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Thread: DIY Video: Bleeding the air out of the cooling system

  1. #1
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    DIY Video: Bleeding the air out of the cooling system

    Ok as promised I made a video on bleeding the cooling system. We get at least 2 or 3 posts a week from people who need to do this and a video is 10 times easier to watch than trying to explain this very simple procedure on a discussion thread. This isn't hard. It doesn't require getting the front end up in the air or disconnecting the radiator hose and filling the system. Too many people have made this seem way too difficult so I took 15 minutes and made this video. It works every time.

    A few notes...

    This was done on my 95 325is but the procedure is the same for any stock e36. Ive used it many times on this car and on a 318 that has the expansion tank built into the radiator.

    The leak indicator was put in because I was having trouble losing coolant. That's all fixed and the system has been pressure tested. I recomend a pressure test if you are having any issues with the cooling system. Before you get the air out you need to fix any leaks or you'll be back doing it again very soon.

    In place of squeezing the hoses you could rev the engine and get the same squirt from the bleeder hose but Ive found reving the engine doesn't always get all the air out of the heater core. Just remember that you are not finished until you get good solid heat (not warm) from the vents.

    I may have mis-spoke in this video when I said the heater core is up higher than the rest of the system. It is indeed higher than some of the system but the heater valves are the problem. The coolant has to go UP to those valves and that is what causes the air lock. And I also said the coolant level should be around the black line when you're done. Acutally its should be a bit above the black line. Once the car has cooled off overnight check the coolant level and add some to bring it up to the black line or take some out if you find you added too much.

    Monitor the coolant level for a few days then maybe again in a week or so. It shouldn't be dropping. The only time I check the coolant level is afte its been sitting over night and completely cooled off. The coolant will expand quite a bit when it gets warm. You need it completely cooled off to get an accurate level reading.

    For this video I started the car a few minutes before I began making it so you wouldn't have to sit through 10-15 minutes of waiting for the car to warm up.

    If you go to the cabin and don't have any heat, try reving the engine a bit. It doesn't take much. 1500-2000 rpm's a few times. If you still don't get heat then go back out front and start sqeezing the hoses again.

    EDIT: Not sure why this video doesn't show up anymore but here is the link. http://youtu.be/nSTCBsuPr1I
    Last edited by flyfishvt; 11-06-2011 at 08:01 AM.

  2. #2
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    Great Job Fly, this should be a Stickie as a DIY

    Dwight
    Last edited by Pdwight; 09-05-2011 at 01:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Woot! Glad you finally got around to the video!
    Awesome job. This should take the hassle out of trying to convince someone how to do it the easy way when there are half a dozen others telling them to stand on their head while bleeding the system, or other such nonsense.
    Glad you have the patience to do your videos / writeups! I always learn alot from them, even if I don't comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pdwight View Post
    Great Job Fly, this should be a Stickie ad a DIY

    Dwight
    +1
    Last edited by Thames; 09-05-2011 at 02:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Awesome video dude! Is your coolant pre mixed? It looks alot greener than mine is!
    Agreed should be stickied.

  5. #5
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    ABOUT TIME! I've been searching Youtube, Google, etc... Trying to find a decent video demonstrating how to properly bleed the E36. It seems simple, but it really is very tedious.



    STICKY

  6. #6
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    My coolant is BMW blue. As I said in the video I was having problems tracking down a leak so I put a UV leak indicator in the coolant that turned it green. The reason I'm pouring green coolant into the car is because I drained out the radiator to make this video. I reused the same coolant since it's only 6 months old.

    Quote Originally Posted by 328iFun
    ABOUT TIME! I've been searching Youtube, Google, etc... Trying to find a decent video demonstrating how to properly bleed the E36. It seems simple, but it really is very tedious.

    STICKY
    I don't know if I would call something that only takes 15 minutes "tedious" but thanks for the comments.
    Last edited by flyfishvt; 09-06-2011 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  7. #7
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    1st off great video. i just put a new rad in my 318is after watching your video it looked very easy and straight forward to bleed the system. my question is when i opened the bleed screw and added coolent it never bubbled out of the bleed hole, i put the bleed screw back in and as i squeezed the hoses the coolent barley trickled out that slot in the expansion tank. am i doing something rong? or should i just keep at it? i was trying for about 30-45min and little sign's of improvement. any help would be greatly appriciated. thanks

  8. #8
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    If you replaced the radiator you most likely drained almost if not all of the coolant. That means you have to replace almost 2 gallons of coolant. Unless you have a very serious leak somewhere you probably just didn't add enough coolant for it to start comming out of the bleed screw hole.

    I drained just the radiator so I could do that video and it was almost an entire gallon just for the radiator.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishvt View Post
    If you replaced the radiator you most likely drained almost if not all of the coolant. That means you have to replace almost 2 gallons of coolant. Unless you have a very serious leak somewhere you probably just didn't add enough coolant for it to start comming out of the bleed screw hole.

    I drained just the radiator so I could do that video and it was almost an entire gallon just for the radiator.
    i put as much coolent as it could take. as i was filling i was also squeezing the hoses to help get the air out.when the car was up to temp for over 15 minutes it still little improvement. i took a chance and took the bleed screw out and nuthing but steam came out. i dont understand after watching your video i did exactly what you did and no luck lol.. i looked for any leaks and i cant find any. there is no coolent on my drive way either. smh

  10. #10
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    I don't think you followed the video exactly as I did it. I started the car, removed the expansion tank cover and removed the bleed screw. I didn't just loosen the bleed screw I took it out. THEN I started adding coolant. With the bleed screw out you should get coolant comming out of the bleed screw hole just before the expansion tank overflows.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishvt View Post
    I don't think you followed the video exactly as I did it. I started the car, removed the expansion tank cover and removed the bleed screw. I didn't just loosen the bleed screw I took it out. THEN I started adding coolant. With the bleed screw out you should get coolant comming out of the bleed screw hole just before the expansion tank overflows.
    thats exactly what i did. i watched your video a couple times because i felt like i was doing something rong when it wasnt bleeding like it should. but still had no luck. im gonna mess with it today when i get out of work again. maybe ill get lucky lol.. so logically if the coolent is fool and the car is running up to temp with the bleed screw out it shold start to come out the bleed hole right? if it doesnt should i drain the coolent and start from scratch?

  12. #12
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    I don't think you need to start from scratch. All that coolant you put in should be in there anyway. Why drain it out?

    There is one variation of my method you could try. With the engine cold and the engine NOT running...take the cover off the expansion tank and take the bleed screw out. Then try adding coolant until it comes out the bleed screw hole. If the expansion tank overflows before you get anything out of the bleed screw hole then replace the bleed screw and take out enough coolant to lower the level to the COLD mark so it doesn't overflow when you squeeze the hoses. Massage the hoses while you keep an eye on the coolant level. If it drops add more. Once the level stops dropping start the car and continue.

    If you have a full expansion tank it will overflow and make a mess when you squeeze the hoses. That's why I only fill it about 3/4 full. So lower the level in the tank. You may have to wait until the engine gets up to temp and the tstat opens like I did in the video before the tank level will start to drop again.

    The only thing that's different about this method is you are adding coolant with the engine off at first. Everything else is the same as the method I used in the video.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishvt View Post
    I don't think you need to start from scratch. All that coolant you put in should be in there anyway. Why drain it out?

    There is one variation of my method you could try. With the engine cold and the engine NOT running...take the cover off the expansion tank and take the bleed screw out. Then try adding coolant until it comes out the bleed screw hole. If the expansion tank overflows before you get anything out of the bleed screw hole then replace the bleed screw and take out enough coolant to lower the level to the COLD mark so it doesn't overflow when you squeeze the hoses. Massage the hoses while you keep an eye on the coolant level. If it drops add more. Once the level stops dropping start the car and continue.

    If you have a full expansion tank it will overflow and make a mess when you squeeze the hoses. That's why I only fill it about 3/4 full. So lower the level in the tank. You may have to wait until the engine gets up to temp and the tstat opens like I did in the video before the tank level will start to drop again.

    The only thing that's different about this method is you are adding coolant with the engine off at first. Everything else is the same as the method I used in the video.
    awesome!! ill deff try this. thank you very much for the help man

  14. #14
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    I'm so doing this today. Thanks, Flyfish, this thread should be stickied ASAP.
    Last edited by Morgion; 09-07-2011 at 04:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 318isblack

    awesome!! ill deff try this. thank you very much for the help man
    Let us know how you make out.

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    Mods, can we PLEASE get this stickied? There are far too many questions everyday on this.

  17. #17
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    My Million Dollar addition to the thread is worth 5 cents.

    Fits right in the slot...instant screwdriver. I've had it in there for months now. Brilliant!

    Feel free to copy it....you KNOW you're gonna!
    Hee hee hee.
    I have questions....many, many stupid questions.....

  18. #18
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    DIY procedures on video are the best.

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    Do you have to jack the car up a bit or is he on level ground?

  20. #20
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    I did mine in my driveway, it has a slight downhill slope so I backed the car in and it worked fine.

  21. #21
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    I am new to the forum. How do you access the video?

  22. #22
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    If you're on a computer just click on the video at the beginning of the thread. If you're on a mobile ap click on the link to the video

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishvt View Post
    If you're on a computer just click on the video at the beginning of the thread. If you're on a mobile ap click on the link to the video
    there is no video at the beginning anymore

    2001 BMW M3 Steel Grey with LED Tails, Manzo Exhaust, Rouge Engineering Section 2 with QTP valve, Halos, EAS Filter and Silicon Elbow, VMR V703 CSL Replica Gunmetal Grey Rims, Michelin PSS tires, Stoptech rotors and pads, CSL one piece splitter

  24. #24
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    Im not sure why the video isn't showing but the link to it is there right above my sig.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishvt View Post
    Im not sure why the video isn't showing but the link to it is there right above my sig.
    i figured out why firefox doesnt show the youtube link but chrome does

    2001 BMW M3 Steel Grey with LED Tails, Manzo Exhaust, Rouge Engineering Section 2 with QTP valve, Halos, EAS Filter and Silicon Elbow, VMR V703 CSL Replica Gunmetal Grey Rims, Michelin PSS tires, Stoptech rotors and pads, CSL one piece splitter

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