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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are a whole lot of threads about the coolant level in the overflow reservoir. Why the level seems to drop quickly, without leaks. How to replenish the coolant. Which coolant to use. Which water to use. This thread is a summary of what the forum wisdom has offered. I forget who first posted the 3 Screw Method, but it works great.

1) The K1600 Coolant System

Our K1600 engine has a coolant system with a lot of nooks and crannies which trap air. So, if you have you bike worked on, water pump replaced, valves checked, etc..., you will have the coolant drained and refilled. This will nearly always lead to trapped air in the system. Air which will eventually, or quickly, depending on how you ride, come to the radiator, and drain your coolant reservoir.

Until all trapped air hits the radiator, your coolant level may, at anytime, drop.


2) Checking the coolant level. Fast, easy and a smart thing to do before rides.

From the front of the bike, look under the headlight, up and left. The little blue bottle.





3) Adding coolant, the easy way. 3 Little Screws Method
The yellow arrows point to the specific 3 screw screws. Just those 3 allow you to pull the top of the fairing out to gain access to the top of the coolant reservoir.

A - Locate and remove these 3 T-25 screws.


B - Pull the fairing top our and look down to the top of the reservoir. You will see the little black rubber cap. Stick your fingers down and remove the cap, careful to hang on to it.


C - Use some funnel with a long hose to get coolant/water into the open reservoir opening. 50/50 ratio.


D - Once refilled, carefully fish the rubber cap back down and onto the opening.

E - Replace the 3 T-25 screws.

F - Done. :D

If you are out on the road, on a nice ride, when you notice the low coolant level, my recommendation is to top off the level with water. Finding the right coolant is too much trouble, and there is nothing wrong with water. Such a small volume won't make any difference. With just your T-25, located under the seat, and a bottle of water, Aquafina is functionally distilled, you can dump it down and get enough in to refill the reservoir.

Which coolant? Why not something from the auto parts store?

There are now many different formulations of coolant available. BMW has a specific mix of chemicals which they feel is right for their engines, both auto and motorcycle. Mixing different coolant formulas is at best risky. You risk a chemical reaction which will damage the engine. Don't mix. Best to just get a gallon of BMW coolant and have it on hand at home.


Which water? Spring, filtered, tap or distilled?

Asking this is a good way to start an argument. Worse than which oil or tire. Let's just say that I have a gallon of distilled water in the garage.

If I'm on a long ride and the bike burped enough air to empty the coolant reservoir, I will use whatever clean water I have on hand.

Why, after the dealer works on the bike, does air get trapped in the engine?

Bleeding the K1600 engine of all air appears to be more than service techs are willing to do, because of the time it takes.

BMW added two bleeder screws to this engine. Many service techs don't open the one on the left side of the engine.


After getting my valves checked, I engage in some spirited riding, lots of twisty turns leaning the bike, and high revs, to expel trapped air. Then, check and refill the coolant reservoir.

Good Tip: Never have major service completed before a long ride.

Seems that many find that their cooling system burps while out on a long ride. Instead of buying a funnel, you might have seen my thread on hydration and purchased the inexpensive water bottle adapter.



Easily remove the drinking end and use the hose to add the necessary water to the coolant reservoir.

Multi-tasking. :gm
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After the valve checks, the first drop in the coolant reservoir I add Amsoil Coolant Boost. Speeds warm-up and cools better.


AMSOIL Dominator® Coolant Boost
Provides Effective Heat Transfer and Enhanced Corrosion Protection
Formulated with proprietary tiered surfactant technology, providing quick and effective heat transfer inside radiator and cylinder heads, which results in reduced operating temperatures, more efficient operation, increased horsepower and significantly reduced engine warm-up times in cold weather.
 

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Very nicely written up RL, Info I will file away as a separate document.:gm

Thank You
 

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Nice explanation, RL, with great pics. As usual . . . :)

The only thing I might add is that when I had my body panels off, I used a black Sharpie to darken and extend the Min and Max lines so that they're easier to see from either side.

That noticeably simplifies the visual coolant check.
 

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This is a fantastic write up. I am a software guy and these kinds of hardware problems scare the pants off me.

However with this write up I am confident I can add more coolant tomorrow. I am getting near the minimum line.

RL, If your weren't already a lifetime member I'd be happy to pay your dues on this forum. Your kind of generosity on this forum is without parallel. Hopefully someday we will meet in person and I'd be happy to buy you dinner and drinks!

Cheers!

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Has anyone tried Evans Coolant in one of these engines?
Yes, and not anymore.

Used it when overheating. Changed back to BMW coolant when BMW replaced my radiator. Two big radiator threads here. The Evans didn't help. Keeping the radiator clean keeps the temperature perfect.

http://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-maintenance-do-yourself/40585-radiator-after-40-000-miles-all-weather-riding-not-pretty-sight.html

http://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-maintenance-do-yourself/42025-protect-your-radiator-road-debris-screen-behind-guard-method.html
 

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RL,
I appreciate the write-up, but I'm more than a little confused. You say remove 3 screws. I see at least 7 being pointed to in the drawings. I can get to 4 of those. I removed them, but still can't get the colored panel off. Springing it outward, I can see another screw coming up from the bottom. It is hidden well beneath the lower fairing piece. I have not attempted to remove that panel. I have the fog/running lights. I'm not sure what is involved in getting all of that off. It certainly seems way more complicated than removing 3 screws. Please HELP!!!

Steve
 

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RL,
I appreciate the write-up, but I'm more than a little confused. You say remove 3 screws. I see at least 7 being pointed to in the drawings. I can get to 4 of those. I removed them, but still can't get the colored panel off. Springing it outward, I can see another screw coming up from the bottom. It is hidden well beneath the lower fairing piece. I have not attempted to remove that panel. I have the fog/running lights. I'm not sure what is involved in getting all of that off. It certainly seems way more complicated than removing 3 screws. Please HELP!!!

Steve
All those screws must be removed to remove the panel -- RL is pointing out the three screws that must be removed if you are only going to pry the top of the panel away from the bike to slip in a hand and a hose from a funnel.
 

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All those screws must be removed to remove the panel -- RL is pointing out the three screws that must be removed if you are only going to pry the top of the panel away from the bike to slip in a hand and a hose from a funnel.
Thank you, Mark. That's what I have finally done. Now that I got the top off the reservoir, I can see that it is not empty like I thought. It's just a little bit low, so I'll top it off while it's opened up.

Thanks for taking time to help me out.

Steve
 

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Nice write up, RL. Thanks!
 

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Can someone comment on the recommended procedure using the two bleeder screws to remove any air trapped in the cooling system.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Download the Service Manual and look for section: 17 00 035 Draining coolant, refilling/bleeding system 8 FRUs
+ 17 00 504

In essence, it is to loosen the two screws and refill coolant until it overflows the two holes. Tighten the screws. Top off to the fill line.
 

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Download the Service Manual and look for section: 17 00 035 Draining coolant, refilling/bleeding system 8 FRUs
+ 17 00 504

In essence, it is to loosen the two screws and refill coolant until it overflows the two holes. Tighten the screws. Top off to the fill line.
Thank you RL, I will also check out the service manual also. :gm
 

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Just starting to have a problem with overheating on my GTL. It was the first one delivered in North America. I have about 47,000 km on it. Looks like there is very little circulation when stopped or in stop and go traffic as it gets into the red on the temperature guage. Once you start going above 40 kph it starts to cool down. The fan is coming on when it heats up. There is some blue drops on my exhaust and some on the bottom of the pump. I have never had to add any coolant to the reserve.

There are 2 bleeding points on the engine, but I have not tried to see if there is an air lock in the cooling system, could this be the problem or is it water pump related?

Any suggestions?

Garry
 
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