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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 05:54:38 PM   #11
sapote
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
Please help. God please help me.
Can't -- He only drives E46 M3.


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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
A week ago I filled up the cooling system till the coolant ran out of the bleeder valve. Then I closed the valve and reservoir cap, ran the engine till the coolant got up to temperature...
This is bad -- with the excess coolant in the tank (high enough to overflow out of the bleeder) and less air, the higher pressurized coolant could bust the tank and other components.

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
This time when I went to drive, the coolant light turned on letting me know that the coolant was low. I pulled over to double-check the level and it was full.
Since OP didn't say the light was on before the work, and the tank was not replaced in this work, therefore I don't think the tank level sensor at fault.

Overheated because it was not bled correctly with air pocket still in there.

My method for E46 not M3:

1) with cold engine, fill tank to max level, cap removed
2) run engine and rev up to 3000 rpm a few times, then open the bleeder for air to get out, and top up the tank to max level. close bleeder. Repeat step 2 again. Shut engine off. Don't run the run more than 7 minutes to avoid heated coolant overflow.
3) top up tank to max; close tank cap and do a test drive with heater turn on. If there is hot air from heater then it's good.

Last edited by sapote; Thu, Jun-06-2019 at 07:25:51 PM.
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 06:29:17 PM   #12
jdamore44
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by sapote View Post
Can't -- He only drives an E30 M3.




This is bad -- with the excess coolant in the tank (high enough to overflow out of the bleeder) and less air, the higher pressurized coolant could bust the tank and other components.



Since OP didn't say the light was on before the work, and the tank was not replaced in this work, therefore I don't think the tank level sensor at fault.

Overheated before it was not bled correctly with air pocket still in there.

My method for E46 not M3:

1) with cold engine, fill tank to max level, cap removed
2) run engine and rev up to 3000 rpm a few times, then open the bleeder for air to get out, and top up the tank to max level. close bleeder. Repeat step 2 again. Shut engine off. Don't run the run more than 7 minutes to avoid heated coolant overflow.
3) top up tank to max; close tank cap and do a test drive with heater turn on. If there is hot air from heater then it's good.
Fixed.
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 06:46:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by sev View Post
What brand is it? I had the *EXACT* same issue on my 330cic and drove myself nuts changing the sensor and bleeding it. And every time it warmed up the light would come on. There was 0 air in the system.


I was reading on e46 fanatics that a batch of behr expansion tanks were defective and from the factory the float was installed upside down. So the magnet that triggers the sensor is not in the correct position.

I put in a OEM tank and it worked perfectly on first bleed.
Man, I'm really hoping now this is not the issue. The expansion tank I installed was this one (Modine) https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...em-17137787039
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 06:52:10 PM   #14
mcfreid
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by sapote View Post
My method for E46 not M3:

1) with cold engine, fill tank to max level, cap removed
2) run engine and rev up to 3000 rpm a few times, then open the bleeder for air to get out, and top up the tank to max level. close bleeder. Repeat step 2 again. Shut engine off. Don't run the run more than 7 minutes to avoid heated coolant overflow.
3) top up tank to max; close tank cap and do a test drive with heater turn on. If there is hot air from heater then it's good.
I believe this is exactly what I did the first time (when the car started to overheat) and when the coolant level was physically observed to be low. Note, the coolant light was *not* on at that time despite the coolant level being way low. I then filled up the tank to between min and max and bled, then drove off. *Then* the coolant light turned on making me think the coolant level was low. Pulled over, and filled up the coolant tank till the coolant spilled out of the bleeder valve. Drove awhile, and bled the air from the bleeder valve. The coolant light stayed on.

Now that I think about it... That the coolant level light was *not* on when the car started to overheat and when the coolant was actually noticed to be too low. And that the coolant level light is now on when the car is not overheating and when the coolant level appears too full... This all does point to either the sensor or the float being bad : \
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 06:57:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
Man, I'm really hoping now this is not the issue. The expansion tank I installed was this one (Modine) https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...em-17137787039
try temporarily putitng your old one back and see if the issue goes away. it sucks to do but only way to tell.
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 07:36:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
I then filled up the tank to between min and max and bled, then drove off.
Need detail. How did you bleed with tank level below max?

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
Pulled over, and filled up the coolant tank till the coolant spilled out of the bleeder valve. Drove awhile...
Do you know driving with tank filled up too high is bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
Now that I think about it... That the coolant level light was *not* on when the coolant was actually noticed to be too low. And that the coolant level light is now on when the coolant level appears too full... This all does point to either the sensor or the float being bad : \
Never heard a single case that they mistakenly added an inverter into the sensor. I bet the system was not bled properly that's all.
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 07:43:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Need detail. How did you bleed with tank level below max?
Capped off the radiator, ran the car until the coolant came up to temperature, let the engine cool down, unscrewed the bleeder valve to let out the excess air.

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Do you know driving with tank filled up too high is bad?
Yes - however I wasn't trusting that it *actually* was filled full as I expected there was air in the system which was stopping the coolant level from dropping in the reservoir (based on the coolant light turning yellow when the car ran).


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Never heard a single case that they mistakenly added an inverter into the sensor. I bet the system was not bled properly that's all.
Certainly possible too - any ideas on what I should do now to fix it? If it's not the sensor, then that means that the coolant level really is low and that there's just excess air in the system which is preventing the coolant from dropping in the reservoir. How would you suggest I get that air out of the system?
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 08:16:08 PM   #18
sev
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
I believe this is exactly what I did the first time (when the car started to overheat) and when the coolant level was physically observed to be low. Note, the coolant light was *not* on at that time despite the coolant level being way low. I then filled up the tank to between min and max and bled, then drove off. *Then* the coolant light turned on making me think the coolant level was low. Pulled over, and filled up the coolant tank till the coolant spilled out of the bleeder valve. Drove awhile, and bled the air from the bleeder valve. The coolant light stayed on.

Now that I think about it... That the coolant level light was *not* on when the car started to overheat and when the coolant was actually noticed to be too low. And that the coolant level light is now on when the car is not overheating and when the coolant level appears too full... This all does point to either the sensor or the float being bad : \

I dont think its the sensor ts not the sensor.. (at least it wasnt in my case)

Easy way to tell if it's the sensor is to swap the sensor from your washer fluid reservoir. Its the same exact sensor.

With this ordeal that I had, i had to dump the system and refill/bleed it a few times. Honestly its pretty easy to do. If you turn on the heater, fill the system, even while its off, until the coolant comes out of the bleed screw, its usually 95% filled. I only had run it a heat/cool cycle once, bleed it again and its been good the last year...
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Last edited by sev; Thu, Jun-06-2019 at 08:21:54 PM.
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 08:52:49 PM   #19
mcfreid
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by sev View Post
I dont think its the sensor ts not the sensor.. (at least it wasnt in my case)

Easy way to tell if it's the sensor is to swap the sensor from your washer fluid reservoir. Its the same exact sensor.

With this ordeal that I had, i had to dump the system and refill/bleed it a few times. Honestly its pretty easy to do. If you turn on the heater, fill the system, even while its off, until the coolant comes out of the bleed screw, its usually 95% filled. I only had run it a heat/cool cycle once, bleed it again and its been good the last year...
That's how it was in my m3 as well - super simple. That's why I'm so flummoxed now that I'm dealing with the wagon.
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Old Thu, Jun-06-2019, 08:54:50 PM   #20
sev
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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That's how it was in my m3 as well - super simple. That's why I'm so flummoxed now that I'm dealing with the wagon.
more food for thought.. I know this isnt the same brand, but looks like this is a common issue



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Discussing At wits end bleeding coolant in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)