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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, 09:56:52 PM   #21
sapote
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
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.
I don't want to sound like criticizing, but never run the engine with tank cap opened with coolant get up to operating temperature -- the head can be damaged with coolant channels micro boiling, especially around the EX valves. This also generated tons of air bubbles.
If you let the engine cool down, with engine off, tank cap off, how do you expect to get the air out off the bleeder? The best way to get air out is with engine running.

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
any ideas on what I should do now to fix it?
You can try my simple method, down to the t, and see if it helps.
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Old Fri, Jun-07-2019, 02:54:40 AM   #22
mcfreid
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by sapote View Post
I don't want to sound like criticizing, but never run the engine with tank cap opened with coolant get up to operating temperature -- the head can be damaged with coolant channels micro boiling, especially around the EX valves. This also generated tons of air bubbles.
If you let the engine cool down, with engine off, tank cap off, how do you expect to get the air out off the bleeder? The best way to get air out is with engine running.



You can try my simple method, down to the t, and see if it helps.
We may be misunderstanding each other - when I said "capped off the radiator" - I meant that the reservoir cap was screwed on tight. The engine was allowed to cool, and then the bleeder valve was opened to let the air out.
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Old Fri, Jun-07-2019, 02:29:30 PM   #23
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

The woes continue... This morning I woke up find that the upper radiator hose had collapsed (was pulling a vacuum). I checked the coolant level in the reservoir, and it was still above max... Then, when I went to check the bleeder valve - it cracked (probably was undo pressure from the vacuum - plus was getting tired from all the bleeds).
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Old Fri, Jun-07-2019, 06:26:49 PM   #24
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
We may be misunderstanding each other - when I said "capped off the radiator" - I meant that the reservoir cap was screwed on tight. The engine was allowed to cool, and then the bleeder valve was opened to let the air out.
You're not supposed to open the bleeder valve after the engine has cooled off. The instructions that sapote gave are spot on. Once you top off the tank, that's it, don't reopen the bleeder valve.

Is your car an automatic by any chance?
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Old Fri, Jun-07-2019, 06:31:52 PM   #25
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
The woes continue... This morning I woke up find that the upper radiator hose had collapsed (was pulling a vacuum). I checked the coolant level in the reservoir, and it was still above max... Then, when I went to check the bleeder valve - it cracked (probably was undo pressure from the vacuum - plus was getting tired from all the bleeds).
This means there was a lot of air in the system. Air volume expanded/collapsed much more than coolant and so if it had tons of air inside when hot then the hose would collapsed a lot.

Re the cracked bleeder, don't over torqued it; just need to be screwed in until the o-ring is under the hole for sealing, then stop. The plastic bleeder screw won't back out.
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Old Fri, Jun-07-2019, 06:43:10 PM   #26
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

Thanks so much guys for stepping me through these details which clearly I f*$$@d up.

Swinging by the dealership today to pick up a new bleeder valve. Then I'll follow Sapote's method
"
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.
"
and update here.

@elbert the car is a manual.
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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 06:23:03 PM   #27
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

The problems continue (after redoing the bleeding procedure as suggested)...

1) Found that the coolant level sensor unplugged itself. When I tried to plug it back in, the clip didn't seat well and was somewhat loose. I cleaned it well and wrapped it in electrical tape to keep it snug. Unfortunately this did *not* fix the issue and my coolant light remained on after hours of driving and multiple stops.

2) When I woke up this morning and checked the level, I noticed that the upper drive-side radiator hose was collapsed (coolant system was pulling a vacuum). Not sure how this is possible since I can't imagine how there's air in the system now and the coolant level was full.
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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 07:21:54 PM   #28
sapote
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by mcfreid View Post
2) When I woke up this morning and checked the level, I noticed that the upper drive-side radiator hose was collapsed (coolant system was pulling a vacuum). Not sure how this is possible since I can't imagine how there's air in the system now and the coolant level was full.
Hose slightly collapsed in the cool morning is normal. The tank had air in the top half to accommodate for the hot coolant expansion. The 2-bar cap has relief valve to maintain system pressure around 2 bars max. So it's not a surprise for some pressurized air to be released at operating temperature, and this caused the hoses to collapse in cool morning.
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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 07:25:51 PM   #29
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

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Originally Posted by sapote View Post
Hose slightly collapsed in the cool morning is normal. The tank had air in the top half to accommodate for the hot coolant expansion. The 2-bar cap has relief valve to maintain system pressure around 2 bars max. So it's not a surprise for some pressurized air to be released at operating temperature, and this caused the hoses to collapse in cool morning.
I'll take a picture next time it happens and share here. The morning wasn't that cold (~65F) and the hose definitely looked more collapsed than expected - but yeah let me take a picture.
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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 08:08:14 PM   #30
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Default Re: At wits end bleeding coolant

Ur cooling system sucks
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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)