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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-25-2018, 07:54 PM
Zephyrhills180 Zephyrhills180 is offline
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Issues adding coolant

2002 325i automatic. Just flushed the coolant for some work, and replaced the expansion tank along the way. Everything went swimmingly until I had to add coolant again. I added it as per instructions online, and everytime i crank the vehicle and run it, the 'low coolant' indicator comes on, coolant excessively leaks out the expansion tank cap, and after about 20 minutes the vehicle overheats and i have to shut it off

any suggestions? it doesnt seem to be leaking anywhere else
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:11 PM
Zephyrhills180 Zephyrhills180 is offline
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The coolant light went off, but it just kept leaking coolant everywhere until it came back on, what the hell
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:25 PM
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Did you bleed the system ? If yes, explain in detail exactly how you did it.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:50 PM
Zephyrhills180 Zephyrhills180 is offline
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Bob, I removed the bleeder screw from the engine block, undid all the hoses from the radiator & expansion tank, and unplugged the ATF heat exchange from the radiator, as well as unplugging all the electronic components, then took the expansion tank out, in that order. I then replaced the radiator support, which is why i did all this in the first place, then put the radiator back in, put all the hoses onto it, put the new expansion tank in and so on..
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:17 PM
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But DID YOU BLEED THE SYSTEM (to get the air out) after the work was completed ?

THAT'S what I wanted explained....
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:35 PM
Zephyrhills180 Zephyrhills180 is offline
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Bob, yes, somewhat. I first was going off of 50s Kid's radiator replacement video on youtube, which is pretty vague in the segment about adding coolant. So, I removed the cap and bleed screw. Poured in coolant 50/50 until i saw it flowing through the upper hose and the red float came up. I then put the cap and screw back on, cranked the vehicle, and coolant was coming out of the cap, so i removed the screw and coolant was gushing from the screwhole, as well as steam and pressurized air. i let it run until it was no longer doing this, then turned it off, let it cool, and topped the coolant off.

I then cranked the vehicle and took it for a test drive, and voila, coolant indicator comes on, and coolant is coming out of the cap. stop the car in my driveway and let it run for a bit to let it do its thing, and it overheats so i have to switch it off. keep topping it off and repeat this 2 or 3 times, and now the indicator wont be on, but coolant will come out the cap until it comes back on

Last edited by Zephyrhills180; 03-25-2018 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:49 AM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is offline
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Did you buy a new ET cap?
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:45 AM
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100% need a new expansion tank cap. Thatíll get ya back up and going.

Just a rule of thumb to always replace the cap with the tank.


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Old 03-26-2018, 07:03 PM
Zephyrhills180 Zephyrhills180 is offline
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Just placed an order for one

thx for the responses
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:11 AM
Dave1027 Dave1027 is offline
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Also use this bleed procedure. It can't go wrong. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1124821
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:48 PM
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Bleeding an E46 is so simple, everyone makes it too complicated. You simply open the bleed screw on the expansion tank, turn the car key to accessory position, run heater to 90 and then add coolant slowly till it comes out the bleed screw hole. When it does, tighten the screw and put the cap in, you're done. Been doing it that way for 12 years, never had a single issue, and that's a LOT of e46s I've fixed.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:24 AM
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Aaustins14 Aaustins14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Bleeding an E46 is so simple, everyone makes it too complicated.


Thank you Smolck.

I did it the exact same way.

Did it once. Never touched it again.

Donít over engineer a simple procedure.
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coolant, coolant flush, expansion tank cap, expansion tank failure, radiator


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