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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2005, 03:50 PM
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Double Vanos Double Vanos is offline
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Coolant light came on briefly, than goes off. Normal or not?

This morning my car slept outside and when i turned it on the coolant light stayed on for a few more seconds than usual. It was about 25 degrees outside, was it the weather or should i check the level?
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2005, 04:10 PM
Lanc3r Lanc3r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Vanos
This morning my car slept outside and when i turned it on the coolant light stayed on for a few more seconds than usual. It was about 25 degrees outside, was it the weather or should i check the level?

probably the weather. But, what could it hurt to check the level?
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:15 PM
uzun uzun is offline
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I think you need to check your coolant level and top it off. My 2004 325I did the same thing recently when the temperature went below freezing. I checked the coolant level and for some reason the coolant level was low. The cold temperature must have caused to coolant fluid to contract and trigger the sensor. I topped it off with BMW coolant and the coolant level has been fine since then. My car has less than 10,000 miles on it and apparently some new cars lose coolant during the first 10,000 miles for some reason.
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:17 PM
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Double Vanos Double Vanos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uzun
I think you need to check your coolant level and top it off. My 2004 325I did the same thing recently when the temperature went below freezing. I checked the coolant level and for some reason the coolant level was low. The cold temperature must have caused to coolant fluid to contract and trigger the sensor. I topped it off with BMW coolant and the coolant level has been fine since then. My car has less than 10,000 miles on it and apparently some new cars lose coolant during the first 10,000 miles for some reason.
Yeah i just checked it and the little red stick seems to be way at the bottom which i think signals low coolant. Guess i'll stop by the dealer and buy some coolant or should i make an appointment and have the dealer top it off?
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2005, 05:28 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Vanos
Yeah i just checked it and the little red stick seems to be way at the bottom which i think signals low coolant. Guess i'll stop by the dealer and buy some coolant or should i make an appointment and have the dealer top it off?
I'm sure the dealer would be happy to fill it up for you, but why not just put in the recommended fluid mix (i.e. water/antifreeze) to top it off yourself...
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2005, 07:38 PM
phlsteve phlsteve is offline
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Cool Skeptical me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan
I'm sure the dealer would be happy to fill it up for you, but why not just put in the recommended fluid mix (i.e. water/antifreeze) to top it off yourself...
My dealer told me to simply add water. Since the concentration of the antifreeze from the factory protects it to crazy cold temps, a little water wouldn't dilute it too much. I ignored him, of course, and bought some good Prestone pre-mixed anti freeze. It was pricey, but worth the peace of mind. Ended up needing close to a half gallon of fluid.

Two dealers told me two different stories about why this happens, btw... One told me that the water in the antifreeze mixture is released a little bit at a time through a pressure release valve, causing the level to eventually drop. Another dealer told me that the water pump uses the antifreeze as lubricant, which eventually causes antifreeze loss. I don't believe either of these stories.

I've never before had a car that lost antifreeze (but all my past cars have been acuras, so of course not). As far as I knew, the antifreeze overflow tank is what deals with the fluid expansion. And I can tell you for sure that water, mixed with antifreeze or not, is a horrible lubricant, so I don't buy the water pump story either.

I'd love to know the real reason why this happens.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2005, 10:23 AM
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Double Vanos Double Vanos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phlsteve
My dealer told me to simply add water. Since the concentration of the antifreeze from the factory protects it to crazy cold temps, a little water wouldn't dilute it too much. I ignored him, of course, and bought some good Prestone pre-mixed anti freeze. It was pricey, but worth the peace of mind. Ended up needing close to a half gallon of fluid.

Two dealers told me two different stories about why this happens, btw... One told me that the water in the antifreeze mixture is released a little bit at a time through a pressure release valve, causing the level to eventually drop. Another dealer told me that the water pump uses the antifreeze as lubricant, which eventually causes antifreeze loss. I don't believe either of these stories.

I've never before had a car that lost antifreeze (but all my past cars have been acuras, so of course not). As far as I knew, the antifreeze overflow tank is what deals with the fluid expansion. And I can tell you for sure that water, mixed with antifreeze or not, is a horrible lubricant, so I don't buy the water pump story either.

I'd love to know the real reason why this happens.

Yeah i called my service advisor this morning and he told me to just add a little water too. He also said that sometime these cars use a little coolant, especially the M3s he commented. So i went home and poured about 2/3 of quart of filter water in the coolant and the measuring stick rose to normal level. I think it wasnt a big deal and the light hasnt lit up again for now. I'll keep you guys posted.

P.S.
My advisor said if it happens again to bring the car in and have it check out for a leak.
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2005, 04:46 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Vanos
Yeah i called my service advisor this morning and he told me to just add a little water too. He also said that sometime these cars use a little coolant, especially the M3s he commented. So i went home and poured about 2/3 of quart of filter water in the coolant and the measuring stick rose to normal level. I think it wasnt a big deal and the light hasnt lit up again for now. I'll keep you guys posted.

P.S.
My advisor said if it happens again to bring the car in and have it check out for a leak.
Agreed on the water; the one time this happened to me I just put in about 1/2 a quart of water in. I suppose this fancy-pants BeeEMMdubya can handle some plain old Fla water in the radiator...
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