Coolant Loss At High Altitudes - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 9:27 pm Thread Starter
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Coolant Loss At High Altitudes

Has anyone ever noticed their LT's coolant level rise (in the reservoir) as you encounter elevation changes? Two times that I have ridden in the mountains, pulling up the hills, when i get to the top, my collant level in the reservoir has risen significantly and even spilled over (or out of the little spout). Anyone else ever had this happen. BTW, the bike ran fine and was not overheated.

Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
'06 Goldwing - "The Black Pearl"
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post #2 of 7 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 10:52 pm
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No.

I've never had any coolant issues on a cumulative 130K on two LT's... a 2001 (RIP) and 2003.

...and that includes riding at 118F in Death Valley (below sea level) pulling a 400 lb. trailer up STEEP terrain to 6K feet in the Sierras - and from 2500 feet in the desert at 90F to 20F at 10,500 feet on Independence Pass in Colorado, both trips one day each.

I've alway considered the LT's coolant system to be bulletproof - none better on any liquid cooled bike that I've ever owned, period. I never even bother to look at the coolant level except every 5K miles or so...

I think you should quit stressing out about all the LT's potential foliables and go for a nice long cathartic ride Jack... Does wonders...

My best guess is that your coolant was overfilled to begin with.


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post #3 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 5:38 am
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Might be time for a new radiator cap. Cap may not be seated correctly. They are a pain to reach.

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post #4 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 6:50 am
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coolant

I rode up Mt. Scott here one day and when I got to the top and parked, coolant was dripping out under my bike. Never lost any since then......

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post #5 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 10:15 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
No.

I've never had any coolant issues on a cumulative 130K on two LT's... a 2001 (RIP) and 2003.

...and that includes riding at 118F in Death Valley (below sea level) pulling a 400 lb. trailer up STEEP terrain to 6K feet in the Sierras - and from 2500 feet in the desert at 90F to 20F at 10,500 feet on Independence Pass in Colorado, both trips one day each.

I've alway considered the LT's coolant system to be bulletproof - none better on any liquid cooled bike that I've ever owned, period. I never even bother to look at the coolant level except every 5K miles or so...

I think you should quit stressing out about all the LT's potential foliables and go for a nice long cathartic ride Jack... Does wonders...

My best guess is that your coolant was overfilled to begin with.
I know what you mean, but I have just had so many failures on this bike...clutch slave...entire clutch...rear drive...abs sensor...Reverse cycling in and out..etc. And then, when I'm taking that long cathartic ride, I get to the top of a very easy mountain climb and park to enjoy the view and there sits my LT, gurgling with coolant dripping on the ground and the side of the bike!!!!! Hard to relax. My failures have not been "potentials" but, realities!

Just wondered if altitude would have any effect on coolant levels, as the bike was not overheated..
It just seemed to be getting forced out of the top of the reservoir. I think I'll pressure test the cap.

Thanks for all the input.

Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
'06 Goldwing - "The Black Pearl"
Too many others to list...


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post #6 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 11:04 am
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You will get quite a bit of coolant expansion on a long uphill pull, such as a mountain pass. Nothing out of the ordinary, your engine is just working harder pulling uphill and taxes the cooling system a bit harder and longer than on the flats. If your overflow was a bit overfull, you can get some coolant venting.

One way to avoid it is to drop down a gear and go a little slower, the engine will not be pulling so hard and heating up as fast.

No biggie.

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post #7 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 12:27 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccpastorjack
Just wondered if altitude would have any effect on coolant levels, as the bike was not overheated..
It just seemed to be getting forced out of the top of the reservoir. I think I'll pressure test the cap.

Thanks for all the input.
Hi, Jack - (it's a shame that I enjoy sayin' that, butt ya can do it here cuz we ain't plane'n or de-plane'n!! ).

Anyway, Jack, I believe it wuz at CCR Breckenridge when one, or maybe two, of the arriving LTs arrived to suddenly find their rear drive unit leaking a fluid trail down the casing. Turned out the diagnosis wuz the change in altitude and resultant decrease in atmospheric pressure. The thought at the time wuz that the particular unit 'may' have been slightly overfilled prior to the ride up to Breck and tossed the excess out the normal venting hole. Lotsa bikes around the hotel were checked after that, and no other 'events'!
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