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There is a large Phillips (cross) head screw by the filler cap, and, if you've got an I6 engine, there is also one on the thermostat housing.
Put the front of the car up an inch or so before you don't, and put the heater on full, with the car running as you do it.

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Bleed Cooling System BMW method - by Jim Cash

On your I6, you need to raise the front end of the car up as high as you can to get the air to the front of the engine.

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Cooling system bleed procedure (E39)

- with cold car
- top up coolant to proper level (even slightly higher will not hurt at this stage)
- 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 fil 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.

NOTE - some of the 6 cyl models have 2 bleed screws - the second one is near the thermostat. In that case you should bleed at both locations (one at a time)

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.

Cheers
Jim Cash
 

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Also MARK THE BLEED SCREW in its current closed position. You only need to turn it about a turn or so. Don't over tighten it.
 

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Very simple.

With engine COLD:
- Open the bleeder screw (remove it but don't lose it).
- Pour the 50-50 coolant mixture into the reservoir.

The tricks are:
1. Be patient, it will eventually flow out of the bleed hole near the tstat.
2. You need to pour coolant mixture ABOVE the KALT mark, otherwise it will not come out of the bleed hole.

Another trick is to find a tiny funnel and fill through the bleed hole, just go slow.

BTW, search forum, tons of info.
 

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+1. Except: No need to raise the front of the car. So long as you are on level ground you are good because the bleed hole by the expansion tank is above the bleed hole of the thermostat. Look at the engine and you can see that everything slopes up.


Based on BMW's own isntructions (the TIS):
You do the I6 with the engine cold, the key in ignition 2 (last position without starting engine), and the heater set at highest temperature with the fan on lowest setting.

Put coolant slowly and a bit at a time (patience is a virtue when bleeding) until it comes out of the thermostat bleed hole with no air. When it first comes out, it's best to pause for a minute or two, and then add a little bit more coolant to make sure that what comes out of the bleed hole is clear of air. Repeat several times. I usually put a rag or paper towel under that area of the upper rad hose to avoid a mess. Close up the thermostat bleed hole.

Continue to pour slowly until the coolant comes out of the bleed hole by the expansion tank. Add coolant slowly and a little bit at a time to make sure that no air is coming out. Close up bleed hole and put cap on expansion tank. Take car for a drive and monitor temp through KTMP (#7 in hidden menu on instrument cluster).

Drive to make sure car reaches full operating temperature. Park the car until engine is cold (overnight is best). Check expansion tank and make sure coolant is at KALT line on side. I usually shine a flashlight against the outside and look in through the cap opening to see where the level is in relationship to my finger on the line on the outside. Top up or remove to adjust level. Close up cap and you;re done.
 

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Bleeding is very easy with the auxiliary water pump in our cars, honestly. I only opened the bleed screw on the expansion tank to remove it from the shroud, and did the max-heat-low-fan bleed. No issues.

Problems only arise when people don't know how to do it.

Based on BMW's own isntructions (the TIS):
How does one get access to BMW's TIS? I really, really, would like to know. PM me if necessary. :thumbup:
 

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BMW TIS is including with every INPA bundle. Best tool for the money at around 30 dollars with the cable included on eBay.

And yes, you DO NOT need to start the engine to burp air out of the cooling system on these cars.

Key on, engine off
Fan low, temp high climate control
Remove bleed screw on upper hose and add coolant until no air comes out the bleed screw the reinstall screw
Remove screw on expansion tank and add coolant again until no air and install screw
Cap expansion tank and drive car to operating temp
Allow car to cool and check level, add if needed

I've done hundreds of cooling repairs on these cars and not one time have I had to bleed more than once using this method.
 

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Where did you purchase your INPA? Or did you do a free download? Almost every purchased bundle I've seen included INPA, NCS, DIS, TIS etc...
 

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Where did you purchase your INPA? Or did you do a free download? Almost every purchased bundle I've seen included INPA, NCS, DIS, TIS etc...
Free download; I got the cable for free from a local BMW dismantler.
 

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Lol, that's very true. TIS/WDS DVD ordered!
 
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