How to Deal With Coolant Leaks in Your BMW
Your BMW is a luxury vehicle that you depend on to deliver high levels of performance and comfort. Problems like a coolant leak may come out of nowhere and leave your car unable to operate at its best. So, what do you do when you’ve got a coolant leak in your BMW?
First, you’ll need to be able identify the leak, then diagnose its source, and then finally get it fixed. This article is going to cover all of these topics. But first, let’s get a basic understanding of what coolant does for your vehicle
What Coolant Does for your BMW
Coolant, like the oil in your car, is absolutely critical to your BMW’s functioning. Coolant keeps the engine within a healthy temperature range to avoid overheating. Coolant is held in the coolant reservoir and then sent through the engine near the cylinder heads. After absorbing the excess heat from the cylinder heads the coolant goes to the radiator where it is then cooled.
Where is the coolant?
The coolant reservoir, which is where coolant is stored, is usually located on the left side of the engine bay under the hood, although some models place the coolant reservoir on the right side.
Spotting a Coolant Leak
We can classify coolant leaks into 2 main categories: external and internal. Thankfully, external leaks are pretty easy to spot if you pay attention. Look out for puddles of coolant under your vehicle. Coolant is typically vibrant in color — pink, orange or bright red.
Internal leaks, on the other hand, are a bit more difficult to spot. You can catch an external leak if you pay close attention to your BMW’s temperature gauge. If you've lost coolant from a leak, your car may start to overheat. A second way to spot a coolant leak is the smell. Coolant has a sweet smell which you may notice if it exits the cooling system.
Finding the Cause of the Leak
If you’ve spotted a coolant leak, the next step is to identify the source of the leak. Here are some common causes of a leak in the cooling system:
● Cracked Coolant Reservoir: Take a look at the coolant reservoir, typically located in the left side of the engine bay, to see if there are any noticeable holes or cracks.
● Radiator Cap is Leaky: As hot coolant expands and circulates through the radiator, high pressure will build up and coolant will try to escape. If the radiator cap is not secured properly, coolant can leak out there. It may be that it was over or under-fastened last time, or maybe you have the wrong type of cap for your car.
● Leaky Water Pump: The water pump is another critical part of the cooling system that works in conjunction with the radiator. Problems with the water pump could be to blame for any coolant leaks you have in your BMW. Visually inspect the water pump for leaks, which is located under the timing belt.
● Worn or Damaged Hoses: Coolant is run throughout the engine via a system of hoses. These hoses wear down and age over time, and may become damaged, particularly where there is a bend. If you or a mechanic changes the hose, we recommend going ahead and getting them all replaced.
Getting it Fixed
Addressing the coolant leak is absolutely necessary if you want to keep your BMW in good shape and avoid costly damage due to overheating. Many of the fixes to the problems listed above are simple and require little more than replacement. However, we still recommend that a trusted mechanic does the repair work if you are not comfortable.
After getting the cause of the leak repaired, make sure to add more coolant to the system to make up for the lost fluid from the leak.
Visiting Royalty Auto Service
The final step in dealing with coolant leaks in your BMW is visiting Royalty Auto Service in St. Mary’s, Georgia. We are the industry’s premier auto repair shop, and we can’t wait to get your BMW in tip-top shape.
We proudly serve drivers of all the most popular automobile brands in the communities of Amelia Island, Brunswick, Kingsland, King Bay Base, St. Marys, Woodbine and Yulee. Our experienced and friendly staff are always here to help, so if you are experiencing any issues in your car, stop by our shop or give us a call. We look forward to earning your business.