The Effects of Cold Temperatures - Reggie's Motorworks

The Effects of Cold Temperatures

Greetings!  Welcome back to the blog for some more bimmer and auto enthusiast goodness!  It’s been another busy week, so let’s take a look at a few of the latest happenings in the shop.  The weather lately has been cold, bitterly cold.  And, unfortunately, the cold can do a number on cars, as we’ll see in a minute.
We were excited to have this nice 1985 BMW 535i come in to the shop.  It’s an e28 Euro spec bimmer, made for the European market, which has different crash standards than we do here in the US.  Don’t you just love those Euro bumpers?  We certainly do! This poor car just wouldn’t start.  Upon inspection, Reggie found it had a loose battery cable, which meant no juice was getting to the engine computer.  This car is just plain cool.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

We also had a 2001 BMW 330xi in for quite a bit of work and some routine maintenance.  Let’s dive right in!   The owner had noticed oil coming out of the exhaust when starting the car on a rather frigid day.  The system over-pressurized, due to frozen condensation in the PCV valve.  This caused oil to blow into the cylinders and out of the valve cover gasket.  Unfortunately, this is a common problem.  Needless to say, the PCV valve, hoses and valve cover gasket will be replaced.

Reggie also found that the intake hose was quite torn.  Add it to the list to replace!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Removing the PCV valve (oil separator valve) was not an easy task.  It’s buried down deep in the engine bay, and it’s a part which is both horizontal and vertical in shape.  There are two ways to remove it: (1) Remove the intake manifold; or (2) Uncover the intake manifold…which is what Reggie was hoping would do the trick.  And…thankfully, it did!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

It’s hard to see the PCV valve to get a good photo of it, let alone trying to remove it!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

And here is the new PCV valve.  This part now comes covered in insulation, which makes it a bit larger in size than the original!   The good part about the insulation is that it keeps it from freezing in colder temperatures.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Oil had seeped out around the valve cover gasket:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

New parts and new tires for this bimmer!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Removing one of the hoses that will be replaced:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Oil and condensation had frozen and expanded in this section of the breather hose:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

The original PCV valve…also filled with the same crud as above:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggie removed the dip stick tube to clean it and replace the o-ring, thus ending the dis-assembly process.  Below, Reggie is seen reinstalling the dip stick tube.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

All of the hoses need to maintain a certain level of pressure in order to release pressure from the bottom end of the engine, while doing so efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner. When the freezing occurred, the pressure had nowhere to go and took the path of least resistance to escape.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggie removed the valve cover gasket, which had become quite brittle!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Cleaning the valve cover:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

The new valve cover gasket awaits installation:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

The spark plugs were also in need of replacement:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

The oil had gotten to them too!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

New spark plugs: check!

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Draining the coolant and refilling with BMW coolant:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

All four tires will be replaced:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

This sensor was carefully removed and set aside for a moment…

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

…while Reggie saw how best to remove the fan and fan shroud to make room to replace the water pump, thermostat, and expansion tank:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

These parts were replaced as preventative maintenance, so they won’t fail out of the blue, as they are known to do.  More on this in a moment.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggie used the thermostat bolts to remove the water pump.  As the bolts were driven against the engine, the water pump was pushed outward for easy removal.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

This water pump was not pretty.  You can see where coolant had seeped out of the weep hole.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

The old water pump (right) had a composite impeller versus the metal impeller of the new water pump.  Metal impellers are preferred.

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Old and new expansion tanks, which hold extra coolant in the pressurized coolant system:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

Reggie tightens the bolts on the thermostat and snaps the upper radiator hose into place before installing a new serpentine belt:

Reggies MotorWorks | Repairing BMW, Audi, Mercedes

That wraps up this week’s edition of the blog.  We’ll be back next time with updates on the S50 project and some other cool stuff.  Have a great weekend!

Written by Reggie's Motorworks

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