Coolant Iusse

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Jmags
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Coolant Iusse

Post by Jmags » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:46 pm

I’m having an issue with my coolant dropping to low levels every week or so after topping up with the warring appearing on my dash.

Problem started to happen after taking my F21 1 series (2013) into Sytner BMW for its first MOT and service back in September (and after having the heat shield re-secured as it was rattling). Three weeks later the low coolant warning appeared on my display.

I thought nothing of it at the time and topped up with fresh coolant only to find the warning message re-appearing about 2 weeks later. I did the same again thinking it might have been really low the first time. A week or so later low coolant warning appeared again.

I took it into an independent garage to let them have a look at it and they. They checked the car over and couldn’t find any visible leaks or cracks in the bowl. They bled the coolant system and topped it up with fresh coolant and it seemed to have resolved the issue for a good month.

After driving down to London from Nottingham one weekend and leaving the car stationary for 2 nights I started the engine back up and got the warning again. To get me home I had to top up with water.

Once I got home after leaving it to cool for a while I went to check the coolant by slowly releasing the cap to find it fizzing and the liquid re-appearing in the bowl and (quite a lot of it.) I am aware of the risk of overfilling it which is now my concern but seem quite confident there can’t be a leak if the coolant seems to be there in the system.

I’ve read on the forum people mention about air in the system causing the coolant to seem low could this be related?

My other thoughts are possible pump faulty/blockage or faulty cap.

Can anyone help? :?

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Octavius » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:13 pm

Was there a recall on the reservoirs ?
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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Jmags » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:24 pm

I bought the car second hand about a year ago.

It's had the hydro unit 'safety recall' done last August under warranty after i took it in because it kept suddenly breaking when driving on the motorway, is that what you are referring to?

They told me it was due to the engineer sucking in too much rain water which was getting into the hydro system and causing the ABS to go off hence the sudden breaking and loss of power.

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by marco_polo » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:52 pm

Sounds like your head gasket to me, as an initial gut reaction.

Any mayo in/around your oil filler cap?
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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Jmags » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:13 pm

I wouldn't say so not that I've noticed, a few little white patches but that's from the times it bubbled over when it's been hot. I'll try to get a photo tomorrow to see what you think.

Head Gasket was my worst fear had crossed my mind but the car is only 3 years old... Would you recommend letting Sytner do the work and any idea on cost :shock: :cry:

The fact the coolant seems to retract at times and seems to fill the bowl do you advise I re-top it up as instructed?

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by marco_polo » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:16 pm

Yes, keep it topped up to at least the cold minimum, with G48 coolant + de-min water.

Definitely no leaks? No tell-tale sweet smell anywhere?

How hot is the coolant getting?
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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Jmags » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Image

Image

Image

No visible leakage on my drive or any mayo around the oil cap.

I've managed to get it in with Synter first thing Monday will post the findings, seems a strange one.

The coolant seems to be getting hot as it should. As I say, after driving it I've checked the coolant and initially the bowl is empty then it starts to fizz as I loosen the cap and the coolant retracts back into the bowl bubbling away.

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by marco_polo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:21 pm

So coolant isn't mixing with the oil, which is good, but it could still be going straight into your cylinder/s. If you're not dropping it on the road, it's got to be going somewhere!

Image

How hot is the coolant getting? Any steam / white smoke from the exhaust?
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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Supercell » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:56 pm

I'll stick my neck on the line and say your problem is the common f20/f21 coolant loss. Bmw in the past have changed the coolant tank and associated pipework however i suffered this coolant loss and on my car the problem was a leaking connector towards the back of the engine.

The solution? Well my car involved the engine and gearbox to be split to access the leak and fix it, luckily it was under warranty so evans halshaw paid for it! I think the bill was a shade over £300.

The reason the coolant appears again after opening the lid is because you are releasing the pressure in the system, so the water is free to expand back up into the header tank, just keep topping it to max until monday. :)

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Jmags » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:05 pm

Cheers Supercell, that is some reassurance. I'm just going to have to bite the bullet on this one...

Unfortunately, the car is just out of warranty as of last Sept but interestingly I noticed the metal heat shield had come loose and was causing quite a loud rattling sound from start, especially from cold. Synter repaired it under warranty and secured it but in doing so they had to lift out the engine to get behind it to re-secure it... three weeks later this coolant issue started... perhaps they disturbed the connector when carrying out that work???

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Supercell » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:26 am

Ahh, bad luck on the warranty. The problem is proving they contributed to the coolant leak, honestly because it's a common fault I think it's just one of those things and not something they have disturbed. Depending on your service history with BMW, it might be worth asking for a goodwill gesture on the repair seeing as it is a known fault. They can only say no, but it'll save you some money if they do agree to meet part of the repair bill.

Incidently, mine also has the start up rattle from the turbo heat shield area for about 30secs occasionally on a cold start, I've just learnt to live with it now!

It might be worth googling bmw f20 coolant loss and printing out proof of owners problems if they deny it is a common fault. Of course I may be totally wrong on the diagnosis and they may identify an entirely seperate issue, but good luck tomorrow!

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by Jmags » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:14 pm

Supercell wrote:I'll stick my neck on the line and say your problem is the common f20/f21 coolant loss. Bmw in the past have changed the coolant tank and associated pipework however i suffered this coolant loss and on my car the problem was a leaking connector towards the back of the engine.

The solution? Well my car involved the engine and gearbox to be split to access the leak and fix it, luckily it was under warranty so evans halshaw paid for it! I think the bill was a shade over £300.

The reason the coolant appears again after opening the lid is because you are releasing the pressure in the system, so the water is free to expand back up into the header tank, just keep topping it to max until monday. :)
You got it spot on!

It was as you say a leaking connector at the back of the engine causing the issue. They rang me up to quote me the work which came to just over £300 (part+labour). I referenced what I had read online about this being a common issue and after an awkward silent from the mechanic and me hinting towards a goodwill gesture he said he would put it forward to BMW and get back to me…

They rang me back about half 4 to stay unfortunately the car wouldn’t be ready until tomorrow morning due to having to remove the gear box but they had heard back from BMW and they were willing to waver the labour cost and reduce the part cost by 50%. They still wanted me to pay £90 diagnostic plus fresh coolant. I also had a panel underneath re-fitted as it had come loose and damaged an extra £70.

Funny enough they rang me separately in the morning to advise me on replacing my back two tyres trying to charge £140 a pop per each back wheel (which they happily advised could have been fitted on the spot) and wanted to replace my front and back window wipers because they were smudging (apparently) £25 front and £60 back! :shock:

Found it quite interesting seeing as they passed the car with flying colours back in September with no revisio’s… Got the impression they might have been looking for more work to recoup some of the cost back. It’s to be expected though :wink:

All in all pretty happy with the outcome could have been worse and it’s positive to hear they are acknowledging the issue.

Thanks for all your advice! :D

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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by GarryK » Wed May 03, 2017 9:55 am

Just come across this post as mine seems to be suffering the same issue and in for repair.

Can you remember what they charged for the coolant being replaced?
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Re: Coolant Iusse

Post by david27 » Sat May 27, 2017 9:46 am

hi im new to this page hope someone can help,ref coolant level running low
we bought a 2012 bmw1series 116i sport we got the car in january was very lumpy from the get go, and soon after the warning light for the coolant came on,so replaced that then every 2 weeks from that it came back on,too it back to the dealer who kept it for 2 weeks(yes we did et a curtoseycar which was great) the lumpiness was treated with fuel treatment which seems to have worked,
the car had diagnostic test with nothing comeing up wrong with the car,they drove it for a while didnt need coolant,iv had back not even a week and its coolant very low again can anyone help please thanks in advance....

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