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F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)
The sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) was produced from 2011 - 2016 with LCI updates arriving in 2014. In the US BMW offered a hatchback 5 Series Gran Truismo (F07) and the rest of the world also go a Station Wagon/Touring version F11.

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  #1  
Old 05-18-2016, 09:00 AM
bikenski's Avatar
bikenski bikenski is offline
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Mein Auto: '14 550i xDrive
No Way to Check Coolant Level on N63tu 550i xDrive?

When I first took delivery of my car I complained that there doesn't appear to be a way to check the coolant level, and was surprised that there wasn't an uproar in the forum along the lines of when the physical dipstick went away.

This morning I was reminded of the flaw. Started the car and was greeted with a Low Coolant warning. OK, well how low? Coolant line blew and the system is bone dry? Pinhole leak in the radiator and a gallon low? A few ounces evaporated off over the winter low?

Wary of overfilling the system, I started out by just adding a few ounces of coolant and water, which was enough to clear the warning. But now I don't know how far below normal capacity the coolant is. Hate making a trip to the dealer for such a trivial item, but short of completely draining the system I don't know how else to determine the level.

Am I being dense here? Surely there has to be a way to perform a simple task like visually checking the coolant level.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2016, 03:37 PM
Shadow13 Shadow13 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 550xi
Assuming your car is under warranty why wouldn't you just take it in for service instead of messing with it?
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:11 PM
Trian Trian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow13 View Post
Assuming your car is under warranty why wouldn't you just take it in for service instead of messing with it?
I don't know his life but maybe family and work responsibilities just doesn't give you that "drop-everything else and do this" . Sometimes you have that half hour at the end of the workday, but don't have that couple of hours to drop off and pick up the next day, or the next day, etc
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:00 AM
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bikenski bikenski is offline
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Mein Auto: '14 550i xDrive
Apparently BMW really does expect us to bring our vehicles to the dealer to have the coolant level checked. From the owners manual:

"If there is no Min. and Max. mark in the filler neck of the coolant reservoir, have the coolant level checked if needed by your service center and add coolant as needed."

The flaw is that if the coolant level were truly empty, the engine would overheat and stop running long before reaching the dealership. Guess we're supposed to call for a flatbed every time the warning goes off?
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:43 PM
Gilgorm Gilgorm is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 535i X-drive
I sense your frustration.
Since you have already put some coolant/water combo in the rad why not put more in so the level is at max. Unless your quote from the manual implies there is no stick with min and max marked on it.
I've had my car 4 years and 3 years ago had to put in exactly 3 cups of properly mixed coolant/water to both clear the iDrive and fill to the max reading if that is any help. I've never had the problem again.
I do have a 12 535xi, not the 550
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2012 BMW 535i X-drive; Space Grey/Black Dakota, Fineline; Executive (Auto trunk, NAV, HiFi Prof, Lumbar, Rear Cam, SIRIUS, Voice), Technology (Blind Spot, Hi-Beam Assist, Lane Departure, Surround View), APPS, Rear heated seats, Tint.
Retired: 78 300D, 81 300SD, 87 190E, 88 Porsche 924, 89 260E, 93 300E, 97 Volvo 850, 98 E320, 03 BMW 325iT, 02 C230 Sport Coupe, 08 BMW 535i

Last edited by Gilgorm; 05-21-2016 at 03:37 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2016, 08:20 AM
bikenski's Avatar
bikenski bikenski is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Colorado
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 567
Mein Auto: '14 550i xDrive
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilgorm View Post
I sense your frustration.
Since you have already put some coolant/water combo in the rad why not put more in so the level is at max. Unless your quote from the manual implies there is no stick with min and max marked on it.
I've had my car 4 years and 3 years ago had to put in exactly 3 cups of properly mixed coolant/water to both clear the iDrive and fill to the max reading if that is any help. I've never had the problem again.
I do have a 12 535xi, the 550
Yes, my frustration stems from the fact that there is no min/max line, nor any other visible way to check the coolant level on my car. Not sure if all 550s are this way, or just certain configurations.

Since adding a few ounces earlier in the week, the low level warning has not returned. No signs of overheating or puddles under the car either, so it was probably just a one-off not worth making a special trip to the dealer for.

Still annoying there's no way to track the level beyond the warning that appears in iDrive once it drops too low.
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Past: '08 335xi Coupe - 6MT

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