What’s the Easiest Way to Fill and Bleed the ATS-V Intercooler?
Last year we made a post showing how to fill and bleed your ATS-V intercooler without the expensive adapter fitting and vacuum pump that GM recommends. Here’s an update, complete with video showing the process. I’ve also found a way to improve upon the OEM setup.
With the OEM hoses, it’s extremely difficult to determine how well fluid is flowing and whether air might still be present in the system. In this video I shortened up one of the factory hoses, then added a ¾” barb coupler, short piece of UV-resistant clear PVC tubing and two hose clamps. This step is not mandatory, but now that it’s done, I definitely wish I had done it a year ago.
To fill and bleed the intercooler system, you do not want to leave the pump running. Most of the air bubbles come to the surface when the pump starts and stops. For this reason, starting and stopping the pump every few seconds will yield much better results than leaving it running continuously.
There is a positive battery terminal right beside the fuse box in the engine compartment. Use a jumper wire to carefully short between the battery terminal and either side of the intercooler pump fuse. This video shows a 2018 ATS-V, but the fuse location may vary in other years. Check the underside of the fusebox lid in your own car to identify the proper fuse.
Rotate your intercooler fill port to the vertical position. Remove the rubber cap. Use a short piece of ¾” heater hose to support a large funnel. Add 50/50 coolant mix to the funnel. Depress the Schrader valve with a dowel rod or long ¼” extension. Continue cycling the intercooler pump power every few seconds until there are no more air bubbles.
Sometimes it helps to fiddle with the 7 mm. bleeder screws, but this does not seem to be necessary. Through experience I have found it’s best to fill and bleed the system cold, the drive around until it’s up to normal operating temperature, let it cool down and bleed it one more time.
Follow the link below to see a video of the process: