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BMW E46 – How To Flush Your Coolant

BMW E46 – How To Flush Your Coolant

Difficulty:  Easy
Labor:  2 hrs
Parts Cost:  $28
Service Interval:   2 yrs

Not sure if you should flush your coolant? If it’s been two years or more since the last time you drained it. Its probably time to change you coolant. Today’s engines have a ton of aluminum components and the corrosion protection in green and red anti-freeze is used up after about 2 years.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to flush your BMW E46 Coolant. Should work on all BMW E46 1998-2002. If it does not work for you please leave a comment and we will update the steps. Alight, Let’s get our hands ready and our cars fresh!


Jack up the car.  

Have your car on Jack stands to make it easier to get the screw driver underneath the car to open the splash shield screws.
(This is an optional step, as some may be able to do it without Jack stands)

Remove the engine splash shield.  

Use the flat head screwdriver for removing the front Expanding Rivets and the Philips head screwdriver for the Quick-release ones.

Remove the radiator cap.  

Remove cap and then get underneath the engine car where the splash shield was removed and locate the big blue drain plug, remove it with a flat head screw driver.

Drain the water.  

Let the water drain. You can loosen the small blue plug for faster drainage. Use the pan to keep the drain, it’s poisonous so make sure to clean any left overs on the floor.

Remove the engine Block and screw drain plug.  

Should be a 13mm standard socket or 8mm hex socket (depending on your engine and year). Replace the washer and and let all the water drain.

Bleed the radiator and fill expansion tank.  

This is to enable all the water to come out. Turn the black bleed, screw it with a flat head screw driver. Then Using a 50% distilled water 50% engine coolant mix, slowly fill the expansion tank until the coolant comes out of the expansion tank bleeder screw.

Loosen coolant expansion tank and turn ignition on.  

Working at top of the radiator, loosen the coolant expansion tank bleeder screw, then turn the ignition ON but do not start engine.

Set the A/C temperature controls.  

Now set the temperature controls in vehicle interior to full warm and the blower fan speed on low.

Fill expansion tank and tighten bleeder screw.  

Then fill the expansion tank slowly until the coolant is coming out of the expansion tank bleeder screw and make sure it’s bubbles free. Then tighten the expansion tank bleeder screw.

Start engine.  

Start and run your engine at idle until it reaches operating temperature.

Shut the engine OFF  

Shut engine off and allow it to cool. Then after enough time, re-install the engine splash shield and check the cooling system for leaks. And you’re done!


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