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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 Level Warning



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      11-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
empirevalley
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Low Coolant Level Warning

Yesterday, I started my 335ix E92 and got a coolant level warning icon on the dashboard. I checked the iDrive under Vehicle Settings and got the same information. I shut the car down, waited an hour, checked the owner’s manual, and then removed the radiator cap. I found that the coolant reservoir was empty – no coolant. There was no coolant leakage that I could see, and no coolant on the garage floor.

I called the dealer today, spoke with a Service Advisor, and explained the problem. He told me that this was not unusual, that the coolant needs “topping up” every so often. He told me not to use Prestone, as BMW has its own “blue” in color coolant. He told me to come by the dealership and they would top off the reservoir at no charge. I asked him if it was safe to drive and he said there was no problem.

I drove to the dealership, talked with a different Service Advisor, explained the problem, and she turned behind her desk to pick up a gallon container of BMW coolant. We waited for 20 minutes for the car to cool down, and she filled the coolant reservoir. She repeated what the previous SA told me, that this was not at all unusual. I started the car and the low coolant warning alarm did not reappear.
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      11-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
Chriztofor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empirevalley View Post
Yesterday, I started my 335ix E92 and got a coolant level warning icon on the dashboard. I checked the iDrive under Vehicle Settings and got the same information. I shut the car down, waited an hour, checked the owner’s manual, and then removed the radiator cap. I found that the coolant reservoir was empty – no coolant. There was no coolant leakage that I could see, and no coolant on the garage floor.

I called the dealer today, spoke with a Service Advisor, and explained the problem. He told me that this was not unusual, that the coolant needs “topping up” every so often. He told me not to use Prestone, as BMW has its own “blue” in color coolant. He told me to come by the dealership and they would top off the reservoir at no charge. I asked him if it was safe to drive and he said there was no problem.

I drove to the dealership, talked with a different Service Advisor, explained the problem, and she turned behind her desk to pick up a gallon container of BMW coolant. We waited for 20 minutes for the car to cool down, and she filled the coolant reservoir. She repeated what the previous SA told me, that this was not at all unusual. I started the car and the low coolant warning alarm did not reappear.
Straight coolant not 50/50 mix?
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      11-15-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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Most cars when adding coolant create air pockets; normally to get rid of these air pockets the car should be run while adding the coolant. Be sure to have the heat on full blast.

I read however on this car, there is a different process for bleeding the coolant and getting air out of the lines. (that of which im not sure).

Im just assuming you have air in the lines... I'm not sure.

Im assuming you dont have BT tool. So maybe pop off the battery ground for 10 minutes. Let everything reset.

After that, warm up the car with radiator cap off, see if any bubbles are forming or anything. Its possible you might just need to drive around a bit more.
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      11-15-2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSlick View Post
Most cars when adding coolant create air pockets; normally to get rid of these air pockets the car should be run while adding the coolant. Be sure to have the heat on full blast.

I read however on this car, there is a different process for bleeding the coolant and getting air out of the lines. (that of which im not sure).

Im just assuming you have air in the lines... I'm not sure.

Im assuming you dont have BT tool. So maybe pop off the battery ground for 10 minutes. Let everything reset.

After that, warm up the car with radiator cap off, see if any bubbles are forming or anything. Its possible you might just need to drive around a bit more.
Or take it to the dealer like I did last week. I was out of there in 15 minutes. The 335 runs hot and they go through coolant. Evaporates I guess. They all do it apparently.
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      11-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriztofor View Post
Straight coolant not 50/50 mix?
Wouldn't a 50/50 mix with water cause faster evaporation?

Also I thought you only do this when you don't have coolant to add...water works but evaporates easily.
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      11-15-2010, 07:03 PM   #6
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Recommended BMW Coolant mix is 50%/50% coolant to distilled H20. The coolant is great at lubricating the pump system, preventing corrosion on the internal water-jacket and doesn't freeze, etc, BUT it's not very efficient at temperature control/transfer. That's why the water mix. Water is very efficient at transferring heat, BUT by itself, causes corrosion, rust and freezes at 32F.

The 50/50 mix will typically provide the balance between component protection and engine cooling with freeze protection down to -34F.

It's OK to add small amounts of straight antifreeze (or water) when you're in a pinch, but do not do a complete fill with straight antifreeze or water.

I always pre-mix my anti-freeze and water at 50/50 and keep in the container in the garage. That way always readily available when needed with the correct mix.
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      11-16-2010, 09:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Recommended BMW Coolant mix is 50%/50% coolant to distilled H20. The coolant is great at lubricating the pump system, preventing corrosion on the internal water-jacket and doesn't freeze, etc, BUT it's not very efficient at temperature control/transfer. That's why the water mix. Water is very efficient at transferring heat, BUT by itself, causes corrosion, rust and freezes at 32F.

The 50/50 mix will typically provide the balance between component protection and engine cooling with freeze protection down to -34F.

It's OK to add small amounts of straight antifreeze (or water) when you're in a pinch, but do not do a complete fill with straight antifreeze or water.

I always pre-mix my anti-freeze and water at 50/50 and keep in the container in the garage. That way always readily available when needed with the correct mix.
or go to a dealer for 15 mins and no charge...............
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      12-09-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
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I have similar issues 2007 335i. Coolant light came on and coolant topped off a week ago. Yesterday coolant light came back on. Bugged me as that seems too quickly for coolant to be low again. SA says it's common especially with our current weather fluctuation (low in 20's night & high in 50s day). SA said top off with H2O, don't usre 'over-the-counter-coolant'.
So I'll follow advise (using distilled H2O) but I'll be watching it closely for leaks!
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      12-11-2010, 11:33 AM   #9
bm3sofla36
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I had the same issue. Might be your water pump (which is a common problem with lots of driving i heard). its a $1200 fix at the dealer.
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      12-11-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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but on a 335i i dont know..might be different.
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