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Is this what the tech told you, or do you know it for fact?
It was the information from the Tech. I was surprised by what he said, because in ever other vehicle I have had, the tank was an expansion tank, and not simple there to provide reserve coolant, but he assured me that it was a reserve tank, and not an expansion tank.

That being said, the small amount of coolant necessary to put the level up 1/4 inch is round about an ounce. there is plenty of room above the "max" line for some expansion of the coolant.
 

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God forbid that anyone might look at the owner's manual... BMW calls it an "expansion tank" and tells you to fill via that tank. See about page 128 in your manual.


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I just went to buy coolant assuming that it was an expansion tank like any other vehicle. The guy went out of his way with his explanation of it being a "reserve" tank. Sounded odd to me, but he was a tech at the dealer, so I made the mistake of believing him.

In any case, the rest of what he told me was helpful in terms of how much coolant to mix and what type of bottle to use to top it up in the tight space, etc...

I put it at the "max" mark cold just before heading to the BMW MOA rally in July, and its well above the middle of Min/Max, so I haven't had to touch it since anyway.

Any coolant use has been few drips from the famous "weep hole".
 

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Yeah, I had suspected the tech! You do have to be careful with some of these guys. There are many similar stories in this, and other forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
algerlotz said: "Any coolant use has been few drips from the famous "weep hole".

Brilliant!!!

History lesson.... I experienced the now-famous Weep-Hole leak when my Wethead was a youngster. I took her in for a check. The Service Manager basically said no big deal some of them do it, some don't... if it keeps weeping-up bring it back... etc. Mine apparently accomplished the self-heal operation and has had no continued leak out of the weep hole.... now- you can read this thread from the top and see my latest comments on the Low Coolant Level question and remedy...

I never made the connection between the Seep and the Low Coolant level... freaking' brilliant!... coupled with simultaneous brain-fade.

I technical terms this is what we in the business call a BFBO... Blinding Flash of the Bloody Obvious! Funny how things follow a logical order even it takes a few years to become obvious. Green stuff comes out of the engine via the Weep Hole... two or three years later the inquisitive owner notices the bike runs one or two bars hotter than normal... investigates and adds a few ounces of new coolant... cooling return to normal.

Wow!

Now I will keep an eye on the Weep Hole again to see if more Green Spooge goes out ... (technical term)...

Thanks guys--- two mysteries resolved. (of course it does leave one question open... why would the dealer which owns all my service records not make the connection between coolant coming out of the weep hole and not check the coolant level during a regular service????)
 

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I was able to get a quart of the bmw coolant from the motorcycle dealer. Its concentrated, so you mix 50/50 with water.
That is good to know, and it's something I assumed must to be the case. From the factory on my '16 the level was just under the bottom line of the overflow reservoir, so I added what amounted to maybe a few tablespoons of water to get it up to the top of the range just because. I guess I didn't hurt anything by adding a little water :laugh:

I notice when the bike is fully warmed to the point the cooling fan comes on at a maximum it will get up to +2 bars over the midpoint, then quickly go down to 1 bar when the fan kicks on, then go down to the midpoint when back to normal operating temperature. I was delighted to see on my ride past LV to St. George UT last year at nearly 113F for 3 hours she stayed right at the midpoint the entire ride and that was mostly uphill! The PR4GT tires however have a max temperature rating of 113F! Glad they didn't slide all over the place the pavement surface temp must have been pushing 160F :surprise:
 

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I notice when the bike is fully warmed to the point the cooling fan comes on at a maximum it will get up to +2 bars over the midpoint, then quickly go down to 1 bar when the fan kicks on, then go down to the midpoint when back to normal operating temperature. I was delighted to see on my ride past LV to St. George UT last year at nearly 113F for 3 hours she stayed right at the midpoint the entire ride and that was mostly uphill! The PR4GT tires however have a max temperature rating of 113F! Glad they didn't slide all over the place the pavement surface temp must have been pushing 160F :surprise:
This is the exact behavior I see with my bike when riding in the heat (including the exact stretch of 15 that you mentioned coming back from the MOA rally in July :wink: )
 

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I do not believe the coolant is leaking from the weep hole. If it was you would see it. The blue is very distinct against the gray paint.

I had a few drops at 385 miles and it has been dry since.

That said I have no clue where it goes. I just had the bike naked and checked all hoses for any sings of weep or crud and they were clean.

I reinstalled my radiator guards and flushed my radiators. They were so covered in bugs and such I just had to do it. I also had a splotch of tar about 3/8" x 2" on the fan side one that I needed to get off. That is why I reinstalled my guards. I also removed the fan as that gives you access to flush the radiator better.

I had just filled my coolant from just below the min line to max line and that takes just shy of 4 ozs.

I usually run at 5 bars, 6 if I been pushing it and then back to 5 when I just cruise. 6 and above in stop and go and higher until the fan kicks in.

I checked my cap on the oil fill looking for cream or white coloration and see noting to indicate there is water in the oil.

A mystery for sure but not enough to worry over it too much. I will just keep a eye on it and see how many miles it takes to drop again if it does

As clean as I keep my bike I know for sure the loss is not a weep hole issue. And by looking over every hose connection I feel they are not leaking so when anyone gets the answer please share.
 

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I had my right side panel off the other day to look at my plastic tabs (not broken) and noticed that my coolant expansion tank was empty. I have not had any indication of overheating.
I have owned this bike just about 6 months, and the selling dealer gave me a worksheet of all the work that was done prior to the sale. Specifically the 12k service. No mention was made of coolant.

So in searching here for coolant info I see the obligatory "use BMW Coolant" mandate.

I also own a 2014 Harley Limited with liquid cooled heads and have a supply of Genuine Harley Davidson coolant (see link below).

Do you think I would harm my system if I topped off the tank with HD coolant?

https://www.harley-davidson.com/store/engine-coolant-anti-freeze
 

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Personally, I would use the BMW coolant! It's not that expensive. I had bought a liter bottle a few months ago, when I did my 24k service, and had found that my level was below minimum.



However, it is rather unusual to find the container to be empty. Probability is very high that it's actually full, but you couldn't see the level properly. That blue-gray fluid in the white bottle is rather hard to see with the very limited lighting. Get a flashlight behind the bottle and make sure that what you think you are seeing is correct.
 

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It is not te cost, - I live in an RV and my garage is a 20 foot trailer. So storage space is at a premium, and something like coolant where a half used open quart might sit nearly forever. It's nice to be able to use in in multiple vehicles. Instead of having a half used bottle of orange for the Hrley and Blue for the BMW.

Same goes for the final drive. The Harley just uses 28 oz (I use BelRey) in the transmission, so there is 4 oz remaining in the quart. After two changes (5k miles each) I have enough left over for the final drive on the BMW (6oz).


But back to the level of coolant in my '16. I just now went back out and pulled that side panel again and with a bright flashlight looked at the expansion bottle. It looked the same color all over. So I shook the handlebar a bit and low and behold I could see fluid inside exactly on the horizontal line. On close inspection I could read MAX, and about a half inch or so below that could see a formed-in line presumably for MIN.

So it is terrible cold outside now (52 f lol) so at cold on the center stand it is perfectly on the MAX line.

Hint - spray a little silicone on the rubber grommets on the side panels and they come off and go on easily.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a safe ride.
 

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You are not the first to think that you have an empty expansion tank when it was actually full!! ;)


As for the coolant, I don't know what the HD coolant is, but the BMW coolant isn't glycol based, and there are warnings about mixing different types of coolants. So, you should be very careful about that.
 
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Well let's stretch it out to 4 years since BMW is so secretive on part numbers and specs...

Since my local dealer was forced to close in Dec 2020, I am left with 1 single dealer in my state 1.5 hrs away. Can anyone tell me the part number on the bottle of the dealer spec coolant and what color it is? Was going to order online but can't even find a part number or color or anything. Called said dealer and he would not divulge the answers to these questions. Thanks.
 

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Sounds like the dealer you talked to sux...


The BMW Part number is correct from the listing above, as shown by the entry below. However, the parts fische lists this as "pre-diluted". It is not. I took a look at my 1 litre bottle of the same (part numbers match) and right on the bottle is says that is it full strength and must be diluted.

 

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Awesome thank you. Made the trip up to the dealer and spent the whopping $8 for a quart. I think I spent more in gas driving there and back. It is indeed clear dark blue in color and I used the bottle for the final drive oil to add (new unused bottle). Piece of cake. Thanks guys.
 

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Tytler's Cycle is actually a pretty good dealer from what I have experienced and heard from others. I didn't come right out and ask directly for the part numbers (coolant and filter). I made the drive and they were very helpful and their prices beat what I could find online afterward. I got the right stuff and it was $8. Since I made the trip, I also grabbed an air filter. I am happy to support the local dealers as long as they are fair and honest.

173283
 

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BMW coolant is the same as NAPA Pentofrost NF. None of these bikes in question live in minus 20 degrees F or less for start up I hope, as 40% will protect good enough in very low temps. Thus it is easy to use just distilled water as a top up and for sure when diluting concentrate coolant. Minimum coolant is generally 40%. So no problems. The S bike series was having a similar problem. The over flow tank had a hole in the top as a vent. Nasty. (R bikes and first years of the K16 were famous for loosing the water pump seals and having the famous blue/green stain of shame.) The new one now has an elevated by 8 inches hose on the S bike. Evaporation happens from this tank. We are used to relatively stable temperatures after warm up. My K13S bike holds at 3 bars so to speak. My S bike has no sense of regulation and goes from 157 full temp in the winter to the 170's in summer and 217 at a stop light or in town. (cooler the faster I go so no regulation via a thermostat) . Not a one off either "they all do that". Don't over think this.
 
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