ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > GSpot > Parallel Universe
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-04-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
BMWHillbilly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 118
Coolant reservoir

Noticed this morning after a ride to work my coolant reservoir is empty, About 2 months or so ago I had the hose recall done and all coolant was replaced with fresh. I cant recall if i really looked at the reservoir level at that time or if i have developed a leak of some sort. I haven't noticed anything leaking. Can I just top off the reservoir with Honda brand coolant since the nearest BMW dealer is over 200 miles away? I reckon i need to check my oil dipstick and make sure it aint a milky white!!
BMWHillbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 07:57 AM   #2
raider
Big red dog
 
raider's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Oddometer: 1,582
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWHillbilly
Noticed this morning after a ride to work my coolant reservoir is empty, About 2 months or so ago I had the hose recall done and all coolant was replaced with fresh. I cant recall if i really looked at the reservoir level at that time or if i have developed a leak of some sort. I haven't noticed anything leaking. Can I just top off the reservoir with Honda brand coolant since the nearest BMW dealer is over 200 miles away? I reckon i need to check my oil dipstick and make sure it aint a milky white!!
If your reservoir is completely empty, once you've ruled out any leaks, it might pay to top the radiator up the old-fashioned way, through the pressure cap. I don't know if the radiator can draw water from the overflow reservoir if there is an air lock in the pipe between there and the radiator. After a complete radiator drain, it's quite possible the shop filled the reservoir, and then thermostats have opened and water jacket voids filled and so on and dropped the level considerably. I wouldn't worry unless it does it again.

You can pour plain water into your radiator and it will work fine so long as you don't freeze it, albeit with a much reduced service life due to corroding fittings and mineral deposits gunking up the radiator core. The rest of the crap in coolant is anti-freeze, anti-coagulant, marker dye, algicide and corrosion inhibiter.

There is no need to buy brand-name coolant - just check the package and see what the active anti-freeze ingredient is - usually ethylene glycol - and for pre-mixed packs, what its concentration is. Cross-check that against your owner's manual. If it's only a small top-up, the concentration doesn't have to be spot-on.
__________________
14 R1200GS Adventure
raider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:05 AM   #3
The Griz
North Forest Rider
 
The Griz's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Oddometer: 3,787
Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
If your reservoir is completely empty, once you've ruled out any leaks, it might pay to top the radiator up the old-fashioned way, through the pressure cap. I don't know if the radiator can draw water from the overflow reservoir if there is an air lock in the pipe between there and the radiator. After a complete radiator drain, it's quite possible the shop filled the reservoir, and then thermostats have opened and water jacket voids filled and so on and dropped the level considerably. I wouldn't worry unless it does it again.

You can pour plain water into your radiator and it will work fine so long as you don't freeze it, albeit with a much reduced service life due to corroding fittings and mineral deposits gunking up the radiator core. The rest of the crap in coolant is anti-freeze, anti-coagulant, marker dye, algicide and corrosion inhibiter.

There is no need to buy brand-name coolant - just check the package and see what the active anti-freeze ingredient is - usually ethylene glycol - and for pre-mixed packs, what its concentration is. Cross-check that against your owner's manual. If it's only a small top-up, the concentration doesn't have to be spot-on.
Good advice!

I'll add one thing. You can top of the coolant via the reservoir. Fill it up to the FULL line, then turn on the bike and run it for a bit. If the system needs more coolant, it will suck it in and use it. If it does this, then top it off up to the FULL line again and again until it holds at FULL.

Use Prestone 50/50 premix in the yellow bottle.
__________________
PAUL BUNYAN FOREST RIDERS MC
2013 KTM 300 XC-W
2014 KTM 690 Enduro R
The Griz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:11 AM   #4
BMWHillbilly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Griz
Good advice!

I'll add one thing. You can top of the coolant via the reservoir. Fill it up to the FULL line, then turn on the bike and run it for a bit. If the system needs more coolant, it will suck it in and use it. If it does this, then top it off up to the FULL line again and again until it holds at FULL.

Use Prestone 50/50 premix in the yellow bottle.
Thanks guys for your help. I do have one question. If i top it off at the reservoir ( fill to full line) do I need to run the bike with the reservoir cap on or off?
BMWHillbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:12 AM   #5
JoelWisman
Beastly Adventurer
 
JoelWisman's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: STL, MO, USA
Oddometer: 1,392
Factory BMW coolant is ethelen glycol with long life additives. It is silicate free for alu service.

It is the same thing as dex-cool which is commonly available only dexcool uses orange dye while BMW picked blue. The two together make brown but are compatible.

Regular green etheline glycol won't hurt anything in small quantities, but the additive package is not as good or long lived.

The concentration ratio is 50/50 unless you are somewhere that gets WAY below zero F, then it is 70% coolant, 30% water.

In a perfect world you will use distiled water to mix with the anti freeze or buy premix.

Do not use propelyn glycol, It is not comparable.

I have no idea how to spell the fancy words above :)
__________________
Owned to date. Honda Aero 50, Honda Elite 80, Honda Elite 250x2, Suzuki Katana, Suzuki RF600, Yamaha YZF1000R, Kymco Xciting 500, Suzuki GS500, Suzuki Burgman 650, BMW F800GSx2, BMW S1000RR, Aprilia Scarabeo 200, Aprilia Caponord, Aprilia Sportcity 250
I love and miss you Jeneca and I'm sorry.
JoelWisman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:13 AM   #6
The Griz
North Forest Rider
 
The Griz's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Oddometer: 3,787
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWHillbilly
Thanks guys for your help. I do have one question. If i top it off at the reservoir ( fill to full line) do I need to run the bike with the reservoir cap on or off?
On
__________________
PAUL BUNYAN FOREST RIDERS MC
2013 KTM 300 XC-W
2014 KTM 690 Enduro R
The Griz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:24 AM   #7
JoelWisman
Beastly Adventurer
 
JoelWisman's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: STL, MO, USA
Oddometer: 1,392
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWHillbilly
Thanks guys for your help. I do have one question. If i top it off at the reservoir ( fill to full line) do I need to run the bike with the reservoir cap on or off?
the cap is just a dust cover, makes no difference if it is on or off other then your coolant will get dirty.

When you run the bike, heat causes the coolant in the engine and radiotor to expand. This will force some coolant or air into the reservoir. You can run it all year and it will never drink anything from the reservoir.

After running for a while, when you turn the bike off and the engine cools, the coolant in the system shrinks and coolant will be drawn from the reservoir.

Think of this like blowing air into a soda through a straw. You cal blow all day and bubbles wil rise to the top but as soon as you suck, soda comes up the straw.

Each time the engine gets hot, it blows some, as it cools it sucks some.

If there is a BIG air void in your cooling system, this will not work as the coolant doesent expand enough to overcome cap pressure with a big air cushion. The F800GS is actually a bitch to purge the air from.

But since you are not overheating, I'm betting there's not much air in there and remaining will be purged if you just top off the reservoir.
__________________
Owned to date. Honda Aero 50, Honda Elite 80, Honda Elite 250x2, Suzuki Katana, Suzuki RF600, Yamaha YZF1000R, Kymco Xciting 500, Suzuki GS500, Suzuki Burgman 650, BMW F800GSx2, BMW S1000RR, Aprilia Scarabeo 200, Aprilia Caponord, Aprilia Sportcity 250
I love and miss you Jeneca and I'm sorry.
JoelWisman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:27 AM   #8
BMWHillbilly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman
Factory BMW coolant is ethelen glycol with long life additives. It is silicate free for alu service.

It is the same thing as dex-cool which is commonly available only dexcool uses orange dye while BMW picked blue. The two together make brown but are compatible.

Regular green etheline glycol won't hurt anything in small quantities, but the additive package is not as good or long lived.

The concentration ratio is 50/50 unless you are somewhere that gets WAY below zero F, then it is 70% coolant, 30% water.

In a perfect world you will use distiled water to mix with the anti freeze or buy premix.

Do not use propelyn glycol, It is not comparable.

I have no idea how to spell the fancy words above :)
thanks Joel. I will go by the Honda shop on the way home and get their premix coolant. I'm just baffled on why i have no coolant in the reservoir. Seems to me the shop should have checked that when they refilled with fresh coolant. On the other hand I dont recall looking at it myself as i should normally do after a service and that is my fault.
BMWHillbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
JoelWisman
Beastly Adventurer
 
JoelWisman's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: STL, MO, USA
Oddometer: 1,392
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWHillbilly
thanks Joel. I will go by the Honda shop on the way home and get their premix coolant. I'm just baffled on why i have no coolant in the reservoir. Seems to me the shop should have checked that when they refilled with fresh coolant. On the other hand I dont recall looking at it myself as i should normally do after a service and that is my fault.
yes, they should have, but it may have been full then.

This bike really is a bitch to purge of all air out of.

I've taken to warning people the level may drop some after a cooling service, and giving them some coolant if it's not easy to come back by.
__________________
Owned to date. Honda Aero 50, Honda Elite 80, Honda Elite 250x2, Suzuki Katana, Suzuki RF600, Yamaha YZF1000R, Kymco Xciting 500, Suzuki GS500, Suzuki Burgman 650, BMW F800GSx2, BMW S1000RR, Aprilia Scarabeo 200, Aprilia Caponord, Aprilia Sportcity 250
I love and miss you Jeneca and I'm sorry.
JoelWisman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 09:56 AM   #10
BMWHillbilly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 118
So your saying the coolant level will drop from the reservoir after a cooling service? How does that happen without a leak? Air gets purged at some point from the reservoir im guessing. Sorry for all the questions. I'm just a lil ol' southern girl learning the beemer ways.
BMWHillbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 11:03 AM   #11
Animo
Beastly n00b
 
Animo's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Playa del Carmen
Oddometer: 4,871
Quote:
When you run the bike, heat causes the coolant in the engine and radiotor to expand. This will force some coolant or air into the reservoir. You can run it all year and it will never drink anything from the reservoir.

After running for a while, when you turn the bike off and the engine cools, the coolant in the system shrinks and coolant will be drawn from the reservoir.

Think of this like blowing air into a soda through a straw. You cal blow all day and bubbles wil rise to the top but as soon as you suck, soda comes up the straw.
Right on that! I filled mine right up to the full line when the engine was cold..... and until I drained some of the coolant I had coolant all over the friggin' place as soon as the engine was hot. I scaled back on speed and the coolant shot out live a volcano, I was green stained! When cold fill it between the cold and hot lines max, or you will be green like me!
__________________
Life is good, even in adversity!

Yucatan | Chiapas | Belize 1 | Belize 2 | QRoo | Guanajuato
Animo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 11:11 AM   #12
JoelWisman
Beastly Adventurer
 
JoelWisman's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: STL, MO, USA
Oddometer: 1,392
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWHillbilly
So your saying the coolant level will drop from the reservoir after a cooling service? How does that happen without a leak? Air gets purged at some point from the reservoir im guessing. Sorry for all the questions. I'm just a lil ol' southern girl learning the beemer ways.
any time any job is done, such as removing a radiator hose, coolant is drained and air replaces it.

When a tech is done, he will refill the radiator but there will still be air trapped in high points all over the cooling circuit in the engine.

BMW had a procedure to bleed this air out of the cooling system but it doesent work.

A few months back, BMW revised the procedure for purging the air from the cooling system, it's a better procedure but it still does not get all the air out.

I personally use bmw's latest method and then run the engine at 5000 rpm while me and another guy tip the bike from side to side as far as we can.

After that I test ride the bike initiating rapid starts and stops (wheelies and stoppies) and this usually gets almost all the air out but sometimes there's still a little inside.

Any air left in the pressurized part of the cooling system will eventually make it to the radiator where it will get burped into the reservoir. After burping the engine will suck coolant from the reservoir to replace the area that the air took up in the cooling system.

If a lot of air was left in the cooling system then it will drink all the coolant in the reservoir over time, even though there is no leak.

Does that make sense?

In any case, fill that reservoir back to the max line, and if it drops again, take it to a dealer to find out if it's leaking somewhere.

Good luck, hope that answers your question.
__________________
Owned to date. Honda Aero 50, Honda Elite 80, Honda Elite 250x2, Suzuki Katana, Suzuki RF600, Yamaha YZF1000R, Kymco Xciting 500, Suzuki GS500, Suzuki Burgman 650, BMW F800GSx2, BMW S1000RR, Aprilia Scarabeo 200, Aprilia Caponord, Aprilia Sportcity 250
I love and miss you Jeneca and I'm sorry.
JoelWisman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 01:32 PM   #13
BMWHillbilly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 118
thanks Joel. you rock!
BMWHillbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #14
ride2little
MoveAlongNothingHere
 
ride2little's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Franklin, TN
Oddometer: 1,891
Pop the rad cap, fill it, cap it back up. Run the bike squeeze the hoses like you're milking a cow (or at least how you would envision it). and repeat if necessary. this will purge your system of air bubbles.
And yes. The blue Honda pre-mix is your best choice.
Not a big deal really. Just don't procrastinate and do it as soon as you can.
__________________
~MK~
BMWF800GS
AMA-262640
ride2little is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 02:54 PM   #15
BMWHillbilly OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 118
ok. Topped off the reservoir to the second line from the botton. I realize that is the "hot" level for full but im going by what yall said. Topped of the radiator to the bottom of the fill neck. it was a bit low. Ran the bike for about 10 minutes or so. Fan never did kick on. Anyhoo, I did not notice an overflow on the reservoir and if it is too much coolant where does the overflow go? i dont want to blow a hose and scald myself.
BMWHillbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 08:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014