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DIY Manual Clutch Bleed

impee's Manual Clutch Bleed for BMW 318i e46
How to Manual Clutch Bleed yourself!

Difficulty Level: Easy

Approximate Time For This Project: 15 mins

Prices: Professional labour costs for Clutch Bleed- £35 (private) or £155 (BMW) - per hour X 0.5

Brake Fluid DOT 4 Part # 427508969
It only comes in 1 litre bottles.
BMW 1 £9.00
6 mm Spanner If not available, use an adjustable wrench. 1  
Trolley Jack Should support up to 2 Tonnes. 1 £30
Jack Stands / Axle Stands Should support up to 2 Tonnes.
To lift car on stands, refer to this page.
2 £15
Tissues     4  
Disposable Rubber Gloves Pair   2  
A 2nd Person to help To assist in the manual bleed of the clutch.   1  

*prices correct at time of publication

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1) Assemble Your Kit + Notes

Below is the total kit I used. As you can see, there aren't many tools required for this job at all.

You can use either the 6mm spanner or an adjustable wrench. The spanner would be best suited, however not everyone has a 6mm one.

Clutch Bleed Kit


2) Car On Jack Stands

The car should be be lifted on 2 Jack Stands at the front, but if you need more place to work, then lift the rare of the care too.

I personally leave the actual car Jack / Trolley Jack still raised under the car, close to where I work, just to provide me with some insurance incase any of the Jack Stands fail!

For more details on lifting the car on Jack Stands, please refer to this page.

BMW e46 on Jack Stands


3) Shields - Removal

Some DIYs state there may be 2 plastic shields to cover the engine parts of the car, however mine did not have any. Either my car never had them, or my mechanic took them off and kept them!

Take off the 2 shields by removing their nuts and clips. You will need a 8mm socket.
The smaller shield should be removed first.


4) The Clutch Bleeder

You can see the clutch Bleeder Vent Screw below. This is covered by a rubber dust cap (not in this the photo). All you will be doing is loosening this and then tightening it.

Clutch Control


5) Bleeding the Clutch

If you have a plastic tube, stick it over the hole, so you don't make a mess when you bleed the clutch.

First top up the brake fluid in Step #6 to the Max line, because you will loose some fluid in the next step and if it drops too low in the reevoir, you will get air bubbles in the system.

Next all you need to do is loosen the vent screw a little bit (a few drops will trickle out), and then ask the 2nd person to press and hold the clutch fully, at which point a lot of fluid will squirk out. Now tighten the vent screw and ask the 2nd person to let go of the screw. Remeber your car will be on jack stands and you are under the car, so the 2nd person will need to press the clutch with their hand, which isn't that easy to hold, so you better be quick.

Once you have tightened it, you could do it a couple of times more (only if you think you need to).

Clutch Bleeder

Clutch Bleeder Vent Screw


6) Finishing Steps

Now check the brake fluid resevoir and fill it to about half way between Min and Max.

Now a for a final test, press the clutch about 20 times and then check for any leaks at the bleeder valve under the car. May be take it for a short drive just to ensure everything is ok.

Brake Fluid Resevoir

BMW e46 Care Care e46 Models Fuse Box On Jack Stands Fault Diagnosis Torque Specifications Air Filter Change Alloy Repair Jack Stands CDV Delete Clutch Bleed Differential Oil Final Stage Resistor Fuel Filter Change Headlight Removal Interior Lights MAFS Clean Oil Change Oil Light Reset Power Steering Fluid Radiator Flush Radiator Fan Change Shiny Steering Wheel Spark Plug Change Transmission Fluid Window Regulator Timing Chain Tensioner Airbag Occupancy Mat Sensor Rear Light Clean BMW Fault Code Read impee impeeCreations BackInfo

DIY BMW e46 Manual Clutch Bleed by - impee

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