Mixing coolant ?

11
Posted 11th Jul 2020
Hi guys so my low coolant warning light came on in my car, the last coolant I used was the yellow prestone bottle. But today I was only able to get the shell own brand coolant. Do I have to use the same coolant as before? And also how long can I drive with low coolant. My car is a 2006 BMW 1 series thanks.
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Short term I'd just top up with water for now. Then sort out making sure whatever you get is compatible.

Realistically you're going to have to flush the system when you fix the problem.

BMW have plenty of history with iffy coolant systems. Don't just ignore it or think you can just keep topping up. Have a look for leaks esp around water pump area and rads and hoses.

Good Luck.
If the colours are the same, it should be fine.
Le me tell you what happens if you drive with low coolant from my own experience. Your car will start shaking and will come to a stop. Then, you will need to go to a garage and remove trapped air in the ducts.
Edited by: "zworld" 11th Jul
Make sure the coolant is the same colour do not mix them.
Just throw minimal amount of water in it until correct colour coolant can be added.
AndyRoyd12/07/2020 04:01

Just throw minimal amount of water in it until correct colour coolant can …Just throw minimal amount of water in it until correct colour coolant can be added.



Why Andy? Interested.

I would have thought you can put whatever you want in. Coolant is coolant it is just a matter of strength. The only difference that really matters is that it doesnt freeze in the winter.
Edited by: "Willy_Wonka" 12th Jul
Willy_Wonka12/07/2020 04:19

Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want …Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want in. Coolant is coolant it is just a matter of strength. The only difference that really matters is that it doesnt freeze in the winter.


Different corrosion inhibitors' detrimental interaction and / or undesirable coagulation.
Willy_Wonka12/07/2020 04:19

Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want …Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want in. Coolant is coolant it is just a matter of strength. The only difference that really matters is that it doesnt freeze in the winter.


I don’t think that’s the case.

The colour of the coolant needs to be maintained I think as that relates to the specific type. The owners manual will specify if it should be HOAT or one of the other types.
Willy_Wonka12/07/2020 04:19

Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want …Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want in. Coolant is coolant it is just a matter of strength. The only difference that really matters is that it doesnt freeze in the winter.



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There's an explanation about halfway through.
Thank you to everyone that replied appreciate the advice
Willy_Wonka12/07/2020 04:19

Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want …Why Andy? Interested. I would have thought you can put whatever you want in. Coolant is coolant it is just a matter of strength. The only difference that really matters is that it doesnt freeze in the winter.


Not correct. There are several different forms of coolant, and certain combinations react badly with each other. There is one combination that will turn the liquid into a horrible jelly/gunky like substance, (un)fortunately it's been a while since I last had to clean up one of those. Once bitten twice shy and all that.

With the weather as it is, you will be fine topping it up with water, then go for whatever BMW recommend. If in doubt, give it a good flush and start with a known coolant.
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