BMW Cars need regular maintenance to perform at their best. Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control and your car may require extensive repairs. When a car overheats, you can permanently damage vehicle components, which can result in costly repairs. Here’s what you need to know about how far you can drive an overheated car and how to prevent your BMW car from overheating.
How far can you drive an overheating BMW car?
When you notice that your car’s performance is decreasing or the temperature gauge is going up, you know you have a problem. When you notice that your car is overheating, it means that there are vehicle components under the hood of your car that is getting hotter than they should.
There is no set mileage you can drive when your car is overheating. You may be able to drive your car 10 to 20 miles before serious damage occurs. Once your car starts to overheat, its components are subject to extremely hot temperatures, which can damage many vehicle components located in the engine bay. When your car starts to overheat, you need to fix the problem as soon as possible by taking your BMW car to an auto repair shop.
How to drive a BMW car with engine overheating
You should avoid driving a vehicle with an overheated engine, but if you must drive the vehicle, take the necessary precautions.
Drive when the engine temperature is low
You should only drive the vehicle when the engine has cooled down. Notice that an overheating engine is not a recurring problem. The culprit could be other factors, such as operating the vehicle during a hot day, getting stuck in traffic, or leaving the air conditioning on. As a precaution, be sure to keep an eye on the temperature gauge to avoid running into other bigger problems.
Keep the Air Conditioning Off
Keeping the air conditioning off in your car reduces the strain on the engine. Your car’s air conditioner uses engine power to cool or heat the vehicle. An alternative to running the air conditioning is to roll through the windows.
Turn on the heating and fans to the highest level
While this may seem counterproductive, when you turn on the heat in your car, it pulls heat from the engine to warm the interior of your car. The more heat you pull from the engine, the better the engine will run. In order not to feel uncomfortable while driving, rotate the ventilation openings towards the car windows.
Shift into Neutral and reverse the engine
Shifting gears and rotating the engine is one of the fastest ways to get air into the engine. Once your BMW car is in neutral, rev the engine up to 2000 rpm. Reversing the engine allows coolant and cool air to reach the engine, removing excess heat.
Use water as a soda substitute
If you’ve run out of coolant, you can use water to help cool your engine. The use of water as a coolant substitute is not recommended for long journeys. However, the water will help your engine stay cool between coolant refills. Be aware that using cold water can cause the engine block to crack due to the immediate temperature change from hot to cold boil.
Short distance drives
The objective is to maintain the optimum engine temperature when overheating becomes an issue. If you have to drive a long distance, drive for short breaks, pull over to a safe spot, turn off the BMW car and sit for 10-20 minutes. Repeat this process until you reach your destination. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge to help you determine when you need to pull over.
How to prevent an engine from overheating
There are different measures you can take to prevent your engine from overheating.
Keep a slow, steady pace
Before you start traveling, you need to choose a route that doesn’t have many stops or traffic lights. It is important to maintain a slow, steady pace to avoid reviewing the transmission. Stopping and starting the car stresses the engine, which can cause the engine to overheat, especially in older vehicles. You also need to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid sudden braking.
Lower the windows instead of using the air conditioner
If you can, avoid operating the air conditioner in your car. When you turn on the air conditioning in your vehicle, the engine is stressed by using the engine’s power to generate cool air inside the car. You especially want to prevent your car’s air conditioning from running if:
- You are late having your car inspected
- You have unresolved issues with your air conditioner
- You are low on coolant
- You leak your radiator
Maintain regular car inspections
Regularly changing your car’s oil, refilling the coolant, and performing other essential tasks help keep your BMW car running smoothly. When you change your oil, have the mechanic check the fans so that if there is a problem, it can be fixed before your vehicle starts to malfunction.
Refill your coolant levels
You need to make sure your soda levels are up, especially before the summer months. During the summer, the air is warmer, which means you need to keep an eye on your coolant levels. Be sure to mix equal parts coolant and water to fill the coolant reservoir to recommended levels. Soda is usually green and has a sweet smell. Before driving, check around the engine, under the car, and around the hoses for leaks.
Keep an emergency kit in your car
One of the last things you want to happen is getting stuck on the side of the road with an overheated engine. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Your car emergency kit must include:
- Gallon of water
- extra soda
- Non-perishable food
- Tool kit
Indicates that your BMW car is overheating
Your car will let you know when something is wrong. If your vehicle is overheating, you may notice:
- An unusual smell coming from the engine
- Steam or steam
- The needle on the temperature gauge constantly increases
If you notice any of these signs, you need to take your car to a mechanic to have all problems and concerns resolved.
What causes a car to overheat?
Different factors can cause your car to overheat. Here’s what you need to know.
Low coolant levels
Without coolant, your car will overheat. Coolant is a necessity for your car as it takes heat away from the engine. You may notice water vapor or steam coming out of your engine, which is most likely a coolant. The more steam or steam you see, the more coolant is escaping from your car. Low coolant levels are the most common cause of engine overheating.
Problems with the fans
Be aware that not all cars have a fan belt, but vehicles that have a fan belt will overheat when your BMW car is faulty. Your car may have an electric fan; if so, you will notice your engine temperature rise when you are in traffic or traveling at low speeds.
If you notice your car overheating, the thermostat could be to blame because the thermostat is not opening. When you are traveling at high speeds, your car requires extra coolant to maintain optimal performance. If the thermostat is not opening, the engine cannot receive the correct amount of coolant, which causes the engine to overheat.
Owning a vehicle requires regular maintenance to keep it operating properly. Properly maintaining your vehicle will help prevent your BMW car engine from overheating and other serious problems.