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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 09-07-2012, 04:33 AM
dudley07726 dudley07726 is offline
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Low Coolant Warning

Getting this mesasage on the NAV screen. A bit surprised. Had the X3 since March and it only has 3600 miles! Will call dealer for an appointment.
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2012, 05:08 AM
02420X3 02420X3 is online now
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You may be able to just stop by and have them top it off. If it happens a second time then that would be cause for more concern, and for a thorough checkout.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2012, 07:37 AM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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Even easier: top it off yourself.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2012, 08:08 AM
dudley07726 dudley07726 is offline
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Connected Drive - Service request

Bringing it tomorrow.

Last edited by dudley07726; 09-07-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2012, 08:47 PM
Coder Coder is offline
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What a perfect opportunity for an old line: "They all do this."

Seriously, just after a reading a post on this last year, our 2011 X3 displayed the same warning, albeit at around 12,000 miles. The post suggested that this was common and related to hoses expanding after some heating/cooling cycles. Not sure I really believe that, but after adding maybe 2 cups of coolant it hasn't happened again; we're approaching 21,000 miles. Note that when adding coolant, at least on the 6 cylinder, there is a fill level ridge/insert inside of the filler. Fill to just cover this.

BTW, I used BMW antifreeze for the 'big' top-off beacause I'm anal and we live in a cold climate. Could just as well have used distilled water from the grocery store, given the minute amout used.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2012, 10:09 AM
dudley07726 dudley07726 is offline
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Originally Posted by Coder View Post
What a perfect opportunity for an old line: "They all do this."

Seriously, just after a reading a post on this last year, our 2011 X3 displayed the same warning, albeit at around 12,000 miles. The post suggested that this was common and related to hoses expanding after some heating/cooling cycles. Not sure I really believe that, but after adding maybe 2 cups of coolant it hasn't happened again; we're approaching 21,000 miles. Note that when adding coolant, at least on the 6 cylinder, there is a fill level ridge/insert inside of the filler. Fill to just cover this.

BTW, I used BMW antifreeze for the 'big' top-off beacause I'm anal and we live in a cold climate. Could just as well have used distilled water from the grocery store, given the minute amout used.
Brought it in yesterday figuring that a mechanic would check it and add some coolant. No, the service advisor had a container of coolant (by his station) and added it himself right at the check-in station and off I went. Odd, I thought!
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2012, 04:47 AM
Doug in NC Doug in NC is offline
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I got the same low coolant message at about 11,000 miles. I thought this was odd as I haven't seen any leaks. I add a small amount, guessing less than a cup.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:04 PM
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I brought my F30 today for this very same reason. Got the warning Friday and will come on again after a few minutes of driving. One of the technician topped it off, but I noticed that it was above the Max level before he even put some more coolant into it. This didn't go well for me and I insisted on talking to one of the service managers. Turns out, there's a recall for the coolant expansion tank "B17 01 13". Had to leave my car for that and the wind noise I complained about.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:08 PM
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And looks like they're going to change the oil too for low mile use. It's been a year and it's only at 8900 now
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:57 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by TokenMaster View Post
I brought my F30 today for this very same reason. Got the warning Friday and will come on again after a few minutes of driving. One of the technician topped it off, but I noticed that it was above the Max level before he even put some more coolant into it. This didn't go well for me and I insisted on talking to one of the service managers. Turns out, there's a recall for the coolant expansion tank "B17 01 13". Had to leave my car for that and the wind noise I complained about.
Any idea what the manufacturing date range is for the coolant expansion tank recall?
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2013, 04:02 PM
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I have no idea. It doesn't show up on the recall section of bmwusa.com. Lead technician mentioned something about transparent tank. Not sure if newer car have the non-transparent tank but I'll find out tomorrow what they replaced it with.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2013, 04:30 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Any idea what the manufacturing date range is for the coolant expansion tank recall?
But the recall is on the F30's, not necessarily applicable to the X3.
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2013, 09:53 PM
IRBD IRBD is offline
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Same happened to me with about 6,000 miles. I put in a fresh bottle of Costco water and it's fine. Remember, the freezing temperature of a water / coolant mix is much lower than straight coolant (or straight water).
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2013, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
But the recall is on the F30's, not necessarily applicable to the X3.
Yes, it was for F30 but I wasn't sure it was limited to that series. The point is that BMW don't seem to actively notify owners, but passively acting on it, waiting for customers to come complain. And if you don't talk to the right people, you'll never know. I mean, I went there and the guy just topped it off, and was ready to send me away, so it's worth talking to your service manager and ask.
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2013, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by IRBD View Post
Same happened to me with about 6,000 miles. I put in a fresh bottle of Costco water and it's fine. Remember, the freezing temperature of a water / coolant mix is much lower than straight coolant (or straight water).

I thought the optimum mixture is 50/50 to 60/40 coolant to water ratio? If you added plain/pure water, you lowered the coolant ratio to say 45-55, lowering the freezing point but making it less efficient as a coolant. It's probably OK where it's mostly cold all the time though
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2013, 04:23 AM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Originally Posted by TokenMaster View Post
Yes, it was for F30 but I wasn't sure it was limited to that series. The point is that BMW don't seem to actively notify owners, but passively acting on it, waiting for customers to come complain. And if you don't talk to the right people, you'll never know. I mean, I went there and the guy just topped it off, and was ready to send me away, so it's worth talking to your service manager and ask.
I always check the TSB/recall bulletins for the X3 is there is nothing on there for the coolant tank.
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  #17  
Old 09-10-2013, 05:52 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by TokenMaster View Post
I have no idea. It doesn't show up on the recall section of bmwusa.com. Lead technician mentioned something about transparent tank. Not sure if newer car have the non-transparent tank but I'll find out tomorrow what they replaced it with.
I have a 2012 5 series and a 2013 X3 35i, both of the expansion tanks are not transparent. One have to open the cap to figure out how much coolant is in there, what is dangerious and dumb design. On top of that, the max and min indicators are hard to read, instead of a marker on the side of the tank, it is a step like level indicator which is very confusing. This design adds no benefit to its function or the user and it actually makes it less user friendly in my opinion.
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
I always check the TSB/recall bulletins for the X3 is there is nothing on there for the coolant tank.
Is this where you enter your short VIN to find out recalls applicable to your vehicle, or a list of all TSBs? BMW USA used to have this page listing all recalls for all series but I can't seem to find it anymore.

Recall check page didn't yield anything when I checked prior to going to the dealership
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  #19  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
I have a 2012 5 series and a 2013 X3 35i, both of the expansion tanks are not transparent. One have to open the cap to figure out how much coolant is in there, what is dangerious and dumb design. On top of that, the max and min indicators are hard to read, instead of a marker on the side of the tank, it is a step like level indicator which is very confusing. This design adds no benefit to its function or the user and it actually makes it less user friendly in my opinion.
I can see your frustration. The semi-transparent tank max level is exactly at the middle/seam, while the markings aren't exactly clear, it is very convenient to just look at it to get a visual indication of where the fluid level is
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TokenMaster View Post
I thought the optimum mixture is 50/50 to 60/40 coolant to water ratio? If you added plain/pure water, you lowered the coolant ratio to say 45-55, lowering the freezing point but making it less efficient as a coolant. It's probably OK where it's mostly cold all the time though
Remember that when my system lost 0.5l it was a 50/50 mix, so when I added 0.5l of water the mix is now 47.5/52.5. Even at 40/60 I'm good to -25C. I read somewhere that if you use a 25/75 coolant/water ratio the temperature drops 10-15 degrees and you've only dropped the cooling ability (heat capacity) of the system by 5%. Reason is that the specific heat of coolant is less than that of water - coolant (antifreeze) holds less heat than water, so the higher the percentage of water the more heat is moved. I believe the optimal ratio to get the lowest freezing temperature is 65/35, but at that mix the cooling capability is down by 20% (pure water gives 100% cooling capacity, but the engine corrodes).

Last edited by IRBD; 09-10-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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  #21  
Old 09-10-2013, 11:19 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by TokenMaster View Post
I can see your frustration. The semi-transparent tank max level is exactly at the middle/seam, while the markings aren't exactly clear, it is very convenient to just look at it to get a visual indication of where the fluid level is
Do you have a semi-transparent tank? My tank is black and I cannot see thru it at all.
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  #22  
Old 09-10-2013, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by IRBD View Post
Remember that when my system lost 0.5l it was a 50/50 mix, so when I added 0.5l of water the mix is now 47.5/52.5. Even at 40/60 I'm good to -25C. I read somewhere that if you use a 25/75 coolant/water ratio the temperature drops 10-15 degrees and you've only dropped the cooling ability (heat capacity) of the system by 5%. Reason is that the specific heat of coolant is less than that of water - coolant (antifreeze) holds less heat than water, so the higher the percentage of water the more heat is moved. I believe the optimal ratio to get the lowest freezing temperature is 65/35, but at that mix the cooling capability is down by 20% (pure water gives 100% cooling capacity, but the engine corrodes).
OK, so it isn't much then, and you seem well aware of the trade off of using water and coolant combination. Good info for eveybody
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  #23  
Old 09-10-2013, 06:58 PM
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Do you have a semi-transparent tank? My tank is black and I cannot see thru it at all.
I do and the replacement is still semi-transparent. Work order mentioned about about corroded sensor connectors. They replaced the tank and cable
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  #24  
Old 09-11-2013, 09:37 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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I do and the replacement is still semi-transparent. Work order mentioned about about corroded sensor connectors. They replaced the tank and cable
Is your X3 a US model? If so what year? I have a black tank for some reason.
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2013, 10:58 AM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Is your X3 a US model? If so what year? I have a black tank for some reason.
His vehicle is an F30 not an X3 so we don't even have the same tank he does. Makes it kinda confusing when it is posted on an X3 board.
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