What Color Coolant Does BMW Use?

Engine coolant, as it relates to cars, is a 50% water and 50% ethylene glycol liquid used to keep the engine from overheating and freezing during cold months. The half water transfers engine heat while the half ethylene glycol prevents the engine from freezing.

Besides this, car manufacturers dye their coolants to differentiate them. Coolant comes in blue, green, yellow, pink, magenta, and orange. Over the years, BMW owners and mechanics have seen different coolant colors in several BMW models, and years that have made most users ask what color coolant BMW uses.

If you are among these people, your period of confusion is over. In this article, I’ll be answering the question how does BMW coolant look like, as well as other related questions about BMW coolant colors.

What coolant does BMW use?

What Color Coolant Does BMW Use?

BMW vehicles use two different coolant colors, each designed for a specific engine. The BMW typically uses blue-green coolant colors.

BMW recommends the green HT-12 coolant, which is carefully formulated for optimal cooling system performance, and it is compatible with all BMW models. They also recommend the blue BMW G48 coolant for older years and models.

However, It is important you understand that color doesn’t matter. Don’t use just any green or blue coolant in your car. Only use a genuine German OEM BMW-recommended coolant to keep your cooling system working as it should. BMW manufacturers only recommend specific coolants because they are not formulated with borates, phosphates, amines, or nitrites.

Older models use the recommended blue coolant, and newer models produced in 2018 use the green coolant. According to BMW, you can mix the recommended green coolant with the blue on vehicles manufactured before 2018, but you should not use the BMW blue coolant on newer cars.

What happens if my BMW runs out of coolant?

You should never drive your car without a coolant. If you do that, your car will overheat even before you know it. The issue will be more dangerous. Here’s why: The temperature sensor works by reading how hot the engine coolant is and relating this information to the temperature gauge. If there’s no single coolant in the radiator, the temperature sensor cannot tell how hot the engine is, and the temperature gauge will read normally.

If you continue driving for a longer period, the engine will overheat, pistons will warp, and some essential engine components will melt.

How often should you change the coolant on a BMW?

BMW recommends changing your coolant every 30,000 miles or every two years. However, there are instances where you will have to change the coolant earlier or after the 30,000-mile intervals. While BMW recommends you change the coolant every 30,000 miles, I advise you to check it every 15,000 miles so you can catch issues on time and fix them. When it comes to your engine coolant, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

how to top up coolant bmw 1 series

How do I know if I need a coolant flush in my BMW?

The most common signs that show you need to flush your BMW engine coolant are;

How much Coolant does a BMW need?

Every BMW model has a distinct level of coolant they can take. Some models may require 6.6 liters, while others may require 8 liters. So, regardless of your model, you need two gallons total—one gallon of BMW coolant and one gallon of distilled water. To know the exact quantity your engine needs, look through your owner’s manual.

What kind of coolant does BMW use?

There are three types of engine coolant—inorganic, organic, and hybrid. The color of the coolant you pour into your BMW doesn’t matter. What matters the most is the type of coolant and the ingredients used in formulating them.

So, always check your owner’s booklet to see the specified coolant for your car year and model and the interval you should change/flush them. Alternatively, you can call your dealership or schedule an appointment on the website.

Is it okay to mix different BMW coolants?

However, according to BMW TIS, you can safely mix the new green HT12 and the old blue G48 coolant. I’m not sure what color the mixture will come up with, but BMW claims they are compatible. What is not compatible is mixing any other BMW coolants, such as the magenta G30 and the blue i30 coolant.

Aside from the Green HT12 and the Blue G48 coolant, you should not mix different BMW coolants. Mixing different coolants on your BMW could cause chemical reactions that can harm your engine and the cooling system.

Each coolant is designed to meet a specific engine need. Therefore, mixing them could alter the efficacy of the better coolant. For instance, mixing two different coolants can cause the engine to overheat.

Can I use other coolant types for my BMW?

Do not use any other coolant aside from the one that initially comes with your engine or the ones your manufacturer recommends for your specific model. BMW recommends only green HT12, green LC12, blue G48, magenta G30, blue i30, and the BMW blue G11 coolant. Even when purchasing any of these coolants, check the label and ensure they do not contain borates, nitrites, phosphates, or amines.

Why does BMW have different coolant colors and names?

Over the years, BMW has produced different colors and types of coolant for different engine needs. For instance, BMW briefly used a magenta color coolant on their old models but had to discontinue it for engineering purpose. Typically, each engine comes with a new coolant color and type—that’s a way of differentiating them.

Final words

If you have been reading to this point, you will no longer ask what color coolant does BMW use. BMW only recommends certain blue or green coolants that do not contain phosphates, amines, borates, or nitrites.

Each recommended coolant is built to handle the cooling system and engine needs in those models and should be used on them. If you are not sure of which coolant to use on your specific BMW model, check your owner’s booklet or visit your dealership.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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