BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So 2-3weeks ago I had a cooling system overhaul, radiator, water pump lower/upper hoses(prior to this 1yr ago I had thermostat and expansion tank swapped) coolant temp sensor, A/C and serpentine belt changed. Afterwards mech said "yeah you might be a little low on coolant" and I was thinking probably not that bad. I checked it today and the bobber under the rad cap is all the way at the bottom and is bone dry, I'm thinkin holy S**t that theif wasn't lieing. Now I am in somewhat of a qualm, the antifreeze/coolant I had provided him was this

http://store.bimmerworld.com/german-oem-blue-antifreeze-p390.aspx

He did the 50/50 mix or so I hope with distilled water. I live over here in the Bay Area, CA and I figure can I just add distilled water and get away with adding no more coolant? I read that the cooling system takes 2 liters(i'm thinking 1lt of distilled water and 1lt of antifreeze) which is what I'm thinking is already in my car. It's a Sat and I need to go and at 6PM the dealership(5miles away) is not open and even if it was I don't know if they carry that coolant that I bought off bimmerworld.com that was put in my car.

Basically should I wait till Monday and buy the coolant from the dealership(hoping its the same), order another bottle from bimmerworld.com or being where I live am I fine just adding/topping off with distilled water???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
BTW the bottle of coolant I had provided him carries 1.5 liters and if he did a 50/50 mix that would be a total of 3 liters in the cooling system(doesn't it only take 2 liters??) When he gave me back the antifreeze bottle it was 1/2 full but with water. I'm thinking the dude stole it for himself b/c prior to the work being done, when I dropped the parts off he said "oh, you bought the good stuff". He said he'd get the coolant but at $20 and I don't have a clue what he was going to buy, possibly the the dealership or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
1. Drive to autozone
2. Buy 50/50
3. ???
4. Profit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
So 2-3weeks ago I had a cooling system overhaul, radiator, water pump lower/upper hoses(prior to this 1yr ago I had thermostat and expansion tank swapped) coolant temp sensor, A/C and serpentine belt changed. Afterwards mech said "yeah you might be a little low on coolant" and I was thinking probably not that bad. I checked it today and the bobber under the rad cap is all the way at the bottom and is bone dry, I'm thinkin holy S**t that theif wasn't lieing. Now I am in somewhat of a qualm, the antifreeze/coolant I had provided him was this

http://store.bimmerworld.com/german-oem-blue-antifreeze-p390.aspx

He did the 50/50 mix or so I hope with distilled water. I live over here in the Bay Area, CA and I figure can I just add distilled water and get away with adding no more coolant? I read that the cooling system takes 2 liters(i'm thinking 1lt of distilled water and 1lt of antifreeze) which is what I'm thinking is already in my car. It's a Sat and I need to go and at 6PM the dealership(5miles away) is not open and even if it was I don't know if they carry that coolant that I bought off bimmerworld.com that was put in my car.

Basically should I wait till Monday and buy the coolant from the dealership(hoping its the same), order another bottle from bimmerworld.com or being where I live am I fine just adding/topping off with distilled water???
You can add just distilled and you'll be fine...I bet you just need to add a cup or two.

The capacity of the entire system is 8.9 qts.

Anyway, coolant often drops after it's been worked on. The shop should have been more conscientious about bleeding it.

Monitor the temp of the engine and if it ever rises above dead center on the temp gauge, pull over and stop car or risk needing new engine or car...just saying!

You'll lose some low end winter protection, but you really shouldn't need it.

Fill in a.m. (or when cool) on level ground. Lubricate the o-rings on the ET cap with coolant...just get a drop from what's in there with a stick or something. Sorry, I like things right!

Monitor engine temp...do not drive when the needle 'starts' to rise from normal.

Get home or to a shop. And, maybe you should consider spending more money on tools and less on stuff you could do with your own car...if you're up to that kind of thing. Did you build things when you were younger?

We've had pregnant women and functional morons do things on their cars with the help of the diys here. Odds are you'd fit somewhere in-between! Just saying!

So, add even 3 cups if you need (I don't think you will)...and DO NOT overfill!

Fill so the bobbers needle straddle the top of ET's filler neck. Do not fill until the top ball can't be pulled up anymore...you're right on the line of overfilling at that point...and the bobber can't tell you overfull. Critical little detail with our system!

HTH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Get home or to a shop. And, maybe you should consider spending more money on tools and less on stuff you could do with your own car...if you're up to that kind of thing. Did you build things when you were younger?

We've had pregnant women and functional morons do things on their cars with the help of the diys here. Odds are you'd fit somewhere in-between! Just saying!HTH
I am a little offended I must admit.:cry:

In regards to getting down and dirty I don't mind at all, it'd just that with issues that are more complex, I tend to air on the side of caution(radiator) everything else(sparks plugs, fuel filter, oil changes, complete brake jobs and things of that sort) I do myself. Yes, the DIY's on this site are hugely helpful and input from members like yourself are just that much more. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
I am a little offended I must admit.:cry:

In regards to getting down and dirty I don't mind at all, it'd just that with issues that are more complex, I tend to air on the side of caution(radiator) everything else(sparks plugs, fuel filter, oil changes, complete brake jobs and things of that sort) I do myself. Yes, the DIY's on this site are hugely helpful and input from members like yourself are just that much more. Thanks
I'm sorry I caused you a little offense. You were supposed to be either highly offended or laughing.

If you've done brakes, you can work on your cooling system. It's still parts going together differently...90% of the work is the same. If you trust yourself managing the fine points of brake repair, you can with cooling.

That coolant is a new one to me...is it the same that was in the car before? If so, maybe that was enough for him. If he drained it completely, it wouldn't have been.

What the mechanic said about it being low is what I meant too.

After a cooling system repair, many have issues with bleeding because of trapped bubbles. Yours all came out and now you need to fill up your ET to the proper level. You didn't get a light coming on telling you it was low? If not, you're probably just needing two cups...which is just about what I've always needed to add the morning after a cooling repair. I did three of them within 6 months or so, which is why I recommend cooling overhaul now when it seems appropriate. Sounds like you're pretty well covered...except for adding some...something.

Don't mix coolants...and you really should find out if mech drained entire system, or just replaced what was lost. If he drained it and used that stuff you gave him, then start draining and getting the mix right.

You need to find out what he did...coolant also provides anti-corrosive stuff, lubricants. So read some coolant threads to figure out how OCD you want to be about this. If you have a nice car, you should study enough to have a good answer...and talk with mechanic!

A mechanic could have done that for you by holding your car overnight, or by explaining what you needed to do better. You must be an incredibly beautiful brunette to have so distracted him that he forgot to say something like, 'bring it back in three days,' or 'add distilled' if it's low.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,108 Posts
Doug, this is a forum for conversation and help, not for essays. You might want to try www.IwriteTOOmuchStuffForums.com

Kitty Focused, the cooling system capacity is much more than 2 liters(more like 2 gallons), and it also sounds like your mechanic is not particularly competent. You should be fine just adding distilled water to make up the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Kitty, when my expansion tank blew up a couple months ago and I didn't know enough to fix it myself so the dealer had to :(, I started to overheat a few days later and when I checked the tank, it was just like yours -- totally empty, bobber completely at the bottom.

I later asked a tech at the dealership about that, and he said, "Oh, when it's this hot, sometimes we just guesstimate how much to put in and sometimes it may be a little low." Hard to believe, but like dmax said, these guys often don't truly bleed properly.

Anyway, I bet sure yours is like mine was, and some air escaped to make it look so low. I suspect it won't take as much as you're thinking to top it up, so I would just try distilled water and see that doesn't do it.

Otherwise... I'm 95% sure I've seen that stuff you got at Napa. Not sure if it's in stock at every location, but I know it's on their website. Maybe you could check there if you aren't comfortable with the amount of water it takes to top up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That coolant is a new one to me...is it the same that was in the car before? If so, maybe that was enough for him. If he drained it completely, it wouldn't have been.
Really, you never heard of it? This doesn't sound good for muah. Since I was ordering all my parts from bimmerworld.com I figured to myself "Looks like they got all the good, stuff there must be a reason they only carry this coolant". Also being that they only had this spark plug, I thought the same

http://store.bimmerworld.com/ngk-iridium-ix-performance-spark-plugs-p1267.aspx


After I had ordered the parts they called me a couple days later and told me "being that these plugs are more for modified bmw's, the life of these plugs maybe cut short". I was thinking, okay why didn't the dude tell while I was one the phone with him ordering???:facepalm:

I HIGHLY doubt this was the same coolant being used, also the previous owner had a leak so he was CONSTANTLY(like daily) topping off with his little gallon jug and water from the hose :bawling:NNNOO:eek:WHHY:censor:NNNOO:facepalm:Nnooo:banghead:NNNOOOO:loco:WHHYYY:cry:


Don't mix coolants
I don't plan on mixing coolants, that's a no-no that has now been cemented via you. Either I will order more of the same antifreeze or drain completely(radiator, expansion tank and block) and stick with one coolant which would be bimmerworld.com or the one from the dealership WHAT DO YOU THINK???[/quote]


you really should find out if mech drained entire system, or just replaced what was lost. If he drained it and used that stuff you gave him, then start draining and getting the mix right.

You need to find out what he did...coolant also provides anti-corrosive stuff, lubricants. So read some coolant threads to figure out how OCD you want to be about this. If you have a nice car, you should study enough to have a good answer...and talk with mechanic!
I doubt he will tell me the truth about what he did. All I do is read as of late.


A mechanic could have done that for you by holding your car overnight, or by explaining what you needed to do better. You must be an incredibly beautiful brunette to have so distracted him that he forgot to say something like, 'bring it back in three days,' or 'add distilled' if it's low.
Maybe he was just a happy mech that found this brunette male attractive:tsk::tsk:

He did say after he told me it was a little low "if you top off only do so with distilled water" I already knew that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Kitty Focused, the cooling system capacity is more than 2 liters(more like 2 gallons), and it also sounds like your mechanic is not particularly competent. You should be fine just adding distilled water to make up the difference.
The capacity of the entire system is 8.9 qts.HTH

I read that not only should you drain the Radiator and expansion tank but also the block, if this is true I have a feeling(I could be wrong) that he did only the radiator and expansion tank, I doubt he will tell the truth he'll probably be like "yeah, it was fully drained". So you suggest draining it and when adding the new antifreeze to do a 50/50 mix, I mean where I live it'd be crazy if the weather hit 25 so I figure I don't exactly need a 50/50 mix. I mean if he fully drained it do you think the current mix is not 50/50 but WAY more distilled water than antifreeze(I only provided with one 1.5 liter bottle(so if he did 50/50 mix that would be 3 liters in the system) But both or you are saying that the system takes 8 liters or 8.9 quarts. In that case that would be like 6.5-7 quarts of water and 1.5 quarts of antifreeze.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
Doug, this is a forum for conversation and help, not for essays. You might want to try www.IwriteTOOmuchStuffForums.com

Kitty Focused, the cooling system capacity is much more than 2 liters(more like 2 gallons), and it also sounds like your mechanic is not particularly competent. You should be fine just adding distilled water to make up the difference.
Miles,

I think you should just not read my posts when you see how bad they're going to be. You know I'm not writing or conversing or trying to help you, right? :lmao:

I was doing so well there I thought, for maybe a week or so!

And, btw, Miles, I was conversing and trying to help--it just happened to take the form of an essay. My writing gives you headaches anyway...just avoid them. I won't hold it against you! :lmao: Also, never ever read me on the phone...and if that's what you're doing, that's your issue, not mine! Snap! :lmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,108 Posts
Cooling system capacity including heater circuit is 8.9 quarts (8.4 liters).

And yes, most of the coolant will just sit in the block unless you remove the drain plug on the block. If you don't trust your mechanic, just go buy a gallon jug of coolant from your BMW dealer and a gallon jug of distilled/deionized water from the grocery store, and do it yourself. It's a pretty easy process that doesn't take much time, and the only difficult is avoiding getting coolant everywhere and properly bleeding the system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,108 Posts
Miles,

I think blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah how bad they're going to be. You know I'm blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah , right? :lmao:

I was blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah !

And, blah, Miles, I was blah blah blah blah blah blah--it blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah . My blah blah blah blah blah blah...just avoid them. I blah blah blah blah blah! :lmao: Also, blah blah blah blah on the phone...and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah! blah ! :lmao:
This is all I'm seeing. :tsk:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
UPDATE UPDATE

You can add just distilled and you'll be fine...I bet you just need to add a cup or two.HTH
Yesterday(7-8PM) I got a 1 gallon(3.79 liters) jug of distilled from CVS and topped off. It took about 1 liter(3-4cups) for the bobber's 2nd ball(???) to hit the top of filler neck/1st ball to be like 2 inches above the filler neck. Today(12PM) I checked the level and the very top of the bober was like 1/3inch below the top of the filler neck. Yeah that's not very cool. If there is a leak I have no idea where it is from, new radiator/lower hose/water pump/expansion tank(1year)/thermostat(1year)/upper hose(1year).


You didn't get a light coming on telling you it was low? If not, you're probably just needing two cups...which is just about what I've always needed to add the morning after a cooling repair
Yeah, after repairs I picked it up and the light was on. I figured dude didn't delete/erase that code. It would come on from time to time/go away and sometime stay on. After I topped off with distilled yesterday It went away for the rest of the night and today I turned my car on(5min) and it didn't come up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
UPDATE UPDATE



Yesterday(7-8PM) I got a 1 gallon(3.79 liters) jug of distilled from CVS and topped off. It took about 1 liter(3-4cups) for the bobber's 2nd ball(???) to hit the top of filler neck/1st ball to be like 2 inches above the filler neck. Today(12PM) I checked the level and the very top of the bober was like 1/3inch below the top of the filler neck. Yeah that's not very cool. If there is a leak I have no idea where it is from, new radiator/lower hose/water pump/expansion tank(1year)/thermostat(1year)/upper hose(1year).




Yeah, after repairs I picked it up and the light was on. I figured dude didn't delete/erase that code. It would come on from time to time/go away and sometime stay on. After I topped off with distilled yesterday It went away for the rest of the night and today I turned my car on(5min) and it didn't come up.
I think you are probably on the right track. Add so the balls straddle the top of the filler neck. Drive to op temp. Let cool...again. And add a third time if you need. The few ounces you lost is easily attributed to just more air leaving the system. If it continues, that's another thing, but for now, I don't think you necessarily have anything to worry about.

BTW, kitty, Miles is right and I apologize. Help was what you wanted; I know you didn't want an essay, and I'd totally forgotten it was against the forum rules.

In the future, I promise to submit all posts to my editors first!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I think you are probably on the right track. Add so the balls straddle the top of the filler neck. Drive to op temp. Let cool...again. And add a third time if you need. The few ounces you lost is easily attributed to just more air leaving the system
Op temp=Operating temp, if so that is when temp guage is dead center?? In regards to the excess air, this next time I do it should I open the bleeder screw before I add the water and stop pouring when I see it spew out of the bleeder screw???? of is that only done when adding coolant??

BTW, kitty, Miles is right and I apologize. Help was what you wanted; I know you didn't want an essay, and I'd totally forgotten it was against the forum rules
I don't mind at all if you were to write even a book:bow:, I hugely appreciate the advice you are giving me. Also I've been on this forum a lot as of late just reading of issues/topics that other members have so that when I too have them I already know what's up. I post in other peep's threads with advice/info I can provide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
Op temp=Operating temp, if so that is when temp guage is dead center?? In regards to the excess air, this next time I do it should I open the bleeder screw before I add the water and stop pouring when I see it spew out of the bleeder screw???? of is that only done when adding coolant??



I don't mind at all if you were to write even a book:bow:, I hugely appreciate the advice you are giving me. Also I've been on this forum a lot as of late just reading of issues/topics that other members have so that when I too have them I already know what's up. I post in other peep's threads with advice/info I can provide.
All you need to do is add coolant/water when it's on level ground and cool. You don't need to open up the bleeder screw.

If you keep losing coolant, just update the thread.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top