2003 K1200LT Coolant level question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 19 Old Sep 8th, 2008, 2:47 pm Thread Starter
 
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Question 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Hi, I'm new & this is my first post.
Sorry about the stupid question, but here goes:
How do I check the coolant level?
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post #2 of 19 Old Sep 8th, 2008, 3:11 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Open left saddle bag with bike on center stand. Window near pull for seat release IIRC. Even with the window, I have a very hard time seeing the level of the coolant. I have found that it helps to shake the bike a little to agitate the fluid.

Lee Nowell
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post #3 of 19 Old Sep 9th, 2008, 12:34 pm
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Thumbs up Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

I just have to point out something about this forum.
A new member posts what seems like a basic question, and the first answer he gets is not an attack about the importance of the question or a 'why don't you use the search button' reply, but an honest, reliable, serious answer to the question. This is possibly the best forum on the internet! I mention this because I bought my wife a new Nissan the other day, signed up for a forum about the car, and posted a simple but heartfelt question and got nothing but angry replies. I posted in reply to their posts how I was used to seeing a forum run, thanked them because that's who I am, and then quit. I just needed to say that we have a good bunch of people on this forum, kudos.

Now on to this post. My coolant window always looks full, even after jiggling the bike a bit, and I am having problems with overheating on my 2000 LT. Well, put it this way, driving through the traffic in Vegas on the 15 I had to stop twice to let her cool (which is a slow process in 110 degrees). I'm thinking that my radiator fins are too full of dents and bugs to cool correctly, or my Pia's are mounted too close to the radiators to allow air flow around them, but I feel as if I am missing something. Any ideas?

(now I'm waiting for the angry replies, lol!)
Rick

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2000 K1200 LT
1973 R75/5
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1999 R1100 RTP (sold)
1998 R1100 GS (totaled)
1991 R100 RT (sold)
1988 Honda NR250 (sold)
1983 Honda CB350 (sold)
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post #4 of 19 Old Sep 9th, 2008, 12:48 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

(I agree with you, Rick, and wish I either had a funny insult or a worthwile suggestion for you. Since I don't...)

When I go to check my coolant I shine a flashlight down the filler tube (under the seat, left side. A black rubber cap that you pull off) and do it in a low light setting, like in my garage. This usually lets me see the fluid in the side window--especially if I shake the bike a bit.

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post #5 of 19 Old Sep 9th, 2008, 1:03 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

I had an over heating issue as well on warm days in Minnesota on my 2000. (yes we do get warm days in Minn). I changed the radiator cap and that took care of it. Try a new cap and see if this helps.

Tom Ress
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post #6 of 19 Old Sep 9th, 2008, 2:13 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Quote:
Originally Posted by secretaryrick
Now on to this post. My coolant window always looks full, even after jiggling the bike a bit, and I am having problems with overheating on my 2000 LT. Well, put it this way, driving through the traffic in Vegas on the 15 I had to stop twice to let her cool (which is a slow process in 110 degrees). I'm thinking that my radiator fins are too full of dents and bugs to cool correctly, or my Pia's are mounted too close to the radiators to allow air flow around them, but I feel as if I am missing something. Any ideas?

Rick
Do you hear the fans coming on? Both of them?
I doubt the PIAAs are enough to divert the air flow; I have a set on my 05 and never overheated in the Desert, so my inclination would be to look elsewhere.
How did you assert your LT was overheating? On your model the gauge will got pretty high (although not in the red), a normal occurence, until the fans kick in, then the temp goes down.
What are you seeing?

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post #7 of 19 Old Sep 9th, 2008, 2:38 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

If the coolant cap is bad, the fans may come on but the bike will still tend to overheat. A bad coolant cap will really show itself if you are riding with a good airstream crossing the radiators and the temp is still rising a little.

Both of my radiators are full of dings, sand and bugs, but they work well. If your bike overheats only when you are going slow or waiting in traffic, I would follow the post suggesting you check to see if your fans are actually working. Could be a fuse problem.

Lee Nowell
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post #8 of 19 Old Sep 9th, 2008, 5:48 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

The techs at Sierra BMW do the flashlight trick but shine the light from the bottom. I have a tough time as well and they admitted it is tough to see.
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post #9 of 19 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 9:52 am
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Here is another way. Shine the light through the hole on the sidecase and look in the filler tube on top of the reservoir. It seems easier for me to see the fluid level that way.

One question. Does the HOT light come on? The indicator light will let you know when you have reached the overheat limit and need to shutdown.

Bill McAllister
St. Louis, MO.
2003 K1200LTE
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post #10 of 19 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 10:03 am
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Cool Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

+1 on the radiator cap being a possible cause of overheating. One of our members had this crop up while riding the Alpine Loop at CCR just a couple of weeks ago. The overheating was found to be caused by his radiator cap.

John
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom1200
I had an over heating issue as well on warm days in Minnesota on my 2000. (yes we do get warm days in Minn). I changed the radiator cap and that took care of it. Try a new cap and see if this helps.

John & Marilyn Fisher
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Last edited by AlaskaFish; Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:04 am. Reason: Typo
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post #11 of 19 Old Sep 11th, 2008, 12:10 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Do you hear the fans coming on? Both of them?
I doubt the PIAAs are enough to divert the air flow; I have a set on my 05 and never overheated in the Desert, so my inclination would be to look elsewhere.
How did you assert your LT was overheating? On your model the gauge will got pretty high (although not in the red), a normal occurence, until the fans kick in, then the temp goes down.
What are you seeing?

On 'normal' days, the temp needle sits just above the half way line. On the warmer days, or through a town with stop lights and traffic, the line moves to just below the red line, and the fans kick in. On HOT days, like my last trip from Monument Valley back to Anaheim, (avg. 110 degrees) or like through Vegas, the overheat idiot light comes on, and the needle enters the red zone. At that point I pull over and let her breath. Took me two stops to get through Vegas with all the traffic. I usually don't worry about the heat until the idiot light goes on, and then I feel I must act by turning her off. I have also found that if I can get to 45 miles per hour or faster, I can get the temp needle down below the red zone, no matter what the ambient temp is. Ideas?
Thanks,
Rick

_________________________

2000 K1200 LT
1973 R75/5
1999 Honda Africa Twin (sold)
1999 R1100 RTP (sold)
1998 R1100 GS (totaled)
1991 R100 RT (sold)
1988 Honda NR250 (sold)
1983 Honda CB350 (sold)
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post #12 of 19 Old Sep 11th, 2008, 12:12 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaFish
+1 on the radiator cap being a possible cause of overheating. One of our members had this crop up while riding the Alpine Loop at CCR just a couple of weeks ago. The overheating was found to be caused by his radiator cap.

John

I forgot to mention it, but I don't think I would have even thought of checking the radiator caps! Thanks guys, I heading out to the garage now!
(I have NEVER had radiators let alone caps on any of my other bikes! Geez!)

_________________________

2000 K1200 LT
1973 R75/5
1999 Honda Africa Twin (sold)
1999 R1100 RTP (sold)
1998 R1100 GS (totaled)
1991 R100 RT (sold)
1988 Honda NR250 (sold)
1983 Honda CB350 (sold)
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post #13 of 19 Old Sep 12th, 2008, 11:26 am
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

I rode my LT all through the summer traffic with quite a few (way too many, actually) days of temps over 110F and my idiot light never came on and the needle never actually went into the red zone so it seems to me that there is a problem somewhere in your system.

I like the radiator cap idea, and whether or not that works I remember having that proble with a car once because someone* hadn't properly purged the air out of the system. Changed the fluid lately?

*= all right, it was me. But I prefer to try to blame my brother.

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post #14 of 19 Old Sep 13th, 2008, 3:38 am
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lare
I like the radiator cap idea, and whether or not that works I remember having that proble with a car once because someone* hadn't properly purged the air out of the system. Changed the fluid lately?

*= all right, it was me. But I prefer to try to blame my brother.
The fluid was checked/filled by the last dealer tune up done at 100,000 miles, about 5000 miles ago. I looked at it during my recent trip a few times but came away without really knowing if what I was seeing was helpful. I'm going to replace the caps because they've been on active duty since new, and I would think that they should be replaced even if it didn't help my issue. In other words, it couldn't hurt!
By the way, if it wasn't your brother, then it was definitely mine!

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2000 K1200 LT
1973 R75/5
1999 Honda Africa Twin (sold)
1999 R1100 RTP (sold)
1998 R1100 GS (totaled)
1991 R100 RT (sold)
1988 Honda NR250 (sold)
1983 Honda CB350 (sold)
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post #15 of 19 Old Sep 13th, 2008, 7:38 am
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

I'd think it very well might be the pressure cap. Kind of a pain to get to but doable without pulling any tupperware. In your case, the light on the left might make it harder to reach but its there.

If not near a BMW dealer, take the cap to a NAPA dealer and have him match it up, I think a GEO metro, again, I think, might be the match. This is from experiencing some problems in the middle of South Dakota with the nearest BWM dealer a few hundred miles in any direction. Its still there so must be a good one.

Having a lot of the neat tools that we tend to gather up through the years, I got an air compressor. Blow air through your radiators backwards from normal air flow and watch all the trash, dead bugs, leaves, candy wrappers, who knows what come out. Try to not get too close and bend the fins or spin up the fans too hard. Do it outside or you'll have a mess to clean up. Got to help air flow through the radiators.

B D R
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post #16 of 19 Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:23 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Thanks! this thread is exactly what I needed. The light shining down into the resevoir (Lare) worked perfectly. Also there was another thread that listed a spec sheet on the coolant - Glysantin G48.
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post #17 of 19 Old Jun 4th, 2013, 3:35 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Quote:
Originally Posted by secretaryrick
I just have to point out something about this forum.
A new member posts what seems like a basic question, and the first answer he gets is not an attack about the importance of the question or a 'why don't you use the search button' reply, but an honest, reliable, serious answer to the question. This is possibly the best forum on the internet! I mention this because I bought my wife a new Nissan the other day, signed up for a forum about the car, and posted a simple but heartfelt question and got nothing but angry replies. I posted in reply to their posts how I was used to seeing a forum run, thanked them because that's who I am, and then quit. I just needed to say that we have a good bunch of people on this forum, kudos.



(now I'm waiting for the angry replies, lol!)
Rick
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post #18 of 19 Old Jun 5th, 2013, 10:47 am
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Funny that this is a five year old thread but it still applies. There are great people on here. I was an MOA member until I made a post on the forums about my rear brake ABS and got a bunch of people telling me how to ride and what an idiot I was. let my membership expire and will never go back.
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post #19 of 19 Old Aug 7th, 2018, 2:26 pm
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Re: 2003 K1200LT Coolant level question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red1 View Post
Hi, I'm new & this is my first post.
Sorry about the stupid question, but here goes:
How do I check the coolant level?
Another stupid one.
How do I check the coolant level on a 2003 K1200 GT?
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