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To check whether the coolant is entering into the engine oil or not, do the following.
- Park the car on a level floor.
- Check engine oil level on the dip stick and mark it with nail polish. Let it dry. Confirm the oil level. Put the dip stick back.
- Apply about 10 psi external pressure to the coolant system, while keeping caps in place. NOTE: It is advised to use the coolant system tester. In case the tester is not available, ask any technician to do it for you. Or you can use a bicycle pump with gauge installed on it to pressure the system up to 10 psi. The system should held the pressure up to 30 Seconds.
- If the pressure is maintained for 30 Seconds every thing is good at this time. Ensure that the air is not leaking through your external pump system with which you are testing the system.
If the pressure drops, there will be a leakage some where. Either external or internal. External leakage can easily be observed while carefully examining the hose pipes, clips and joints on the engine.
Internal leakage can be determined by checking the engine oil level again.
- Take out the dip stick and inspect the oil level. If the engine oil level increases it confirm the internal leakage.
- Internal coolant leakage could be due to:-
1. Cylinder head bolts loose or under torqued. (Re-Torque the bolts).
2. Burnt cylinder head gasket. (Always use original spares).
3. Cylinder and head surfaces warped. (Surface grind the cylinder head on surface grinding machine and replace the gasket).
4. Any corroded lid in the cylinder block or cylinder head assembly.
5. Oil cooler, if any.
If the test report of above mentioned procedure is found to be OK, start the engine, pull up dip stick a little, open breather tube from the tappet cover, keep it open and keep the engine start for as long as the water vapors coming out of these points disappear and the engine oil will become clear to its original color. At times it happens that immediately after replacing the cylinder head gasket some coolant may flow into the engine unavoidably and keep contaminating the engine oil for quite some time.
Hope that works.
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Hi Robert, No it is not normal for the coolant level to drop at any time. The BMW has a system which must be bled to free it of all air. The bleed screw is situated on the radiator and has a screw driver slot. Open the bleed screw and replace the coolant with the recommended coolant and then finish topping up with water until all bubbles have cleared from the system. Observe the level and if it drops again have a pressure test carried out on the system as if the level drops again, there must be a leakage. Likely places are hoses, and the water pump. If it is the water pump, the leakage may only be evident during engine operation, unless the leakage is severe in which case you will notice coolant dripping. Regards John
Raise the car front end as high as possible with a floor jack, fill the coolant tank to the top, run the engine until it reaches just short of overheating, shut it down and run water over the radiator, this will burp the air out. Repeat as needed. Don't let the coolant recovery tank run dry during procedure.
REPLACE THERMOSTAT IF TOP COOLANT COOLANT HOSE GOING TO RADIATOR IS HOT TO TOUCH THERMOSTAT OPEN. TO BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM FIRST YOU NEED TO ADD COOLANT TO THE COOLANT OVER FLOW JUG UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING AND STAY AT FULL COLD MARK.WAIT 3 MINUTES IF COOLANT DROPS ADD MORE COOLANT UNTIL COOLANT STAY AT FULL COLD MARK.WITH RADIATOR OVER CAP OFF CRANK ENGINE FOR MINUTE WATCH COOLANT LEVEL AT OVERFLOW JUG.IF COOLANT DROPS ADD MORE COOLANT IN THE OVERFLOW JUG.WHEN COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING IN OVERFLOW JUG.SCREW BACK ON THE RADIATOR CAP TO OVERFLOW JUG.WHILE ENGINE IDLING WATCH TEMPERATURE GAUGE WHEN TEMPERATURE START CLIMBING TURN OFF ENGINE WAIT A WHILE KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED.WHEN COOLANT COOL DOWN SOME. PLACE A LARGE RAG OVER THE COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG OPEN CAP LITTLE AT A TIME UNTIL PRESSURE RELEASED, THEN REMOVE CAP ADD MORE COOLANT IN THE OVERFLOW JUG TO THE FULL COLD MARK.THEN REPEAT THE PROCESS SCREW BACK ON THE COOLANT OVERFLOW RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP.THEN START ENGINE WATCH TEMPERATURE GAUGE WATCH COOLANT TEMPERATURE GAUGE WHEN COOLANT TEMPERATURE START RISING TURN OFF ENGINE AGAIN WAIT UNTIL ENGINE COOL DOWN ENOUGH TO KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED TAKE PLACE LARGE RAG OVER RADIATOR CAP WHICH IS THE COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG CAP OPEN CAP LITTLE AT A TIME UNTIL PRESSURE RELEASED ADD COOLANT UNTIL AT FULL COLD MARK. WHEN YOUR COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING.AND TOP RADIATOR HOSE VERY HOT THERMOSTAT OPEN AND AIR IS OUT THE COOLANT SYSTEM. MAKE SURE YOUR COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG HAS COOLANT IN IT,WHEN ENGINE COOL DOWN CHECK COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG KEEP COOLANT LEVEL AT FULL COLD MARK.BECAUSE IF OVERFLOW JUG IS EMPTY THATS A SIGN RADIATOR COOLANT LEVEL LOW.WHEN OVERFLOW JUG EMPTY IT WILL ALLOW AIR GET IN THE COOLANT SYSTEM AND CAUSE CAR TO OVERHEAT.WHEN REPLACING THERMOSTAT ALSO REPLACE THE RADIATOR CAP ON THE COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG.
OVERHEATING CAN BE CAUSE BY MANY THINGS LIKE FAULTY THERMOSTAT AND FAULTY RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP,TOO MUCH WATER IN COOLANT SYSTEM NEED 50 / 50 WATER AND ANTIFREEZE.LOOK FOR WATER PUMP WEEP HOLE LEAK, IF COOLANT LEAKING OUT WEEP HOLE WATER PUMP BAD NEED REPLACING.CHECK FOR LOW COOLANT LEVEL, YOUR RADIATOR OVERFLOW JUG SHOULD HAVE COOLANT AT THE FULL COLD MARK IF NOT KEEP ADDING COOLANT INTO COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG UNTIL COOLANT STOP DROPPING AND FULL COLD MARK, IF OVERFLOW COOLANT JUG WAS EMPTY RADIATOR IS LOW ON COOLANT.WHICH CAUSE AIR IN COOLANT SYSTEM KEEPING THE ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR FROM BEING SUBMERGE IN HOT COOLANT WHICH TURN ON THE COOLANT FANS.WHEN ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE GET CERTAIN SET TEMPERATURE LIKE 190 DEGREES THE PCM AND COOLANT SENSOR WILL TURN ON COOLANT FANS, IF VECHICLE OVERHEATING COOLANT FANS NOT WORKING EITHER YOU HAVE FAULTY ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR CHECK COOLANT FANS FUSE AND RELAYS. YOU CAN CODE SCAN CAR TO SEE IF YOU HAVE FAULTY PCM, FAULTY ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR OR FAULTY COOLANT FAN RELAY.IF COOLANT FAN AND ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR OKAY,YOU HAVE CORRECT COOLANT LEVEL IN COOLANT SYSTEM, THERMOSTAT AND RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP BEEN REPLACED, YOU COULD HAVE BLOWN HEAD GASKET CHECK ENGINE OIL LOOKS LIKE MILK SHAKE HEAD GASKET BLOWED ALSO WHEN HEAD GASKET BLOWED YOU CAN DRIVE CAR SHORT DISTANCE START OVERHEATING AND YOU LOOSE ENGINE POWER SUSPECT BLOWED HEAD GASKET.
WELL YOU NEED TO DRAIN COOLANT LEVEL BELOW THERMOSTAT LEVEL.YOU HAVE TO DISCONNECT MAF SENSOR LOOSEN AIRDUCT 2 LARGE CLAMPS LOOSEN REMOVE 4 SCREWS TO AIR FILTER COVER LIFT UP REMOVE COVER. THEN REMOVE AIR FILTER AND HOUSING, FIRST DISCONNECT MAF SENSOR.YOU HAVE TO DISCONNECT THROTTLE CABLE AND SHIFT CABLE.YOU HAVE TO DISCONNECT REMOVE THROTTLE BODY COOLANT HOSES DISCONNECT IDLE SPEED CONTROL VALVE CONNECTOR AND DISCONNECT TPS SENSOR CONNECTOR. THEN REMOVE THROTTLE BODY ASSEMBLY. YOU NEED TO BUY NEW THROTTLE BODY COOLANT HOSES AND NEW THROTTLE BODY GASKET FOLLOW TOP COOLANT HOSE TO ENGINE BLOCK.NOW YOU SEE CAN AND REMOVE THE THERMOSTAT HOUSING REPLACE THE THERMOSTAT.BESURE TO HAVE EXTRA COOLANT ON HAND.BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM WHEN DONE.TO BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM REMOVE RADIATOR CAP ON OVERFLOW JUG.THEN OPEN BLEED SCREW ON THE WATER PUMP BYPASS HOSE PIPE JUST A LITTLE.POUR COOLANT IN THE OVERFLOW JUG UNTIL LEVEL STOP DROPPING.STOP AT COLD MARK ON JUG.CLOSE BLEEDER SCREW ON WATER PUMP BYPASS HOSE PIPE.CRANK VECHICLE CHECK FOR LEAKS. START UP ENGINE LET IDLE FEW MINUTES THEN CHECK COOLANT LEVEL ADD MORE UNTIL UNTIL LEVEL STOP DROPPING.PUT RADIATOR CAP BACK ON OVERFLOW RESERVOIR. LET ENGINE IDLE WATCH COOLANT TEMPERATURE GAUGE.WHEN GAUGE START CLIMBING. TURN OFF ENGINE WAIT FEW MINUTES TAKE A LARGE RAG OPEN RADIATOR JUST A LITTLE YOU HEAR HISS NOISE.WHEN PRESSURE STABILIZE DONT GET SCALDED BECAREFUL.OPEN CAP LITTLE MORE.IF COOLANT PRESSURE STILL BOILS OUT WAIT 20 MINUTES ADD MORE COOLANT TO RADIATOR OVER FLOW WHEN COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING.PUT RADIATOR CAP BACK ON START VECHICLE UP LET IDLE UNTIL THERMOSTAT OPEN. THEN FEEL TOP RADIATOR HOSE FEELS HOT THERMOSTAT OPEN WATCH TEMPERATURE GAUGE.IF GAUGE TEMP START CLIMBING TURN OFF ENGINE WAIT A WHILE.CHECK AND ADD MORE COOLANT.WHEN THE ENGINE CAN IDLE TEMP GAUGE STOP CLIMBING YOU HAVE BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM.KEEP CHECK ON COOLANT LEVEL.
ANY TIME YOU CHANGE RADIATOR ONCE YOU GET THE NEW RADIATOR IN PLACE.FILL RADIATOR WITH ANTIFREEZE CRANK VECHICLE UNTIL THERMOSTAT OPEN. WHEN YOU TOUCH THE TOP RADIATOR HOSE.IF TOP HOSE HOT THERMOSTAT OPEN.CHECK RADIATOR COOLANT LEVEL IF DROPPED ANY.ADD COOLANT UNTIL LEVEL QUIT DROPPING. WHEN COOLANT LEVEL QUIT DROPPING YOUR COOLANT LEVEL IS CORRECT. NO MORE AIR IN COOLANT SYSTEM OR AROUND COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR COOLANT FAN SHOULD TURN ON ONCE ENGINE GET TO CERTAIN COOLANT TEMPERATURE.SEE IF COOLANT TOO LOW NOT ENOUGH COOLANT REACH COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR. SENSOR CANT TURN ON FANS IF ITS NOT IN HOT COOLANT. WHICH DECREASE ITS RESISTANCE WHICH CLOSE OR GROUND CIRCUIT CAUSING COOLING FANS TURN ON.
REPLACE THERMOSTAT TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE.IF YOU PUT NEW RADIATOR IN MORE LIKELY YOU NEED TO BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM CHECK COOLANT LEVEL WHEN ENGINE COOLS DOWN. YOU HAVE AIR IN COOLANT SYSTEM.AIR WILL EXPEL AND COOLANT LEVEL DROPS ADD MORE COOLANT UNTIL YOU HAVE RIGHT AMOUNT COOLANT IN RADIATOR.DONT DRIVE CAR UNTIL COOLANT SYSTEM BLEED.WHEN THERMOSTAT OPENS TURN OFF ENGINE WAIT A WHILE THEN CHECK COOLANT LEVEL KEEP ADDING UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING IN RADIATOR. USE LARGE RAG OVER RADIATOR CAP TO KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED BUT WAIT UNTIL COOL DOWN ENOUGH SO YOU WONT GET SCALDED.
If your coolant level is dropping, I would suggest that you take a good look at the water pump. That is a very common coolant leakage probelm area on your vehicle. I change 2-3 a week.
Hope this helps.