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I checked my coolant level today and it definitely seems to be below minimum level. The control light did not appear. Maybe it has to drop even lower than that. I called my dealer and he just told me to...top it off with water and that this is fairly common with new cars. Knowing how full of s**t dealers in Bay Area can be I just wonder whether I should simply order a gallon of coolant (13.50 at Pacific or 20 locally) or just top it off with water. I am both lazy and cheap so I can't deny this last solution appeals to me. What do you guys think?
 

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Should be topped with 50/50 mixture. I've had to add about 2 cups worth of coolant over the first year, but nothing since. Never had the coolant light indicate, but found the indicator low. I think it was only $15.48 locally with CCA discount (Peter Pan BMW in San Mateo).
 

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should water be distilled first?

seeing that most cities tap water has additives in them, wouldn't that add to mineral buildup in the rad itself?

i would get some distilled water(mineral free) and mix 50/50 with coolant...

just a thought.
 

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Re: should water be distilled first?

:dunno:
I've used both and have never had any major problems. But I've always made it a practice to get the cooling system completely flushed every other year regardless of mileage.

ChrisTO said:
seeing that most cities tap water has additives in them, wouldn't that add to mineral buildup in the rad itself?

i would get some distilled water(mineral free) and mix 50/50 with coolant...

just a thought.
 

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I lost about a quart in the first 6 or 7 months (there was coolant down the front of the engine; it seems to have stopped but there was a lot of coolant crud buildup up there), and put in about a quart of reverse-osmosised water out of my drinking faucet.

Its generally said that water actually cools better than coolant; coolant boils higher and freezes lower and has anti-corrosion stuff but doesn't have as much thermal capacity/conductivity as water, supposedly. I've heard of people running mostly water with some Redline additive.

And I know my driinking water doesn't leave scale on my cups if I leave water in em, unlike with the tap.
 

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Re: should water be distilled first?

ChrisTO said:
seeing that most cities tap water has additives in them, wouldn't that add to mineral buildup in the rad itself?

i would get some distilled water(mineral free) and mix 50/50 with coolant...

just a thought.
You are correct. It is best to use distilled water in the cooling system. And, it is best to use a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. The antifreeze obviously keeps your coolant from freezing in the winter, but water is better at heat transfer than the antifreeze. That is why it is best to use the mixture rather than 100% antifreeze.
 

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silly question but if a 50/50 mix is always required, why don't they just sell it that way?

And what's different about bmw coolant?

kurt
 

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Im using a 20/80 coolant to water mix with a bottle of water wetter. I also replaced the fan clutch and engine fan with a 16" spal pull fan.
 
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