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So, what's likely to be broken?


TheRecklessEngineer
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I have a job that takes me away for quite long periods of time. I'm due home in 3 weeks.

When I left home last, I left my series 3 in the driveway under a tarpaulin. Thought to myself, "Not a lot to go wrong, perhaps only a bit of damp."

Now, given the current cold snap, how many holes will my cooling system now have? And what spares should I order before I get home so I can repair as quickly as possible?

It's a 3.5 V8 with an injection top end, and a plastic/aluminium BMW radiator. I'm hoping the rad has survived, if not, then I'll have to find something to replace it with.

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Done a bit of reading on this recently due to doing the same with my Series III. Mine was a 2.25 petrol, so a cast iron block, but mine survived without issue. I think I was lucky though.

Possible issues I discovered through reading:

  • Core plugs blown out
  • Ruptured pipework
  • Broken water pump
  • Split header tank
  • Split radiator
  • Split heater matrix
  • Blown head gasket
  • Fractured block

With a tarpaulin it may have fared alright, I found a blanket over the bonnet was enough to stop mine re-freezing. Hopefully for you it's not too bad, good luck :(

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My 200tdi froze solid twice (that I know of) in last years deep freeze. Its now running fine, with no apparant ill effects (touche wood) I remember literally catching a day where the temperature creeped above zero and changeing out the coolent PDQ and gingerly starting it to get the anti freeze around the block.

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None at all unfortunately. Not even a drop.

If you have any influence at all with anyone local to your vehicle, ask them to buy a greenhouse heater, preferably a low level design, and 4 litres of paraffin, probably from a Garden Centre store, or Garden section of a B&Q style shed. Placed under your engine, with the vehicle covered by a tarp, that may be enough to ward off a complete freeze. Unfortunately, while a tarp will often protect from freezing when the temperature merely falls below 0c at night, it won't stop freezing if the temp stays below 0c for a day or two. It needs the heat.

HTH

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Looks like I've done it too. Had coolant issues, so didn't bother with adding antifreeze yet because it'd just disappear anyway. Then the cold crept up quickly, and the troubles began. Apart from some slush in the expansion tank it seemed to be fine, so I tried my best to drain it (read: suck out coolant with a hose, couldn't reach the hose clamp on the bottom hose...) and fill it with antifreeze. Started her up, but it didn't seem to go around, and engine temp rose quickly. Strangely enough, the heater hoses never got hot.

And after tonight's -6°C, it seems that one of the top hoses has frozen solid, so I'm *beep*ed. I guess another trip on the trailer is in order...

Argh!

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I've been watching this thread with a certain amount of schadenfraude since I saw the cold coming and drained my 300tdi last week. However, at about 8:30 this evening I got a call from a friend who has been rebuilding his SIIA (2.25 diesel) at the same time as I have been doing my 90, and who is currently on a platform in the middle of the North Sea. "Help" he says "I've remembered there is no antifreeze in the engine, please can you go and put some in". It's been down to about -10 here over the last week, so I'm thinking this could be serious, although the SIIA is stored in a locked barn so I doubt is has seen much below -5.

So, I set off round the corner with a few tools. Sure enough, the top of the radiator is full of ice, and it's obvious that the hoses are all solid, as is the water pump, so presumably the block is too. I took the fan belt off and started the engine, and ran it for a while until the block thawed and the water pump would turn by hand - that took nearly half an hour. I also found a 1kW radiant heater and pointed that at the radiator after taking off the grille.

Once the water pump would turn again, I stopped the engine and removed the thermostat and emptied the ice out of the top hose. While I was doing this, the ice in the radiator finally started to melt and so when I took the drain plug out of the radiator there was a dribble of water which then turned to a flood when I opened the block drain tap.

I've left it with the drain tap open, the thermostat out and the plug removed from the radiator. It will need a new thermostat gasket but otherwise I don't think there is any lasting damage to block, head, radiator or hoses.

Nick.

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I have an early warning system on mine in the form of my LPG vap :ph34r: - It froze on me last week, in the process also freezing the hoses back to the heater and inlet manifold. Symptoms were it conked out on gas and when I switched to Petrol the temp gauge started to rise quickly as I guess the circulation around the heads was compromised

I always start on LPG and the only other time the vap has frozen was when it was like -7 during the day or something silly.

Pulled over, saw the vap looking like an ice lolly and sat there for 15 whilst the residual heat melted it all.

Have since topped up with antifreeze and all ok now.

Like elbekko, I had been chasing a small waterleak for a while and just topping up with water. Whoops! :ph34r:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, it looks like I've got away with it! Even after the 8" of snow we have here.

Waterpump was frozen solid, so popped the belt off and fired it up for a minute or so. Top hose went liquid quite quickly, but waterpump remained immovable. A little gentle persuasion with a blowtorch and that too freed up.

Belt back on, and all is well!

Shame the same can't be said of my Volvo. :ph34r:

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Mine seems to have survived as well, and the coolant issues have been fixed :unsure: Waterpump was borked though, probably from starting it when it hadn't frozen that much, even though I did check the expansion tank and hoses then, and it just had a bit of slush.

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Well, it looks like I've got away with it! Even after the 8" of snow we have here.

Waterpump was frozen solid, so popped the belt off and fired it up for a minute or so. Top hose went liquid quite quickly, but waterpump remained immovable. A little gentle persuasion with a blowtorch and that too freed up.

Belt back on, and all is well!

Shame the same can't be said of my Volvo. :ph34r:

Job done! :)

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