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Bobak
01-31-2008, 11:11 PM
Hi guys,

I saw a light come on today on my way home; the engine coolant warning lamp. Based on the manual, it says the engine coolant is too low, and it needs to be fixed. Is it safe to drive it to BMW? Is this usual? And, is this typically covered under warranty?

Thanks a lot!

BMW_tech
01-31-2008, 11:33 PM
Hi guys,

I saw a light come on today on my way home; the engine coolant warning lamp. Based on the manual, it says the engine coolant is too low, and it needs to be fixed. Is it safe to drive it to BMW? Is this usual? And, is this typically covered under warranty?

Thanks a lot!

Well sir that depends.If you are leaking coolant,there is a very good chance of an overheating condition that can cause engine damage.Theres horror stories about a BMW owner being blamed for continously driving the car with an overheat condition and that removes the word warranty out of the EQUATION.I guess it is best to apply what is commonly known as common sense and everything should be fine.
There was a true story from when I was still in NY.A wife called the husband (e-46 owners) and said theres a yellow warning lamp on that looks like a battery.Husband says hold on Ill call the dealer.Dealer says coolant light,top off the coolant and bring it by so they can check for leaks.Husband calls the wife and coaches wife to grab the garden hose and fill the reservoir all the way to the top.Wife states okay,filled to the top but light is still on.But now the car wont crank/start but the dash lights come on.Long story short,she removed the engine oil cap and stuck the garden hose there.The moral of the story : show wife/girlfriend where to add oil/coolant/washer fluid/and power steering fluid.They dont have to understand how the darn thing works,minor automotive knowledge equals peace of mind.

tarx3
02-01-2008, 06:28 AM
I brought my 2007 x3 in for the same problem. yesterday the sa told me to wait for 15 minutes; but didn't tell me what they did. guess i should have asked, but the light doesn't come on now.

Andrew*Debbie
02-01-2008, 07:22 AM
+1 on BMW_Tech's answer.

Both BMWs we've owned since new have needed a bit of coolant shortly after delivery. Neither ever leaked.

Trapped air maybe? I keep a gallon of BMW coolant in the garage.

Yes the dealer will add coolant for free. You should check the coolant level before driving the car. It is easy. Keep an eye on the temp gauge if you are heading to the dealer.



Our daughter drove her 318ti with zero coolant until the engine seized.

Sonoman707
02-01-2008, 08:40 AM
The coolant light started randomly coming on with my '04 somewhere around 20K miles and only when I first started the engine and it was sitting on a slight incline. Would go off after driving away and the engine warmed up.

Bought a gallon of the coolant from BMW and added maybe half a cup. 60K miles now and no light since.

I'm with A*D - probably a bit of air in the system that works its way out over time.

T

AzNMpower32
02-01-2008, 10:22 AM
A long time ago, the coolant light came on once, at a random time. It later went away, but that weekend I checked the coolant level. It was definitely a bit low, although not very low. I topped it off and it has never come back.

I suggest checking the coolant level around the same time when you check the engine oil dipstick and tire pressures as part of periodic maintenance (like a good driver should :angel:). Obviously, you should ONLY check coolant levels when the engine is cold, whereas you check the engine oil level 5-10min after the engine has been running at normal operational temperature.

Mystic1
02-01-2008, 12:09 PM
I had the same issue with our X3 3.0i, and my dad did with his X5 3.0i. BMW will just top off the coolant with water if you take it in. I had to do it twice and it finally stopped coming on. They must not fully purge the coolant through the hoses/engine at the factory as most of the stories I have heard about are within the first year or so. That is the ones that aren't leaking!!!

bmwadam
02-01-2008, 01:44 PM
WHOA! You have an 05, not an 07 or 08. There could be an issue here, OR it could just be low. I doubt there is still air in the system from the factory, UNLESS the bimemr shop did not do it right when u last had it in for service....

Open your hood and check the level, you do this by opening the reservoir (CAREFUL if it is hot, open it SLOWLY) and a float thing pops out. There are instructions on the reservoir on how to read the level. NOTE: For topping off I would reccomend buying a gallan of prestone 50/50 aluminum friendy coolant. Its premixed and will not harm the M54B25 motor in your car. The reservoir is on the right of the radiator. It has a twist off cap and it is plastic. There is a bleeder valve on it to bleed the air out, BUT if you lack know how, dont fool with it. They are plastic and easy to strip out.

If you are low, add, and then keep checking periodically. If you are loosing coolant, then you might have a small crack in the plastic reservoir, they like to do this sometimes, BUT they are not hard to replace, Ive replaced several over the years...

infin8ly
02-01-2008, 01:55 PM
I had the same problem when it hit 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I was told by my dealer that the coolant shrinks and they topped it off for me. No problems since.
Enjoy!

Mystic1
02-01-2008, 03:46 PM
WHOA! You have an 05, not an 07 or 08. There could be an issue here, OR it could just be low. I doubt there is still air in the system from the factory, UNLESS the bimemr shop did not do it right when u last had it in for service....

Open your hood and check the level, you do this by opening the reservoir (CAREFUL if it is hot, open it SLOWLY) and a float thing pops out. There are instructions on the reservoir on how to read the level. NOTE: For topping off I would reccomend buying a gallan of prestone 50/50 aluminum friendy coolant. Its premixed and will not harm the M54B25 motor in your car. The reservoir is on the right of the radiator. It has a twist off cap and it is plastic. There is a bleeder valve on it to bleed the air out, BUT if you lack know how, dont fool with it. They are plastic and easy to strip out.

If you are low, add, and then keep checking periodically. If you are loosing coolant, then you might have a small crack in the plastic reservoir, they like to do this sometimes, BUT they are not hard to replace, Ive replaced several over the years...

This happened to me within the first year of owning the vehicle since new. Probably was a little low from the factory due to air in lines, and just a little evap over time caused it to set the cooolant low light on. Sorry if it sounded as if this just happened.