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  #1  
Old 03-03-2014, 10:34 AM
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Permanent Check Coolant Level message?

Hi guys – I have the Check Coolant Level (CCL) message and I can’t get rid of it. Background – replaced seam-split expansion tank and sensor. Topped off system with correct coolant. Bled system. Float is positioned correctly. I expected the CCL message to clear at this point, but it did not. I have driven the car for several weeks now under various temperature conditions and drive durations. I am 100% convinced the system is full and has no leaks. I have no dried residuals anywhere, no puddles, no drips, no white smoke, no odors, nothing. Temp gauge behavior normal. Wire harness to the sensor looks undamaged. I am stumped even after reading the forum search results. The only thing I have not tried is disconnecting the battery to see if it will clear the error message. Any thoughts on if that will work? Any other theories or ideas? Thanks in advance for your wisdom.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:12 AM
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what about the low level sensor in the expansion tank ,did you check that? unless thats the sensor your talking about you checked.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutch View Post
Hi guys – I have the Check Coolant Level (CCL) message and I can’t get rid of it. ... The only thing I have not tried is disconnecting the battery to see if it will clear the error message. Any thoughts on if that will work? Any other theories or ideas? Thanks in advance for your wisdom.
You don't mention if you checked the coolant level sensor...which is not the "float" that you see when you undo the tank's lid (yes, it does fool many owners).

The sensor is screwed in from the bottom and is probably in a "dry" well (if like the expansion tanks since the m60-m62tu engines.

See #3 in the diagram below...and also check if the electrical harness (#6) is plugged in correctly to the sensor:

For example, in the pic below of an e39's expansion tank split open...you can see the float (it's goldish-tan in the 1st pic) in its normal "full" location inside the tank...and the "level sensor" is sitting to the far right (just below the split-opened tank). Again, the level sensor screws up inside a dry well in the tank...which is near the bottom of the float mechanism inside the tank. You can also see a "staple" sitting on a circular magnet in the bottom part of the float. I believe magnetism is somehow used to communicate the level of fluid in the tank to the level sensor. As the fluid lever drops inside the tank, the float lowers closer to the level sensor...and when the low point is reached, the proximity of the bottom of the float to the level sensor triggers the warning (see the 2nd image below):

(all images below: courtesy of Bluebee)





In this last image below...you can see that the internal "float" is at the very bottom of its range as if the tank was empty...you can see that the bottom half which contains the magnet...is also surrounding the "dry well" that the level sensor is screwed into...thus my assumption that the magnet is how the coolant level sensor recognizes that the tank is not full.

If for some reason your level sensor has gone bad...or the bottom half of your float is still down near the level sensor (are you sure your float is intact)...you need to check the coolant level sensor or its electrical harness.



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Last edited by Qsilver7; 03-03-2014 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:34 AM
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Yes, the sensor I was referring to - that I replaced - is the level sensor in the expansion tank (#3 in diagram). I assumed that was the one creating the message about the "level" of coolant. Is there another sensor somewhere that might generate the same message wording? Is there a "level" sensor in the radiator itself or elsewhere? Is this an error code that must be cleared manually? Thanks again.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:58 AM
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Now I'm confused...is the red float bobbing up to the top of the expansion tank when you unscrew the lid (on a cold engine)?

Also, I edited (added) more info to my previous reply...go back and check that it all makes sense to you as to how the coolant level sensor & internal float communicate with each other.

You should see the internal float stick up like in the pic below (again, this is an e39 expansion tank...I've only been on the e53 forum for a year and don't know if there's a DIY for the e53's expansion tank). If the float is not rising to the top...then it has broken and the base of it (where the magnet resides) is down near the sensor...so the sensor would think that the tank is low on fluid...again, this is if the float is not rising to the top:


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Last edited by Qsilver7; 03-03-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the great detail on the system operation. Yes, the float bobs up correctly when the cap is opened. Since the float comes assembled with the expansion tank, I assume it was built properly with its magnets. Likewise, I bought the new electronic sensor from a reputable dealer so I think all of these expansion-tank related components are new and working. I even tried putting the old sensor back and it didn't change anything. I am back with the new sensor and the message persists. It's driving me crazy. The system seems to be operating fine, level steady at full for weeks, so driving the car is not a problem. But that message is always there and chimes in when you start the car and when you shut if off. It also leads to complacency and could mask a real leak if ignored, which I'm doing. Maybe there is a software bit stuck in memory somewhere. This is such a simple thing in cars - "detect low level of a fluid" - and yet BMW makes a Rube Goldberg system to do it. Ridiculous.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:12 PM
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- Clear the codes / recycle and start the car
- rescan and do diagnostics
- Also, check with a multimeter (resistance and voltage) sensor(s) and related components
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:27 PM
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And there's still the possible battery nap. If you have NAV, make sure that the nav CPU goes to sleep 1st (power downs)...I would hate to put your Nav in peril over something simple:

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Old 03-03-2014, 01:38 PM
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pull the sensor from the dry well... see if the message is still there or if it is gone... if it is gone, the magnet inside fell down... if the message is still there, the problem is with sensor or down the line to the LCM.

with sensor out, put a magnet to the glass of the sensor (once you pull it out, you will see the clear glass i am talking about)... see if the contacts react... if contacts react, trace issue further in wiring...
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:15 AM
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Update – here’s the troubleshooting steps I did:

1. Pulled the sensor out of the well but still attached to the harness: message remained.

2. Condition #1 above, then put a magnet on the sensor: message went away.

3. Removed sensor from harness: message remained.

4. Inserted jumper wire into harness socket: message went away.

Based on this, somehow my system seems to be in a mode where it is operating backward. In other words, normally as the float dropped due to a coolant loss, the magnet would come down to the vicinity of the sensor; the switch would close and the message would appear.

I have the opposite – when a magnet is near, the switch closes and the system is happy – message goes away.

How on earth did the system get so jacked from just a simple tank and sensor replacement and why can’t I clear this message via some standard procedure?

Hopefully someone can shed some light, else I will just make the jumper wire permanent and avoid this headache. I check fluids often and I still have the temp gauge so I’m not too worried, but I hate to kludge things. Advice, comments very welcome! Thank you.
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