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DIY Radiator / Electric Fan Change

impee's DIY Radiator Fan Change for BMW 318i e46
How to a Change Radiator Fan yourself!

Difficulty Level: Easy / Medium

Approximate Time For This Project: 1.5 hours

Prices: Professional labour costs for Radiator Fan Change - £55 (private) or £155 (BMW) - per hour X 1 hours

Radiator / Electric Fan Bosch, Part Number: 17117561757 Part #2 BMW 1 £356
Radiator Fan Non Original 1 £196
Flat Head Screwdriver A thin head one   1  
Phillips Screwdriver     1  
Torx 20 Screwdriver     1  
Pliers     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

*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. The choice of which Radiator / Electic fan to buy is up to you, either the £150 one or the £356, but the more reliable would be the BMW one.

Note: After speaking to some one in the US, I was told that his radiator fan could be pulled out by only carrying out till Step #11, hence if your car is not the same model as mine, please check if the fan can be removed in this way, without taking the car apart as in Step #12 onwards.

A diagram of the Radiator Fan.

Kit for Radiator Flush


2) Engine Cover - Removal

Remove the main big BMW cover (Intake Manifold) at the front of engine using this method:

1) Remove the 2 clips at the front - pull up and then out the small round black pins (expanding rivets) with a flat head screw driver

2) Un-clip the hook on the top left

3) Remove the large hose on the top right

BMW Engine Cover Removal


3) Location of Screw, Clips & Cable Sockets

Below are the screws and clips that will need to be opened and removed. Also two cables sockets.

Radiator Cap & Vent Screw


4) Back View Of The Fan

The screw and 1 of the 2 clips.

Close up of Radiator Cap & Vent Screw


5) Removing The Screw

Use a Torx 20 screw driver and remove the screw.

Car Sheild removed


6) Expanding Rivet - Removal

Remove the 2 Expanding Rivets.

You can loosen the Expanding Rivets by prying it out with a flat head screwdriver.

Car Sheild half off


7) Expanding Rivet - Removal

The Expanding Rivets can also be removed using this method (if you find its stuck), by holding the base back with the pliers and then using the screw driver to pry it out.

Car Shield front Expanding Rivet


8) Expanding Rivet

This is a photo of the middle thin part of the Expanding Rivet pulled out and the actual Expanding Rivet, removed.

Shiled Expanding Rivet half off

Expanding Rivet


9) Remove The Power Sockets, Hoses & Clips

Remove the 2 power sockets.

Also remove or undo any other clips and hoses on both sides of the Radiator fan.

Radiator plugs


10) The Lower Hoses And Clips

This is a view from the top.

Opening the big radiator plug


11) How It Looks

Having the car on Axle / Jack stands is required, as you need to get underneath the car and have enough clearance from the ground to be able to open a few clips and take the hoses of the clips.

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

BMW on Jack Stands


12) Engine Splash Shield - Removal

Next remove the engine splash shield.

This is the splash shield from underneath the car. This is to show where and how many screws and Expanding Rivets are located.
The Expanding Rivets are the top 3 and the remaining 7 are Quick-release screws.

Use the flat head screwdriver for the front Expanding Rivets and the philips head screwdriver for the Quick-release screws.

Car Sheild removed


13) Splash Shield Being Removed

Splash Shield in the process of being removed, using the flat head screwdriver for the front Expanding Rivets and the philips head screwdriver for the Quick-release screws.

Car Sheild half off


14) Lower Hoses & Expanding Rivet to Remove

This is a photo taken whilst underneath the car.

Remove the 2 Expanding Rivets on the left and right as done in the other steps before.

Also take the 3 hoses out of the other round bigger clips.

Water & Coolant pouring out


15) Radiator Fan Removed

A view with the Radiator fan completely removed.

Opening the Bleed / Vent screw


16) Items To Swap From Old Fan To New Fan

Remove the below highlighted items from the old fan and attach them to the new fan.

These items are very simple to remove:
- 3 round pipe clips
- Electrical box

Filling water in the Radiator


17) Re-assembly

Once the above 4 items have been swapped, slide in the new fan back over the radiator and work in reverse order following all the above steps.

Ensure you put back all the Expanding Rivets, Hose Clips, Pipes, Power Sockets, Screw, Splash Shield etc.

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DIY BMW e46 Radiator Fan Change by - impee

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