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Highmodulus 04-12-2012 10:17 AM

The black hole of washer fluid
Got the low washer fluid warning, so I picked up the jumbo jug of washer fluid at Target. Figured out how to pop the hood (in typical german fashion, it makes a nice solid clunk and then scolds you electronically for the hood being ajar).

After marveling at the beauty of an engine (and removing a 1/2 pound of dead leaves) I started pouring the washer fluid. And pouring. And pouring some more. At 1/2 of the jug I stopped to look under the care to see if it was leaking out. Nope. More pouring, and it keeps going in like the car is some sort of crazy washer fluid black hole. I check again- no leaks.

Finally the entire jug is gone. Perplexed at how I needed so much washer fluid (the warning was only up for a week, and I didn't use any fluid after the warning came up), I looked for the tank. Its jammed in a fender well, and its HUGE. Not sure why I would need to carry this much washer fluid- does it have to do with the super long maintenance periods maybe?


02420X3 04-12-2012 10:27 AM

I'm on my third tank in 8 months, the original fillup and two refills. The reservoir capacity is about 5.3 US quarts, or 5 liters. I too can add a full gallon to it when the low fluid warning is triggered.

Wongway 04-12-2012 11:28 AM

Old Model X3 was also like this...

Personally, I like this better, since the previous Japanese cars I've driven (Nissan, Acura) have a fluid reservoir that is less than a full US gallon when the light is triggered. So I fill the jug and I'm left with this annoying swig in the bottle till I clear out some room in the tank.

With the X3, I just dump and forget.

Fryguy29 04-12-2012 03:10 PM

I think it uses fluid at a higher rate than other cars I've driven. Maybe due to the headlight washers?

snowboardjoe 04-12-2012 03:40 PM


Originally Posted by Fryguy29 (Post 6767339)
I think it uses fluid at a higher rate than other cars I've driven. Maybe due to the headlight washers?

Yep, that's it. Headlight washers can go through the fluid fast if you're on a wet highway treated with snow removal. I think they made the tank big enough to account for that and you get the same size whether you have the headlight washers or not.

My 2003 325xi has the same, huge tank.

ervwalter 04-13-2012 05:55 AM

I prefer having a large capacity tank. I'd rather dump an entire jug of fluid in the tank when I get a low fluid warning vs. only putting a portion of a jug in the tank and then having to either keep that jug around for future use or more likely throw it away.

michael T 04-13-2012 06:15 AM

i too like the larger windshield washer fluid tank. I believe this tank also supplies the rear washer too.

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