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The most common issues with the cooling system can be broken down into 3 categories. (Fluid Type) (Fluid Purity) (Stuck Thermostat)
If your vehicle is cooled with *Dexcool* then your system will need to be flushed regularly. About every 7k-10k miles or so. The reason being, Dexcool congeals (gels) as it gets older, and will clog the entire system from radiator, to the heater core, stopping the flow of coolant.
If you are replacing your coolant with tap water, it will not have the cooling capacity of a proper 50/50 mix.
Coolant will not circulate if your thermostat is frozen shut. There are ways to test it, but in most cases, it is easier, and sometimes cheaper, to just replace it.
Now, to answer your original question, take the top radiator hose off at the radiator, then loosen the butterfly bolt located at the bottom of the radiator. Not all radiators are equipped with the bleeder, so simply take off both the top, and the bottom hoses. This will drain all coolant from the radiator. To do a "fluid flush" is a bit more difficult. Remove all hoses going to the radiator, remove the thermostat, and at the thermostat connection to the engine, purge the system using a garden hose tapped from your home. A shop will do the purge with 50/50 mix to flush the system and catch the old fluid as it comes out, but not needed if you do it at home. Flush the radiator the some way, using the top at the hose connection point. Just run the water through until it comes out clean. Reattach all hoses and thermostat. Go to your local parts store and buy a 50/50 premix that is appropriate for your region.(cooler for warm weather, warmer for cold) and do not add water. They come mixed ready to put in the vehicle. Make sure you fill it up where you are supposed to. If you have the old style radiator, the cap is located directly on the radiator. If you have a reservoir, fill it up to the line. *****Make sure you you start the vehicle to operating temperature to fill the reservoir to the appropriate level.***** I hope this helps. Good luck!
The cooling system has to be bleed of air.To do this locate the bleeder on the coolant inlet on engine. Remove the bleeder and the radiator cap, fill with coolant until there are no more air bubbles coming out of bleeder. Top off resivor close bleeder replace cap. Start and let it get to normal operating temp, If all is good now you are finished. If it still overheats let it cool off until there is no pressure on upper hose .Carefully remove cap and repeat bleeding process
You probably need to bleed the cooling system properly.
Open the cooling system bleeder screws.
Slowly fill the cooling system with a 50/50 coolant mixture until coolant runs freely out of bleeder screws. Close the cooling system bleeder screws Install the coolant pressure cap Start the engine. Run the engine at 2,000 - 2,500 RPM until the engine reaches normal operating temperature. (midway on gauge) Allow the engine to idle for 3 minutes. Shut the engine off. Allow the engine to completely cool. Top off the coolant as necessary.
Run engine again at 2000 - 2500 RPM until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
Allow engine to idle until cooling fans come on. It should come on with the gauge about 3/4 of the way to red. - if it gets to where is touches the red, shut down immediately.
When the fan comes on, put your hand behind the fan and observe the temperature of the air coming from the fan. It should feel hot. If it is blowing cold air, the coolant is not circulating through the radiator like it should. This could be caused by lots of things including an improper/defective thermostat, corroded water pump impeller, or a blown head gasket.
fill at radiator there are 2 bleeder screws 1 located on thermostat housing and 1 located to left at water pump housing. open when engine is warmed up to bleed air and refill radiater after engine cools.
Look for a bleeder screw at the highest point of the coolant system, it is usually located on the thermostat housing. Once located open screw with engine off and cool, and pour coolant into the coolant resevoir/ radiator until steady stream of coolant starts to come out of bleeder screw.
The drain should be on the drivers side at the bottom of the radiator, facing the driver. It's a plastic "wing" that unscrews. There should also be a bleeder for exhausting the air from the system when you refill. The bleeder I'm familiar with is a brass screw screwed into the thermostat housing. (where the top hose attaches at the engine)
the thermostat (on bmw replacement parts) have an arrow that has to be installed facing upward.if this was done correctly,to bleed the system usually there is a bleeder screw on or near the expansion tank(where you fill the coolant) and possibly on the thermostat housing. i would recommend opening both bleeders and keep filling the system with coolant closing the lower bleeder first and then allow the rest of the air purge from the other bleeder screw.make sure the coolant stays full and be patient you can't wait TOO long.