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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 > Low Coolant, Again...



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      11-28-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
jbr5049
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Low Coolant, Again...

So about 3 months ago, my car displayed the low coolant light and as I pulled into the Service Center the car displayed the engine overheating light. My SA claimed I needed a new radiator and gave me a loaner. About 4 hours later, they called me saying a cap was loose and all the car needed was a tighter cap and to be refilled with coolant.

3 days ago I noticed steam coming off the hood of the car after a slightly aggressive drive. I figured it was the sleet/slush that might have gotten into the engine bay, I opened the hood but didn't see any more steam coming off.

Yesterday I got the yellow coolant light when I started my car. I opened the hood and realized the coolant cap on the top was loose (About a full rotation). I took off the cap and saw that my coolant was extremely low, the red bobber was about 1/2 an inch below the minimum mark.

This morning the bobber was even lower, oddly enough there were no spill marks under my car. Idk how this coolant is escaping, or where the hell it is going. I am taking my car into BMW tomorrow morning and will demand they go over everything in the engine bay to figure out what the hell is going on.

Anyone had similar coolant problems? I'd love to have some other info before I drive to BMW tomorrow.

Thanks
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      11-29-2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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I just can't imagine how the coolant reservoir cap can come loose. The cap is a locking tread where it is indexed to lock down in place on the last quarter turn. The cap (at least on my car and I'm assuming all E90s) is really hard to unscrew and screw back down. I would look at the reservoir filler neck and see if it is damaged and the cap to see if it is damaged, which may allow for the cap to come loose.

If the cap is loose, it will allow for coolant to vaporize and leak out.
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      11-29-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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I honestly have no idea how the cap came loose, but it was after I got the warning light. I am assuming that the "steam" I saw was the coolant burning off. My local dealer was closed today, so I am going tomorrow to get it topped off.

The threads are perfect and the cap did lock. I am guessing the cap wasn't locked originally and over time it slowly came loose... This is my own guess though.
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      11-30-2010, 02:12 AM   #4
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rad

i had traces of dry coolant on my overfill bottle. Turned out to be a leaking lower rad hose and a broken temperature sensor, get that checked.
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      11-30-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killakill View Post
i had traces of dry coolant on my overfill bottle. Turned out to be a leaking lower rad hose and a broken temperature sensor, get that checked.
^you can also smell the rad fluid as well if it is leaking.
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      11-30-2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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So I went into BMW today and told them about the low fluid for the 2nd time in 3 months. They pressure checked the system and didn't find any leaks. They really had no idea why the coolant was so low or how it got that way so fast, so I guess I just have to keep an eye on everything to make sure nothing sneaks up on me.
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      12-09-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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so its just low coolant? If it overheats do you hear something like a loud fan?
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      12-09-2010, 04:31 PM   #8
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Yeah, and if it gets hot enough you will get a warning temp light saying your car is about to overheat.
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      12-11-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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hmm well i just had his same issue. whenever i would go on a long drive it overheated. i topped off with coolant at the dealer. Few months later another long drive and same thing happened. Topped off with coolant and the next day it overheated ( i was pissed lol ). Turns out it was faulty water pump and thermostat. Dealer charged me $1250 to fix it. I hope its not your water pump as well.
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      12-13-2010, 09:17 PM   #10
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I too had some issues with the cooling system. I never checked the fluid levels as my car has been in the shop over 10 times in the last 2 years. My SA said that they would top off all fluids so i never thought that it would be low. My SES light came on about 4 days ago and I made it into the dealer to purchase antifreeze. I purchased the the BMW antifreeze and used a 50/50 mixture. I then filled it up and watched the bobber come up as the car was extremely low. I then left the cap off and turned on the car to warm up. I totally forgot to put the heat on high so i waited until the car was warm and turned it off. I looked at the level again and it looked a little low so i added more antifreeze then left the cap off and put the heat on high. The temp gauge never moved from the cold side and after about a half hour of warming up i put the cap back on. I then took the car on a fairly aggresive drive and it took about 30 minutes to get to the normal temp lever (just under 240). I let the car sit for about 3 hours between putting in fluids so that the engine would be cold. I did notice a large amount of fluid(?) under the car when i returned home. I couldnt see any spillage around the coolant tank. any ideas?
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      12-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #11
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What color was the liquid? It might have been some sort of condensation.

I also know that a loose coolant cap can cause the coolant to vaporize and escape leaving the well bone dry.
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