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#996758 - 09/13/17 12:49 PM Coolant Level
hopz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 3725
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Went for a little ride yesterday and all was well except that I thought the engine temperature was a bar, maybe two higher than I recall.

Came on home and let it sit a bit to cool down. Flashlight in hand and I could not see coolant in the sight-"glass". You know, that tiny slot inside the starboard side cowling vent. Took the panel off and opened the coolant stopper.. No color visible.

Looks like time to mix up a batch and bring the level up.

So... Coolant to add to the water... ? Regular anti-Freeze or some exotic BMW potion?

I assume water works but coolant would be better... thoughts?
_________________________
<---- (That's not it) 2014 R1200RT-W

“As Woody Guthrie says, ‘Left wing, right wing, chicken wing.’I keep my mind open. Whatever you believe, it’s all a mystery in the end.”

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#996762 - 09/13/17 01:00 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: hopz]
041100S Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/17
Posts: 86
Loc: NW Arkansas
check the owner's manual to see if it specifies a certain type of coolant, like a low phosphate coolant as VW does or used to do. I would always do a mix of coolant to DISTILLED water as indicated by the manual, I believe that this is normally recommended as a 50/50 mix. A coolant mix provides a higher boiling point than straight water and provides additives that protect the system.

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#996766 - 09/13/17 01:39 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: hopz]
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 13014
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: hopz
Went for a little ride yesterday and all was well except that I thought the engine temperature was a bar, maybe two higher than I recall.

Came on home and let it sit a bit to cool down. Flashlight in hand and I could not see coolant in the sight-"glass". You know, that tiny slot inside the starboard side cowling vent. Took the panel off and opened the coolant stopper.. No color visible.

Looks like time to mix up a batch and bring the level up.

So... Coolant to add to the water... ? Regular anti-Freeze or some exotic BMW potion?

I assume water works but coolant would be better... thoughts?


Morning Hopz

Fist thing is to never mix conventional antifreeze with any motor company's OEM long-life antifreeze as that renders the long life ability null.

As to your what-to-use question-- Easy answer it to just swing by your local BWM dealer & have them top you off.

If you want to do it yourself then you will need to match the factory type antifreeze if you want to keep it a long-life antifreeze.

I had the same issue on matching antifreeze for my 800GS so with a LOT of research I found that Pentofrost NF matches the factory (blue) antifreeze (exactly). My local O'Reillys auto parts store could order it in for (took 1 day to come in)-- 1.5 liter bottle. (I can't remember the price but not too bad)

As far as my parts books show the BMW 800GS uses the same BMW p/n 83192211191 as your water cooled 1200 does.
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D.R. ___
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#996809 - 09/13/17 08:10 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: dirtrider]
marcopolo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/03
Posts: 3929
Loc: Alexandria, VA/Ottawa, Canada
I simply bought some at my local BMW dealer, and mixed it 50:50 with distilled water (as recommended on the bottle), to use to top off my overflow reservoir.

Not sure what the RT is like, but on my GSA, after removing a small cover, I can see the entire reservoir. Without taking that cover off, I can still peer into an opening and see the MAX/MIN lines on the resevoir. Do you mean that you saw no coolant whatsoever in that overflow reservoir? I've got 18,000+ miles, and have never been below the MIN, though I've topped it up a few times.


Edited by marcopolo (09/13/17 08:17 PM)
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Mark
2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

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#996840 - 09/14/17 03:51 AM Re: Coolant Level [Re: hopz]
RTinNC Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/01
Posts: 1542
Loc: Charlotte, NC
But isn't the bigger question WHY was it so low?
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Ed Apelianbike
'16 R1200RTW - Platinum Bronze Metallic
'12 R1200GSA - Magma Red - (my 1150GS replacement)

All it takes is an open road and an open mind!

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#996857 - 09/14/17 01:05 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: RTinNC]
hopz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 3725
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Yes, of corse the question is why?
I have never noticed.. and I would... any drips or stains under the bike... either on a long aggressive trip... like from Colorado to up-state Wisconsin... nor in the garage.

I have had the bike in for dealer service and a recall. Never an operating problem.

I have never noticed a high-temp reading on the gauge ... except a slight impression that this last ride it showed a bar, maybe two higher than what I think was normal.. ambient temperature was not an issue.

There are no symptoms of an issue otherwise- such as odor.

I refilled the overflow tank with a new mix of OEM coolant properly mixed yesterday.

I will report after the next ride.
_________________________
<---- (That's not it) 2014 R1200RT-W

“As Woody Guthrie says, ‘Left wing, right wing, chicken wing.’I keep my mind open. Whatever you believe, it’s all a mystery in the end.”

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#996884 - 09/14/17 07:21 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: hopz]
hopz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 3725
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Just as a data point and follow-up.

I went to the local BMW moto dealer and bought a quart of the magic blue fluid ($9.00)... or was it green? but I digress. did the 50/50 dilution and added enough coolant mix to be near the top of the plastic overflow canister.


Took a ride a few minutes ago and the temperature gauge was where it should be. Also noticed that the temp varied to a much greater degree than I recall. Up-down much more than expected and pretty responsive about it too.... never got as high as it was the other day.

But this saga causes me to ask if it is ok/preferable etc to add the fluid to the plastic overflow bin or is it better for some obscure reason to open the screw-cap on the real radiator fill?

FWIW...
_________________________
<---- (That's not it) 2014 R1200RT-W

“As Woody Guthrie says, ‘Left wing, right wing, chicken wing.’I keep my mind open. Whatever you believe, it’s all a mystery in the end.”

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#996885 - 09/14/17 07:45 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: hopz]
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 13014
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: hopz
Just as a data point and follow-up.

I went to the local BMW moto dealer and bought a quart of the magic blue fluid ($9.00)... or was it green? but I digress. did the 50/50 dilution and added enough coolant mix to be near the top of the plastic overflow canister.


Took a ride a few minutes ago and the temperature gauge was where it should be. Also noticed that the temp varied to a much greater degree than I recall. Up-down much more than expected and pretty responsive about it too.... never got as high as it was the other day.

But this saga causes me to ask if it is ok/preferable etc to add the fluid to the plastic overflow bin or is it better for some obscure reason to open the screw-cap on the real radiator fill?

FWIW...


Evening Hopz

As long as it isn't real low it will eventually pull the fluid into the cooling system from the recovery container & purge the air out as it goes through it's normal heating & cooling cycles.
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D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!

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#996932 - 09/15/17 01:50 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: dirtrider]
PadG Offline
Member

Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 375
Loc: Solon, OH
Good morning DR,

Any ideas as to where the missing coolant might have gone? I think that I might have the identical situation as Bob's! No apparent coolant leaks that I can detect, and yet the coolant level is down.
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Pad. Gajajiva, Solon OH.

2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Metallic)

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#996975 - 09/15/17 04:14 PM Re: Coolant Level [Re: PadG]
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 13014
Loc: Ohio
Afternoon PadG

The usual place is a slight seepage past the water pump seal. (BMW is noted for this problem).

The "fix" for the BMW 800 was to just run a small tube from the water pump weep hole to under the bike (doesn't stop the seep but riders can't see the weepage so quit complaining)

The good news is that most BMW water pump seepages go away by themselves after a good number of riding miles.

Unless you are close to warranty termination then you might note the amount of antifreeze used then every visit to your dealer get them to note it on your service record (will help in the future if the seepage doesn't stop)

If it ONLY goes (went) down once then it could also be that the cooling system wasn't totally purged of air at initial bike build.
_________________________
D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!

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