E39 - Check Coolant Level indicator

hi, i was getting the "check Coolant Level" indicator after driving for abt 15 minutes and it some times comes on just after starting the car. The temperature indicator in the dash is rock steady in the
middle.Checked the water level and it was low. topped it up but still got the indicator. Took the car in to the mechanic, he let topped up the water as well and did a preasure test and there was no leak. his comment was that it is recomended for this model to chek and top up the water level every 2 weeks. Is what he is saying true or should I be concerned. advice appreciated. regards
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"dark knight" wrote

Yes, you should be concerned and looking for a different mechanic. If you have to top up every 2 weeks, then obviously your coolant is going somewhere - either on the ground, into the cabin (do you smell anything?) or into the engine (how's your oil level?).
Pete
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It's amazing the excuses incompetent mechanics invent...
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Get a better mechanic. What year is the car? If you're past about 65,000 miles, get to a GOOD mechanic quickly. The E39 has a flaw, a fatal flaw, in the cooling system. Both the radiator and the overflow container fail at about this many miles. Well known.
Tom
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It's quite common with E39 V8s. Nothing like so common with the others.
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wrote:

do do preempt this "fatal" flaw. rgds
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You still haven't said which model of E39 your car is.
A failed rad isn't a fatal flaw. Driving the car with no coolant might well cause one. So if the red overheat light comes on stop immediately.
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wrote:

Lets just say the cooling system is underdesigned with too many plastic parts that can withstand just so many heat cycles. It's wise to pre-emptively replace the V-8 rad in the 60-75,000 mile range, the I-6 in the 75-90,000 range (less heat and fewer reports of catastrophic failure.) The most common failure is in the plastic upper hose inlet cracks and dumps pressure and coolant. You want to get the car off the road and shut down the engine as quickly as possible. Two or three minutes running with a pegged temp gauge is more than sufficient to require an engine replacement (no "it's just 10 miles to the next exit" strategy.)
While the rad is out, replace the water pump, thermostat and its housing. The new electrical thermostats haven't built a sufficient history to determine if they're more reliable than the old units.
The fan has been known to fail as well, though this is not as common.
Zionsville makes a beautiful all aluminum rad and also a kit which includes an aluminum expansion tank and two-speed electrical fan. Bulletproof, but expensive. Around $600 for the rad, $1100 for the whole kit. By comparison, I've seen OE rads for $160 plus shipping. If you do your own work, it'd take a lot of miles to justify the higher cost. Then again, what is the price of peace of mind.
R / John
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wrote:

Lets just say the cooling system is underdesigned with too many plastic parts that can withstand just so many heat cycles. It's wise to pre-emptively replace the V-8 rad in the 60-75,000 mile range, the I-6 in the 75-90,000 range (less heat and fewer reports of catastrophic failure.) The most common failure is in the plastic upper hose inlet cracks and dumps pressure and coolant. You want to get the car off the road and shut down the engine as quickly as possible. Two or three minutes running with a pegged temp gauge is more than sufficient to require an engine replacement (no "it's just 10 miles to the next exit" strategy.)
While the rad is out, replace the water pump, thermostat and its housing. The new electrical thermostats haven't built a sufficient history to determine if they're more reliable than the old units.
The fan has been known to fail as well, though this is not as common.
Zionsville makes a beautiful all aluminum rad and also a kit which includes an aluminum expansion tank and two-speed electrical fan. Bulletproof, but expensive. Around $600 for the rad, $1100 for the whole kit. By comparison, I've seen OE rads for $160 plus shipping. If you do your own work, it'd take a lot of miles to justify the higher cost. Then again, what is the price of peace of mind.
R / John
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