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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Coolant change/flush



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      07-20-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
SG07
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Coolant change/flush

My car is at about 48k miles and haven't had a coolant change or flush. None of the mechanics I've talked to were strongly recommending one, seems to be more of an optional thing. Am I long overdue and should I get it done soon?
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      07-21-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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Its G48. Search BASF G48.
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      07-21-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SG07 View Post
My car is at about 48k miles and haven't had a coolant change or flush. None of the mechanics I've talked to were strongly recommending one, seems to be more of an optional thing. Am I long overdue and should I get it done soon?
BMW considers it "lifetime". Why not wait until you have a cooling system issue (stuck thermostat, etc.) as the coolant would then have to be replaced anyway?

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      07-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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It's also somewhat time dependent, I don't this it's advisable to have the same coolant in for more than 4 - 5 years.
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      07-21-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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I wouldn't change your coolant til about 60k when all the other fluids will need changing too. (Brakes, power steering, tranny, diff, oil)
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      07-22-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
BMW considers it "lifetime". Why not wait until you have a cooling system issue (stuck thermostat, etc.) as the coolant would then have to be replaced anyway?

Tom
Heck - why not wait until your diff and transmission are toast before changing the fluid too!

A jug of BMW coolant is $20, even from dealers in Canada. Combine that with 50 cents worth of distilled water and you have everything you need. A routine freshening of the coolant doesn't need 100% to be drained, so using stands or ramps, pulling the plug at the bottom of the rad, replacing, refilling and bleeding will do it all you need.

My E90 had 60k on its "lifetime" coolant when I got it. The colour wasn't right and the pH and conductivity were borderline according to my test strips. Look up electrolysis (in the context of automotive coolant) and you'll see some truly scary stuff that you'd have no idea was going on inside your engine.

No fluid is lifetime.

BMW coolant is G48, but I haven't seen alternative G48s priced all that much less expensive than a jug from the dealer. For whatever reason, the dealers actually seem to have this stuff reasonably priced.
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      07-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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Wait till your water pump fails and do it then.
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      07-27-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post

A jug of BMW coolant is $20, even from dealers in Canada. Combine that with 50 cents worth of distilled water and you have everything you need. A routine freshening of the coolant doesn't need 100% to be drained, so using stands or ramps, pulling the plug at the bottom of the rad, replacing, refilling and bleeding will do it all you need.
...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
No fluid is lifetime.
Totally agree. If you're really cheap AND unsure of your mechanical abilities, buy the fluid from the dealer and take it to a mom n' pop. Won't cost more than an hour of labor.

The parts your fluid is protecting are orders of magnitude more expensive than the fluid. Why tempt fate when you can nip this one in the bud early on.

Shoot Mike Miller an email and get a copy of his Old School Maintenance doc. You'll get the skinny on how the cooling system in BMWs has been less than stellar over the years and how a "lifetime fill" doesn't make matters better.

PM me for his email address if interested. Or, google it like I did. He's very helpful.
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      07-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #9
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Ideally you should be changing your coolant every 1-2 years according to most sources. Personally i haven't changed my coolant in the 4 years I've owned my car (45K miles) but I plan to do so this fall once temperatures are more bearable for working on the car. I'll probably start changing it every 1-2 years thereafter.
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      07-27-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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BMW recommends P.h. check every year or 15k miles, and change every 2y or 30k miles.

The water pump is very expensive on the e90, if following this rule can extend its lifetime for 2 years, its a good deal. Also, bad coolant can corrode small passages everywhere in the engine and create hotspots in the heads or other places that are basically impossible to fix.
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      07-28-2012, 07:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
It's also somewhat time dependent, I don't this it's advisable to have the same coolant in for more than 4 - 5 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
Heck - why not wait until your diff and transmission are toast before changing the fluid too!

A jug of BMW coolant is $20, even from dealers in Canada. Combine that with 50 cents worth of distilled water and you have everything you need. A routine freshening of the coolant doesn't need 100% to be drained, so using stands or ramps, pulling the plug at the bottom of the rad, replacing, refilling and bleeding will do it all you need.

My E90 had 60k on its "lifetime" coolant when I got it. The colour wasn't right and the pH and conductivity were borderline according to my test strips. Look up electrolysis (in the context of automotive coolant) and you'll see some truly scary stuff that you'd have no idea was going on inside your engine.

No fluid is lifetime.

BMW coolant is G48, but I haven't seen alternative G48s priced all that much less expensive than a jug from the dealer. For whatever reason, the dealers actually seem to have this stuff reasonably priced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdawg4l View Post
...



Totally agree. If you're really cheap AND unsure of your mechanical abilities, buy the fluid from the dealer and take it to a mom n' pop. Won't cost more than an hour of labor.

The parts your fluid is protecting are orders of magnitude more expensive than the fluid. Why tempt fate when you can nip this one in the bud early on.

Shoot Mike Miller an email and get a copy of his Old School Maintenance doc. You'll get the skinny on how the cooling system in BMWs has been less than stellar over the years and how a "lifetime fill" doesn't make matters better.

PM me for his email address if interested. Or, google it like I did. He's very helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoosyJoos View Post
Ideally you should be changing your coolant every 1-2 years according to most sources. Personally i haven't changed my coolant in the 4 years I've owned my car (45K miles) but I plan to do so this fall once temperatures are more bearable for working on the car. I'll probably start changing it every 1-2 years thereafter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
BMW recommends P.h. check every year or 15k miles, and change every 2y or 30k miles.

The water pump is very expensive on the e90, if following this rule can extend its lifetime for 2 years, its a good deal. Also, bad coolant can corrode small passages everywhere in the engine and create hotspots in the heads or other places that are basically impossible to fix.
I change my fluid every 2 years by just unplugging the blue drain and venting the system. Coolant not only protects against freezing and overheating, it also lubricates. I have been using peak without any problems. http://www.peakauto.com/antifreeze-p...ediluted.shtml
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