Question about 2003 BMW 5 Series

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Engine coolant low

Hi Folks,
My dashboard display is showing 'engine coolant low' intermittently despite the fact that I topped it off with water two weeks ago. When I attempt to clear the error, the red LED remains on. Temp indicator on the dash has remained at mid point over the two weeks, no problems with over heating.
Is the engine coolant water only? Also is it fed from form the pipe inlet under the hood just below the wipers only?
Am totally paranoid about it now and am reluctant to drive it in case I do damage.Would REALLY REALLY appreciate any advice you can provide
Rgds, Gavin
Hi Guys
I have a BMW X5 and having the same problem , engine coolant indiacator comes on the dash .
I have been filling with water , everything seems ok .
Should i be worried ?

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All autos should run a coolant mixture of 50% water, 50% anti-freeze. BMW in particular have their own formulation of anti-freeze they highly recommend you use instead of any other brand.

If your temp gauge is at mid point on a BMW it is a little high. Could be that you have too much water in the mixture and it isn't cooling properly. There is an over flow (usually plastic) which runs out of the radiator. It is here that you replentish coolant. NOT in the radiator.

At this point I'd be more concerned with where that coolant is going. I don't have to add water to my Beemer more than once a year.

Maybe you have a bad temperature sensor. Maybe a bad thermostat. At any rate, at this point I'd bite the bullet and go see the man at the BMW shop.

Better safe than sorry.


Posted on May 23, 2009

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No DTC definition code found p1114

Hi there:
DTC P1114 - Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Sensor Circuit Intermittent Low Voltage/IAT - B Circuit Low Input

The engine coolant temperature sensor is a thermistor (a resistor which changes value based on temperature) mounted in the engine coolant passage. Low coolant temperature produces a high resistance 100,000 ohms at -40 oC (-40 oF) while high temperature causes low resistance 70 ohms at 130 oC (266 oF).

The VCM supplies a 5 volt signal to the engine coolant temperature sensor through a resistor in the VCM and measures the voltage. The voltage will be high when the engine is cold. The voltage will be low when the engine is hot. By measuring the voltage, the VCM calculates the engine coolant temperature. Engine coolant temperature affects most systems the VCM controls.

The scan tool displays engine coolant temperature in degrees. After engine start-up, the temperature should rise steadily to about 9O oC (194 oF) then stabilize when thermostat opens. If the engine has not been run for several hours (overnight), the engine coolant temperature and intake air temperature displays should be close to each other. When the VCM detects a malfunction in the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor circuit, the following Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) s will set.

Hope this helps.

Feb 15, 2013 | 2000 Audi A6

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Sounds like sticking thermostat. Replace thermostat if you see no leaks anywhere else.
You need to drain out any bad coolant or water when you replace thermostat and refill with concentrated antifreeze until you have at least 50% antifreeze water ratio.
You have to bleed the engine with new antifreeze solution so there's no air. I always go to youtube and see how mechanics do each engine bleed. Search your car and engine and `coolant flush'. don-ohio

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2000 vw beetle 2.0 L, low level coolant light...engine mil code 1256

not the pump but air in the system or a broken wire to the coolant level sensor
that sensor at the top of the radiator tank has to be completely immersed in coolant or the circuit is broken and the light comes on
same effect id the wire to that sensor is broken in the insulation

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Loud thump coming from dashboard heater motor at start up and shu

There is air in your engine cooling system. Check your coolant level at the radiator and make sure you do it when it's cold, don't want you to get burnt from hot antifreeze. Add a 50/50 water/antifreeze mix if the radiator is low and place the radiator cap back on, but only on the first click and top off the coolant over flow canister with the 50/50 mix also. Start the engine and place the heater on high and go for a test drive to ensure you get the engine warmed up to allow the thermostat to open up. After you get back from your test drive before you turn the engine off, close off the radiator cap to the second click. Make sure you wear gloves or have a cloth so you don't burn your self due to the hot radiator cap. If the cap is not hot, then you have not circulated all of the coolant through the engine. This should get the air out of the system and keep an eye on your coolant level in the over flow tank and top off as needed according to the proper level indicated on the tank it self. Good luck and keep me posted.

Jan 13, 2010 | 1999 Chevrolet Suburban

1 Answer

Intermittent heat


Intermittent heat is usually the result of a low coolant state. What happens is the heater core isn't getting the circulation necessary to keep the air warm. The irony is that your engine will run hotter when this happens.

To fix this, start with a cold engine and open the radiator fill cap.
Start the engine and top off the coolant.
Let the engine keep running and warm up.
When it begins to cycle the coolant check the level again. Top it off again.
Turn the heater on full blast
Keep topping after each cycle until it stops needing fluid.

At that time the heater should be blowing hot air consistently.

Best regards

Oct 27, 2009 | 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara

2 Answers


It actually sounds to me like you're low on coolant. My Jeep leaks coolant and whenever it gets low the temp gauge will go real high and then drop, and the heater doesn't work well. This is because the cooling system of your car is supposed to be a closed system, full of coolant and no air. When coolant leaks out, the space it used to occupy is now occupied by air, which does not transfer heat well. When 'air' is passing through your cooling system, no heat can be transferred from your engine to the heater and radiator, resulting in a hot engine and no heat at the heater. Then when a pocket of water passes through the system, the temperature gauge quickly falls as the water absorbs the heat from the engine. The hot water that cools the engine is where the heater gets it's heat from as well, so when water passes through the heater core, the heater works, but when it's filled with air, it doesn't.

Hot water runs through the heater core regardless of whether or not your thermostat is open or closed. That's why your heater works in the winter even before the engine is at normal operating temperature. The fact that the heater stops working is a good sign that the thermostat is probably not the culprit.

As for the water pump. If the water pump was bad, your temp gauge would go into the red and stay there. Water pumps generally don't work intermittently. Either it's good and ot works, or it's bad and it doesn't.

However, if you are in fact low on water, as I suspect, it means you probably have a leak somewhere. The leak could be in the water pump housing gasket, so depending on where you take it for repairs, they may try to sell you a new water pump anyhow. So just beware of that.

Feb 12, 2009 | 2004 Chevrolet Blazer

1 Answer

Flashing graphic on dashboard

If it shows flashing water spout, it's got to be the coolant, check for low coolant, or if it's over heating'

Jan 26, 2009 | 2000 Audi A6

1 Answer

Engine coolant low

Hi Gavin,
I'm no expert on Jaguars, but if there is a "low coolant" warning light when there isn't "low coolant" it may be that the level sensor has got poor electrical connections, possibly due to corroded or dirty terminals, or the sensor may be faulty. If there is a removable electrical connector on the container where you add coolant, that might need checking.

The cooling system should be a mixture of water and "antifreeze / summer coolant". I don't know where you live but the car manual will tell you the correct mixture to use. The stuff you add to the water contains corrosion inhibitors and other chemicals to make the engine last longer.

But there will be several different liquid containers and filling points under the hood and you mustn't get them mixed up!

Coolant expansion tank - where you top up coolant
Windscreen washer liquid tank
Engine oil filler
Brake fluid / hydraulic systems reservoir
and maybe others too.
These should all be clearly identified in the users manual - well worth a read.

If these suggestions do help you solve the problem, please give my reply a rating to help others judge my knowledge / guessing skills.
If they do not, please add a comment with more details so I can try to help you further.
Cheers, D

Jul 01, 2008 | 2000 Jaguar XK

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