BMW Cars 1999-06

Coolant Recommendation & Level Check


BMW recommends that the coolant be changed every 2 years. BMW recommends that an ethylene glycol based antifreeze coolant be used. Stay with a name brand that is compatible with aluminum and is nitrate and amino free. The coolant should be a 50/50 mix with distilled water to achieve protection to minus 35°F. (minus 31°C.). The concentration should not exceed 60% as this will actually reduce the effectiveness of the fluid as a heat transfer medium and could cause deterioration of coolant passage seals. Using distilled water instead of tap water will also help in the prevention of cooling system deposits.

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Fig. The coolant expansion tank is translucent, which makes checking the fluid level easy

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Fig. The integral coolant expansion tank is also translucent for easy level checks

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Fig. The bleeder is located next to radiator cap. Check the radiator cap gaskets when removed

BMW vehicles are equipped with translucent coolant expansion tanks. There will be marks indicating "MAX" and/or "COLD" levels. There is no need to remove the fill cap from the expansion tank to check the fluid level. Do not remove the fill cap unless coolant needs to be added to the system.

Do not remove the expansion tank fill cap with the engine still hot. Allow the engine to cool, then remove the cap. Coolant can ignite if spilled onto an overheated engine. Do not add coolant to a hot engine. The temperature differential between the hot metal and the cold coolant can cause warpage, boiling splash back and other damage to the engine or personal injury.