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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I slightly overfilled the coolant reservoir on my 2008 535 and was using a 5 inch piece of 3/8 inch copper tubing to siphon some out.

I lost the handle and dropped the tubing into the reservoir. I can't see it and I would imagine it's just sitting at the bottom of the tank.

Do I need to worry about this? I don't imagine the tube could somehow end up leaving the reservoir . . .

What about the copper? Would the antifreeze or copper itself cause some chemical reaction and mess up my cooling system?
 

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Um yeah I'd be draining the tank and fishing it out, but that's just me.
 

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They have a little claw that comes in different lengths you can probably get it out with. Home depot and lowed carried them.
 

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I would use my pair of foot long tweezers to fish it out. A strong flashlight should penetrate to locate it. Don't leave it there.
 

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maybe a magnet? one of those telescoping wands with a magnet on the tip?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I tried the claw tool and had a hold on the copper tube twice but since it's laying horizontal and I'm probably grabbing it in the middle, I can't fish it out of the very narrow space that is available. There is a float that has an indicator stick for showing the level of fluid in the reservoir that is in the way (the copper tube is under the float). I would have a much better chance if the float wasn't in the way. Is there any way to remove the float? If not, my choices are to leave it where it is or remove the reservoir. How hard is it to remove the reservoir? It seems to be attached by 2 mounting screws to the frame and has two hoses connected near the top and bottom. As with any repair, I'm concerned about breaking something on the reservoir that would render the car undriveable and cost me a whole bunch of $$ to repair. I really don't think the tube would be able to migrate anywhere outside the reservoir.

BTW - good idea on using a magnet but copper isn't magnetic unfortunately

Thoughts anyone?
:mad:
 

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I would remove the resevoir. the hoses just unclip and then a couple screws to remove the resevoir. then you can turn it upside down and fish it out. reinstall, and then follow the below procedure to fill and bleed system

Before filling radiator:
Switch ignition ON, but don't start engine
Set heater controls to full hot
Set heater fan control to low
Set seat heat controls to low

Slowly fill cooling system and expansion tank to MAX using 50:50 mix of BMW coolant and distilled water

Leave expansion tank cap off
Start engine, let it idle for one minute
Install cap
Run engine until it reaches operating temperature
Let engine cool
check coolant level, add coolant to MAX level
 

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I slightly overfilled the coolant reservoir on my 2008 535 and was using a 5 inch piece of 3/8 inch copper tubing to siphon some out.

I lost the handle and dropped the tubing into the reservoir. I can't see it and I would imagine it's just sitting at the bottom of the tank.

Do I need to worry about this? I don't imagine the tube could somehow end up leaving the reservoir . . .

What about the copper? Would the antifreeze or copper itself cause some chemical reaction and mess up my cooling system?
You probably will not be able to get a tool into the reservoir opening to retrieve it without damaging your float and it's non-ferrous nature precludes use of a magnet.

First, the speed at which the coolant enters and exits the reservoir offers zero chance of the tubing being drawn out of the reservoir into one of the coolant hoses or interfering with the float.

Second, copper tubing can easily withstand the temperature of the coolant. Remember, cookware is made of copper and is used directly in the flame of a wood fire or gas cook top, and a propane torch is used to heat copper pipe when sweating joints (these flames burn in air at just under 2000degC). Temperature above flame is typically 320degC.

Third, copper is unaffected by coolant chemistry (many radiators are made of copper or are copper lined).

IN SHORT - Forget about it. It won't hurt a thing.
 

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IN SHORT - Forget about it. It won't hurt a thing.
WHOAAAT??!!:yikes:

If you took time to get under the hood and fill,
you should do what tommyv says. The radiator
will not drain out if you just remove the reservoir
especially if you use rags to secure the hoses.
So only the first paragraph is what you should worry
about and then top off as you originally did.
I'm sorry but it's not okay to just leave tools
wherever they fall and forget about them.
 

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WHOAAAT??!!:yikes:

If you took time to get under the hood and fill,
you should do what tommyv says. The radiator
will not drain out if you just remove the reservoir
especially if you use rags to secure the hoses.
So only the first paragraph is what you should worry
about and then top off as you originally did.
I'm sorry but it's not okay to just leave tools
wherever they fall and forget about them.
No need to feign such a level of shock.

Normally I would agree with you, but it's not like he dropped a socket into the oil filler hole on a valve cover.

Just handling any of the potentially brittle coolant system components can lead to a failure. If the car were older I would say remove and replace the expansion tank, but on an '08 it is early to replace the expansion tank as preventive maintenance.

Tell me what harm the tubing will cause and if it is worth the risk of damaging something else (and having to run to the dealer to purchase the part or wait until they open), or even if it is worth the 30 to 45 minutes to drain it disassemble it, and refill it, just to say you retrieved it.
 

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I just think the potential of it doing something unattended is much higher with it there than not. My comment about temps was not that the copper was in danger just that these 535s run hotter than most cars and doing anything that might upset the cooling just isn't worth it.

It probably is fine and will never cause a problem - I just wouldn't leave it if it were my car :D
 

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Have you tried a bent piece of clothes hanger-type wire to lift one end of the tube so you can grab it with pliers or tweezer?
 

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What if something bigger like a screw fell in there? Is there filter at the bottom of the reservoir?
No filter. You might be thinking of the hydraulic fluid reservoir -most commonly CHF 11S fluid reservoir (for power steering rack and active roll stabilization torsional valves controlling the separate halves of the anti-roll bar).

The coolant expansion tank acts as a buffer, allowing room in the closed coolant system for the expansion coefficient of the coolant once the engine is turned off.

After the engine is stopped the coolant in the engine and radiator has stopped moving and begins to absorb the heat soak from the engine (big mass of metal that has absorbed heat). As the coolant level rises the expansion tank allows a place for it to flow.

It flows in fairly slowly. After the system begins to cool the vacuum created in the radiator and engine block as the coolant contracts slowly draws the excess coolant from the expansion tank back into the radiator and block.

This is why to accurately check your coolant level you open the expansion tank cap and examine the stick level shown by the float when the system is cold.

Anything large enough to block the action of the float or something like paper or cloth that could be drawn into a different part of the coolant system would warrant disassembling the coolant tank.

If the OP is accurate in his statement that the 3/8" copper tubing is 5" long, there is no chance of it moving from where it is, and IMHO is be best left where it is.
 

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Just remove the tank... turn it upside down and reinstall... simple.
 
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