Go Back   United Bimmer Community - BMW Forum > UnitedBimmer- Model Categories > E46
FAQ Members List Calendar Advertise With Us Mark Forums Read

E46 General discussion and technical help for 1999-2004 3 series cars.

Thread Tools
Unread 11-16-2007, 12:59 PM   #1
f1indycar's Avatar

Name: f1indycar
Title: United Newb
Status: Offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indy
Rate My Car: 183 / 340
Your Ride: 2001 330i
Engine coolant

I need to add engine coolant, my dash light stays on for about 1 -2 minutes after it is started. I looked in the owners manual, and it said to contact dealer for proper fluid. Does anyone know what I can buy at a local auto store? I have a 2001 330i auto w/steptronic.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 11-16-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
iamcreepingdeath's Avatar

Name: iamcreepingdeath
Title: Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
User not setup in Rate My Car.
Click here to set it up.
Your Ride: 1995 325i
Most likely any old fluid will work. coolant is coolant. I have heard, however, that mixing different types of coolant is bad. I don't know why, but that is what i have heard.

btw, i use mostly water in my '95 325, and a little green coolant to keep it from freezing, and no problem so far...
  Reply With Quote
Unread 11-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #3
mzbmw325i's Avatar

Name: mzbmw325i
Title: Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
User not setup in Rate My Car.
Click here to set it up.
Your Ride: 1991 325i; 1988 325is
i would stay away from experimenting, go to the bmw dealer and get the blue stuff, 20 bux, then mix half and half with distilled water in a sperate container (1/2 coolant and 1/2 distilled water).

if you only need to add a bit to your exapnsion tank, just add distilled water.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 11-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #4

Name: Dudesky
Title: Run Far
Status: Offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Rate My Car: 106 / 340
Your Ride: E39 530iA
Send a message via AIM to Dudesky
If you're not going to use BMW coolant, read the label of the brand you're buying. It should be nitrate, amine and phosphate free. And never use that long-life stuff (Dex-Cool). Very bad for your Bimmer's water pump and other parts. I use Zerex G-05, which is very close to BMW's stuff.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 12-03-2007, 10:51 PM   #5

Name: TECH
Title: United Newb
Status: Offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
User not setup in Rate My Car.
Click here to set it up.
Your Ride: Sick cars.
If there are no leaks, then it's just the water evaporating, so just add some distilled water. Antifreeze isn't disappearing, it's the water.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 06-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #6

Name: jasperg55
Title: United Newb
Status: Offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Oregon
User not setup in Rate My Car.
Click here to set it up.
Your Ride: 2003 BMW 525i wagon
BMW engine question

For a number of years now, Napa has been selling an all makes, all models engine coolant which means one does not have to go to the BMW dealership for their coolant. If the engine coolant LIGHT has come on & it is an emergency one can use water to bring the level up. Hope this helps. iT
(I drive a 2003 525i wagon)

Last edited by jasperg55; 06-06-2011 at 12:30 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Unread 06-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #7

Name: Manolito
Title: Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sacramento
Rate My Car: 339 / 340
Your Ride: (2) '97 328s; '04 330; '04 325iT
1) Do NOT use the organic acid long life coolants (aka Dexcool) in a BMW.
2) Use distilled water with your coolant unless you are fortunate enough to have really soft (snowmelt) water where you live. Don't use salt-softened water. A cup or two of distilled water is fine for occasional topoffs. You won't add enough water to appreciably change the 50/50 coolant/water proportional mix over the 3 years between coolant changes.
3) Best to use BMW branded coolant. It is ethylene glycol with no silicates, phosphates, or nitrates. BMW sells only one coolant to the best of my knowledge. You can buy it on line from Pelican or Tischer BMW or Autohaus or several other vendors for about $21/gal, which is cheaper than you can get it from the dealer, even after paying shipping.
4) Yes, you read correctly on item #2. Change your coolant every three years. On a 2001, you should be changing it for the third time by now.

Unrelated but while I am preaching - Change your brake fluid every three years as well. On a 2001, every drop of fluid in that car is due for replacement if it has not been replaced already. I know BMW says that your power steering fluid and transmission fluid are 'permanent'. Synthetic ATF lasts a very long time, but NO fluid is permanent if you plan on driving your car 300k miles as I do. I recently sold one with 300k miles that still looks and runs great, and my daughter is driving one with over 250k on it. If you have a manual, don't forget to flush the brake fluid from the clutch slave cylinder.

If you find that you are getting the warning light although the water level is up, you may have air in the coolant. Not sure about the e46, but on the e36s, chronic air in the coolant can be caused by the reservoir getting brittle and crumbling inside.

Last edited by Manolito; 06-10-2011 at 08:50 AM..
  Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
325is Turbo Project, Engine upgrades? BmwCrazy325 E36 9 06-15-2011 01:15 PM
Engine Coolant Light/Window Regulators Shivy05 E46 5 12-03-2007 11:08 PM
Engine Differences htp.bmw E21, E30 4 09-19-2007 10:34 AM
Red Check Engine Light browneyedgirl E12, E28, E34, E39, E60 16 03-17-2007 02:50 PM
1993 318is coolant loss...HELP! speedmatters E36 0 05-14-2006 01:22 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:23 AM.

A vBSkinworks Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © 2005-2013 UnitedBimmer.com