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      01-20-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
instalher
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engine light?

anyone have an idea why my engine light came on, it was 6:30 in the morning and -30. car barely started but once it did the light came on... iam thinking its just because it was so friken cold out.. can i reset myself or off to the dealer i go?
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      01-20-2013, 10:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by instalher View Post
anyone have an idea why my engine light came on, it was 6:30 in the morning and -30. car barely started but once it did the light came on... iam thinking its just because it was so friken cold out.. can i reset myself or off to the dealer i go?
Did it look like a snowflake? If so then it was simply a warning that the roads were likely slick due to cold weather.
If it didn't go away, then it is not the snowflake warning and I would need more information to tell you what you are looking at.
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      01-20-2013, 11:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by instalher View Post
anyone have an idea why my engine light came on, it was 6:30 in the morning and -30. car barely started but once it did the light came on... iam thinking its just because it was so friken cold out.. can i reset myself or off to the dealer i go?
if it was -30, its because it was so cold. The engine isn't really build to operate properly at those conditions. If you frequent that kinda temp you should purchase an engine block heater, otherwise you're asking for trouble. I'm kinda surprised your coolant didnt freeze.
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      01-20-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Stohlen View Post
if it was -30, its because it was so cold. The engine isn't really build to operate properly at those conditions. If you frequent that kinda temp you should purchase an engine block heater, otherwise you're asking for trouble. I'm kinda surprised your coolant didnt freeze.
As long as the battery is in good shape, -30 is not a problem with a BMW without a block heater. In Canada there was a recall a couple of years ago to upgrade the battery from 70Ah 570CCA to 90Ah 720CCA on the 135i. Our 135i has started at -35C without a problem.

You can't fit a standard block heater in most current BMWs due to a lack of frost plugs that can be removed, so an in-line coolant heater together with a battery blanket is the easiest solution if the temperature is below -35C.

The standard BMW coolant 50/50 mix is good down to -37C.
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      01-21-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by instalher View Post
anyone have an idea why my engine light came on, it was 6:30 in the morning and -30. car barely started but once it did the light came on... iam thinking its just because it was so friken cold out.. can i reset myself or off to the dealer i go?
Not sure if you have a 1 series or a 323i as you show in your details. In any case your battery may be getting weak due to age or short drives. You probably have a check engine light due to misfires after a hard start or having shut the car down when the engine wasn't fully warmed up before it was shut down when it was driven the previous time.

If the battery is older than about 4 years, it may be time for a new one. I'm assuming your car is using an approved BMW LL01 synthetic oil of the correct viscosity. In Canada, the only generally available oils that meet these criteria are BMW 5w30, Castrol 0w30 and Mobil 0w40. Using anything thicker than these oils or anything that is not a full synthetic will cause starting and wear issues at low temperatures.

If your engine light came on due to misfires, it will clear after a few days of use and a number of starts.
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      01-21-2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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The standard BMW coolant 50/50 mix is good down to -37C.
I wouldn't trust a coolant rating enough to risk it below -20. Its real easy for the coolant to be contaminated or improperly mixed during a service and for the coolant to freeze. I'd just rather not risk that. Engines dont like extreme cold, the engine components shrink when cold, and that essentially makes your engine out of tolerance. I'd rather not run it like that if at all possible. If you regularly see temps that low, you should really keep it warm in some manner before starting.
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      01-21-2013, 10:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stohlen View Post
I wouldn't trust a coolant rating enough to risk it below -20. Its real easy for the coolant to be contaminated or improperly mixed during a service and for the coolant to freeze. I'd just rather not risk that. Engines dont like extreme cold, the engine components shrink when cold, and that essentially makes your engine out of tolerance. I'd rather not run it like that if at all possible. If you regularly see temps that low, you should really keep it warm in some manner before starting.
I've run 4 BMWs so far (and my son has one, too) over the past 13 years with a total of just under 500,000km on them all together. All of them have been started in -35C to -30C weather when parked outside. None of them have had any issues.

This sort of temperature is normal here in the winter, most cars have no problem when properly maintained and fitted with the appropriate oil and coolant mixture, in starting at below -30C without a block heater. Even my Z4M with 10w60 oil starts without problem at -30C after being parked outside at work all day.

I'm not sure what your experience at starting vehicles in low temperatures is, but we're all experienced in Western Canada at doing this, without any detriment to modern cars.
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      01-22-2013, 02:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
I've run 4 BMWs so far (and my son has one, too) over the past 13 years with a total of just under 500,000km on them all together. All of them have been started in -35C to -30C weather when parked outside. None of them have had any issues.

This sort of temperature is normal here in the winter, most cars have no problem when properly maintained and fitted with the appropriate oil and coolant mixture, in starting at below -30C without a block heater. Even my Z4M with 10w60 oil starts without problem at -30C after being parked outside at work all day.

I'm not sure what your experience at starting vehicles in low temperatures is, but we're all experienced in Western Canada at doing this, without any detriment to modern cars.
When I lived in North Dakota (southern Canada lol) we regularly saw temps below -30 this time of year. Most cars (unless big v8s) will still start in te low temps. Will be harder on them for sure without a block heater but they will. I was lucky enough to have a garage that it usually stayed about 50 degrees in or about 30 when it was negative temps out.

I always had my coolant changed twice a yr. In late spring I'd do a 50/50 mix and just before winter I'd do about a 65/45 mix which gave me freezing protection up to-60
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      01-22-2013, 02:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
I've run 4 BMWs so far (and my son has one, too) over the past 13 years with a total of just under 500,000km on them all together. All of them have been started in -35C to -30C weather when parked outside. None of them have had any issues.

This sort of temperature is normal here in the winter, most cars have no problem when properly maintained and fitted with the appropriate oil and coolant mixture, in starting at below -30C without a block heater. Even my Z4M with 10w60 oil starts without problem at -30C after being parked outside at work all day.

I'm not sure what your experience at starting vehicles in low temperatures is, but we're all experienced in Western Canada at doing this, without any detriment to modern cars.
When I lived in North Dakota (southern Canada lol) we regularly saw temps below -30 this time of year. Most cars (unless big v8s) will still start in te low temps. Will be harder for sure without a block heater but they will. I was lucky enough to have a garage that it usually stayed about 50 degrees in or about 30 when it was negative temps out.

I always had my coolant changed twice a yr. In late spring I'd do a 50/50 mix and just before winter I'd do about a 65/45 mix which gave me freezing protection up to-60

Now I live in southern Spain so I say screw winter and having snow tires and a winter beater lol.
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      01-23-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
instalher
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ok time to get a battery blanket from princess auto. thank guys
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