If you own a BMW motor vehicle fitted with a V8, straight-6 or 4 cylinder engine there are alternatives to getting your engine reconditioned and back on the road without going to a BMW dealership that will probably send you in the direction of a used motor scrap yard where you can buy a used engine, but at what cost? Used engines are risky as they come with all sorts of problems imaginable. These engines have often been overheated at some point, have not been regularly serviced by competent mechanics and have been duly neglected. BMW designers have engineered these engines and relative components to such an extent that should the motor overheat it opens up all sorts of gaps that keep on deteriorating and there is no quick fix solution.
Most modern BMW engine blocks, including the cylinders are sand cast in an ‘all-in-one’ alloy casting which are manufactured by Kolbenschmidt (KS), from a blend of alloys and silicon, namely Alusil. The heads and certain engine covers are made from aluminium alloy and the tappat covers are cast from magnesium.
This makes the engines main component housings and carriers, light and durable which is key when fitted to any chassis but one thing must be noted and noted well, they do not like operating in the high heat range for long periods and must be cooled efficiently. The average car engines are designed to run somewhere between 180-200F (82-93C), which means that if the engine runs cooler or hotter for prolonged periods outside of this desired heat range, the moving engine parts, particularly the pistons and rings and crank will wear quicker. These temp ranges have been observed by scientists, motor technicians and engine designers since the invention of the internal combustion engine through countless years of engine blueprinting and testing.
Should the engine temp guage stray slightly over the halfway mark for extended periods or should it see the ‘red’ at higher RPM, the engine will suffer irrepairable damage and this includes the hardening of valve stem seals, oil seals, guides and weakening of gaskets which result in oil leaks and ultimately a blown cylinder head gasket if you are fortunate. For the not so fortunate, a crack in the cylinder head is common. Knock sensors and other sensors will also be affected by heat and can pick up and relay inaccurate pulses and incorrect readings and the list becomes familiar to that of an uneconomical to repair engine.
How much damage was inflicted is always the question, and the cure is, DO NOT let the motor overheat because you will pay, and this is never a cheap exercise. When overheating occurs the pistons and rings expand and then collapse when cooled opening up the piston to bore clearance, the engine begins using oil and smoking and the smell of burnt oil becomes evident, then you know the bores are more than likely scored.
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