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1515 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick, RI, 02886

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Fri9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • SunClosed

How to Check Coolant Levels

Coolant Car Check


Coolant is essential to maintaining the internal temperature of your BMW engine, so knowing how to check coolant levels is crucial whether you drive a new BMW or a used model. You certainly don’t want to have your engine overheat when you’re on the roads in and around East Greenwich. This guide from the service team at BMW of Warwick will fill you in on how to check coolant levels

What is Coolant?

First off, you may be wondering, “What is coolant?” Coolant, sometimes referred to as “antifreeze”, is a fluid that transfers heat and regulates the temperature of the engine block and parts. Engine coolant contains an additive that ensures that it won’t freeze below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and that it won’t overheat above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important that you use only BMW OEM coolant as BMW vehicles have specific coolant requirements to prevent corrosion of internal aluminum components. You can find BMW OEM coolant in the Parts Center at BMW of Warwick.

BMW Coolant Light 

Your BMW is equipped with sensors that monitor various aspects of engine performance, including fluid levels. These sensors will activate and warning lights to alert you that action needs to be taken. If the BMW coolant light is illuminated on your dashboard, it’s telling you that you need to add coolant. Some of the warning signs that indicate the engine coolant level is low include:

  • BMW coolant light on
  • Low engine coolant level message on iDrive
  • Engine overheats
  • BMW coolant light on, then off after driving

Steps for How to Check Coolant Levels and Add Coolant

  1. Park in a safe location and apply the parking brake.
  2. Open the hood.
  3. DO NOT attempt to open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Allow the engine to cool down before removing the cap from your coolant reservoir. Locate the coolant expansion tank, typically situated on the left side of the engine bay. Your owner’s manual will have information on where your coolant reservoir is located.
  4. Slowly remove the coolant reservoir cap in order to allow residual pressure to be released safely
  5. Check the coolant level. There are two different float designs. The red float usually has two balls; one indicating the low level and the other indicating the full level.
  6. If the float is all the way down, you need more coolant. Add OEM BMW coolant mixed at 50/50 until the red float is even with the top edge of the filler opening. 

Coolant levels deplete over time, so it’s a good idea to check the coolant levels every three to six months. Usually, the liquid is blue, green, yellow, or red. If it’s brownish or even colorless, you should schedule a service appointment at the nearest BMW Service Center as soon as possible. At BMW of Warwick, our certified technicians can flush the system and replace the fluid so you can safely get back on Cranston-area roads.

Get More Service Tips from BMW of Warwick 

Have questions about how to check coolant levels in your BMW? Contact the Service Center at BMW of Warwick. Whether you need the cooling system flushed or require a BMW oil change, you can count on our experts to get the job done right and have you safely back on Providence area roads with as little downtime as possible. As your nearest BMW Service Center, we offer rotating service coupons which can help you get a great deal on your next BMW maintenance service today!

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BMW of Warwick 41.6929319, -71.4990204.