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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-01-2005, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Check CoolantLevel warning - 1996 328i

On the control screen, the "check coolant level" comes on, sometimes when I start the car, sometimes when I turn it off.

I'm prety sure it's the sensor. To replaceit , is it a DIY type of project or should I take it to dealer?
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you actually checked the coolant level ?
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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did you just recently do a coolant flush or something to do with the coolant system? if so you may have an airpocket in the system in which it wasnt bled properly.
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes. It's OK. It staretd last year during the winter, when some of the coolant was actually leaking from what appeared to be a lose hose. This summer I had an overheating incident, the fan stopped working and had to replace both the fan and some kind of thermo sensor. I've notice the problem since. I hate to be checking opening the coolant cap all the time.

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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did you just recently do a coolant flush or something to do with the coolant system? if so you may have an airpocket in the system in which it wasnt bled properly.

Thanks Furious! Looks like I may have to have the whole coolant flushed and replaced.
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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try this, run the engine from cold, open the cap , when the car gets hot you should see a constant stream of coolant coming from the return hose. if there is not open the bleed valve located beside the main cap, add a bit of coolant untill the coolant starts to overflow (a bit) you may see air bubbles coming out. you do this untill your getting a consistant and complete stream of coolant coming out of hte return hose, kinda like this ----------------------- not like this ------ ---------- -------------- -----
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Pull the wire harness off the level sensor. It's located at the bottom of the overflow tank. Clean the electrical contacts, and push it back in. The check message should now disappear.

Very rarely does the sensor itself go bad. 9 times out of 10 it's just the electrical contacts. In some cases, the sensor float in the tank gets gunked up, and needs cleaning. But you have to take the tank apart just to clean it, so if you've gone that far you may as well replace the sensor.
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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this happens to me all the time. each time i add some more coolant or water wetter (i did the fan delete) and check coolant level keeps coming on. i just check it every couple days and ignore the warning light.
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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BMW posted a technote I saw on AllData saying that better than 70% of the sensors being returned weren't faulty. Dudesky is right: Check for clean electrical contacts on both the plug and the sensor. Also verify free movement of the float up and down the shaft (you can grab the float with mechanical fingers, it only travels about an inch from top to bottom and is right about where the "kalt" line is). You can verify operation of the sensor by holding the float down and turning the key on which should yield the "check coolant level" message. Turn the key off, release the float, wait 20 seconds, turn the key on, message should be gone.

Replacing the sensor is about a 1 hr DIY with a $25.00 part. The hardest part is getting the hose back on the bottom of the tank when you're putting it back together. Kinda like stickin' a wet noodle up a wildcat's....well, you know.
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