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18zi

top up coolant or change?

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Hi, I had a warning message this morning for low coolant level. Just wondering if I should simply top up or should I book the car in for complete change of coolant, as I read on the forum that coolant should be changed every 4 years - which my 64 plate is due?  If I can get away with top up, can I mix with any coolant or should I get the OEM coolant, and does anyone know what is used at BMW dealer? Thanks.

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Coolant loss is a classic sign that your egr valve is holed and leaking into the engine.

Theres no silent recall for the 3.0l engines but if its under warranty I'd speak to your dealer asap. 

Edited by SuperDave

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Sounds like you have an EGR cooler (part of the overall EGR system), but is responsible for cooling the gasses from the EGR) failure as said above there is currently a technical campaign to get all cars from 2012 - 2015 with an N57, N47 or B47 in to check the EGR cooler. 

 

If left they can potentially allow carbon and coolant to mix eventually exposed to enough high temperature gasses it will smoke and potentially as BMW put it a "thermal event" may occur, aka a fire. Check about it on Google by searching egr cooler failure bmw and fires will appear.

 

The N57 should use NO coolant what so ever! Chances are the cooler is fractured internally which will lead to the above, if not it will be going into the engine and out the exhaust as white smoke, you may smell it more first though (but if you have the coolant warning it will only get worse). I would say not to leave it long. It may have also fractured on a metal pipe on the rear side which you cannot see without taking it off and will be loosing coolant that way, it may be noticeable at start up with a strong sweet smell of coolant.

Edited by Ninja59

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11 minutes ago, Ninja59 said:

 there is currently a technical campaign to get all cars from 2012 - 2015 with an N57, N47 or B47 in to check the EGR cooler.

 

I was under the impression the problem was specific to the B47, so N47 is effected as well?

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It depends how define "effected". The technical campaign only covers the B47 and N57, but and it is a big "but" I believe that some of the EGR coolers are shared hence why I added the N47 as well and I know of EGR cooler failures with similar failures (and some of the Korean failures were on cars made prior to the B47 and were not N57's, make of that what you will)

 

It won't stop BMW from extending the technical campaign as they so wish, which they have done in the past. But for now it definitely is B47 and N57 that are covered. The N57 failures have been going on for years, so why BMW did not do something earlier lord knows. There is probably more 6 pots caught up in this as it covers more years brutally.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, SuperDave said:

Coolant loss is a classic sign that your egr valve is holed and leaking into the engine.

Theres no silent recall for the 3.0l engines but if its under warranty I'd speak to your dealer asap. 

 

6 hours ago, Ninja59 said:

Sounds like you have an EGR cooler (part of the overall EGR system), but is responsible for cooling the gasses from the EGR) failure as said above there is currently a technical campaign to get all cars from 2012 - 2015 with an N57, N47 or B47 in to check the EGR cooler. 

 

If left they can potentially allow carbon and coolant to mix eventually exposed to enough high temperature gasses it will smoke and potentially as BMW put it a "thermal event" may occur, aka a fire. Check about it on Google by searching egr cooler failure bmw and fires will appear.

 

The N57 should use NO coolant what so ever! Chances are the cooler is fractured internally which will lead to the above, if not it will be going into the engine and out the exhaust as white smoke, you may smell it more first though (but if you have the coolant warning it will only get worse). I would say not to leave it long. It may have also fractured on a metal pipe on the rear side which you cannot see without taking it off and will be loosing coolant that way, it may be noticeable at start up with a strong sweet smell of coolant.

 

 

I drove the car again this afternoon to pick up my daughter and the warning is gone, can I assume it is safe to drive for another week or so? I'm asking because my MOT is due 5 Nov so I could get the car to the dealer for both sorting out this coolant/EGR problem and have the MOT done together saving me another trip. Just a few miles round trip daily and no long distance drive planned before getting it into the dealer.

 

I also checked BMW 's website, there's two recalls but no mention of this EGR issue, will ask when booking my car.

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18 minutes ago, IINexusII said:

N47 is unaffected because the timing chain breaks before the EGR cooler leaks :rolleyes:

Here we go again. Chains snapping affects about 1% of N47 engines, but 100% of the people it happens to are rightly pissed off, and come on these forums to vent. I don't vent as I'm one of the 'fortunate' 99%. But you partly make your own luck with frequent oil changes  - something a first company car owner couldn't have cared less about.

There is no current recall for N47 EGR, and I imagine the vast majority of them will be out of warranty by now too (apart from the owner-revered BMW AUC cars or those with extended warranty (would anyone bother with a 520d?)). So whilst EGRs may be a perceived issue, it's not one BMW acknowledges.

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18zi, I'd say to the dealer you're getting a strong smell of exhaust in the cabin on startup on cold mornings and the smell is from the front of the engine, and noticed a loss of coolant. Should get their attention. 

You can top up with deionised water a bit. Just check the level first when cold and leave space for more of the right bmw coolant.

Cotswold bmw might send a litre or two without postal charge  if you order via the forum and would probably arrive in a day or two. 

Edited by SuperDave

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2 hours ago, BFleming said:

Here we go again. Chains snapping affects about 1% of N47 engines, but 100% of the people it happens to are rightly pissed off, and come on these forums to vent. I don't vent as I'm one of the 'fortunate' 99%. But you partly make your own luck with frequent oil changes  - something a first company car owner couldn't have cared less about.

There is no current recall for N47 EGR, and I imagine the vast majority of them will be out of warranty by now too (apart from the owner-revered BMW AUC cars or those with extended warranty (would anyone bother with a 520d?)). So whilst EGRs may be a perceived issue, it's not one BMW acknowledges.

 

https://people.howstuffworks.com/sarcasm1.htm

 

But you're right, there are no recalls for the EGR on the N47

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3 hours ago, IINexusII said:

N47 is unaffected because the timing chain breaks before the EGR cooler leaks :rolleyes:

 

and

2 hours ago, BFleming said:

Here we go again.......stuff

 

and 

 

5 minutes ago, IINexusII said:

 

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

 

My stomach now hurts.

 

Thanks for cheering me up guys.

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11 hours ago, 18zi said:

 

 

 

I drove the car again this afternoon to pick up my daughter and the warning is gone, can I assume it is safe to drive for another week or so? I'm asking because my MOT is due 5 Nov so I could get the car to the dealer for both sorting out this coolant/EGR problem and have the MOT done together saving me another trip. Just a few miles round trip daily and no long distance drive planned before getting it into the dealer.

 

I also checked BMW 's website, there's two recalls but no mention of this EGR issue, will ask when booking my car.

IT is not a recall! It is a technical campaign and has nothing to do with the DVLA. It is a sly way of doing recalls without public release....

 

Get it in asap as your manifold could melt taking a job that is not cheap but not stupidly pricey to easily 1500 - 2k....unless you get goodwill or have warranty.

 

Mine had the first signs of issues but I still got bmw assist to sort it and get it there.

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13 hours ago, 18zi said:

 

I drove the car again this afternoon to pick up my daughter and the warning is gone, can I assume it is safe to drive for another week or so? I'm asking because my MOT is due 5 Nov so I could get the car to the dealer for both sorting out this coolant/EGR problem and have the MOT done together saving me another trip. Just a few miles round trip daily and no long distance drive planned before getting it into the dealer.

 

 

As the message has popped up and gone away, I'd be concerned so... open the cap on the coolant expansion tank (cool engine of course) and eyeball the coolant level in relation to the MAX level indicator. If too low, get the genuine coolant from BMW and top it up.

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On 9/26/2018 at 6:25 PM, SuperDave said:

18zi, I'd say to the dealer you're getting a strong smell of exhaust in the cabin on startup on cold mornings and the smell is from the front of the engine, and noticed a loss of coolant. Should get their attention. 

You can top up with deionised water a bit. Just check the level first when cold and leave space for more of the right bmw coolant.

Cotswold bmw might send a litre or two without postal charge  if you order via the forum and would probably arrive in a day or two. 

 

Thanks SuperDave, called the dealer and told them as you advised but the lady does not seem to know better than me, my car is booked in the week after next week for inspection and I'll talk to them when drop off the car.

 

On 9/27/2018 at 7:01 AM, Matthew Ashton said:

 

As the message has popped up and gone away, I'd be concerned so... open the cap on the coolant expansion tank (cool engine of course) and eyeball the coolant level in relation to the MAX level indicator. If too low, get the genuine coolant from BMW and top it up.

 

Bought the coolant and had to top up three cups! ...... 

 

On 9/27/2018 at 5:05 AM, Ninja59 said:

IT is not a recall! It is a technical campaign and has nothing to do with the DVLA. It is a sly way of doing recalls without public release....

 

Get it in asap as your manifold could melt taking a job that is not cheap but not stupidly pricey to easily 1500 - 2k....unless you get goodwill or have warranty.

 

Mine had the first signs of issues but I still got bmw assist to sort it and get it there.

 

so the technical campaign is that customer have to pay for the fix if car is out of warranty? I have booked my car for a check but should I ask about the technical champaign?

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20 hours ago, 18zi said:

 

Thanks SuperDave, called the dealer and told them as you advised but the lady does not seem to know better than me, my car is booked in the week after next week for inspection and I'll talk to them when drop off the car.

 

 

Bought the coolant and had to top up three cups! ...... 

 

 

so the technical campaign is that customer have to pay for the fix if car is out of warranty? I have booked my car for a check but should I ask about the technical champaign?

No a technical campaign is a for of BMW specific "recall" if you want. You do not pay for it and they fix it like they would for a "recall". 

 

It just means that it is less public than a full "recall" that involves public bodies, in the UK being the DVLA. This ultimately means that for a number of them they never get made public and most probably fly under the radar without getting into public knowledge.

 

For example my 640 has the 6WB cluster, this has a technical campaign as under certain circumstances it has issues. I never knew about it but there is one on there, and I thought it seemed "faster" one time after the car had been in....well it had been "recoded". 

 

Such issues like the timing chain issues of the N47, this EGR TC either through BMW making them public or them escaping the confines of BMW's system do they become public knowledge. Most of it will be driven out of Puma situations, but then a number of changes that never quite make a full TC will be classified under "PUMA measures" if a car comes in with issue X and needs Y. 

 

I don't agree with TC's, as I think any issue like the EGR issue should be a full on recall as it does involve an issue of safety (as for BMW calling them thermal events just say "fire" I mean FFS) but they are becoming a more and more common way of manufacturers being seen to be "resolving" issues without public authority interference (and therefore less "public scrutiny", at least in the UK. Elsewhere where regulations (and the potential for being sued is more likely) say North America then you will likely find measures are made more public via these bodies.

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