BMW X3 Forum
BMW X3 Forum
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum > BMW X3 Forums | F25 (2011 - Current) > Second Generation BMW X3 General Forum » Coolant Warning

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      12-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
X3Factor
New Member
Canada
2
Rep
8
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 X3 35i - M Sport - Loaded
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Montreal

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2012 BMW X3 35i  [0.00]
Coolant Warning

Hi,

I'm following the forum for some month now but this is my first post so Hello All !

I bought a brand new 2012 X3 35i last month and after only 1500Km he gave me this morning a warning saying i need to put some more coolant.

I went to my dealership and the technician add something like 2L in the tank and told me it was nothing and it was normal to lose coolant ...

I'm really not a specialist but it seems weird to me first to say that this warning was nothing and second to say it is normal to lose 2L of coolant after 1500Km !!!

What do you think ?

Thank you for your time
Appreciate 0
      12-15-2011, 07:42 PM   #2
Steve30dMSport
Banned
Steve30dMSport's Avatar
Australia
1
Rep
80
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 30D M Sport
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Melbourne

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by X3Factor View Post
Hi,

I'm following the forum for some month now but this is my first post so Hello All !

I bought a brand new 2012 X3 35i last month and after only 1500Km he gave me this morning a warning saying i need to put some more coolant.

I went to my dealership and the technician add something like 2L in the tank and told me it was nothing and it was normal to lose coolant ...

I'm really not a specialist but it seems weird to me first to say that this warning was nothing and second to say it is normal to lose 2L of coolant after 1500Km !!!

What do you think ?

Thank you for your time

Oil yes. Coolant no.

A new engine can run hotter than a run-in engine due to the metal surfaces not being microscopically smooth until run-in and therefore creating higher friction. And it is well known that the X3 has an operating temperature of around 103 C which is 5 to 10 C hotter than usual, however the coolant added to the water is designed to raise the boiling point as well as the pressurising of the coolant itself raising the boiling point. So there should not be an issue with the car overheating and spewing excess coolant out of the escape valve when it gets hot. So if I were you I would take it back to the dealer and demand a pressure test of the cooling system and inspect the oil to ensure it is nice and clean with no "milkiness" to it. Two litres of coolant is a massive amount to loose. If your car is fine then I would suggest it was under-filled when prepared for you. The only other issue you could have is the radiator pressure cap is faulty and is opening at too low a temperature. That is not uncommon.
Appreciate 0
      12-15-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
rohan_b79
New Member
2
Rep
17
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 bmw X3 xdrive35i
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: California, USA

iTrader: (0)

I had my coolant refill at the first 11K miles here in Northern California. I was rather surprised because in my previous VW, I never had to top my coolant in 6 years of ownership.
Appreciate 0
      12-15-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
X3Factor
New Member
Canada
2
Rep
8
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 X3 35i - M Sport - Loaded
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Montreal

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2012 BMW X3 35i  [0.00]
Thank you for your answers, i will definitly go to check if there is a real problem or not
Appreciate 0
      12-16-2011, 09:21 AM   #5
BMWZ4
Captain
BMWZ4's Avatar
Canada
7
Rep
627
Posts

 
Drives: '11 Z4;'15 X3 & '14 x328i
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto

iTrader: (0)

Dealer response sounds a bit dodgy IMO....probably a small leak somewhere in the compartment and they just can't be bothered to check.
__________________
'11 Z4 sDrive 30i; Space Grey, Coral Red Kansas, 6MT; Fully optioned & '15 28i X3 Fully Loaded; Loaded '14 x328i
Appreciate 0
      12-16-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
X3Factor
New Member
Canada
2
Rep
8
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 X3 35i - M Sport - Loaded
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Montreal

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2012 BMW X3 35i  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus7 View Post
The car was "broken in" according to BMW recommendations (no revs over 4500, and no full-throttle acceleration for the first 1200 miles).
I'm usually under 3000, i never did full-throttle but 2 times i went to 5000 :

o One when i putted the car in sport mode, i don't know why but the car jumped at 5000 right away so i let it go down

o One when i thought i was on [D] and i was on [P] and when i started the car at the light stop it did a big Vraoummmm and it goes to 5000

In both cases, the car was hot and the temperature was more than 100C

I hope i didn't abuse my baby ...

For information : I check the oil level and i'm at the maximum.

Anyway, i called my dealership and told him they should really check if there is something wrong cause if it's the case, it would probably cost less to fix it now than to wait to break the engine !

Thank you guys, i'll keep you posted
Appreciate 0
      12-21-2011, 12:31 PM   #7
X3Factor
New Member
Canada
2
Rep
8
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 X3 35i - M Sport - Loaded
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Montreal

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2012 BMW X3 35i  [0.00]
Just for information :

I did what you said, i checked carefully if there was not a leak somewhere and i saw one just under the coolant tank.

It was just the probe that was leaking and the mechanic apologize and told me he should have check .

So now the are ordering the part and this should be fixed within 2 weeks.

Thanks again for your help

Happy holidays !
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
4sure
Private
Canada
2
Rep
81
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i M-Sport Package
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Canada

iTrader: (0)

My refill coolant warning light came
On today at start-up and then the little yellow warning light was on the dashboard. After driving to my destination, turning off the car and then re starting up the car, the warning light is now off and no more warning?? Is it just a false alarm or cuz the car was too cold?

Thanks
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2012, 02:10 PM   #9
paul386
Second Lieutenant
5
Rep
274
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i Jet Black
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Florida

iTrader: (0)

I got the low coolant alarm on my car last night (just shy of 15k miles). I checked the level this morning and there doesn't even appear to be coolant in the reservoir. I am due for a service this weekend but I don't feel easy driving around the rest of the week and the 100 miles ride to the dealer with an unknown amount of coolant.
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #10
MikeBimmer
Private
United_States
0
Rep
59
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: DC Metro Area

iTrader: (0)

I errantly posted an experience with low coolant previous to this that I removed - got my Bimmer issues juxtaposed (the rear brake light was the issue that 'fixed itself'). My experience with Low Coolant matches many of the folks that have already posted. Light came on, checked coolant level, level was BONE DRY, added non-BMW Prestone coolant (yellow) - almost half a jug. Took it to service a week later, told them about the low level and asked them to check the system. They inspected the coolant system, found no issue. They also topped off with OEM coolant - again. That was four months ago. No issue since. I never observed any venting of coolant / leaks in the engine bay / overtemps prior to the light/during/or after.

Why are so many owners having this issue? Are they under-serviced by factory robots? Lotus7, any idea?
__________________
'11 X3 28i
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
MikeBimmer
Private
United_States
0
Rep
59
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: DC Metro Area

iTrader: (0)

Thanks, Lotus7. FYSA, on your two sub points:

Distance driven: in the case of my car, I'd had the vehicle for three months, driven it 5000 miles (one very long cross-country trip - 3000 miles in there). Bought the car at the end of June, light first came on at the end of August/beginning of September.

Environmental impact (temp/barometric pressure/humidity): It was purchased in Vegas and was moved to the WA DC area. Drop in 1800', humidity level significantly higher - relatively similar summer temps.

I reckon if it came from the factory low the light would have illuminated earlier. Perhaps it was just a loose cap or something. I'd guess running the car for around 6-8 hours a day for a week and a half could have something to do with it, too. Who'd have thought a closed-loop(ish) system could be so open?

Good evening to all!
__________________
'11 X3 28i
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
mibmwx3
Private First Class
mibmwx3's Avatar
United_States
2
Rep
153
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan

iTrader: (0)

Does this look okay? When I shut my hood, I heard a noise like plastic shattering, but I couldn't see anything. Any idea what I heard?
Attached Images
 
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #13
Radioactive
Captain
United_States
9
Rep
662
Posts

 
Drives: '11 X3 28i '10 535i '04 325i
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Diego

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mibmwx3 View Post
Does this look okay? When I shut my hood, I heard a noise like plastic shattering, but I couldn't see anything. Any idea what I heard?
Your's looks about like my did. The anti-freeze is a blue color, so you should see some blue tint over the white center piece. After 12K miles I added about .5 liters of 50/50 mixture. Fifteen dollars a liter at the dealer. Twenty-three dollars for a gallon.

No idea what you heard. Could you have not placed the cap back on?
Appreciate 0
      01-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #14
mibmwx3
Private First Class
mibmwx3's Avatar
United_States
2
Rep
153
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
Your's looks about like my did. The anti-freeze is a blue color, so you should see some blue tint over the white center piece. After 12K miles I added about .5 liters of 50/50 mixture. Fifteen dollars a liter at the dealer. Twenty-three dollars for a gallon.

No idea what you heard. Could you have not placed the cap back on?
I remember putting the cap back on, but also looked for sure when I opened the hood after I heard the noise. Had to get to work, so didn't look long. Will take a better look tonight.
Appreciate 0
      01-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #15
paul386
Second Lieutenant
5
Rep
274
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i Jet Black
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Florida

iTrader: (0)

My car is in service right now. The service rep told me that they did a pressure test and were unable to discover a leak. He assured me that this is normal... I guess I will just keep a close eye on things.
Appreciate 0
      01-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #16
paul386
Second Lieutenant
5
Rep
274
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i Jet Black
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Florida

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus7 View Post
Based on this thread, the fact that ambient temps around here are now in the 20 to 30 deg. F. range, and that my coolant level was at the "MIN" mark, I decided to top it up.

It took 450 mL (almost 1 pint) of 50/50 BMW blue coolant/water to bring it up to the "MAX" marker. It was definitely at "MAX" this summer when temps were 70-80 deg. F. I'd guess that half of the [indicated] drop was due to normal evaporation as the system "breathes" during warm up and cool-down, and half was due to the coolant contraction due to the outdoor temperature.

Again; 35i, 7500 miles and a probable actual loss of about 225 mL (the other 225 mL will be back in the warm weather.
Do you know the volume of the coolant system off hand? With a change in temperature from 80F to 20F your "static" coolant level should be about 11% smaller.
Appreciate 0
      01-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #17
paul386
Second Lieutenant
5
Rep
274
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i Jet Black
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Florida

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus7 View Post
Paul, Don't know where you got your expansion values, but the change in density, hence the volume of a 50/50 mix going from 30deg. F to 80 deg. F. is actually around +0.98%. BMW still uses ethylene glycol based anti-freeze and the temperature expansion curve is complex (it's a quadratic polynomial). (The density of 50% ethylene glycol/50% water is about 1.081@ 0deg. C and about 1.071 at 25 deg. C.)

The total coolant volume for the 35i does not seem to be listed on any spec sheet I've seen. Considering the engine, [large] radiator and heater sizes, I'd guess that it's no more than 10 quarts (9463 cc). Given that volume, the thermal contraction (due to ambient temps only) will amount to about 93 cc. (or less than my earlier estimate). That means that my 35i probably actually lost about 350 cc in 7500 miles.
Yeah I probably made a mistake in using the ideal gas law. I'm a structures guy, leave me alone.
Appreciate 0
      01-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #18
02420X3
Captain
7
Rep
687
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 X3 35i
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Boston

iTrader: (0)

I'm also at 7500 miles and have an oil change scheduled for next week. I'll check my coolant level tomorrow. I expect that it will be an automatic check on the BMW tech's part, but I'll mention the coolant level to the SA if it looks low.

I'm bringing a sample bottle with me, and asking for an oil sample when they do the oil change. I'm curious why my X3 wants a 7500 mile oil change, and what an oil analysis will tell me.
Appreciate 0
      01-16-2012, 08:38 AM   #19
Babbage
Private
0
Rep
74
Posts

 
Drives: X3 2011
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada

iTrader: (0)

I was also very surprised when I got a "low coolant warning" earlier this month. Dealer said to just add some water since adding store bought anti-freeze could damage the engine. I added a full 500ml bottle of water and the indicator is back to "max".

Next service is very soon so hopefully they'll flush the entire system.
Appreciate 0
      11-01-2012, 03:03 PM   #20
pwrobinson
Registered
0
Rep
1
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 X3
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD

iTrader: (0)

Coincidence?

Have owned 3's, 5's x5's and 3 x3's.. Had an overheating problem with a 318 but only after a head on with a UPS delivery truck.

Took delivery of custome ordered 2012 X3 in late April... Low Coolant level warning lit up the night Sandy hit... Checked the coolant resevoir and it was bone dry... Next day BMW Assist towed the car to the dealer... Diagnosis: coolant evaporated... Same thing happened with our 2008 x3 - turned out to be a faulty water pump.. Got stranded over 100 miles from the nearest dealer..

So, once I relayed this info and asked if the techs ran a pressure test on the system, the dealer's trouble-shooter decided to keep the car another day... He even told me that virtually the same thing happened to his wife....

I'm no expert but are all these reports of trouble REALLY attributable to excess evaporation? Anybody sense that this might be some kind of desiogn flaw? I'm ready to invoke MD's lemon law!
Appreciate 0
      11-01-2012, 04:09 PM   #21
Mingstar88
Second Lieutenant
Canada
2
Rep
244
Posts

 
Drives: BMW X3 35i Carbon Black MSport
Join Date: May 2011
Location: GTA

iTrader: (0)

had my coolant warning 9000km in, dealer topped it off
Appreciate 0
      11-01-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
lbjgh
Major
lbjgh's Avatar
Canada
24
Rep
1,468
Posts

 
Drives: 2013 AW X3 M-Sport
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North of Toronto

iTrader: (0)

Happened at about 11,000kms on my car.

I ignored the warning which disappeared the next time I started the car. what the hell it has a warranty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mingstar88 View Post
had my coolant warning 9000km in, dealer topped it off
__________________
2013, AW, xDrive35i, M Sport Package, Technology Package, Dynamic Comfort Package, Premium Package, 3M Clear Bra, Euro foglight switch, a few coded fixes
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:12 PM.




xbimmers
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST