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Old 12-19-2006, 08:11 PM   #1
Redster
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Coolant change?

I can't find my manual so does anyone know how much coolant does E39 ('99) 540i take?

Here's my situation today..

I go to Hamilton and then back to Kitchener, park the car and when I come back there's a puddle of coolant under it. So I call my mechanic and try to drive it there but it overheats so I decide to tow it.

He checks it and coolant overflow bottle is cracked, so we go to the dealer, get new one and flush the coolant (screw on the bottom of the engine). When we fill it up it takes ~ 6L if coolant (BMW lifetime coolant). I drive the car to the mall (about 3km away), park it, come back 10 min later and there's a puddle of coolant under it, again! This time I fill it up with water and drive it back to the mechanic..we check it out and suspect gaskets.

When we add coolant and let the car run a bit it starts overflowing. Overflow tank cap is good, hoses are good, radiator, heater..

Then we drain coolant again (because I've added water), and this time we fill it up slowly letting it cool every time. It took about 9L.

I drove it around, he did the same, checked coolant again, drove it home..everything is fine now.

Any thoughts..?

Maybe the first time there wasn't enough coolant, pressure built up, engine started overheating..?
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:31 PM   #2
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Maybe someone knows at least how much coolant e39 540i takes..?
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:28 AM   #3
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Without researching the coolant amount, I can tell you that once the coolant is added, the system has to be bled.

1)With the car idling (after having been warmed up or driven) open the bleed screw on the expansion tank, until you see fluid coming out rather than bubbles. Be careful, the tank is under pressure with extremely hot fluid and remember the tank bleed screw is plastic and if overtightended will crack.

2)Allow the car to sit overnight (dead cold) and then before starting the car, remove expansion tank cap and inspect level... If low, add some to the appropriate level.

Drive the car around until it reaches optimum temp and then perform steps #1 again.

Do the bleed and rest proceedure 3-4 times and when expansion tank does not indicate low level in the morning when car is cold, you have replaced the appropriate amount of fluid.

You didn't indicate what the source of leak the 2nd time was ?
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:13 AM   #4
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The 2nd time system was bled; we added fluid, bled it, added some more..4-5 times. There was no leak, so the only thing that could've happened was air bubble somewhere in the system, engine overheated (started), pressure increased, and some fluid was lost through bleeding cap.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:41 PM   #5
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What does "lifetime" really mean? How often should one change coolant?
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:07 AM   #6
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In case someone else ever needs this info, E39 540i takes 12.7L of coolant (50/50 mixture), and that's if everything is drained including the heater core.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europrince
What does "lifetime" really mean? How often should one change coolant?
every year or every 2 years. lifetime is bullshit.

"long life" coolant is rated for 250,000 KM's or 5 years.

i think it's all bullshit. i would change every 2 years on long-life or every year on regular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redster
In case someone else ever needs this info, E39 540i takes 12.7L of coolant (50/50 mixture), and that's if everything is drained including the heater core.
does that mean 12.7 liters total, or 12.7 coolant and another 12.7 water?
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyL
does that mean 12.7 liters total, or 12.7 coolant and another 12.7 water?

12.7L total, and most car companies now recommand your coolent to be flushed every 3 years
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Old 12-23-2006, 11:18 AM   #9
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Yes, 12.7 total but many people don't drain the heater core so it'd be less, so keep checking..

I change mine every 2 years, and I use BMW long life one (pink stuff).
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