Mechanics

ENGINE TEMP LIGHT ON LOW SIDE, NO HEAT

1997 BMW 328

Engine Cooling problem
1997 BMW 328 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 170000 miles

I'm curious as to whether it would hurt for me to drive 150 miles home or I should stay a few extra days to get to a shop. My engine temp gauge is registering on the cooler side (instead of the straight up at 12 position). Sometimes I have heat and sometimes the air is just cool.

Any thoughts, will it conk out on me or harm anything if I try to drive back home?
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Manahattanite
February 14, 2009.




With the possibility of damage to the engine, I would not consider taking the risk, have it checked out to be sure. Better safe than buying a new engine. It may also come to pass that the cooling system will require some replacement of components due to their age. The plastic components of the radiator, the expansion tank and the thermostat housing have a definite lifespan and since you have an 12 year old car, I feel it is my responsibility to urge you to take action now to prevent a possible catastrophic failure of the cooling system and possible internal engine damage like a cracked cylinder head casting from even a brief overheating or an excursion into the temperature gauge red zone from a failed radiator or other cooling system component. I know this seems alarmist, but trust me it can happen, and don't ask me how I know that!

Dr. Hagerty
Feb 14, 2009.


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