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      01-13-2013, 07:44 AM   #1
BIMMER UK 76
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Engine coolant loss

Had error code saying engine coolant too low, top up immediately! Once engine warmed up and engine turned off message went and hadn't returned. Slight frost but temperature still +1 degrees.

I assume to lose coolant would be a leak (nothing under car on driveway).

I also assume it was a duff fault warning, anyone had similar?
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      01-13-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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Had a spurious warning light re rear fog lamp failure which has subsequently disappeared!
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      01-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMMER UK 76 View Post
Had error code saying engine coolant too low, top up immediately! Once engine warmed up and engine turned off message went and hadn't returned. Slight frost but temperature still +1 degrees.

I assume to lose coolant would be a leak (nothing under car on driveway).

I also assume it was a duff fault warning, anyone had similar?
I had a similar problem recently. I have about 23K miles on my X3, and this was the first time that I had seen the message. On cold mornings, before the engine warmed up, I would get a low coolant warning. After it occurred for the second or third time I splashed 1-2 ounces of bottled water into the reservoir, which was sufficient to turn off the warning light. I had an oil change scheduled for later in the week, so I had the dealer top it off with BMW coolant during the service visit.

If I hadn't had the oil change already scheduled then I would have gone to the dealer on the way to/from work and had them top off the reservoir with approved coolant.
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      01-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
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This is a very common issue at about 10k kms .

A splash of coolant is all that is needed.
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      01-13-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
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Has anyone checked the reservoir to see if it was below the "min" mark when cold (and if so, how far below)?
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      01-13-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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23,000 miles on clock and coming up on 2 years old. Will check reservoir if warning comes on again and booked into dealers for condensation in headlight and steering column clunk next Friday so will mention it (sounds like my X3 falling to bits!!)
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      01-14-2013, 01:22 PM   #7
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Same error message this morning but gone this evening.
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      01-14-2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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add some distill water and top it off @ the dealer
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      01-16-2013, 06:00 AM   #9
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Had similar issue with my 2.0d after about 16000km. I believe the process at factory doesnt' fully fill the reservoir with coolant. I added more or les1.5 to 2 L coolant and since then no warning anymore. I also had it checked for leaks and none was found.
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      01-17-2013, 10:28 PM   #10
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Above I said: "Has anyone checked the reservoir to see if it was below the "min" mark when cold (and if so, how far below)?" Now, after taking delivery today, I was looking under the hood and realized that BMW in their wisdom made the coolant reservoir opaque! Really? So the only way to check is to wait until it cools down and open it. There is a min/max diagram on the outside showing min/max but I don't quite understand what lines it refers to. Anybody have a clue?
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      01-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alligator69
Had similar issue with my 2.0d after about 16000km. I believe the process at factory doesnt' fully fill the reservoir with coolant. I added more or les1.5 to 2 L coolant and since then no warning anymore. I also had it checked for leaks and none was found.
No leak found at dealer but definite coolant loss? Keeping my eye on it.
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      01-19-2013, 07:59 AM   #12
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There is a relatively small difference is coolant necessary to bring the level from the add mark (where you can just no longer see the level) to the full mark. When the weather gets cold the coolant volume shrinks and the level can fall below the add mark triggering the sensor, especially if BMW (dealer) didn't fill to the top to begin with. As stated above the add coolant warning is pretty common when the when the weather turns cold. Happened on mine, but only when started from cold but, after a few minutes as the car warmed and the volume expanded the light when out and stayed out until the next morning when the car was again cold. This occurred during a 4wk trip and I just brought the car to dealer I passed who added 50/50 mix to the full line and I've no lights since.
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      01-29-2014, 06:56 PM   #13
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Coolant Expansion Tank Defective

2011 X3 35i - I had the same warning error message every morning during a cold startup. Error message goes away when the car is warmed up. No visibles on the garage floor overnight. Dealer service pressure tested my cooling system and determined I have a pin hole leak in the expansion tank seam. New part coming under warranty.
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      01-30-2014, 08:33 AM   #14
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I had to have mine topped of on a recent service visit. occasional cold starts would be just below the mark that trips the sensor. once it warmed up never a problem. was topped off and no problems found hasn't been an issue since. as a prior poster said, a splash of coolant will be all you need.
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      01-30-2014, 09:56 AM   #15
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Mine did that last August when it was 1 year old. I topped off the round reservoir, which appeared to be empty. It only took about 2 cups. No problems since then.

The low coolant light showed up the morning AFTER the car was in for its first service. Obviously the dealer didn't check the coolant. I was none too pleased about that. Made me wonder what else they didn't check.
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      01-30-2014, 01:33 PM   #16
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Had this happen yesterday at 9 months/11.000 miles. Whizzed it over to the local BMW dealer and was slightly surprised to find a mechanic who appeared genuinely interested and knowledgeable (should have him stuffed...).

Apparently air often remains in the system during factory filling and this issue manifests itself at this km/mileage.

Last edited by Ermo; 01-30-2014 at 02:14 PM.
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      01-30-2014, 01:59 PM   #17
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I experienced the same thing at around 13000miles. Topped it off at the dealer. Probably not a big deal. This also happened on my E83.
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      02-01-2014, 06:38 AM   #18
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I have also experience this back in December on a cold day and went to the dealer and they topped it off. Have had some sub zero temperatures in January and no issues to date. Had around 13,000 miles when it occurred.
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      02-06-2014, 04:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alligator69
Had similar issue with my 2.0d after about 16000km. I believe the process at factory doesnt' fully fill the reservoir with coolant. I added more or les1.5 to 2 L coolant and since then no warning anymore. I also had it checked for leaks and none was found.
Experienced exactly the same with my 20d @ 20 000 km last year. Topped it off with approx one litre bottle and had the dealer check for leakages but nothing. Now I am at 48000 km and haven't experienced it again.

I was told by the dealer that it is quite common to have to top the colant off once in a while and it was also the case with my previous Golf but not with my last Merc. When the warning appeared in the X3 I checked physically and the level was a tad below the min mark.
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      02-07-2014, 03:02 PM   #20
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I think that the coolant warning eventually occurs on almost all X3s. Some have suggested that the hoses and such expand a bit over time, lowering the fluid level in the reservoir. Our warning came around 10K miles. No repeat after top-off and we're at 31K miles. No reason to suspect a leak unless you see repeated warnings or fluid on the floor.
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