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View Poll Results: Coolant Top-Off Frequency
~ once per year 1 10.00%
more than once per year 4 40.00%
less than once per year 2 20.00%
never 3 30.00%
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      12-05-2018, 03:45 PM   #1
LevinBR
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35i Owners; How Often do you Top Off Coolant?

I seem to have to top off my coolant once every 6 months. My local dealer says this is normal, even for new cars. What's your experience?
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      12-05-2018, 06:18 PM   #2
themishmosh
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I've topped it off probably 2 times in 3 years. Once every 6 months where it gives you "coolant low" seems a little much.
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      12-06-2018, 03:07 PM   #3
mcdanielvzw
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I did it on 3/8 and 6/20 of this year. I've had the car since 07/17 though.
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      12-06-2018, 03:47 PM   #4
daytona90t
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I just recently had to add about 2 cups. Hadn't checked since back in May when I replaced the exploded coolant tank. I believe that temperature change can have a slight impact on fluid level over time as well. It was in the 70s when I last filled and bleed the system. Now it is in the 30s-40s so I wasn't too concerned about the lower level. Both my ZHP (M54) and X3 (N52) also have to be topped off about twice a year.
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      12-07-2018, 03:48 PM   #5
Xdrive35i2014
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never.
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      12-09-2018, 12:17 AM   #6
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Twice this year. I do around 40k miles a year.
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      12-10-2018, 10:08 PM   #7
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Once in 15k miles of ownership after a track day.
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      12-11-2018, 09:33 AM   #8
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Not normal. Check expansion tank for evidence of bleed off. Our tank showed dried residue by the cap and eventually the seal in the middle failed and you saw dried trails on all sides of tank.

New tank installed (went after market since quality german part failed in < 50K miles...)

- b
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      12-17-2018, 05:53 AM   #9
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Once in the year I've owned it, had about 24K on the clock when it needed to be added.
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      12-18-2018, 10:21 PM   #10
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Two to three times a ear. I have a leak but the shop is not able to find it.
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      12-19-2018, 02:54 PM   #11
LevinBR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtpisgah View Post
Two to three times a ear. I have a leak but the shop is not able to find it.
Similar story for me, so frustrating.. How can we know we have a leak (and then fix it) if we can't find it?

I see no external signs. If the leak is internal, I've learned about the following symptoms, yet I have not observed them:

- leaking into heater core: smells like maple syrup in the cabin
- leaking into cylinders: white smoke coming from exhaust
- leaking into oil: oil looks like chocolate milk
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      12-28-2018, 11:08 PM   #12
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They wanted to replace a second coolant expansion tank for me 30k miles after the first replacement. They found the radiator was leaking too after I complained that couldn't be normal. New tank and rad under cpo
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      03-06-2019, 12:05 PM   #13
LevinBR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvanlieu View Post
Not normal. Check expansion tank for evidence of bleed off. Our tank showed dried residue by the cap and eventually the seal in the middle failed and you saw dried trails on all sides of tank.

New tank installed (went after market since quality german part failed in < 50K miles...)

- b
I should have taken your advice earlier! My expansion tank cracked this week and, because this is my only vehicle, I had no choice but to take it into my local dealer (it was losing ~1 liter every 10 minutes of run time). Before the crack, though, it was leaking slowly from the seal. I could not see that earlier on, but as it got worse I started to see residue.

The cooling system on these cars is really dumb, in my opinion. The expansion tank is basically a pressure cooker made of plastic. We all know about the pump too, it was also built with weak plastic components and is prone to failure.

Last edited by LevinBR; 03-11-2019 at 08:47 AM.
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      03-12-2019, 08:13 AM   #14
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My expansion tank just crack and I had to take it in.
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      03-14-2019, 05:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashjaldridge@gmail.com View Post
My expansion tank just crack and I had to take it in.
Have them check the radiator too. Mine was leaking and caused 2 expansion tanks to fail somehow. They think the radiator was causing the tank failures. It's been good since never had to top up all winter
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      03-16-2019, 10:40 PM   #16
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Had the car since new(2015)
Over 56k miles. Check it every 5k miles(my personal oil change interval) and only needed to be topped off 4 times.
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