How to Replace Antifreeze in a BMW Radiator

Written by john jackman
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How to Replace Antifreeze in a BMW Radiator
(Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Replacing the antifreeze regularly in your BMW is essential if you want it to run smoothly. Typically, antifreeze is mixed with water in your BMW radiator. Antifreeze has a higher boiling point and a lower pH than water, so it prevents your engine from overheating and keeps the internal parts of your BMW radiator from corroding. If you are changing the brand of your antifreeze, it is essential that you flush the system with water before adding the new antifreeze.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large pan
  • Garden hose
  • Antifreeze
  • Distilled water

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  1. 1

    Remove the coolant cap from the top of your BMW radiator.

  2. 2

    Place the large pan under your radiator drain plug, located on the bottom of the BMW radiator. Remove the plug and drain the antifreeze.

  3. 3

    Move the pan underneath your BMW block drain plug. This is located at the rear of the engine on the exhaust side on most BMWs. Unscrew the block drain plug and wait for any fluid to come out.

  4. 4

    Put the garden hose into the top of your BMW radiator. Run water through the system until there is only clean water draining from the block drain plug.

  5. 5

    Replace the block drain plug and the radiator drain plug.

  6. 6

    Mix up your coolant solution. This should be a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water. Use the antifreeze recommended by BMW.

  7. 7

    Remove the bleed screw on the top of the radiator. Slowly add the coolant mix, up to the "cold coolant" mark. Replace the bleed screw but do not tighten it.

  8. 8

    Loosen the bleed screw on top of the radiator expansion tank. If your BMW has a separate expansion tank, the bleed screw you need to loosen is on top of the thermostat housing.

  9. 9

    Watch for the flow of pure coolant, with no air bubbles. Tighten the bleed cap.

Tips and warnings

  • Only replace antifreeze when the engine is cold. If you've been driving your BMW, wait three to four hours before replacing the antifreeze.

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