Bleeding the coolant

ok here’s a video on how to bleed the cooling system,,,remember you must have the door latch lock and do not grab the door handle and unlock it,,,once the door latch open up the water pump will stop bleeding,,,because the door is then open.image Reminder the water pump will cycle,,,it will pump water and the stop and then start-up again,,,,that is all normal,,,the water pump will cycle a lot,,,,if it doesn’t bleed,,,remember try the bleeding again with the a/c button on,,,,after it bleeds for a while,,,,top off the coolant and go for 2 mile test drive,,,,after test drive check water level,,,,you might have to add water that is normal,,,,don’t worry sometime it takes a couple of times.

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33 Responses to Bleeding the coolant

  1. Simon says:

    Hi Andreas, i have made the experience on my F13 (N63) that only a refilling of coolant under vaccum removed the water noises in the heating.


  2. bmwfan says:

    On the E92 N51 motors, how would you drain all the coolant out? I know how to drain from the radiator, does it also have a drain on the block? My goal is to drain as much as possible because someone put the wrong kind of coolant in. Also anything else I have to do to bleed besides cycling the pump? Thanks so much!


  3. bmwfan says:

    Hello BMWTechnician, I just changed my coolant. The coolant that came out surprised me, it was a brown orange color. I bougot the car used. It is a 2011 328i. The coolant in the reservoir was green and looked fresh, but this is what came out of the radiator.


  4. BMW Enthusiast says:

    Hello BMWTech, so today I changed my coolant. However, as I was topping it off, I push the float to check the level. It snapped and a big part of the dipstick just disappeared into the reservoir. Does this happen often? Will anything happen if I just leave it? It broke off and I cannot find it.
    Thank you.


  5. 328i says:

    Hello. Did you get my question regarding the coolant dipstick? Thanks


  6. BMW Enthusiast says:

    Do I have to drain coolant from radiator first?


    • No you don’t have to drain the radiator,,,,just disconnect the hose at the bottom of the expansion tank and swap in the new expansion tank


      • BMW Enthusiast says:

        Wont this cause a big mess?


      • Yes,,,,lol,,,,,I have a special tool that clamps the hose and stops it from leaking,,,,so then I only have the coolant inside the tank that leaks out instead of all the coolant inside the radiator and hoses and engine,,,,if you drain the whole radiator do you have big enough container to hold all the coolant,,,,also if you remove the lower radiator drain plug you will have to buy a new drain plug,,,also when you drain the whole radiator it takes a lot longer to bleed the cooling system


  7. BMW Enthusiast says:

    Thank you for clarifying. I’ve been told to replace the drain plug. But I usually reuse it. Do you have to replace the drain plug? Also I usually run the bleeding procedure twice when I drain the radiator. Is that enough?


  8. Tom says:

    Hello Andreas, I have a 2012 F10 N55 and three weeks ago I topped off my radiator fluid because it was a little below low. I used blue pentosin coolant and mixed it with distilled water to the recommend mixture. It took about 3 full cups to get it back to full. I closed the cap and did the bleeding procedure first without the ac on and it ran for about 30 minutes with the water pump constantly cycling. I thought that was a little too long and did it with the ac on and the water pump still cycle for 30 minute. On both I to end the cycle by turning off my car. Now when driving my engine fans turns on and off and kicks on very loud. It sounds like a jet engine about to take off. If you could help me out if would appreciate it a lot.


    • After you drove the car did you check the coolant level,,,if the coolant is still topped off I would perform the bleeding procedure again and make sure you see coolant spitting back in to the expansion tank with the cap off,,,,after you are done bleeding it again drive the car and see if it’s better sometimes they get a air pocket and they are hard to get out,,,,,if the problem is still there I would also check for any faults in the system because your waterpump might be malfunction once and a while causing the fan to go high speed,,,,maybe that why you lost some coolant in the first place.


      • Tom says:

        Thanks for replying so fast. Yes I recheck the coolant after driving it and it was still at max. I’ll try bleeding it with the cap off the expansion tank like you recommended. I really hope it’s not the waterpump. The car ran fine before the bleeding. No I believe I lost coolant because I had BMW replace my leaking oil filter gasket and they forgot to top off my coolant. I’ll keep you updated if this works tomorrow morning.


    • JC says:

      My money is on the waterpump or thermostat being that both are 6 yrs old. Think of it like this. You’ll probably never have to change the pump again. 😉


  9. E30Classic says:

    Do you do the bleeding procedure with the bleeder screw and cap open or closed? I have an E90 328i if that matters. Thank you.


  10. cormac says:

    Engine on or off?


    • Engine off,,,,but you could also do it while the engine is running,,,,sometime I start bleeding with engine off and the start the engine and continue bleeding with the engine running


  11. Niels says:

    Is it absolutely necessary to use a vacuum tool to replace the coolant on an X4 (N20 motor) or can I simply drain and refill it, run the bleed procedure a couple of times and top off as needed? I understand BMW recommends the vacuum method but wonder whether that simply is a time-saver for the pros?


    • In my 35yrs as a German car tech I have yet to use that coolant vacuum tool,,,lol,,,,just use the bleeding procedure a couple of times,,,then drive the car for 3 miles and recheck coolant level


  12. Anthony says:

    Hi, thanks for the awesome content i have an F10 with the N52 and no matter the process or time between trying i cant get it to start bleeding. I checked and have no codes stored, does this process work on all cars with electric water pumps?


    • Yes this works on all BMW cars with electric water pump,,,are you sure you have the door latch closed,,,,make sure you don’t have the auto switch on a/c panel,,,ok if this still doesn’t work you can try turning the car on and the disconnect the coolant temp and see if the water pump will start and operate,,,if it does work then you can run it for about 10 minutes to bleed the system


      • Dee says:

        I’m having that same problem, changed out oil gasket seal, and oil filter coolant housing seal, just routine maintenance, I refilled the reservoir to proper level tried running the bleed procedure and pump will not turn on for nothing. I followed step by step of the bleeding procedure any ideas?


      • Well,,,you could leave the reservoir cap off and start the car and see if the water pump will start working,,,but that is a very risky chance that the coolant will start to over flow,,,you could also unplug the temp sensor next to the oil filter housing and that might turn on the water pump and the engine fan,,,you might also get a check engine light on,,,and then you have to clear the check engine light.


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