Coolant level - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 2001, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant level

Has anyone else noticed their coolant level dropping quite quickly. A couple of weeks ago it was half, now its just above minimum. I am taking her in tomorrow for some work, so I will mention it.

Anyone else noticed this, or is it "normal"?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2001, 04:21 AM
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Keep your eye on it. If you start to hear glugging noises when you start your engine and the heater is not working properly, then you have got an airlock in the system and a serious shortage of coolant. Severe engine overheating can develop. Possible losses could be anywhere in the system. but in my car the rad cap was faulty.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2001, 12:32 PM
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Don't know about the UK, but in the States, all cars have a coolant overflow tank. (Coolant is considered hazardous waste and is toxic.) The radiator cap lets coolant out when it expands, down a small hose to the holding tank. When the engine cools, it sucks the coolant back into the radiator. In order to work, the radiator cap has two seals. One at the base of the fitting is spring loaded for pressure with an inner relief valve for vacuum. There should be a rubber seal at the top of the fitting to force the coolant down the recovery tank hose.

Check your oil. If it looks foamy, you may have a bad head gasket (coolant in the oil). Likewise, if you start the car and get a big cloud of white smoke, it could mean a bad head gasket is allowing coolant into the combustion chamber. At any rate, get it checked ASAP.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2001, 02:03 PM
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I've found that the level in the radiator expansion tank differs between a cold and hot engine. Just keep an eye on it.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2001, 10:26 PM
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I've noticed the same thing in my Works. Soon after I got it the level was half way. Now it's near minimum. Hmm another prob to add to the list.

It was acceptable in the 80's
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2001, 03:30 PM
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Re: Coolant level

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Originally posted by newminimark
I am taking her in tomorrow for some work, so I will mention it.
Did your dealer pass any comment on this newminimark?

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2001, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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They can't look into it until after Xmas. I will keep an eye on it until then, but the salesman did say that it is normal. He said that the level will be lower when cold, and higher once the coolant is warm.

But hey, booked it in with this, and another load of little problems. The problems are starting to pee me off a bit now, but it is still an absolutely stunning car to drive.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2001, 05:48 PM
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All I can say is that is a load of bol... rubbish

The coolant level may vary a little bit but not from maximum to MINImum.

It was acceptable in the 80's
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2001, 08:21 PM
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Coolant top-up?

How easy is it to top up the coolant ourselves? Where do you buy the stuff from? Does it have to be a particular type? Mine seems low at the moment as well.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2001, 08:28 PM
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Resevoir is at the back of the engine in the middle. Level is indicated on the right hand side. DO NOT FILL UP TO THE MOULD LINE.

I don't know why BMW have done this but max is not at the mould line as in every other car I've ever driven. I have a feeling a few mistakes will be made.

Use any coolant/anti freeze available from Halfords etc. Probably best to use a 50/50 mix with water for topping up.

Check the manual to make sure coz I must confess I haven't read it.

It was acceptable in the 80's
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2001, 10:45 AM
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Re: Coolant level

Quote:
Originally posted by newminimark
Has anyone else noticed their coolant level dropping quite quickly. A couple of weeks ago it was half, now its just above minimum. I am taking her in tomorrow for some work, so I will mention it.

Anyone else noticed this, or is it "normal"?
I checked my coolant level after reading this post, and mine was on the minimum line. I took it to the dealer and they said there was an air block and it might not have been filled up correctly due to this.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2001, 10:56 AM
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Some coolant loss is normal as it is impossible to have a 100% seal at the radiator cap. Some car manuals say to add coolant to the expansion tank, but that is not the best way. If you have to add coolant, turn the heater on to high, run the engine a bit. That will remove any air that might be trapped in the heater core. Let the car stand until the engine is cold. Remove the radiator cap and top it up with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. (Some folks use distilled water to eliminate hard water minerals.) You can gently squeeze the upper radiator hose to work out as much air as possible if the radiator level is a bit low. Replace the cap and add coolant if needed so the expansion tank is at minimum.

If the expansion tank slowly fills over time, it means there is a leak in the radiator cap seal so it is expelling hot coolant but not sucking it back in when it cools down. Lots of people overlook radiator caps when they have cooling problems, but a faulty one can destroy an engine. Just ask Apial...
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2001, 04:56 PM
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The MINI has a radiator cap?

I think it has a drain plug and that's it.

It was acceptable in the 80's
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2001, 07:39 PM
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The MINI definately has a radiator cap. I've seen mine in action. A faulty 2 rad cap can do a lot of damage.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2001, 08:11 PM
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Where is it then? What side of the rad?

It was acceptable in the 80's
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