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Draining/Filling Cooling System
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Draining/Filling Cooling System

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$60

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Cooling system parts lifespan increased

Complementary Modification:

Replace hoses

Draining and filling your cooling system is a maintenance requirement as well as being part of many repairs. Engines used in BMW E53 automatic transmission models hold about 8.5 liters of coolant, manual transmission models hold 8.7 liters.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the engine coolant on the BMW E53 models. Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening the cooling system.

Be careful when working with coolant. It is poisonous and especially dangerous for pets. Clean all spills immediately and rinse the area with water.

Lift and support the front of the vehicle safely. See our tech article on lifting your BMW X5.

Remove the front engine splash shields after donning your safety glasses. See our tech article on engine splash shields removing.

Draining cooling system: 
Draining cooling system: Working in the engine compartment, remove the expansion tank cap.
Figure 1

Draining cooling system: Working in the engine compartment, remove the expansion tank cap. Be sure that the engine has cooled before removing the cap. Cover the cap with a rag when opening. If there is still system pressure, this will lessen the spillage.

Draining cooling system: Place a five-gallon bucket (green arrow) under the left side of the radiator.
Figure 2

Draining cooling system: Place a five-gallon bucket (green arrow) under the left side of the radiator.

Draining cooling system: Remove the radiator drain plug and drain the coolant (green arrow).
Figure 3

Draining cooling system: Remove the radiator drain plug and drain the coolant (green arrow). You can use a flat or Phillips head screwdriver. Allow the coolant to drain into the bucket. Once the coolant has stopped dripping, reinstall the radiator drain plug.

Draining cooling system: Most engines will have a 13mm drain plug (green arrow) on the side of the block.
Figure 4

Draining cooling system: Most engines will have a 13mm drain plug (green arrow) on the side of the block. Remove the drain plug and drain the coolant into the five-gallon pan.

Draining cooling system: Most engines will have a 6mm Allen drain plug (green arrow) on the side of the block.
Figure 5

Draining cooling system: Most engines will have a 6mm Allen drain plug (green arrow) on the side of the block. Remove the drain plug and drain the coolant into pan. Once you're done draining the engine coolant, reinstall block drains and double check that the radiator drain plug is good and tight.

Filling and bleeding cooling system:
Filling and bleeding cooling system: Working at the top of the coolant expansion tank, loosen the coolant expansion tank bleeder screw (green arrow) with a flatblade screwdriver.
Figure 6

Filling and bleeding cooling system: Working at the top of the coolant expansion tank, loosen the coolant expansion tank bleeder screw (green arrow) with a flatblade screwdriver. Then fill the expansion tank until coolant comes out of the bleeder screw. Then install and tighten the bleeder screw. See the following step for detailed filling steps.

Filling and bleeding cooling system: Using a 50% distilled water 50% engine coolant mix, slowly fill the expansion tank until the coolant level indicator reaches MAX.
Figure 7

Filling and bleeding cooling system: Using a 50% distilled water 50% engine coolant mix, slowly fill the expansion tank until the coolant level indicator reaches MAX. The level indicator diagram is located on the expansion tank (green arrow). Reference this when filling to obtain the correct level. The red float (yellow arrow) may stick. Be sure it is free before filling. Check the level of the float with the top of the fill hole (inset). Trapped air is common when filling a cooling system and can result in improper cooling. It is important to bleed your cooling system each time the cooling system is serviced. Install the expansion tank cap and be sure all bleeder screws are tight. Turn the ignition ON (do not start the engine). Set the temperature controls in the vehicle interior to full warm and blower fan speed to Low. Start and run the engine at idle until it reaches operating temperature and check the coolant level. Top up as needed. When done, check the cooling system for leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Rocket Comments: Changed both upper and lower hoses. A leak started where the probe is located at the bottom of the lower hose. Apparently the O-ring on the probe was worn. Simply wrapped the O-ring with a few turns of Teflon tape and re-inserted. Leak stopped.
November 30, 2016
Is Comments: I've just changing the radiator hoselower.no more leaking but the temperature is up to red level.hope tell me what should I do next.
July 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Bleed the cooling system.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
UNCLE CHUCK Comments: WHICH SIDE OF THE BLOCK!!!!! IS THE DARN PLUG ON??? TO DRAIN BLOCK COOLANT?? YOU SHOW PLUGS BUT DO NOT SPECIFY WHICH SIDE. ALSO IF SPECIFIED THESE PLUGS MAY BE ACCESSED BY REMOVING THE APPROPRIATE DRIVE WHEEL..
February 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is on the right side of the engine. Remove the engine splash shields. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:24:04 AM