeding man im sure you'll get it thats the only downfall on these cars poor cooling systems there just ungodly prone to failure so it seems Best of luck getting her buttoned up!
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:21 PM
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We jacked it up and tried again today. I could only stick around for an hour before I had to go to work. After another hour my dad had it to the point where he thinks it is completely bled.

The aux fan was not because of it getting too hot. We both noticed that the clutch fan seemed to be spinning way too freely. Turns out my ac compressor is stuck on. That causes the aux fan to be on, which we are hoping is keeping the clutch fan cool enought to the point it doesnt need to engage. Its a brand new clutch, so it should be completely fine. Id pull the fuse as a temorary solution, but I still want the fan to work.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:25 PM
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DO a quick google for "newspaper test + fan clutch". That will tell you definitively.
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  #14  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:30 PM
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DO a quick google for "newspaper test + fan clutch". That will tell you definitively.
Thanks, I know about that test. Theres no doubt in my mind it is spinning too freely. The fan spins a full turn once the water pump stops moving when you shut the car off. The thing that I found odd was that it functioned perfectly before I took it off to replace just the fan itself. Am I correct in thinking that the AUX fan being on too often can cause the fan clutch to not engage due to the temps being lower? This clutch has only been on since April.

EDIT QUESTION: If I pull the AC compressor relay, the aux fan will still work independantly of it correct?
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  #15  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:41 PM
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I never have this problem, so I never understand how people can have an issue here. Just make sure the car is warm, so the thermostat is open.
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  #16  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:44 PM
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Yeah, same here. I've had to bleed my cooling system twice, and I got it right on the first try both times in about 10-15 minutes. I don't really get why it's so hard for people, but maybe I've just gotten lucky.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2012, 02:47 PM
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I almost want to be there when a pro bleeds a system. I always do everything by the book, but there has to be a little something Im doing wrong to make it such an ordeal. At times there wasn't even any water in the upper radiator hose... craziness. But hopefully now it's over for quite some time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:06 PM
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Here's the secret. DON'T RUN THE ENGINE!!!! If the water pump could pump the air out of the system you wouldn't have to do a bleeding procedure. If there's air and coolant in the area of the pump all you are doing is mixing the air into the coolant and making it harder to get out.
You fill the system very slowly so that coolant going into the system is going through the bottom of the coolant reservoir which fills the hoses/cooling channels from the bottom and pushes the air up.
You might say "but the thermostat is closed"! The thermostat is a metal to metal mating surface and doesn't really seal, it just impedes flow of coolant. Air can escape through it but it's a slow process.
Every time I've bled my car I've had to take coolant OUT because it was filled right to the top of the reservoir and since there was no air in the system the level didn't change when I ran the engine POST BLEEDING.
If you check the procedures on the Pelican parts site and Doug's domain both of them have you run the engine POST BLEEDING.




Did I mention not to run the engine until AFTER you've done the bleeding procedure?
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Last edited by dc_wright; 10-16-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:56 PM
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I'm pretty sure that's what the Bentley manual also says.
About the fan clutch, my 328i was still overheating after my mechanic replaced the radiator, hoses, water pump, thermostat and housing, and all belts! He ended up coming in his repair truck to where we're parked just off the freeway and stopped the fan clutch at idle with his hand. He replaced it for free labor, apologizing for not doing it when he replaced everything else! He's our BMW Mechanic for life'
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:15 PM
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I'm pretty sure that's what the Bentley manual also says.
About the fan clutch, my 328i was still overheating after my mechanic replaced the radiator, hoses, water pump, thermostat and housing, and all belts! He ended up coming in his repair truck to where we're parked just off the freeway and stopped the fan clutch at idle with his hand. He replaced it for free labor, apologizing for not doing it when he replaced everything else! He's our BMW Mechanic for life'
If this is the same mechanic that wants to use Steel Seal that's 2 strikes. His failure to fix the overheat is a likely contributor to your head gasket issue.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:52 PM
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It overheated on the freeway? Unless you were in stop and go traffic a bad fan clutch wouldnt cause it to overheat at speed.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:07 AM
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Not the same mechanic that installs 'Steel Seal.'
Yes, it was dead stop traffic on the freeway. By the way, he said that if the temp starts rising on the Bimmer, turn on the A/C which activates the two fans in front of the radiator.
And this mechanic is 1/2 price of the (d)stealer"s charge for any work.
I do really appreciate all the info I'm getting here on this forum and am learning a lot!
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