Signs of Coolant Leaks in your BMW

BMW Low Coolant Level Warning Light

High performance vehicles such as BMW models have powerful fuel injected engines that run extremely fast in order to power them. Like in every other car, when the engine runs, it starts to heat up and this heat needs to be taken away from the engine compartment. This helps maintain the temperature in the engine cabin at optimum in order for the car to keep running efficiently. The coolant fluid is responsible for regulating the temperature in the engine compartment.

The water pump is responsible for keeping the coolant fluid flowing through smaller tubes. As the coolant liquid is passed through these smaller tubes, it absorbs at least a third of the heat generated in the engine compartment. The heated fluid in the tubes then flows through the radiator located in the front end of the car. The radiator has smaller tubes where the hot fluid is cooled before it is sent right back to the beginning to start the process all over again.

Causes of Coolant Leaks

Coolant leaks can have serious consequences on the condition of the engine, and in turn the overall performance of the car. These leaks are caused by a number of different factors that include:

Faulty head gasket

A head gasket is the component that seals the cylinders in an internal combustion engine in order to prevent coolant leakage into the engine or out of the car. The pressure that is exerted on the cylinder can sometimes blow the gasket and this will trigger a leak.


Many vehicle manufacturers have specific recommendations for the quality of coolant that is to be used in the car. Using any different type of coolant can cause corrosion of the different parts through which the coolant flows. This will cause holes to develop along the passages through which the coolant flows and in turn start a leak.

Wear and tear

The passages through which the coolant fluid flows are also prone to wear and tear over time. The gasket and rubber components can become dried out and brittle due to exposure to different temperatures. When this happens, cracks start to form in these parts and what follows is a leak.

Signs of Coolant Leaks

Some of the glaring symptoms that arise when coolant starts to leak include:

Overheated engine compartment

Leaking coolant causes the engine to overheat because the heat generated in the combustion process is no longer removed as it should be. This overheating can cause detonation in the engine which can significantly shorten the engine’s lifespan.

Coolant drops under the car

If you notice some sticky blue-green, orange, or yellow fluid under the car after having parked for a while, that is a sign of a leak in the radiator. This liquid also has a sweet scent that can distinguish it from the dark brown oil that also leaks at times.

Low coolant level warning light

This is the light that has what looks like a thermometer dipped in fluid on the dashboard of your BMW. The light comes on not only to warn you about the reduced level of coolant but also the increasing temperature in the engine compartment since the two go hand in hand.

How to Solve the Problem

Extreme temperatures within the engine compartment can have devastating effects on the condition of the engine. This is because the heat will affect other car BMW Coolant Filling parts by causing excessive expansion, sometimes boring holes in these parts. This can easily graduate into severe engine damage. Replacing the engine of a vehicle is no easy feat. The cost of buying a new BMW engine and that of the labor involved in the replacement process can easily be more than the car is worth.

This is why it is very important to service the car regularly as a preventive measure. Through this servicing, your mechanic will be able to continuously monitor the level of coolant fluid and also the condition of the entire cooling system. However, once the leak has started, it is very important to take your car into a reputable repair shop and have a certified technician help you with the necessary repairs.

If you are in Crestwood, Hurstbourne, Jeffersontown, Louisville, St. Matthews, or Jeffersonville, IN, Mike Johns Imports is at your disposal. We are on standby to offer exemplary auto repair services for BMW owners. All you need to do is give us a call or stop by to make an appointment.

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