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'01 530 Overheated, Steaming, Antifreeze everywhere!

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by Adam Kelly, Feb 24, 2009.

    Adam Kelly guest

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    HELP!!!!!!
    I recently changed the alternator on my 01 530i and a buddy told me to "burp" the system. Squeeze the coolant lines while the car was running with the expansion tank lid off. Did that 5 times. Heard nothing similar to a burp, produced 0 bubbles. Thought i was ok till today. Heat wasn't working well. I was idling waiting for my wife to finish work and then the steam bath started. I quickly shut everything down and called for a ride. What the hell do I need to do now. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
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    mooseheadm5

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    THey usually live if you don't drive the thing while overheating. You need to top it up properly and try to get the bubbles out. I do this by filling it, then warming it up to see if it has full heat on defrost- both sides. Then drive it and if at any time the heat goes away or the temp gauge gets screwy, then there is still an air bubble. Hopefully you didn't damage anything. You may have nuked the thermostat, but that should be the extent of it. I always replace the tstat after an overheat like that. You will need to check to see what component blew. Usually it is the tank or a hose. Did you rerout all the hoses properly? Did you make sure you had them all connected tightly?

    Adam Kelly guest

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    I was very meticulous about the hoses being reconnected properly because I didn't want to experience what actually did happen. I will inspect in the morning. Is there a sure-fire way of telling if I fried the tstat? I would assume it would be overheating. Was I trying to get the bubbles out correctly?
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    mooseheadm5

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    You just got unlucky and didn't get them all out. There is no sure fire way to tell without driving it again. It may overheat again, it may not warm up, or it may be fine. Since I do this for customers and they don't like to come back, we just replace the tstat after an overheat.

    Adam Kelly guest

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    Once tstat is installed and everything back in place do I just bleed the air out through the bleeder screw on the expansion tank? None of the links I found mention anything about how to get the air bubbles out. Thanks for the help!
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    mooseheadm5

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    There are 2 bleed screws and you need to use both. You may have to rev the car up and make a little mess. You may have to go back and forth between them repeatedly bleeding off a little air. You may have to drive the car up a steep hill a few times. You must make sure that you have full heat and that it does not fade at any point. If the heat goes away, there is an air bubble or the car is low on coolant. For some reason, the M50/52/54 motors can be real buggers to bleed properly on occasion.

    adrean8j guest

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    Having the heat on full blast is definitely something you want to do when making sure that you have all the air out of the system. Something about it making the coolant actually travel thru the system.....

    Adam Kelly guest

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    Update.....

    The car wasn't holding much coolant after my bleeding session so I had a fellow enthusiast take a look and sure enough I blew the radiator. Luckily I didn't drive it much for fear of severe damage. Bummer, but lucky. Just replaced the radiator $160 from Arizona Auto Haus and all is good. Hopefully. Thanks to all with suggestions.

    ViolinARC guest

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    Time for the Zionsville setup???

    Another cooling system bites the dust...are any of us really surprised??? LOL Were you the exploding BMW that caused all the panic at that Tyra Banks event? LMAO

    I just had the second radiator installed, water pump, etc. and then the expansion tank gave up the ghost! I think I'm actually getting used to it...:eek:

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