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I need to replace the expansion tank on my 2000 323i. I am not very mechanically inclined. I need a step. by step DIY. The information I got on search confused me. Do I need to also replace the sensor? What all should I replace?
 

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I did not do a write up on what I did when i did my complete cooling system overhaul. I did write up about what parts i did replace though:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=516197&highlight=complete+cooling+system

There are several rules that go with cooling system components. Depending on miles, if one part is going bad, chances are it is just a mater of time before other parts start to go bad. In my case it started with my fan clutch, I replaced it about 8 months ago, then my radiator got a small crack, I let it go for a while and just checked my coolant every day to make sure it was not getting worse, and then last it was my tensioner and idler pulleys going bad. Needless to say, I replaced it all so that I have the piece of mind that it is all new and my car won't breakdown for the sake of not haveing a new cooling system! Also, depending on if you car is an automatic, I would highly recomend replacing the transmission fluid cooler thermostat which is located in the bottom large connection to the expansion tank. You do not need to change any sensors unless you were getting a faulty readings or lights on your dash. I hope that helps some. If you need some more help, PM me and I'll give you my phone # and I can walk you though what you need to do.
 

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Well, it's basically:

Disconnect the upper radiator hose(pull up on the metal clip of the hose and rip it off the tank).
Remove the temp sensor(go under the car and look for a wire on the bottom of the tank, turn the sensor to disconnect off the tank).
Disconnect the heater hose(pull out the metal clip, pull off the hose).
Pop off the tank(pop the tank up to remove).
Reinstall.

The problem is:
1. Disconnecting the heater hose takes a lot of effort, bc it does not want to come out and try not to break the hose's plastic fitting. You(I) have to go under the car to remove the hose.
2. Disconnecting the tank(from the car) takes some banging effort also. It was not just a pull out. I had to bang it from the bottom up.
3. Installing back upper hose may give you some fits, bc the o-rings on the hose maybe old and will not seal.

No special tool needed, maybe an extension or something to bang off the tank. Tip: lube the hose's o-ring with anti-freeze or dishwashing soap for easier installation of the hoses.

If you can handle that then try it. Otherwise you'll have to pay.
 
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