BMW is one of the most resilient and durable cars in the world. BMW has become a major automaker for decades. Still, BMW vehicles are the exception to natural wear and failure of different engine parts. The coolant leak is one of the common issues that may arise in your BMW. If you don’t fix the coolant leak at the time, it may convert into a serious problem and can cause high repair cost.
Coolant leaks of the BMW cars may occur due to different reasons, including a weak radiator cap, head gasket damage, or damaged radiator. You should immediately contact a professional as you observe a coolant leak. This is because if you don’t repair your coolant leak immediately, it can generate very severe engine problems.
Symptoms of BMW Coolant Leaks
There are multiple signs of a BMW coolant leak, but the most common signs of a coolant leak are given below:
- Engine overheating
- Coolant droplets under the Car
- Low coolant level warning light
- Low coolant level in expension tank
- Bubbles in radiator
1) Engine Overheating
The engine of the BMW may overheat due to a coolant leak. As the coolant leaks, the heat produced due to the fuel-burning process doesn’t remove in the original way. Due to this, the vehicle engine overheats. This problem leads to engine detonation problems and significantly reduces engine life.
Read More: Engine Overheating Symptoms and Causes
2) Coolant Droplets Under the Car
If you observe a sticky yellow, orange, or blue-green liquid under your vehicle after it’s been parked for a few minutes, that represents that your radiator is leaking. The taste of the coolant is sweet which differs from the dark brown oil that sometimes leaks.
3) Low Coolant Level Warning Light
The design of the vehicle warning light is very similar to a thermometer. This warning light immerses in the liquid on the BMW dashboard.
Sometimes, this light shows a specific signal on your BMW car dashboard to warn you that the coolant level is low and also warn you about the engine compartment increasing temperature.
4) Low Coolant In Expansion Tank
All cars are equipped with a coolant reservoir tank, also known as an expansion tank, which stores additional coolant to maintain the engine’s optimal temperature.
When the coolant level in the engine becomes insufficient, your vehicle automatically refills it from the reservoir. However, if the reservoir tank frequently runs empty after just few days, it indicates a potential coolant leak, and it’s crucial to have it inspected by a professional without delay.
5) Bubbles in Radiator
Typically, the coolant expansion tank and radiator pipes are securely connected, preventing the presence of bubbles. If there is a leak, exhaust gases from the combustion chamber may enter the coolant tank or radiator, leading to the appearance of bubbles.
If you see bubbles, it’s a sign of coolant leakage, and you should get it checked by a professional mechanic.
Reasons for BMW Coolant Leak
The BMW coolant may leak due to multiple causes, but the most common are given below:
1) Damaged Radiator
With the passage of time, the radiator of your car may damage due to multiple reasons such as corrosion or an accident while driving. This part of the car installs at the front of the car.
Therefore, it is prone to conditions that can damage it by creating holes or cracks in its design. Although this type of damage is not very common, it is advisable to check your radiator during regular maintenance.
2) Blown Head Gasket
The main function of the head gasket is to stop coolant from entering the engine parts where it shouldn’t flow. A failed or damaged gasket can cause internal coolant leaks. The symptoms of a bad head gasket may not be as visible as the symptoms of a bad radiator.
Head gaskets can actually come directly from overheating, which can especially be caused by previous signs.
As your vehicle head gasket damages or completely fails, the antifreeze or coolant can move directly into the cylinder or crankcase.
As the antifreeze mixes with the engine fuel, it generates very severe problems, especially if it makes contact with the spark plugs. This causes the infamous white smoke to come out of the exhaust valve.
Read More: Blown Head Gasket Symptoms and Causes
3) Weak or Damaged Radiator Cap
If the radiator cap is not working efficiently, coolant may spill out of the overflow pipe when the radiator heats up.
The radiator generates extreme pressure, and a damaged or weak cap can cause of BMW coolant leak. This issue can generate very serious problems with the engine pressure-related system.
4) Corrosion within the Radiator
Over time, contaminants may collect and find their way into the radiator through the grills. This is a common and unavoidable issue for most cars. Unfortunately, this accumulation can lead to internal damage and rusting of the radiator.
A corroded radiator is one of the major causes of coolant leaks, so it’s essential to have it inspected regularly and repaired if needed. The radiator’s health is crucial for your car’s cooling system to function correctly.
5) Damaged Expansion Tank
The coolant reservoir or expansion tank serves the sole purpose of saving the necessary coolant for the engine. It automatically supplies the required coolant to the engine, and during refills, it’s where you add more coolant.
The coolant expansion tank is usually manufactured by plastic, which may wear out over time. When your tank deteriorates, it may develop cracks, leading to potential coolant leaks.
Effects of Low Coolant Levels on Your BMW
The low coolant level or leak ultimately leads to serious engine complications or complete failures of the engine. The leaking or low level of the coolant is one of the most common reasons for the engine overheating.
However, some other direct effects of coolant leaks include compromised engine oil and poor fuel economy.
As the system temperature becomes more than the bearable temperature, the engine runs harder and has to work harder to function properly, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel efficiency.
In such conditions, the engine consumes more fuel than normal. Engine oil is at risk when coolant leaks directly into the cylinder and mixes with the oil.
When Should I Get BMW Coolant Leak Repair?
It is not recommended to drive a vehicle if the coolant is leaking. If you continue driving, you may face many severe problems. In such conditions, the vehicle engine can overheat and cause severe damage to the vehicle or complete engine failure.
If your engine fails, it will need expansive repair. Therefore, if you notice a coolant leak, don’t wait and repair it immediately.
These issues must be addressed immediately to avoid more serious problems. Your nearest garage can tell you the cost to repair a BMW coolant leak and can help you solve the problem.
How Much Does BMW Coolant Leak Repair Cost?
The repair of the BMW coolant leak is very expensive. The BMW coolant leak repair cost is too high due to different factors. If you don’t repair the coolant yourself and hire labor, you will need to pay them some extra money for their service cost.
There are multiple factors that affect the repair cost of your BMW coolant leak such as your location where you live and type of repair. The average BMW coolant leak repair cost varies from $730 to $1,100.
BMW Coolant Hose Replacement Cost
There are many factors that affect the BMW coolant hose replacement cost. If you don’t replace the BMW coolant yourself while hiring labor, the labor may charge you from $120 to $160 while the cost of the parts is only $230. The average cost for a BMW 328i radiator hose replacement varies from $350 to $390.
Read Also: How to Put Water in Car Radiator?
What are the signs of BMW Coolant Leak?
- Engine overheating
- Low coolant level warning light
- Coolant droplets under your car
- Insufficient coolant in the coolant tank
Where are the most likely places for external coolant leaks?
The BMW coolant leak most usually occurs in the hose that connects the engine to the heater core or radiator or other small hoses that carry coolant to various devices on the engine. One of the best and cheap methods to stop coolant leaks is to replace the hose.
Is it normal for BMW to lose coolant?
Loss of coolant is normal. The capacity of a BMW cooling system is usually 6.5 liters. You can expect that in 6 months: Coolant loss is around 15 percent.
How long does BMW coolant last?
The service life of the coolant depends on different factors, such as proper maintenance and repair of the engine. In general, the BMW coolant should be flushed every 50,000 km or every two years. In some cases, the vehicle can be moved for a long time without flushing.
How far can you drive with a coolant leak?
Some Ford, Jaguar, and GM aluminum block V8 products (and probably other products as far as I know this technology pre-early 2000s) are made so that when coolant is lost, the engine control modules enter a safe or limp-home mode to allow the engine to drive a car for another 100 to 200 miles, according to the engine capacity.
Why is my BMW leaking coolant?
The coolant of your BMW car can leak due to different causes such as a damaged radiator cap, a bad head gasket, a damaged radiator, or a damaged expansion tank.
Is it OK to drive car with coolant leak?
No, it is not recommended to drive with a coolant leak. But if the leak is small, then you can drive your car for a short time. Driving with a coolant leak for a long time may lead to the failure of your car’s engine.
How much does it cost to fix a BMW Coolant Leak?
If you want to fix a BMW coolant leak, its cost varies according to the area where you live and the nature of the repair. To fix the BMW coolant leak, the average costs vary from $730 to $1100.