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  #1  
Old 09-12-2003, 04:42 PM
nmadd nmadd is offline
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Location: CO
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 325xi
Do I need to flush the coolant?

We have a 2003 325xi with almost 13k miles on it. My wife took it shopping the other day and when trying to leave, found the "low coolant" light on and the car hesitant to start. To make a long story short, she ended up getting the right coolant (Prestone Dex-Cool)(I love this girl, trying to fix the car. ) from Checker, but then the clerk told her to pour it straight in! No mixing with water. Looks like it gulped up quite a bit of coolant, (must've been VERY low) but I was able to get about 2 cups of distilled water in there the next day.
My questions:
1) Do I need to get the coolant flushed and get a 50/50 mix in there? What is almost straight coolant going to do to my car?
2) Should I have lost this much coolant in such a short time?

Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2003, 05:54 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Location: New York, NY
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmadd
We have a 2003 325xi with almost 13k miles on it. My wife took it shopping the other day and when trying to leave, found the "low coolant" light on and the car hesitant to start. To make a long story short, she ended up getting the right coolant (Prestone Dex-Cool)(I love this girl, trying to fix the car. ) from Checker, but then the clerk told her to pour it straight in! No mixing with water. Looks like it gulped up quite a bit of coolant, (must've been VERY low) but I was able to get about 2 cups of distilled water in there the next day.
My questions:
1) Do I need to get the coolant flushed and get a 50/50 mix in there? What is almost straight coolant going to do to my car?
2) Should I have lost this much coolant in such a short time?

Thanks for any help.
-probably shouldn't have run so low on coolant that fast. You might have a leak somewhere. FWIW, my 2001 325 w/ 20k miles on it has never had the coolant light come on.
-Straight coolant doesn't cool as well as water-- so if you're in a hot climate it could be a problem. Other than that there's probably no harm.
-ALthough the Prestone is probably ok, there have been some anecdotal reports that NOTHING except BMW coolant should be used-- even the Prestone Dex-cool. This would be the main reason why I might consider flushing the system. Then again, if having the "wrong" coolant in there causes a problem- it'll probably be that the radiator or water pump fails sooner (maybe at 60k miles rather than 90k-- or something). If you're only going to keep your car for 4-5 years-- then you probably have nothing to even worry about. Again, this is purely anecdotal-- in "theory" you're fine.
  #3  
Old 09-13-2003, 12:35 AM
C-Bear C-Bear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
Then again, if having the "wrong" coolant in there causes a problem- it'll probably be that the radiator or water pump fails sooner (maybe at 60k miles rather than 90k-- or something). If you're only going to keep your car for 4-5 years-- then you probably have nothing to even worry about.
That sounds suspiciously like an endorsement for ing a car up as long as it's the next poor bastard down the line who has to deal with it.
  #4  
Old 09-13-2003, 09:58 AM
nmadd nmadd is offline
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Location: CO
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
-ALthough the Prestone is probably ok, there have been some anecdotal reports that NOTHING except BMW coolant should be used-- even the Prestone Dex-cool. This would be the main reason why I might consider flushing the system.
That's weird because she called our local dealership to find the right kind of coolant and they told here "anything that is compatibale with aluminun radiators." That's why she got the Dex-Cool.

Quote:
Then again, if having the "wrong" coolant in there causes a problem- it'll probably be that the radiator or water pump fails sooner (maybe at 60k miles rather than 90k-- or something). If you're only going to keep your car for 4-5 years-- then you probably have nothing to even worry about. Again, this is purely anecdotal-- in "theory" you're fine.
That's not nice. I think I will just get it flushed and sleep easier at night. I plan on keeping this car for a long time anyway. Thanks for all your help.
  #5  
Old 09-13-2003, 11:43 AM
ff ff is offline
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[QUOTE=robg
-ALthough the Prestone is probably ok, there have been some anecdotal reports that NOTHING except BMW coolant should be used-- even the Prestone Dex-cool. This would be the main reason why I might consider flushing the system. [/QUOTE]


I heard that you can only use BMW air in the tires as well.

I'll bet my car, my house, and everything else I own, that 'BMW brand' coolant is made by one of those big, mainstream coolant mfg's, and is the same stuff that is sold on store shelves. To throw a bigger wrench into it, I would be willing to bet that BMW uses the cheapest coolant they can find (that works adequately). It's all about profit, baby...
  #6  
Old 09-13-2003, 12:41 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Location: New York, NY
 
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[QUOTE=ff]
Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
-ALthough the Prestone is probably ok, there have been some anecdotal reports that NOTHING except BMW coolant should be used-- even the Prestone Dex-cool. This would be the main reason why I might consider flushing the system. [/QUOTE


I heard that you can only use BMW air in the tires as well.

I'll bet my car, my house, and everything else I own, that 'BMW brand' coolant is made by one of those big, mainstream coolant mfg's, and is the same stuff that is sold on store shelves. To throw a bigger wrench into it, I would be willing to bet that BMW uses the cheapest coolant they can find (that works adequately). It's all about profit, baby...
Oh, I completely agree that its made by a mainstream manufacturer. I bet in Europe you can buy whatever the BMW coolant is in an autoparts store-- but for some reason you can't quite get the same stuff here (apparently). But I've read from a number of different sources (Mike Miller from techtalk in Roundel being one of them) that anything but the BMW coolant can screw up the cooling system (hoses, radiator, water pump). I specifically remember reading somewhere that even the special Presone Dex-cool is not good. Now, I don't have ANY scientific evidence to back this up-- but I guess I'm willing to fork over the $13 for BMW coolant based on this hearsay. I don't know-- but for $13 every few years- i'd rather not take the chance. Even if this turns out to a massive conspiracy on BMW's part and they've managed to squeeze out another 3-4$ out of my pocket than I normally would've paid-- I can live w/ that. I can't think of ANY reason why a coolant that's designed for aluminum radiators wouldn't be ok in a BMW-- i don't see what could be so special about their hoses, waterpumps, etc- that they would require some "magic" ingredient--but-- I'm not an expert in cooling systems either.
  #7  
Old 09-15-2003, 06:31 AM
vern vern is offline
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Concern

My main concern would be to find out why you lost so much coolant in such a short period of time.Play it safe and use BMW coolant for the extra few bucks.
vern
  #8  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:21 AM
es es is offline
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Location: Houston
 
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Mein Auto: 325i
...no only the toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmadd
We have a 2003 325xi with almost 13k miles on it. My wife took it shopping the other day and when trying to leave, found the "low coolant" light on and the car hesitant to start. To make a long story short, she ended up getting the right coolant (Prestone Dex-Cool)(I love this girl, trying to fix the car. ) from Checker, but then the clerk told her to pour it straight in! No mixing with water. Looks like it gulped up quite a bit of coolant, (must've been VERY low) but I was able to get about 2 cups of distilled water in there the next day.
My questions:
1) Do I need to get the coolant flushed and get a 50/50 mix in there? What is almost straight coolant going to do to my car?
2) Should I have lost this much coolant in such a short time?

Thanks for any help.
 

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