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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 08-08-2008, 07:58 AM
superliu superliu is offline
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Blue fluid leaking! What is it?

Lately I noticed that my windshield fluid went out very quickly, I need to refill it almost twice a month, don't know if that's normal. I also notice that there is usually some fluid left on my garage floor when I drive out.

Then this morning I found fresh BLUE fluid on my garage floor so I get out of the car and I can see it was leaking from some joint close to the front left wheel. I use blue wind shield washer fluid, but I found out that the BMW coolant is also blue. This is a 08 328xi with just 6k miles, and never did an oil change before. Anybody have any idea what this is? If there is a leaking for either wind shield fluid or coolant, is the repair covered by warrenty?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2008, 08:37 AM
philip|bsw philip|bsw is offline
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Does it taste like coolant or windshield washer fluid?






(Just kidding, please don't taste it)
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2008, 08:46 AM
Sasben Sasben is offline
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The windshield fluid should evaporate to almost 100%... Put some on a metal plate or lid and put it in the sun and watch... you should be able to work out which fluid it is by smell and evaporation.
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2008, 08:51 AM
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jummo jummo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip|bsw View Post
Does it taste like coolant or windshield washer fluid?

(Just kidding, please don't taste it)
Both are quite poisonous. A friend of mine's wife drank washer fluid accidentally once, it wasn't good.


jummo
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2008, 08:55 AM
maande10 maande10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jummo View Post
Both are quite poisonous. A friend of mine's wife drank washer fluid accidentally once, it wasn't good.


jummo
But it smells/tastes so good!
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2008, 09:16 AM
SJK SJK is offline
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Just put some on your finger and you should be able to tell by smell and feel. Washer fluid will smell better and have no discernable viscosity.
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2008, 09:17 AM
SJK SJK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jummo View Post
Both are quite poisonous. A friend of mine's wife drank washer fluid accidentally once, it wasn't good.


jummo
How do you accidentally drink washer fluid?
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2008, 09:19 AM
bmwKbiker bmwKbiker is offline
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Sounds like you know the answer, but you could put a little food coloring in the washer fluid and see the result the next morning.

Last edited by bmwKbiker; 08-08-2008 at 10:35 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2008, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SJK View Post
How do you accidentally drink washer fluid?
The way it was explained to me, she had a gallon jug of water in the car to drink and while driving at night grabbed the wrong jug and took a gulp. At the hospital they put her on an IV and pumped grain alcohol into her until she was extremely drunk. Apparentely, the isopropyl alcohol molecules bind to the grain alcohol molecules and your body can filter it out that way.

Either way she reported being really ill for a coupe of days afterwards.

I'm no psychic, nor a mechanic for that matter. But since on the Internet, we're all experts on most things (damn you Al Gore), I'll take a shot at this one.

The OP reports having to add washer fluid quite regularly and is finding blue fluid on the garage floor. Hmmm.....could it be a washer fluid leak? Perhaps a hose clamp or some other such fitting?


jummo
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2008, 10:37 AM
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How often do you use the washer fluid sprayer with the wipers to clean the window. If it is very little and you are adding fluid every two weeks..............let's see.........It must be the washer fluid.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2008, 10:39 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jummo View Post
The way it was explained to me, she had a gallon jug of water in the car to drink and while driving at night grabbed the wrong jug and took a gulp. At the hospital they put her on an IV and pumped grain alcohol into her until she was extremely drunk. Apparentely, the isopropyl alcohol molecules bind to the grain alcohol molecules and your body can filter it out that way.

Either way she reported being really ill for a coupe of days afterwards.

I'm no psychic, nor a mechanic for that matter. But since on the Internet, we're all experts on most things (damn you Al Gore), I'll take a shot at this one.

The OP reports having to add washer fluid quite regularly and is finding blue fluid on the garage floor. Hmmm.....could it be a washer fluid leak? Perhaps a hose clamp or some other such fitting?


jummo
(side commentary)

its actually methanol, not isopropyl. methanol poisoning is treated with large amounts of ethanol as its not the methanol itself thats toxic, its the metabolic products of its breakdown (first formaldehyde and then formic acid)

the ethanol competes with the methanol in the metabolic pathway, slowing down the breakdown of methanol and the accumulation of the formaldehyde and formic acid. giving time for dialysis to remove the methanol from the body.
(biochem degree talking)
(/side commentary)

easiest way to tell if its wiper fluid or coolant... coolant is slightly viscous, feel slippery, and will evaporate slowly. wiperfluid will be like, well, alcohol and evaporate quickly
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2008, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
(side commentary)

its actually methanol, not isopropyl. methanol poisoning is treated with large amounts of ethanol as its not the methanol itself thats toxic, its the metabolic products of its breakdown (first formaldehyde and then formic acid)

the ethanol competes with the methanol in the metabolic pathway, slowing down the breakdown of methanol and the accumulation of the formaldehyde and formic acid. giving time for dialysis to remove the methanol from the body.
(biochem degree talking)
(/side commentary)


Uhh, yeah, that's what I meant.

Thanks for clarifying it.


jummo
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2008, 11:11 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jummo View Post
Uhh, yeah, that's what I meant.

Thanks for clarifying it.


jummo

sorry!
cant help it. it leaks out.
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2008, 11:46 AM
TireSmoke TireSmoke is offline
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If you keep adding washer fluid and you are finding blue liquid on the floor of garage - voila! - you found it. I had the same problem. However, when my fluid warning light went on I refilled it with orange washer fluid made by RainX. Next day - orange fluid was on the floor. Mine leaked at the headlight washer (if you have cold weather package you should have those).
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2008, 12:37 PM
SJK SJK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jummo View Post
The way it was explained to me, she had a gallon jug of water in the car to drink and while driving at night grabbed the wrong jug and took a gulp. At the hospital they put her on an IV and pumped grain alcohol into her until she was extremely drunk. Apparentely, the isopropyl alcohol molecules bind to the grain alcohol molecules and your body can filter it out that way.

Either way she reported being really ill for a coupe of days afterwards.

I'm no psychic, nor a mechanic for that matter. But since on the Internet, we're all experts on most things (damn you Al Gore), I'll take a shot at this one.

The OP reports having to add washer fluid quite regularly and is finding blue fluid on the garage floor. Hmmm.....could it be a washer fluid leak? Perhaps a hose clamp or some other such fitting?


jummo
So my next question is... Why would you carry a jug of washer fluid in the passenger compartment of your car? Sorry. This one just has me intrigued.
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2008, 02:17 PM
dhstadt dhstadt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJK View Post
So my next question is... Why would you carry a jug of washer fluid in the passenger compartment of your car? Sorry. This one just has me intrigued.
if you lived up north you would know the answer to that. We go through gallons every winter.
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  #17  
Old 08-08-2008, 06:33 PM
SJK SJK is offline
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if you lived up north you would know the answer to that. We go through gallons every winter.
Do you have a siphon hose up through the dash? I think I'd at least put it in the trunk.
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2008, 09:31 PM
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jummo jummo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJK View Post
So my next question is... Why would you carry a jug of washer fluid in the passenger compartment of your car? Sorry. This one just has me intrigued.
In this part of Colorado, magnesium chloride is sprayed on the road as a de-icer. It coats your car with a sticky brown film. Not all cars are as considerate as BMW's and don't tell you when you are getting low on washer fluid.

Running out of fluid can be surprisingly dangerous as eventually you can no longer see out the windshield. It is not at all uncommon to see people pulled over trying clear the view with snow.

The headlight washers going every 5th time is a great thing in these conditions, the lights are noticeably brighter after spritzing.


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  #19  
Old 08-08-2008, 10:19 PM
Fredric Fredric is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superliu View Post
Lately I noticed that my windshield fluid went out very quickly, I need to refill it almost twice a month, don't know if that's normal. I also notice that there is usually some fluid left on my garage floor when I drive out.

Then this morning I found fresh BLUE fluid on my garage floor so I get out of the car and I can see it was leaking from some joint close to the front left wheel. I use blue wind shield washer fluid, but I found out that the BMW coolant is also blue. This is a 08 328xi with just 6k miles, and never did an oil change before. Anybody have any idea what this is? If there is a leaking for either wind shield fluid or coolant, is the repair covered by warrenty?

Thanks!
To finally answer your question: YES!
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  #20  
Old 08-09-2008, 08:13 AM
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volsfan0911 volsfan0911 is offline
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if you lived up north you would know the answer to that. We go through gallons every winter.
Amen. Go drive 30 miles each way through the finest slush NJTA can create on the Parkway after a snow. It cakes so badly you can't see after 10 miles. I'd go through 2 gallons sometimes in a day or two. They jack the price up to $3.00 per gallon at service areas during the winter and sell all of it as fast as they can put it out.
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  #21  
Old 08-09-2008, 01:32 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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I had the same problem, all fluid leaked out within one day. Finally had time to take a look at it this afternoon. I found that the o-ring at the base of the pump was loose and the pump had actually gotten dislodged from the matching hole in the reservoir.

So before you go plunk down $$$ to replace the pump motor (which is easy to do if you need to replace it) check to see if the unit is loose. Put a new o-ring on it and its good to go, no new motor required.
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  #22  
Old 08-09-2008, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJK View Post
Just put some on your finger and you should be able to tell by smell and feel. Washer fluid will smell better and have no discernable viscosity.
And to answer your other question - coolant should have a slightly slick/oily feel to it when you rub it between your finger tips.
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  #23  
Old 08-09-2008, 06:32 PM
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I am fairly mechanically inclined, as are several others on this board, however I dont think making fun of the OP because he is not is a very good thing to do, and also this is a simple DIY fix, but it should also be covered under your warranty so you dont even need to try to fix it.
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  #24  
Old 08-09-2008, 08:38 PM
bmwKbiker bmwKbiker is offline
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I can't believe this thread is still alive.

OP if you are still here, just poor a little quickcrete is the washer tank see if that stops the leak.
If it doesn't put the quickcrete in the radiator.
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