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Old 09-24-2016, 01:09 PM   #1
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Low coolant question... Weird

I topped off my car with water/coolant to the max needle point and after I drive my car for like a week I check the coolant in the morning to make sure it's good when the car is cold and the needle is all the way down every time. I thought it was a leak but when I unscrew the bleeder screw it sucks in air and the needle slowly rises back up to the max point. When I topped it off I did follow the instructions as to opening the bleederscrew and turning up the heat. Could it be because I've used almost a gallon of tap water?***128543; Any answers would be appreciated thanks!
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:20 PM   #2
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When you check the level you just open the cap when cold. If it's sucking in air, that's because the system is tight and holding pressure...which I guess gets released when you open the bleeder and thus the level of fluid goes up.

You're better using distilled water...but your level should be between min and max when opening the cap alone. Leave the bleeder screw alone if you're not bleeding the car...Right now, fill to between min and max and drive it. Keep checking in a.m. when cold until it stays at that level. If it doesn't, you do have a leak somewhere. But, it usually takes a few days of my topping off my coolant after I've done cooling system work. Using tap has nothing to do with this...though why you wouldn't want to spend $1 on distilled water, idk.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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To bleed the system you need to remove the cap and bleeder screw with the engine cold then fill reservoir until coolant is coming from the bleeder hole. The reservoir will be full to the top at this point. Reinstall bleeder screw and take some coolant back out of the reservoir with a turkey baster or something similar or it will come out of the cap when it heats up. This is done with the engine off. Your system will be full then.

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Old 09-24-2016, 01:29 PM   #4
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To bleed the system you need to remove the cap and bleeder screw with the engine cold then fill reservoir until coolant is coming from the bleeder hole. The reservoir will be full to the top at this point. Reinstall bleeder screw and take some coolant back out of the reservoir with a turkey baster or something similar or it will come out of the cap when it heats up. This is done with the engine off. Your system will be full then.

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The level will drop as air leaves the fluid and the fluid gets into spots hiding in the engine and heater core. I leave it full after it drains out of bleeder and it still needs to have some fluid added over the next few days.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:48 PM   #5
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I only open the cap in the morning and find the needle all the way down. And I find it weird but then I decide to open the bleeder and the needle goes back up. Nextime it is low to the bottom should I just leave the bleeder alone and fill the radiator alone to the max? Is it bad if there's too much coolant in the system when driving? Thanks for your guyses feedback
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:22 PM   #6
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I would not bother to take some out on my car, but I have had customers come back thinking their car is still leaking coolant because it was escaping from the cap. Normal if you leave it over filled but I always take some out of the reservoir for customers cars to avoid concerns of leaking.

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Old 09-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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I would not bother to take some out on my car, but I have had customers come back thinking their car is still leaking coolant because it was escaping from the cap. Normal if you leave it over filled but I always take some out of the reservoir for customers cars to avoid concerns of leaking.

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Okay thanks man!
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:12 PM   #8
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I only open the cap in the morning and find the needle all the way down. And I find it weird but then I decide to open the bleeder and the needle goes back up. Nextime it is low to the bottom should I just leave the bleeder alone and fill the radiator alone to the max? Is it bad if there's too much coolant in the system when driving? Thanks for your guyses feedback
Don't open the bleeder screw when checking the coolant level. In the morning, just fill it up until the top of the red plastic stick is even with the top of the coolant tank. Do this for a few days in a row to see if the level stabilizes or keeps going down.

NEVER put too much coolant in the tank! It can put too much pressure in the system when it heats up, especially if you have an old coolant cap that doesn't release pressure properly. The risk here is blowing out a part like the tank or a hose, overheating, not noticing it fast enough, and then blowing the head gasket. This has happened to many including me.

Also check if the temperature sensor in the lower radiator hose is seeping. Its o-ring is notorious for that.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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Also check if the temperature sensor in the lower radiator hose is seeping. Its o-ring is notorious for that.
This might be my issue. I replaced the radiator, lower coolant hose and t-stat today and I'm getting a leak from the lower hose. Brand new (genuine BMW) hose into a brand new (Behr) radiator. If it's the sensor, I hope the o-ring is a standard size.

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:38 PM   #10
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This might be my issue. I replaced the radiator, lower coolant hose and t-stat today and I'm getting a leak from the lower hose. Brand new (genuine BMW) hose into a brand new (Behr) radiator. If it's the sensor, I hope the o-ring is a standard size.

Thanks.
Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Courtesy of jfoj's sig.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:40 PM   #11
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Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Courtesy of jfoj's sig.
Thanks again. The o-ring actually comes up in FCPEuro's site also if you do a search for just the sensor. Kinda nice.

I found a (literal) stopgap o-ring at my FLAPS. It's holding just fine until the official green o-ring comes in. No leaks whatsoever.
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