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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:17 AM
Trev530 Trev530 is offline
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Coolant for 03 530i

Getting the "Coolant Low" error message. Manual doesn't get specific on the coolant to use other than steering you to the stealership. Called the fools at Concord BMW stealership (only thing they ever did right was sell me a great car but they've flailed since) and they refused to tell me the type so that I could go to my nearby NAPA and pick up a jug. Would someone who's topped off please let me know the type of coolant and distilled H2O ratio if advised? Many thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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How many miles fo you have?

The purists in this forum will tell you to use BMW coolant at $20/gallon.

I have used Green Prestone (now Extended Life) in all my bimmers for 25 years, not a single problem.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:28 AM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Zerex G-05 is close to what BMW uses.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:32 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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And what BMW recommends is not necessarily the best.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:44 AM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Blue coolant is prettier.








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  #6  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:49 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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I use the good old green stuff. Works fine. Don't expect anything from the stealer and they won't disappoint you. However, when I do my overhaul, which is very much overdue, I plan on using BMW or Merc coolant.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
Blue coolant is prettier.








Agree. Very nice color. Have it in and out on my car
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2009, 11:29 AM
Trev530 Trev530 is offline
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Right now the Silver Beast is at 83,500 miles.

Which blue coolant to you guys recommend? Do you dilute?
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2009, 12:10 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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blue, green red, pink, it is just the dye colors.

Always use 50-50 mixture.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2009, 12:11 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trev530 View Post

Which blue coolant to you guys recommend?
The blue coolant is the BMW brand coolant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trev530 View Post
Do you dilute?
50/50 and use distilled water.

Some coolants are already diluted so read the label carefully.


My recommendation is to top off the coolant with the same chemistry that's already in there.

If it's BMW coolant use BMW coolant; if it's Prestone coolant use Prestone, etc.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:21 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
If it's BMW coolant use BMW coolant; if it's Prestone coolant use Prestone, etc.
Best advice yet.

Don't use tap water if you can help it, certainly avoid any water that's hard. If you have scale in your kettle, don't use tap water.
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Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 11-20-2009 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Speeling
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:32 PM
BMWBLUES BMWBLUES is offline
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I would use the blue bmw coolant, It is really easy to find very small leaks because it crusts up where it is leaking from, Also if you ever take it to the stealership and you have another color mixed in I am sure they would hastle you about it. I just did my timing chains and the only reason I knew I needed a new valley pan was because of the the stalagmites of blue crusty stuff coming up from the bolts on it.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:55 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
blue, green red, pink, it is just the dye colors.

Always use 50-50 mixture.
I disagree.

They ARE different.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ferrerid=56200


Quote:
" As for coolants - there are three types. In the most basic of categories, green, blue, and orange. Green is the old "regular" coolant. Blue is what is in my 330Ci...not sure if it is in every BMW model. Orange is marketed as a coolant that never has to be changed.

More specifically (and I am sure someone on here will trump my limited knowledge), blue is NAP-free (nitrate, ammonium, phosphate free as in the post above). Orange is NAP-S- free, meaning also silicate free. What does this all mean? You CAN change coolant types, however, you CANNOT mix all coolants, as they will precipitate out in solutiuon. i.e. you can drain "regular" and replace it with blue, or orange....but if your "regular" coolant is low, I am sure it would be a good idea to simply ADD blue or orange to top it off (basically I am not sure which coolants cannot mix).

Big picture: go to BMW and buy their coolant($13 for more than you will need), mix it 50/50 with distilled water, and add to the car. Alternatively, just call BMW and ask which coolant type they use (or the color) and go buy that at the local auto shop. Like mixes with like."
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1270934

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...1270934&page=2
[QUOTE]

Quote:
I've seen mixing different coolants cause weird gelling/sludging and discolorations.
Quote:
yes, that is true. I don't think anyone is suggesting mixing coolant. The system should probably be flushed of all the old blue coolant before making the switch. I know orange and green don't get along.
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 11-20-2009 at 04:06 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2009, 07:29 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I disagree.

They ARE different.......
I never said they are the same. All I said is the color of the coolant comes from the dye.
The actual ingredients are colorless.

I have access to a lab and know exactly what goes into each coolant on the market.
The main components are usually methanol (which is colorless and if ingested, methanol is converted by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase into formic acid causing blindness) and/or ethylene glycol.
Then the mfg adds corrsion inhibitors. Then the debate goes on between phosphate and phosphate-free etc. and all that blah blah blah.
Then a dye is added just to make the color.

So to make a long story short, take 2 Green coolants from Prestone and Peak, and yes they are slightly different, not much but there is a difference.

Similarly, take 2 Pink coolants from Prestone and brand B, and yes they are slightly different, not much but there is a difference.

I have used Prestone for 25 years in all of my BMW, Volvo, Hondas, absolutely no problems. So for me, why rock the boat?
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2010, 06:34 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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so there's speculation that anything other than BMW coolant will mess up your car and then when cn90 says he's used prestone for 25 years with no problems the thread ends
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2010, 09:44 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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There are many different options, however for those who like the piece of mind that they are using a BMW approved products, (which many of us do) we have their full strength coolant/antifreeze available below...

Click HERE for more information.


Please let us know if you have any questions! Feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

Best,
Joe
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Last edited by ECSTuning; 10-06-2010 at 11:01 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2010, 06:30 PM
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BMW coolant (available discounted via the internet or with a CCA membership at a stealer) is the ONLY coolant to use... BMW coolant like Mercedes has a different PH then the regular green coolant you get at NAPA or PepBoys, etc. Using the wrong PH will weaken the plastic coolant system parts of our fragile BMW coolant systems and when and if they fail, you risk wrecking your engine. Considering how seldom you really change or add coolant, the BMW approved (correct PH) anti-freeze even at $20@ seems like a deal... interesting that it is blue, surprised me when I bought my first jug to top off after I did my VANOS.
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  #18  
Old 10-06-2010, 07:08 PM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
BMW coolant (available discounted via the internet or with a CCA membership at a stealer) is the ONLY coolant to use... BMW coolant like Mercedes has a different PH then the regular green coolant you get at NAPA or PepBoys, etc. Using the wrong PH will weaken the plastic coolant system parts of our fragile BMW coolant systems and when and if they fail, you risk wrecking your engine. Considering how seldom you really change or add coolant, the BMW approved (correct PH) anti-freeze even at $20@ seems like a deal... interesting that it is blue, surprised me when I bought my first jug to top off after I did my VANOS.

+1

The difference in price between BMW coolant and other brands is negligible. Since our cooling systems can be "problematic", I just don't gamble on anything other than the factory fill.

I would find something else to save my money on.
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2010, 08:14 PM
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Considering that the cooling system only lasts 100k miles on BMW coolant it would surprise me if it really makes a huge difference.

I'm more concerned about compatibility with other coolants and more importantly engine metals.
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2010, 10:25 PM
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From the bestlinks thread ...
- Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1)
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  #21  
Old 10-07-2010, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Considering that the cooling system only lasts 100k miles on BMW coolant it would surprise me if it really makes a huge difference.

I'm more concerned about compatibility with other coolants and more importantly engine metals.
There are a few good internet articles on why MB and BMW use different PH coolants... KEY is that you only put their coolant in your system and you never have to worry about compatibility with a wrong PH brand. May not matter to 99 out of 100 drivers as some other issue may come up larger then a coolant PH difference, but ask those guys whose coolant system plastic "necks" exploded, overheated their engine, warped their head and now have permanent oil leaks, overheating, loss of power, etc and I bet in hindsight they would pony up the $20 and stick to BMW coolant! ... my .02.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2010, 10:07 PM
jataiyan jataiyan is offline
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I recently flushed my 1997 BMW 540i radiator and added the recommended 50/50 BMW coolant to the system. I need to know how to bleed the system so I can get rid of the 'check coolant level' indicator on the cluster to disappear?
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2010, 11:52 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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It helps to bleed the system with the car pointed uphill or on ramps so trapped air bubbles can more easily come out the bleed screw vents. Do a search on the forum and read the "best of" links listed at the forum top.

Last edited by pleiades; 10-27-2010 at 11:54 PM.
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2010, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jataiyan View Post
I recently flushed my 1997 BMW 540i radiator and added the recommended 50/50 BMW coolant to the system. I need to know how to bleed the system so I can get rid of the 'check coolant level' indicator on the cluster to disappear?
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E36-Coolant_Flush/E36-Coolant-Flush.htm

There ya go buddy, it's in there somewhere



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