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      10-26-2013, 12:16 PM   #1
StormTrooper
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Coolant Question? urgent...

So, been runnin my car hard up in the blue ridge mountains a few weeks back and during a hot day I got the low coolant light, which shouldn't happen unless you have a air bubble in your line. Anyways, when I checked the reservoir, it was bone dry so i put some distilled water in there. Everything was fine there after. The question is, its getting cold up here in the mountains and had a guy tell me if I'm running just distilled during the winter my block could freeze up? Is this true and should i get my reservoir drained and put BMW coolant back in? Or do i have nothing to worry about.....? Thanks

Last edited by StormTrooper; 10-26-2013 at 06:25 PM.
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      10-26-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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If you're not running the right water to coolant mix for winter, not only would the block freeze, but it would probably crack, since water expands when it freezes.
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      10-26-2013, 06:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
If you're not running the right water to coolant mix for winter, not only would the block freeze, but it would probably crack, since water expands when it freezes.
Thanks for the input.... Most definitely changing it ASAP
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      10-26-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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The cooling system holds like +8 liters or so. So even IF your coolant tank was bone empty... just adding just distilled water (~2L or so) won't upset the freezing point too much.

Go buy yourself a coolant temp tester gauge... a Hydrometer... then test your coolant when the engine is COLD. IF your coolant has too much water... the freezing point will be higher than when running a 50:50 mix of coolant and water. You should also get some BMW coolant at your local dealer. Its under $20 for a gallon jug. IF your freezing point is too high... just suck out some coolant and only pour in coolant to bring your "mix" back up too 50:50 in your cooling system.


Btw... I bet when you go out of these "spirited runs" you just shut your engine off when you stop. I would try and let the engine idle for a few (five or ten)minutes when you stop. You shouldn't just turn off your engine when you have been driving hard or when you drive hard on the highway and come to a sudden stop. Always let the engine cool down.

Now go check your oil level too while your at it!
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      10-26-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Go buy yourself a coolant temp tester gauge... a Hydrometer... then test your coolant when the engine is COLD.
Great idea.
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      10-27-2013, 12:50 AM   #6
StormTrooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
The cooling system holds like +8 liters or so. So even IF your coolant tank was bone empty... just adding just distilled water (~2L or so) won't upset the freezing point too much.

Go buy yourself a coolant temp tester gauge... a Hydrometer... then test your coolant when the engine is COLD. IF your coolant has too much water... the freezing point will be higher than when running a 50:50 mix of coolant and water. You should also get some BMW coolant at your local dealer. Its under $20 for a gallon jug. IF your freezing point is too high... just suck out some coolant and only pour in coolant to bring your "mix" back up too 50:50 in your cooling system.


Btw... I bet when you go out of these "spirited runs" you just shut your engine off when you stop. I would try and let the engine idle for a few (five or ten)minutes when you stop. You shouldn't just turn off your engine when you have been driving hard or when you drive hard on the highway and come to a sudden stop. Always let the engine cool down.

Now go check your oil level too while your at it!
Thanks for the advice... But, a high freezing point would mean that it takes longer for it to freeze (correct me if I'm wrong). Just like a low boiling point means water boils more readily and faster. And yes, after a hard drive I will pull to the side at scenic spot before heading home and keep the car running to give her a breather and let the fan cool her down. Change oil every 2500 miles as well, and baby it until oil is at correct operating temperature. Bought BMW coolant earlier, will be changing it tomorrow!
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      10-27-2013, 06:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormTrooper View Post
Thanks for the advice... But, a high freezing point would mean that it takes longer for it to freeze (correct me if I'm wrong). Just like a low boiling point means water boils more readily and faster. And yes, after a hard drive I will pull to the side at scenic spot before heading home and keep the car running to give her a breather and let the fan cool her down. Change oil every 2500 miles as well, and baby it until oil is at correct operating temperature. Bought BMW coolant earlier, will be changing it tomorrow!

Your right. I meant it the other way... that if there was to much water the freezing point would go from say negative 45' F tp say neg 10' F. On the tester gauge the needle would move higher up the scale.
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