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      03-18-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
practice89
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Low Coolant Warning

So I started my car up today and the Low Coolant Warning popped up. I've done a quick search and read it's normal for the the warning to pop up?

I was late for work so I didn't get a chance to check for leaks but is it safe to drive my car for short distances? (my commute to work is about 15-20 mins) I have a scheduled appointment for Wednesday and was wondering if I can wait till then or if i should go tonight.
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      03-18-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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Went back to the car again and now the Low Coolant Warning is gone....
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      03-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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Dont need to take it to the dealer, just ckeck coolant level and add more if you need to. Its normal as I have done this one I believe. I had to add like a half of cup of coolant about 2 yrs ago and that was it. Make sure you use BMW coolant and nothing else.
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      03-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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you can add half cup to a cup of distilled water - if it goes away and doesn't come back for some time - you should be good to go!

If you have to add more than that - I would add 50/50 mixture of water(distilled) and BMW coolant only. It's important you do not mix coolant types.

Depending on mileage - minus whale do a coolant flush.
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      03-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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it's just weird that the warning is not popping up anymore.(says all systems OK) I guess i'll just check the coolant level later on just to be safe.
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      03-18-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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make sure you dont do it right after driving. Let it cool off for a couple of hours...
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      03-23-2013, 09:41 AM   #7
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For topping off, doesn't have to be "BMW coolant only." This is from a BMW bulletin I pulled of this website that specifies:

The cooling system of BMW cars must only be filled with reputable brand name ethylene glycol long-term antifreeze
having corrosion inhibitors that are compatible with aluminum radiators.
Coolants must fulfill four basic requirements.
Guarantee sufficient cooling.
Protect various metals (gray cast iron, steel, aluminum alloys, brass, copper and solder) against corrosion.
Prevent excessive silicate gel precipitation, which may cause clogging of the cooling system.
Guarantee operation of cooling system in winter (prevent freezing of coolant) and in summer by boosting the boiling
point.

Just want to clarify that if you need to top off but don't have BMW coolant on hand, BMW says its ok to use another brand. Your prestone all makes/all models or equiv will work fine. By all means avoid anything dexcool
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      05-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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Hi

I have a 2008 335i that I bought used in Jan this year, it has around 45k miles on it. I apologize that my first post on this forum should be a "trouble" post.

On Friday I started the car after work and a low coolant light came on. Next morning (Sat) I took it to the dealer service center. The guy there topped up water and said its normal, next time if it comes up he said to mention and they will add a bit coolant. The light went away and I drove home.

However in the evening I went to a mall around 5 miles from home and after shopping, the low coolant light was there again - showing around the halfway mark. Out of suspicion I checked the place where the car had been standing, and there was some liquid there.

Drove home, let the car stand for a couple hours and checked under the car - another damp patch! Not enough to touch and tell whether it felt oily or not. Blotted a napkin paper with it, it didn't look colored at all and didn't have any smell - so I wonder if its just AC water and I was just noticing it now. Sniffed around the engine bay and there was no smell. The coolant thing was still too hot so didnt open it.

Next morning (Sunday) I checked under the car and the wet patch was very vague - like it had stopped dripping after I had checked it the previous night. But I guess its definitely not water, because water would've just evaporated, right? Anyway, opened the coolant and checked, it had considerably gone down. Difficult to "read" the level, but I think it was around the halfway mark.

So.. do you think its a leak? I am planning to take it to the service center first thing tomorrow, but they are like 10 miles away. Should I fill some water before driving there? Should I try to insist on a pressure check for the leak?

Any suggestions/ advice would be appreciated!

Last edited by newoldbeemer; 05-12-2013 at 09:05 PM.
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      05-12-2013, 09:58 PM   #9
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Distilled water is fine, not too much though. If I were you, I'd throw some paper towels underneath the car so you can really see if it's leaking or not.
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      05-13-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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Thanks. I forgot to mention, I purchased a third party extended warranty with the car. Is this kind of thing typically covered?
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      05-13-2013, 07:10 AM   #11
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I always pour in 55 coolant/45 distilled water. There are two "beads" on a stick floater in the coolant reservoir. Look from the side and the top of the filler neck should be in between these two "beads". A diagram should be on the reservoir for clarification. Level should be checked after the car has cooled down, as pressure could cause it to spray out and burn you. I would check the level in the morning before driving the car. I would also add BMW coolant. It is blue. Mixing colors can make it harder to diagnose.

Hard to say what a third party warranty would/would not cover. It is best if you read the contract/policy carefully for the details, or at least post which company it is. Maybe others here also have it and can tell you.

Water doesn't always evaporate overnight. Depends where you live, and it seems more the opposite as condensation tends to form overnight....
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      05-19-2013, 04:12 AM   #12
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Thanks, jzchen. It turned out to be a hose had developed a leak.
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      05-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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Late to the party but wanted to throw my hat in. BMW coolant is retagged Zerex G05 formula, available from AutoZone and PepBoys for $17 a gallon undiluted and $14 dilluted. Friend told me dealer charged him $50 for coolant when he had his topped off. Damn stealerships.
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      05-20-2013, 10:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowx360 View Post
BMW coolant is retagged Zerex G05 formula, available from AutoZone and PepBoys for $17 a gallon undiluted and $14 dilluted. Friend told me dealer charged him $50 for coolant when he had his topped off. Damn stealerships.
The spec sheet for Zerex G 05 doesn't specify any BMW application. Do you have a link for your information?

http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/zerex_g05.pdf

I've read that it's sourced from Pentosin, a very well respected European fluid manufacturer, that BMW uses for other fluids, PS, gearbox, but I can't provide a definitive link. So I'm not going to say it's fact.

Quote:
There are currently over a dozen different formulations of ethylene glycol, each with a unique characteristic. And this doesn't even include the OAT (organic acid technology) that Deathcool (Dexcool) is based on. If you don't want to use OEM coolant for whatever reason, try to use the SAME coolant throughout. Problems usually stem from when you mix two differing formulations together. They may look the same, smell the same, taste the same, even claim the have same specs, but can you absolutely be sure? Do you know the subtle differences between G-05 and G-12? I don't. So I use the same coolant to minimize problems. Just so happens in the Bimmer I use OEM. They speced a special formulation (and that ain't cheap) for good reason and I'm not about to tempt fate with an expensive car.

And BMW coolant is currently Pentosin G-11 and is being superceded by the newer G-48. Its made in Europe (over 7 different source points including Germany) but not currently made on Mars yet.

A reputable dealer will charge $21 for a gallon BMW coolant. And you can buy it online for less.

Last edited by AlanAZ; 05-20-2013 at 12:51 PM.
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      05-30-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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Parked in an inclined parking spot and noticed the coolant indicator when driving home.

Dealership said, "just drop by, we will top it up for you and it's normal but keep an eye on it". No charge.

Depends on the dealership, but makes me worry a little about the longevity of the cooling system.

Had 3 coolant leaks with my previous A4, a mess I don't want to go through again.
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      06-06-2013, 03:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowx360 View Post
Late to the party but wanted to throw my hat in. BMW coolant is retagged Zerex G05 formula, available from AutoZone and PepBoys for $17 a gallon undiluted and $14 dilluted. Friend told me dealer charged him $50 for coolant when he had his topped off. Damn stealerships.
Wow, $50 for one gallon, your friend got taken. Online you can find it for half.
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      06-09-2013, 08:26 PM   #17
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Sorry to steal your thread since my account doesn't allow post yet. My car overheats if drive around city and at at idle. Warning comes on but fan doesn't Ingage even with red temp/ac.... I checked fuse... Any idea anyone? Thanks
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