The BMW’s cooling system is well-known among auto care and maintenance professionals as a point of vulnerability.
The high-performance nature of the BMW engine requires carefully controlled temperatures to prevent the engine from overheating. If the engine temperature is not moderated, significant – and expensive – damage can occur.
Understanding Your Car’s Cooling System
The purpose of any vehicle’s cooling system is to maintain the engine and associated components at the proper temperature. Liquid coolant (once commonly known as antifreeze) circulates through the engine, absorbing heat. The coolant then circulates through the radiator, where it is cooled via airflow.
The system’s primary components are hoses, valves, a thermostat, water pump and radiator. The BMW cooling system does not stand alone however; and the exhaust system, timing belt and electronic controls systems are all vital to its proper function as well.
Potential BMW Cooling System Problems
BMW cooling system leaks are unfortunately common. And, as a result, your vehicle can quickly overheat. If not addressed immediately, this excess build-up of heat can damage your BMW’s engine, potentially requiring an engine replacement if the problem is extensive enough.
One specific vulnerability of note is the propensity of the coolant overflow container (also known as the expansion tank) to develop leaks. Depending on your model, your car may have one thermostat or two. It is critical that these remain in good working order. Otherwise, coolant will not circulate correctly to keep the engine cool.
If any one of the components fail, it is important that the rest of the system be thoroughly inspected by a professional. When one part of the BMW cooling system has a problem, it’s common that other system components will require attention as well.
Taking Good Care of Your Cooling System
The first rule of care for your BMW’s cooling system is simple: keep it well-maintained to keep it cool. This means ensuring that your coolant is changed regularly. It also means checking your fluids often and scheduling regular professional inspections. Ensure that your radiator grille is clean and clear of debris, as this may also result in overheating.
Sensors, hoses and thermostats commonly fail in many BMWs, especially in climate extremes like those we have in Northern Utah. And, although your vehicle should provide ample warning of a problem, having your car inspected and tested regularly will provide an important failsafe in the event that anything goes wrong with the sensors or electronic monitors.
Be ever on the lookout for potential coolant leaks.
Most BMWs require only a small amount of engine coolant. Consequently, even a tiny leak can create a significant problem. It is also important to note that BMW automobiles require the use of the manufacturer’s own coolant blend, as it has proprietary additives not found in other brands. Many BMW mechanics recommend using distilled water, rather than untreated tap water, to prevent a build-up of excess minerals in the cooling system.
Here at Wasatch Motor Werks, we are strong proponents of preventive maintenance for all of your vehicle’s parts and systems. Your BMW cooling system if critical for the long, healthy life of your car. Don’t take chances with these important components.
We are conveniently located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and serve clients from throughout Northern Utah. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for us to inspect your BMW’s cooling system.