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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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#1 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 12:14 AM
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im pretty sure i read somewhere that BMWs take a special coolant, and now that its saying that my coolant level is low i gotta get that in but im not sure if my 94 325is needs the regular or some special kind.
i want into a parts store and said that they do need some kind that they dont carry but then when i want to a differant store the said that the regular kind would do just fine.....so now im confused so if anyone could please tell me i would really appreciate it
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 01:57 AM
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Get BMW Coolant. Here is what other forum members have to say (they know more than I do):

- "BMW coolant is 'silicate free.' Other more mainstream coolants are not. These silicates have been found to break down in BMW's causing a 'green goo' to form, thus clogging the cooling system.
- RIBEMR26
- "[BMW coolant] has been specially formulated to run in BMW's aluminum heads.
Most other coolants available in the North American market will eventually 'sludge-up' your system, then you'll have a bigger bill to pay."
- RallyE36

I understand there is a write-up in the FAQ section. Look it up.

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 04:09 AM
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Redline Water Wetter - http://e30m3performance.com/myths/more_myt...ater_wetter.htm
I havent personally used this stuff, but it sounds good, and Im sure a few members on this forum use it. http://bavauto.com/shop.asp
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 10:59 AM
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Only use BMW coolant. I don't think regular autoparts stores carry it, you have to go to the dealer. If i'm not mistaken from your other posts it seems like you just got the car. If you don't know your car's history of service and repair I would go ahead and flush the radiator and change the coolant just to be on the safe side. Wouldn't be a bad idea to change the water pump too. Here's a good website for a lot of DIYs.

http://www.geocities.com/e36rulz/DIY.html

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 11:33 AM
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Ok.. to solve this problem of yours.. go to the FAQ forum... look at my coolant FAQ.. it will explain all.. and probably a little more than you wanted to know... screw it.. I'll just post it here again...

All information and facts can be found at the links towards the bottom of this writing. Thanks to all the sites that expose all of this information!


Coolant
There are many types of coolants out there. With many different ingredients. Which one do you choose?

Well, pretty much everyone will tell you the same thing; "Use Only BMW Coolant".

Why?

BMW did a lot of research in the early 1990s with antifreeze/coolant due to a overwhelming occurance of plugged up coolant systems. (not allowing the coolant to circulate properly) They found this problem to be a result of silicate gel precipitation.

Many people think that all cooling systems are the same, except some are methanol based and some are glycol based. Not exactly! In newer cars, silicates are needed to protect aluminum engine parts and radiators from corrosion. The last sentence was false.

Eventually silicates are meant to drop out of the coolant mix. Only at a controlled rate. BUT over time the mixutre of chemicals and impurities and corrosion by products in a cooling system can start to hinder the performance of the cooling system. When silicates begin to drop out too rapidly, they build up and form a gel.

The most common inhibitors, the silicates used for aluminum protection, are used up faster than others. That is why some new cars (all General Motors, Mercury Cougar, VW/Audi and BMW models) have red or orange antifreeze with a new class of inhibitors, called organic acids. Examples of U.S. brands with these organic acids: Havoline Dex-Cool and Prestone Extended Life, both recommended for five years or 150,000 miles.

Silicates can be abrasive (such as beach sand) or lubricious (such as hydrous magnesium silicate - talc). Soluable silicates are made, e.g., by reducing silicon dioxide, SiO2 (sand) into SiO4[-4]. (Throw in the caution of your choice.) So, presumably, the reverse can happen, meaning SiO4[-4] will be oxidized in SiO2. So, the water soluble silica ions in your green coolant can oxidize into rather non-soluable, and abrasive, sand. (Though, making sand by oxidizing silane (SiH4) is a hell of a lot more fun.)

Phosphate is the most ubiquitous and most controversial inhibitor. It is a well known inhibitor of ferrous metal corrosion, hence trisodium phosphate is used to clean off sheet metal. American car manufacturers have specified phosphate in coolants because it is highly effective at preventing cavitation. Europeans specify non-phosphate coolants because phosphates have a propensity to precipitate in hard water. Also, phosphates have a negative effect on the corrosion rate of aluminum.

Another function of the coolant is to raise the viscosity (thickness) of the coolant mixture. Higher viscosity mixtures will reduce cavitation at the water pump. Propylene Glycol (orange stuff) and Ethylene Glycol (green stuff) will both raise the coolant viscosity, methanol will not.

Ok, now that we know a little about the coolant it self, what can we use?

A very short answer would be, a nitrates, amines, phosphate and silicate FREE coolant. Off the top of my head, Zerex G-05 meets that protocol. Made by Valvoline. Another is Caltex (petrol/gas supplier).

And what do we mix it with?

De-Ionized water is pretty much just H2O...not much else.. DI water will try to return it it's natural state prior to purification. Over time it will leach minerals from whatever it comes in contact. I have seen DI in running through PVC pipe with the pipe becoming so brittle that it would break with very little external help. Did someone ask for a litmus test? DI water left standing long enough will actually go from a pH of 7 (neutral) to 4 (acidic)....I've already done it for you. Now the real question...is DI & distilled water the same? then...antifreeze kind of throws a wrench in the mineral debate.

The minerals in your Perrier were once rock that the water simply dissolved over time as the water tried to reach an equilibrium with its surroundings. A radiator is no different than an underground cave to the water. The fact that distilled water has no minerals in it simply means it has more "dissolving potential" since it is further out of (electrical charge) equilibrium with its environment than more mineralized water would be. The exception: most coolants include corrosion prohibitors that should, in theory, prevent this kind of action. However, they may not work well in protecting the metal from corrosion caused by highly energetic DI water.

So, it seems distilled water would be the choice.

So we now have distilled water with a nitrate, amine, phosphate and silicate FREE coolant.

Next question; whats a good ratio in the water/coolant mixture?

There seems to be a very good understanding on the web that a 50/50 mixture is pretty much a good mix. Some even venture to say that 70/30 being a good one for a more hot climate. That being 70 percent water.

So, you have a mixture of 50/50 of distilled water with a nitrate, amine, phosphate and silicate FREE coolant.

There you have it. A researched water/coolant mix for your BMW. I will add more later as I find more here and there.

http://www.pentosin.de/eng/products/...ntifreeze.html
http://www.angelfire.com/ia2/vmax/coolantnotes.htm
http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/Coolant_Change_FAQ.htm
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system1.htm
http://www.circlebmw.com/service/arteries.html
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/arc...p/t-46962.html

If you have any questions... please feel free to PM me.. or IM me... my screen name is M3alpine97.

Peace,

Les


1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 11:53 AM
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like les said, bmw coolant is the only choice.

my mechnic doesnt use exactly bmw branded stuff, but the stuff they do get in bulk is exactly the same thing, the company that makes it, makes it to exact spec of the bmw stuff, and it cost less because of the bmw brand label not being there.

so basically use only bmws stuff

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 01:15 AM
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None of you have experience with Water Wetter... ?
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SilentOne@Dec 29 2004, 12:15 AM
None of you have experience with Water Wetter... ?
[snapback]260113[/snapback]
what the hell is that?
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 04:17 PM
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You can also use Peak or Zerex. They are formulated especially for aluminum engines. One of the best things you can do in any case is to flush your coolant once a year to keep things fresh.

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#10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SilentOne@Dec 29 2004, 01:15 AM
None of you have experience with Water Wetter... ?
[snapback]260113[/snapback]
Yeah, I use it in conjunction with BMW certified coolant, which by the way, is the only coolant to use. You can add any coolant you wish, but the coolant system is BMW's weakest area. I would make every effort to maintain this system, it's $20 bucks a gallon :nana

Haven't noticed any difference, but I'm a fan of Redline products (also use their fully synthetic racing engine oil, and plan on replacing all vital fluids with Redline products in the spring), as well as Lucas products. These are no frill products that come from trickle down R&D. Good stuff.

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#11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2004, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jllphan+Dec 29 2004, 09:40 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jllphan @ Dec 29 2004, 09:40 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-SilentOne@Dec 29 2004, 01:15 AM
None of you have experience with Water Wetter... ?
[snapback]260113[/snapback]
Yeah, I use it in conjunction with BMW certified coolant, which by the way, is the only coolant to use. You can add any coolant you wish, but the coolant system is BMW's weakest area. I would make every effort to maintain this system, it's $20 bucks a gallon :nana

Haven't noticed any difference, but I'm a fan of Redline products (also use their fully synthetic racing engine oil, and plan on replacing all vital fluids with Redline products in the spring), as well as Lucas products. These are no frill products that come from trickle down R&D. Good stuff.
[snapback]260706[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]
There is the Prestone 150k mile orange stuff that's pretty good. I use that stuff with my fan delete and redline water wetter for boilover protection.

BMW coolant is also REALLY good stuff. But it's expensive.

Redline Water Wetter and water is also good stuff for the fan delete.

BMW ENTHUSIAST
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#12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 09:24 PM
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I have a 98 318i, my owner's manual says use nitrate, amino free antifreeze. After searching the web for hours, i finally found one that specifically states it's nitrate and amine free (assuming amino/amine is the same thing), Chevron Dex-Cool Extended Life Anifreeze, www.dooilco.com/pdf/Coolants/Dex-Cool.pdf let me know if this help.
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#13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 10:15 PM
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