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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Fanatics:hi:

The coolant light on my 2000 323i (piece of sh*t car) is driving me crazy. It came on the other day while i was pulling up to my friends house. I checked the coolant level and it was ok so i let the car sit for few minutes and checked again to see if got a different reading. But th level remains the same.

My friend had coolant sitting at his house that he bought from BMW so we decided to put some in my car anyways, you know top it off. It only took like 100ml ( half a water bottle) an started spilling over the top.

I started my car up and the light didnt come on. I started driving home and a minute later BOOOOOOM...Light came back on. I checked the fluid level and its still full but my light keep going away and coming back every few mins for like 3 days now.

Is this normal? safe? Any ideas how this can be fixed without me driving the car off a cliff?:idea:

My car has a new problem every week:shhh:

Any and all feed back is appreciated. Thanks
 

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replace your coolant level sensor.
 

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Sounds like the coolant sensor is malfunctioning. Which can just be replaced. The car isn't over heating right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nope! It hasnt overheated...Yet anyways. what is this coolant senser you speak off. Is there a DIY or i gots to let the dealer whop my ass:brent2:

Cause they've whipped it many times before:)
 

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#1 you need to drain that tank down. It is over filled if it is flowing out of the top with the cap off and it is cool. You have no room in your system for expansion and you will damage something.

My light was going off and on like that on random. Mine was a little low. I didn't over fill the expansion tank, filled right between the two balls when the coolant was cool like the next morning. All was fine for about two months and the light started all over again one time. Next thing that happened was the expansion tank crack one to two weeks later and all fluid came out which made the light correct.:craig:

Replaced my tank, now I'm waiting on to see if the sensor is still going to come on. I'm working on a theory here about the light coming on and off and the expansion tank getting ready to split open.

Incase your wondering, the level sensor is on the bottom of that expansion tank. No it does not come into contact with the fluid, it is encased. It is very simple to remove from under the car, you twist it 90 and pull it out, unplug it from the harness. I could have done this with replacing the expansion tank but like I said, I'm working on a theory that the tank had maybe a very small leak, not enough to see on the ground and high enough to allow some coolant to steam out causing a false light??? If mine acts up again I'll pull the sensor. New sensor is like $16.
 

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^ Good advice. Personally I would flush your entire system and change the sensor. I had the same issue with my 323i, light kept going on and off I thought it was nothing, 3 days later while driving on the highway my **** exploded. Turns out there was a clog in the system that went unnoticed.....play it safe....
 

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There is a DIY or get a Bentley manual, you should have this if you plan to work on your car anyway. DO NOT TOP OFF THE COOLANT EXPANSION TANK TO THE POINT OF OVERFLOWING, THIS IS AN EXPANSION TANK, THE AIR IN THE TANK ACTS AS A CUSHION FOR THE COOLANT TO COMPRESS AS IT EXPANDS WHEN HEATED, THE COOLANT DOES NOT COMPRESS. DRAIN OR PUMP SOME FLUID OUT OF THE SYSTEM BEFORE THE TANK OR SOME OTHER COMPONENT EXPLODES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I have to wonder if the people attempting repairs their own cars while having no understanding of the basic function of the system they are attempting to repair (or even a repair manual) DESERVE to be raped by the dealer.

Written after reading #5.
 

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There is a DIY or get a Bentley manual, you should have this if you plan to work on your car anyway. DO NOT TOP OFF THE COOLANT EXPANSION TANK TO THE POINT OF OVERFLOWING, THIS IS AN EXPANSION TANK, THE AIR IN THE TANK ACTS AS A CUSHION FOR THE COOLANT TO COMPRESS AS IT EXPANDS WHEN HEATED, THE COOLANT DOES NOT COMPRESS. DRAIN OR PUMP SOME FLUID OUT OF THE SYSTEM BEFORE THE TANK OR SOME OTHER COMPONENT EXPLODES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I have to wonder if the people attempting repairs their own cars while having no understanding of the basic function of the system they are attempting to repair (or even a repair manual) DESERVE to be raped by the dealer.
Especially when it tells you how to do it right next to the filler neck lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys. Yea i know i was spose to fill it to the neck and not let it spill over but i did... But here is the thing... so this morning when i went to start my car i decided to check the coolant level again, and it was empty. I looked under the car and around the engine and couldn't see any signs of leaking. SO where did the fluid go?

I drive to my buddys shop (keeping an eye on the temp gauge) and tell him what happend. we filled up the car coolant again and let the car sit to check for leaks....and Nothing. While waiting i started playing around with the breath valve on the coolant pipe and snapped it off:facepalm:. I ordered the new pipe and start driving home.

I got home ten mins later and checked the coolant and it was on empty again WTFFFFFFFFF. The car shows no signs of leaks anywhere. It doesnt drip. it doesn't show any coolant on the engine. No steam or anything. So where is this coolant going????????????????:lmao:

should i just go ahead and replace my exp tank and all that good stuff?:thanks:
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. Yea i know i was spose to fill it to the neck and not let it spill over but i did... But here is the thing... so this morning when i went to start my car i decided to check the coolant level again, and it was empty. I looked under the car and around the engine and couldn't see any signs of leaking. SO where did the fluid go?

I drive to my buddys shop (keeping an eye on the temp gauge) and tell him what happend. we filled up the car coolant again and let the car sit to check for leaks....and Nothing. While waiting i started playing around with the breath valve on the coolant pipe and snapped it off:facepalm:. I ordered the new pipe and start driving home.

I got home ten mins later and checked the coolant and it was on empty again WTFFFFFFFFF. The car shows no signs of leaks anywhere. It doesnt drip. it doesn't show any coolant on the engine. No steam or anything. So where is this coolant going????????????????:lmao:

should i just go ahead and replace my exp tank and all that good stuff?:thanks:
Have you replaced your expansion tank since you bought the car? How about the hoses? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then I would advise you to change them out. I have no idea where the coolant is going, but like I said before you should drain and refill and while you're at it, just swap everything else, it avoids a headache.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No i have not. I was thinking the same thing, should order a new exp tank too. I dont mind spending money on my car if i know what im spending it on... Just feels weird changing parts without seeing a leak.

So noone has had this problem?
 

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Search.

Its been beaten to death.

I still have the light going on and off everytime I drive, I just chaulk it up to another little buggie running around in the car.
 

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OK I'm going to add to this thread instead of making another one....so hope you don't mind - since it is related.:craig:

Anyway, mine was going crazy today after one week of changing out the expansion tank so I'm abandoned my previous experiment because obviously that doesn't hold water....sorry bad pun.

So, as stated before by myself and OP, my light has been going crazy today.:banghead: So after work ran the car over to the dealer and bought the Coolant Level Sensor for replacement in my car tomorrow morning. The part number for my 330 2004 is 17 13 7 524 812. Not sure if this number works for your car. The price of the sensor was $23 and change, about $7 more than I can get it on line (plus shipping it would probably be the same)

Tomorrow I will replace the sensor. I checked the fluid level this afternoon after this first started happening this morning and it was at the min mark, maybe sightly above. There is no leaks and nothing looks wet or on the bottom plate. The car does not smell as if burning and there is no indication on the dipstick that there is something leaking into the oil. I'm pretty sure that my level was slightly above the the mid mark when I first started last week. (so here I lean towards a faulty sensor, that light should be either on or off - none of this can't make up your mind crap)

Here is the kicker though, and maybe this will shed some light on a problem or why it is doing what it is doing. This morning it was a little cool since we did get rain here today. SO, today I actually put the heat on set to 79. Shortly after I got the coolant light flashing on and then off several times. So my inclination is to think that since I changed the expansion tank that maybe I still have a little air left in the system. On the refill I only got about 1 3/4 gallons in. I followed the procedure as outlined in the manual for the coolant refill, however, maybe I didn't bleed off the system long enough. The other thing funny, when this problem would happen with the coolant level light, it always happened around the the time I used the heater.

So here are my new idea maybe for you too, is that maybe if there is a leak, it is in the heater core, which will account for you not seeing a leak, maybe in cabin?? I don't really smell coolant in cabin on mine however, yet tomorrow I'll be checking the carpet.

On another note: I went to the dealer to pick up the part. Put the part in the front seat, and then beat this car like a red headed step child all the way home (a lot of shifting up and down, higher rpms) and not one time in 20 miles did the **bleeping** light come on. Not while driving, not idling in the drive through, not one time. On the way over there it must have come on like 4 times. Must have thought I was going to trade it in and scared it straight.......;)
 

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This problem just started for me yesterday. I was driving down the interstate when the light came on. Got home, let the engine cool over night, and checked the coolant level in the morning, and it was right between the lines. At first, I chalked this up to a faulty sensor, but I've started to notice the expansion tank cap steaming like crazy even after a short drive, which makes me think there might be something more than just a faulty sensor.

I have 85k miles on the car, still original expansion tank. I was planning on replacing that around 100k, but maybe I should push that time line up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alright, so above I mentioned that while playing wit the bleed valve on the coolant pipe I snapped it off and had to order a new pipe from BMW for $76. This was on Thursday and bmw said the part won’t be in until Monday...So since my coolant was leaking thru the bleed valve after I snapped it off I had to find a fix until Monday.

I was going to use this product my buddy had sitting at the shop that is strong enough to fix leaks even on metal never mind plastic but it required 12+ hrs of drying time. I don’t have that kind of time so what we did was, we took a metal screw, wrapped some thread around it and just screwed it (forced it) back into the bleed valve. I wasn't going to bleed my coolant anytime soon so I didn’t care.

Like I said before when I got home 10 mins later all the coolant was gone (not thru the bleed valve. that thing will not leak) so I topped it off again as I had to get alot of sh*t done that day.

But the weird part is since then I’ve had no light and the coolant hasn’t gone down yet... And I’ve even driven the sh*t outta my car few times to see if the pressure change might set the light off.

I don’t get it. Was it the bleed valve causing all this headache?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Phoenix330CI I think it might have something to do with the heater cause it was cold around the time it started being weird. Its been nice here for the last two days and my heat doesnt has been off... I dont know. You might be onto something
 

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Just poking around here, hoping to hit something............

Anyway I changed my sensor first thing this morning. Also added like literally 1 to 2 ounces of coolant before I got the level to be directly between the level balls. Haven't drove the car around yet but plan on doing here in a few to go get lunch and what not.

Oh, also felt the carpet, both wells and under floor mats, nothing wet. When I dropped the bottom plate, it was as clean as a whistle and no spots of anything leaking or spraying down to it. Also checked the hoses again and no signs of a leak or anythng running down to a low spot on the hose.

So with luck it is only the sensor. The new sensor is nice and shiny, the old one is a gummy orange color - must have been from the heat. Still not exactly sure how this thing works when it does not come into contact with the fluid.....:confused:
 

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Ok here it is a month later. The F'ing light came on and off tonight several times and stayed on longer than before when this did it. In the morning I'm going to check the level cold. The temp guage is holding steady at the mid mark on the gage, so that is a good thing. Car seems to run great, no ses lights. I can't imagine it is a bad sensor. Got the last one directly from the dealer. I'm bettting that the coolant level in the expansion tank is low. No drips under the car, no drips on the pan attached to the car, no white smoke out of the exhaust on start up and the tail pipe looks as clean as it did the day I got it. Need to do oil change in 1400 miles. I was in engine bay like two weeks ago and didn't notice any drips on hoses. Car now has 67K, so mabe I need to change all the hoses, I think there are like 5 of them????? After changing that sensor I thought that I had this problem kicked.

Anyone fix theirs?????

EDIT:

Went ahead and opened the tank this morning - Guess What - Expansion tank is full, stick indicator is normal. No apparent signs of a leak, however, there is residue from before, so I wiped some of it down to see later. Started car and ran for 15 minutes and I didn't see anything spraying out anywhere. Checked dash no light, reved the car to 2000 rpm for a few and when I let off the light came back up. Opened the expansion tank again and now the float dropped to the bottom. Didn't add fluid at this point because I don't want to over fill the expansion tank. So the next thing I tried, I opened the bleed valve to get the air out until fluid started to come out, closed off the bleed. Of course the light went off on the dash because I just raised the level in the expansion tank.

Any additional suggestions? Maybe an air pocket that took a month to get there?? I'll have to check fluids again tomorrow morning.

Edit 2:

That didn't work either. About a mile from the house the light came back on and stayed on for most of the 18 mile drive. Checked under hood when I got to work, still didn't see any thing new sprayed out. I can tell from all the responces on here.....this is going to be a real *****......
 
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