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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 04-11-2013, 01:36 PM
xfufu xfufu is offline
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Location: High Point, NC
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 2007 X3 and 2011 328i
2007 x3 coolant flushed as light was on and pressure-checked but no-leak in Firestone

I have done this last month as the x3 had the coolant light on for weeks. It came on and then went away then on again and again.

I have read many posts on this and was hoping mine is just low on coolant and no major things needed. I will do a flush as the local dealer did not do it when I was covered by the extended warranty, da!

For a coolant flush, The bmw dealer offered 160usd and i shopped around to find Firestone was running a flush special for bmw for 90usd and I found a 10usd rebate coupon..

So I brought the car there and they came out said: "man, your coolant is totally gone! we can see through it and the stick is all the way down; we recommend to do a pressure test to see where is your leakage." I was scared that we did not burn the car/engine. That would cost me extra 60-80usd to do the test, a they said. And I was mad as they said this could be the bmw dealer forgot to tight the cap up... I called the dealer(via my wife) to check what they have done. The BMW dealer said they did nothing.

And the guy came back said the test showed everything is fine, no leakage found. So he will not charge me on that..and just did the flush and get the new coolant in.

I later asked my bmw dealer guy and he said that maybe the Firestone guy did not know BMW. The place they looked is just the expansion tank so the coolant is just a little bit low.

Anyway, so far the car is fine and no coolant light is on....

Just post my experience here for folks who may run into similar situation and for experts who could educate us what could have happened on my car.

Anyway, so far the 80usd saved the car and it is a good car!

I am adding some r-134a tonight as the air condition is not that cold per my wife.. See my other post on updates.. becoming more handy...go...go...

Last edited by xfufu; 04-11-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2013, 02:54 PM
camaroguy camaroguy is offline
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Mein Auto: '07 550i Sport, '07 X3
If the car was not overheating, then it did not run out of coolant. He was just looking in the expansion tank which is where the fill cap is, and that may have been pretty empty. I would be curious as to why, but if there was no leaks from a pressure test there are a couple of things that could explain this.

1. There could be a leak that only shows up when the car has cooled off and the rubber hoses have contracted a touch. This would likely be a slow leak and only happen over night and such, could take a while for the light to come on again in this case.
2. The system could have been improperly bled at some point, and the air could have eventually made it to the expansion tank, while the coolant filled the rest of the system...In which case, if it was filled and bled again properly, the light won't come back on again.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2013, 06:53 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Location: Upstate, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 08 E83; 97 MKIII; 84 GMC
Lesson learned: to only "save" $70 over the cost from the dealer, you spent much more in time wondering what is going on and why. Stick with guys that know these cars, as the cooling systems are known to be especially finicky, and save the future headache. If you've owned/driven the car for quite some time and the light only just came on, the coolant has to have gone somewhere.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2013, 07:06 PM
camaroguy camaroguy is offline
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Also, did Firestone use the right coolant when they flushed it?
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:09 PM
xfufu xfufu is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 and 2011 328i
they quoted the bmw coolant as I asked specifically.

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Nothing drives like a Bimmer! Nothing...as they told me.

2007 X3 and 2011 328i...

Wanted list: I will get a M3, a Jaguar, and also a Range Rover, a small plane...
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:23 PM
xfufu xfufu is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 and 2011 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
Lesson learned: to only "save" $70 over the cost from the dealer, you spent much more in time wondering what is going on and why. Stick with guys that know these cars, as the cooling systems are known to be especially finicky, and save the future headache. If you've owned/driven the car for quite some time and the light only just came on, the coolant has to have gone somewhere.
will keep the advice for next time.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Bimmer App
__________________
Nothing drives like a Bimmer! Nothing...as they told me.

2007 X3 and 2011 328i...

Wanted list: I will get a M3, a Jaguar, and also a Range Rover, a small plane...
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2013, 03:15 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Bad coolant level sensor.
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2013, 04:14 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfufu View Post
they quoted the bmw coolant as I asked specifically.

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But did they put it in? Always question everything when it comes to anyone doing work to your vehicle.
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2013, 09:21 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd92 View Post
Bad coolant level sensor.
That's what I was thinking too. Most cases of an intermittent low fluid light are this.

Often discussed on E46 forums and they use the same part no.

It's one of those (few) things that are really easy to replace on a BMW.

You don't even have to drain the expansion tank I hear because it fits into an air space at the bottom of the tank.
(Uses some sort of algorithm to relate temperature in that area to the presence or absence of coolant.)

Just unclip the electrical connector to remove and replace it:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E83-X3-...ensor/ES38492/

If the problem seems to have been fixed by Firestone refilling the coolant, not sure what that means.

I'd still suspect a flaky sensor or a very small leak in the tank that got missed on the pressure test.

See what happens over the next while, but be ready to re-visit it.
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:17 AM
xfufu xfufu is offline
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Location: High Point, NC
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 and 2011 328i
Thanks. I will.

We bought this car in 2009 as a cpo and so far so good and this is the first "serious" light went on....

Finger crossed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
That's what I was thinking too. Most cases of an intermittent low fluid light are this.

Often discussed on E46 forums and they use the same part no.

It's one of those (few) things that are really easy to replace on a BMW.

You don't even have to drain the expansion tank I hear because it fits into an air space at the bottom of the tank.
(Uses some sort of algorithm to relate temperature in that area to the presence or absence of coolant.)

Just unclip the electrical connector to remove and replace it:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E83-X3-...ensor/ES38492/

If the problem seems to have been fixed by Firestone refilling the coolant, not sure what that means.

I'd still suspect a flaky sensor or a very small leak in the tank that got missed on the pressure test.

See what happens over the next while, but be ready to re-visit it.
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:18 AM
xfufu xfufu is offline
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Location: High Point, NC
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 2007 X3 and 2011 328i
Good point.

How can I find it out?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
But did they put it in? Always question everything when it comes to anyone doing work to your vehicle.
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2013, 12:50 PM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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1) It's blue.
2) It doesn't matter.
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  #13  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:46 AM
JBasham JBasham is offline
Still driving my '79 323i
Location: Washington DC Metro Area
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 183
Mein Auto: 2009 X3 3.0; 1979 323i
I'll mention this because it's not obvious to some owners. If your coolant light is coming on when you start the car sometimes, and then going away after a short bit of driving, your sensor is probably fine; you're just a tad low on coolant and a little driving time is pushing your level back up over the threshold. So as a first step, top off the coolant (when the motor is cool) using the float indicator and see if that makes the symptom end.
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