When you purchase a new car, especially a BMW, you want to make sure it is maintained properly throughout the year. During the winter, antifreeze is an important component and it’s vital that you make sure that the level of antifreeze is appropriate for your car.
In today’s vehicles, most of them have overflow containers for antifreeze coolant. These overflow containers appear to be quite similar to a windshield washer reservoir and they have lines on them that can indicate optimal fill levels for when the engine is hot and cold.
When the engine is hot, the amount of antifreeze or coolant will appear to be a bit more than when it is cold. That’s because of the expansion factor that occurs when liquid heats up.
Here are a few other common questions new BMW owners have about their antifreeze.
Question #1: Should I add antifreeze myself?
Most auto-parts stores throughout Canada now carry properly mixed antifreeze so that the average consumer could purchase it and pour it straight into their vehicles coolant reservoir without having to mix with water. However, if you have never done this before, it’s a good idea to bring your BMW to an authorized service center and ask them to check the levels and top it off, if needed.
Question #2: My antifreeze level is low, does that mean there is a leak?
In most cases you shouldn’t lose any antifreeze or coolant during the year. If you are noticing your antifreeze level dropping, there could be a leak in one of the hoses, at a joint, or even in the radiator itself. If you notice antifreeze levels dropping in your BMW, bring it to an authorized service center right away.
Question #3: Is antifreeze and coolant the same thing?
This is a common question, and sometimes a complicated answer. For the most part, coolant and antifreeze are essentially the same thing. However, different brands offer different solutions that may be more optimal for winter driving as opposed to summer driving, for example.
It’s best to have your radiator and coolant system flushed before winter, have antifreeze added, then have it flushed and replaced with coolant in the summer. This will help protect your BMW’s sensitive engine components through all driving conditions.