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View Full Version : How to prevent CCV/Oil seperator failure in the cold?


Klipzs
03-06-2012, 11:50 AM
I live in Calgary where it can get up to -40C or higher during winter. Since I am planning to purchase a 2000 e46 bimmer.
There will be times I will be driving short trips and also few hour drives to go snowboarding.
I was just wondering what I could do to prevent CCV/Oil seperators from failing?
Is there any parts I should upgrade/add to prevent any failures during winter? The last thing I want is to drive 3 hours away from home to go snowboarding and end up paying for a tow truck back home..

328iInt.o
03-06-2012, 06:20 PM
Use approved oil, block kidney grills, consider buying oil/block heater and timer it for the short trips.

Drive hard.

oakville46
03-07-2012, 08:56 PM
Make sure you have the cold weather version and take the car out for a few long trips (1hr or more in time) to help to ensure the condensation is burned off.

Klipzs
03-08-2012, 01:04 PM
So it is bad to do short drives even with the cold enhanced ccv? Work is about 10mins away so short drives happen quite frequently. Is there any other parts I should worry about during winter besides the ccv?

InfiniteDice
03-08-2012, 01:42 PM
Door locks, really cold weather speeds up wear on rubber hoses as well.

Make sure you have about 60 - 70% glycol in your coolant. Look at the coolant label for the mix that will protect up to the coldest possible temperature. A heated battery blanket is nice.

In northern Quebec the temp would get down to -45c without windchill for about a week or so. I would park the car and plug in the block heater and the battery warmer right away, that way in the morning it would start nicely. If the weather is warmer... in the -20 -30 range you can use a timer to come on 3 or 4 hours before you need the car to run. At -10 or so I set the timer at 1 hour.

In the middle of nowhere in really cold weather (colder than -40c)without a place to plug in, I wouldn't suggest turning the car off for more than 1 hour. Anyone who's gone past the checkpoint heading north on the Jame's Bay highway will know what I'm talking about.

A bit of milkshake on the oil cap (condensation) is going to happen and it's not a big deal, try to get 1 or 2 longer drives per week to burn it off. I did 3 - 6 short drives per day in extremely cold weather for 3 years with my old m20... I wouldn't worry about it too much.

328iInt.o
03-09-2012, 05:17 AM
Door locks, really cold weather speeds up wear on rubber hoses as well.

Make sure you have about 60 - 70% glycol in your coolant. Look at the coolant label for the mix that will protect up to the coldest possible temperature. A heated battery blanket is nice.

In northern Quebec the temp would get down to -45c without windchill for about a week or so. I would park the car and plug in the block heater and the battery warmer right away, that way in the morning it would start nicely. If the weather is warmer... in the -20 -30 range you can use a timer to come on 3 or 4 hours before you need the car to run. At -10 or so I set the timer at 1 hour.

In the middle of nowhere in really cold weather (colder than -40c)without a place to plug in, I wouldn't suggest turning the car off for more than 1 hour. Anyone who's gone past the checkpoint heading north on the Jame's Bay highway will know what I'm talking about.

A bit of milkshake on the oil cap (condensation) is going to happen and it's not a big deal, try to get 1 or 2 longer drives per week to burn it off. I did 3 - 6 short drives per day in extremely cold weather for 3 years with my old m20... I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Problem with the e46 is highway cruising with heat on at -40 weather still won't heat oil above 100c to burn off all condensation. Than when you turn your car offs at -40, that gunk even little of it freezes in your ccv. That in turn can blow your valve cover gasket or worse suck oil from your oil pan and hydrolock your engine.

jabela
03-09-2012, 10:08 AM
Problem with the e46 is highway cruising with heat on at -40 weather still won't heat oil above 100c to burn off all condensation. Than when you turn your car offs at -40, that gunk even little of it freezes in your ccv. That in turn can blow your valve cover gasket or worse suck oil from your oil pan and hydrolock your engine.
Exactly. I've been testing lately on my 25 min hwy drive to work (25km total distance). At an ambient temp of 3C, engine oil only barely hit 100C at the end of the trip when I got off the hwy.
At 13C, it only got to 104C at the end of the trip, even with the radiator completely blocked off.

The engine actually heats up quickest sitting stopped at idle. This is due to the low coolant flow and no air flow.
At high engine speed, the coolant pump is pumping very fast.

Klipzs
03-09-2012, 04:31 PM
Alright but if I buy the CCV cold enhanced version, will that solve the problem?
Or do I have to still hit 100C even with the new enhanced version?

jabela
03-09-2012, 04:35 PM
People have reported still getting the problem after upgrading to the cold weather version. You should take all precautions to be safe. I have an oil pan heater, my radiator blocked, and I make sure to get it hot at least once a week by driving harder than I normally do on my commute.

Klipzs
03-09-2012, 04:43 PM
Alright so I should be fine driving a few short trips couple times of week as long as I drive hard at least once every week is that correct?

jabela
03-09-2012, 08:43 PM
Alright so I should be fine driving a few short trips couple times of week as long as I drive hard at least once every week is that correct?
That would help. There's no guarantees though.
Ideally you would have an oil pan heater to help.
I got the TH250 but haven't installed it yet. Been waiting for a warm weekend and some time.
http://www.padheaters.com/sizing.html

InfiniteDice
03-09-2012, 09:49 PM
Do those things have a thermostat or what... change to a higher temp thermostat? 190+

This seems good enough:

http://seekpart24.com/qh/thermostat-coolant-qth513k?c=100095&at=11991

97 C = 206.6 F

That should be plenty hot.

jabela
03-09-2012, 10:29 PM
Do those things have a thermostat or what... change to a higher temp thermostat? 190+
Yes, it opens around 95C, then rad fan comes on at 97C
The DME also opens the thermostat when the engine is at high load.
I'm thinking about disconnecting the DME on my drive to work to see how that affects the temps. That will turn it back into a simple, temperature controlled t-stat.

Driving in a lower gear also helps heat up the oil.

jabela
03-09-2012, 10:35 PM
Here's a data log from my drive to work. Ambient temp was 3C.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgAMmE_4jv8SdHVMZHBxTGVxY2FPWmIwWXVTakhGd Xc#gid=3

oakville46
03-11-2012, 12:55 PM
I have short commutes also. I try to use more city streets over the winter instead of the highways to help heat up the engine and oil. I have the cold weather ccv and two years in a row it went on me. I keep it in a low gear when the temp goes below 3 degrees. We'll see how next winter turns out.

salocin111
03-18-2012, 11:03 PM
I bought the Cold weather CCV when I replaced mine a few years ago. The only difference I can see is that flimsy foam jacket that goes over the CCV and part of the hoses. I suppose it's better than nothing but I really can't see that foam making any difference at all in the extreme cold.

Imaging if you had to sit outside in -40C weather. I don't care if you are wearing the best thermal jacket that's made out there. If you don't start a fire for heat, you're gonna freeze.