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BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts
Do you own a diesel powered BMW? Maybe a 335d or a BMW x35d? Come and talk about what makes your car great!

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  #1  
Old 04-13-2016, 11:16 AM
Dean_S Dean_S is offline
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2015 535D coolant level down

With 16 K miles, I checked coolant level before a road trip.

It was 120ml below minimum mark with a cold engine [70F].
Added 300ml to get bottom of max mark wet.

I will watch this to see the trend.
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2016, 12:24 PM
Hoooper Hoooper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean_S View Post
With 16 K miles, I checked coolant level before a road trip.

It was 120ml below minimum mark with a cold engine [70F].
Added 300ml to get bottom of max mark wet.

I will watch this to see the trend.
Perfectly normal to lose some coolant over time, 120 mL over 16k miles doesnt sound too bad. If you think you might be developing an issue though you should go to the dealership to top up (they should do it free still for you) so that you have a history of the issue should there actually be an issue.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2016, 12:49 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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It's "perfectly normal to lose some coolant over time" as is burning oil by the quart per thousand miles per BMW.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2016, 01:09 PM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean_S View Post
With 16 K miles, I checked coolant level before a road trip.

It was 120ml below minimum mark with a cold engine [70F].
Added 300ml to get bottom of max mark wet.

I will watch this to see the trend.
I wouldn't wait too long for a trend, because the next thing you know, you will be out of warranty. Hopefully, it is just normal consumption rather than a leaky widget somewhere. Doesn't hurt to get it checked out under warranty while you notice the problem rather than letting a potential issue fester and being caught stuck somewhere.
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2016, 01:22 PM
Michael47 Michael47 is offline
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Burning a quart of oil every thousand miles is the Ancient Rule of Thumb™ I recall my dad teaching me about our chevy when I was learning to drive. It is based not on whether that much is at all desirable, but on the costs of repair versus the cost of oil and the normal progression of the wear that causes oil burning. Things have changed since 1960, but evidently not the Ancient Rule.
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2016, 02:30 PM
Hoooper Hoooper is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
It's "perfectly normal to lose some coolant over time" as is burning oil by the quart per thousand miles per BMW.
Burning some oil is perfectly normal as it is aerosolized during normal operation and used up in the engine through the PCV (or CCV in our case) as well as a tiny amount passing through the rings and getting burnt. Thats a quart every 5-10k miles, not 1k. This is the case for every single engine on the planet with a crankcase ventilation system. The same goes for coolant, the system isnt completely sealed and as such there is some evaporation that happens. Over 60k miles you might have a liter of evaporation which is perfectly normal. A liter every 5k miles would be abnormal.

Last edited by Hoooper; 04-13-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2016, 02:35 PM
Dean_S Dean_S is offline
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Using oil is a bit off topic...

My oil level really does not change much in 10,000 miles. Might be down 1mm in 6K.
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2016, 02:37 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Wow, and all this time I thought the cooling system operated under saturation pressure for temperature.

I ran my TDI at minimum oil level for 180K miles with never an incremental add.
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 04-13-2016 at 02:40 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2016, 06:03 AM
MotoWPK MotoWPK is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Wow, and all this time I thought the cooling system operated under saturation pressure for temperature.
No, it operates above the saturation pressure, otherwise the cooling passages within the engine would be filled with steam.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2016, 09:16 AM
Hoooper Hoooper is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Wow, and all this time I thought the cooling system operated under saturation pressure for temperature.

I ran my TDI at minimum oil level for 180K miles with never an incremental add.
Boiling is just one form of vaporization of liquid. If it was the only form, we would need a lot more desalination plants since there would be no clouds on the planet.

You should really consider changing your oil more often than every 180k miles. FWIW, some engines use more oil than others, but that does not make one necessarily abnormal because it burns more than another. Low performance engines like the TDI engine or a civic engine generally burn less oil than higher performance engines like the 335d engine or to a higher extreme a Ferrari motor which might burn a quart every thousand as normal (or in the 80s when the owners manual said 1qt every 500 miles). F1 engines are sent off the line with a transfer tank full of oil because they burn so much and yes, thats normal and expected from a motor making 700 hp from 1.6 liters and turning 15k rpm.

Last edited by Hoooper; 04-14-2016 at 09:22 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2016, 09:30 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoWPK View Post
No, it operates above the saturation pressure, otherwise the cooling passages within the engine would be filled with steam.
It operates at saturation pressure for the highest temperature in the system. Else, where does the additional enthalpy come from?
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2016, 07:39 AM
MotoWPK MotoWPK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Wow, and all this time I thought the cooling system operated under saturation pressure for temperature.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
It operates at saturation pressure for the highest temperature in the system. Else, where does the additional enthalpy come from?

It operates neither under or at saturation pressure, but above saturation pressure, to avoid cooling passages with vapor and coolant pump cavitation. The pressure/vacuum relief valve build into the radiator cap allows free inflow so that the system, upon cooling, is at atmospheric pressure. As the system heats up and coolant expands, the valve maintains a pressure above atmospheric (typically in the range of 5 to 20 psig) so that the coolant is above saturation pressure.
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2016, 02:17 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
It operates at saturation pressure for the highest temperature in the system. Else, where does the additional enthalpy come from?
There may indeed be 'transient' boiling in the hottest location, properly called nuclear and departure from nuclear boiling that causes a step increase in the heat transfer coefficient. That hottest location sets the pressure for the whole system.
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 04-15-2016 at 02:36 PM.
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2016, 05:07 PM
MotoWPK MotoWPK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
There may indeed be 'transient' boiling in the hottest location, properly called nuclear and departure from nuclear boiling that causes a step increase in the heat transfer coefficient. That hottest location sets the pressure for the whole system.
System pressure is not determined by the saturation pressure, instead being determined by the pressure relief valve in the radiator cap, which is set to maintain a pressure above the saturation point. An engine that is experiencing localized boiling is one with a cooling system in need of attention.

This approach, controlling the pressure to a level above saturation, is common in many cooling systems in addition to engine cooling systems.
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  #15  
Old 05-29-2016, 02:21 PM
Dean_S Dean_S is offline
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After road trip miles, needed another 100ml. So there is a good trend.
BMW could not see any obvious leak at 20K service and I would not expect them to see anything.
Discussed with the Tech, he took an oil sample and I sent that to Blackstone to see if coolant in the oil.
Explained that I would put dye into the coolant and he thought that that was prudent.

Adding the florescent dye:
I did not want the dye sitting in the expansion tank.
I siphoned the expansion tank dry.
This also drains the upper rad hose and top of the radiator. Filled a 1 USG washer fluid bottle.
Put dye into the tank and replaced the coolant, putting most of the dye into the coolant loop.
Most of the coolant fit back in. Added rest after drive and cooling down over night.
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2015 535d X-drive Space Grey
Active dampers and sway bars
Infrared vision option
BMW full diameter compact spare and jack kit
18" wheels, tire repair kit and compressor
Euro spec aspheric mirrors
High security McGard wheel locks [from Europe only]
Full XPEL package
AquaPel rain repellent
Opti-Lube additives
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  #16  
Old 05-30-2016, 09:28 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Been there done that. I think you will find that if you maintain the MIN level (not MAX), it will lose less over time. When trying to maintain the max level, under certain hot engine circumstances it may spit out some coolant when under high pressure (onto the ground). Now that I have owned BMW's for well over a decade, I only add coolant when the low coolant level light comes on. This usually happens every year or 2 in the fall. This is one of the areas that being OCD is a detriment.

My 335D it is losing power steering fluid over time. In the 80K miles I've owned it I've added about 1/2 quart. Zero evidence of a leak.

Last edited by KeithS; 05-30-2016 at 09:30 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-30-2016, 10:37 AM
Dean_S Dean_S is offline
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KeithS, that is a good consideration. Except that I had lost coolant 120ml down below the low coolant marker. If coolant is lost trough the cap, there will be florescent dye in the caps discharge gutter and I should be able to spot that.
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2015 535d X-drive Space Grey
Active dampers and sway bars
Infrared vision option
BMW full diameter compact spare and jack kit
18" wheels, tire repair kit and compressor
Euro spec aspheric mirrors
High security McGard wheel locks [from Europe only]
Full XPEL package
AquaPel rain repellent
Opti-Lube additives
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  #18  
Old 05-31-2016, 07:58 AM
ChasR ChasR is offline
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At 136K miles, I'm having to top off my coolant level every couple of months, when the low level warning comes on. There isn't a puddle in either of my parking spaces.
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2016, 01:14 PM
Dean_S Dean_S is offline
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My used oil analysis did not detect any traces of coolant in the oil. So that is good.
Did a 2200 mile round trip and coolant loss as expected.
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2015 535d X-drive Space Grey
Active dampers and sway bars
Infrared vision option
BMW full diameter compact spare and jack kit
18" wheels, tire repair kit and compressor
Euro spec aspheric mirrors
High security McGard wheel locks [from Europe only]
Full XPEL package
AquaPel rain repellent
Opti-Lube additives
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  #20  
Old 07-21-2016, 07:26 PM
ingenieur ingenieur is offline
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Have the dealer check for a leaking EGR cooler.
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  #21  
Old 07-22-2016, 08:25 AM
Hoooper Hoooper is offline
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Originally Posted by Dean_S View Post
My used oil analysis did not detect any traces of coolant in the oil. So that is good.
Did a 2200 mile round trip and coolant loss as expected.
How much lost in 2200 miles this time? Being able to measure a loss in 2200 miles is not a good sign. There are several sources of potential loss of coolant. Assuming its not leaking it could be a cracked oil cooler, cracked EGR cooler, cracked trans cooler, or what I would consider the least likely: head gasket. If you are really measuring a good amount of loss in 2200 miles you need to get the dealer involved, several of the potential loss points could lead to a lot of damage down the road that the dealer will try to blame you for. If its leaking through a cracked tranny fluid cooler and its not picked up on for a while you could end up with a new trans, which is obviously not something you want to be paying out of pocket.

Last edited by Hoooper; 07-22-2016 at 08:29 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-22-2016, 10:57 AM
Dean_S Dean_S is offline
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Originally Posted by Hoooper View Post
How much lost in 2200 miles this time?
80ml
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2015 535d X-drive Space Grey
Active dampers and sway bars
Infrared vision option
BMW full diameter compact spare and jack kit
18" wheels, tire repair kit and compressor
Euro spec aspheric mirrors
High security McGard wheel locks [from Europe only]
Full XPEL package
AquaPel rain repellent
Opti-Lube additives
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