Coolant consumption - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 1:09 pm Thread Starter
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Coolant consumption

I'm at 28,4XX miles on my '99 LT that I bought back in February with 21k miles.

Had the full-blown 24k service done back in May - all fluids renewed and otherwise baselined this bike for service purposes. When I got the bike back from the Mortons Service department, the service manager mentioned I might need to add distilled water periodically until the coolant level stabilized. He said distilled water was just fine as they had roughly a 60/40 coolant ratio in the bike,and adding a bit of water wouldnt compromise the mixture.

I commute about 72 miles on this bike 3 or 4 days a week, here in the DC area.

In recent Months, I'm finding I periodicaly need to add a wee bit of water to bring the coolant up to the minimum line. "Wee bit" being defined as literally a quick splash of distilled water into the overflow tank under the seat.

I have no evidence of leaks, coolant in oil, or exhaust. It has been a hot Summer, and I do encounter stretches of stop & go traffic...

Question is, it seems 4k miles is a long time to stabilize my coolant level -- Is this normal?

2005 Kawasaki Z750S
1999 BMW K1200LT
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post #2 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 2:02 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

Since your adding water to the recovery bottle it's probably never mixing with the coolant and evaporating from the heat.

Try adding coolant instead and monitor the level. It will not evaporate as easily.

Larry Rusnak
Wadsworth, Ohio
2002 K1200LTC Pacific Blue
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post #3 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 2:20 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

If all you're having to add is a splash @ 4000 miles then I wouldn't worry about it, especially if you've had it serviced. If there were major air in the system, you'd have to add more than a splash. JM2CW

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post #4 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 3:03 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Coolant consumption

I'm adding a splash every 3 or 4 weeks - maybe 800 - 1000 miles).

Morning rides are in fairly cool weather (58 - 68 degrees).

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1972 Honda CL350

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post #5 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 7:03 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

I have never been able to keep the coolant level up to the max line when hot on either my 1999 or the current 2005 model I own. As with you if I try it just seems to disappear without any apparent leaks in the system. So I just stopped trying to top it up and it reaches a point where it is below the min. mark when cold and just above it when it reaches operating temperature. So I think as long as you can see some fluid in the reservoir you should be fine.

One thing I would be concerned about is always only adding water, this could eventually dilute the mixer where it is not as effective for both cooling and prevent freezing, so I only add antifreeze when topping up the level. But then again I live in Canada where it can get a little cold in the winter.

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post #6 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 9:31 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

I had been losing some coolant on my LT in 2006 shortly after I bought it. Turned out a bad head gasket was letting the coolant into the oil!!!
An oil analysis showed glycol in the oil.

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post #7 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 9:37 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

Thanks for the heads up. I haven't checked the coolant level in the last 6 months.

Bruce
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post #8 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 11:35 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

Which begs the question, my '09 runs about mid level on the temp gauge.
Is this about right?

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post #9 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 11:53 pm
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Re: Coolant consumption

Yep, there or just a hair below.

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post #10 of 10 Old Sep 11th, 2008, 11:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Coolant consumption

Is there a good place to send oil out for testing?

2005 Kawasaki Z750S
1999 BMW K1200LT
1972 Honda CL350

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