Coolant Temp - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 9 Old Jun 18th, 2015, 9:10 am Thread Starter
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Coolant Temp

Was in the mountains of New Mex. yesterday when I noticed that the temp gauge started to tick upwards....any reason for this?

All across the states it ran about a needle width below center line, now in the mountains it's about about 2 needles width above center line. Seems to settle out at that point and maybe even drop a little.

Is it because the engine is just having to work harder or maybe a little less air ?

Mainly just want some reassurance from someone that this is a common problem, last thing I want is to be broke down 2000 miles from home.

Thanks


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post #2 of 9 Old Jun 18th, 2015, 10:48 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

The smart people will likely respond to this but it may be the engine is running leaner ( hotter) due to the lower atmospheric pressure at altitude and simply producing more heat as a result. Normally at altitude, the air temp is lower so this is an interesting phenomena. Possibly lower air density carries less heat away from the radiators also decreasing overall efficiency.

Waiting to be corrected at any moment

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post #3 of 9 Old Jun 18th, 2015, 11:06 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

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Originally Posted by FrankNitti View Post
Was in the mountains of New Mex. yesterday when I noticed that the temp gauge started to tick upwards....any reason for this?

All across the states it ran about a needle width below center line, now in the mountains it's about about 2 needles width above center line. Seems to settle out at that point and maybe even drop a little.

Is it because the engine is just having to work harder or maybe a little less air ?

Mainly just want some reassurance from someone that this is a common problem, last thing I want is to be broke down 2000 miles from home.

Thanks
I was up in the mountains of Colorado before the Sedalia national pulling a Bunkhouse trailer and mine hit the red zone and I had to let it cool off a bit. I have a feeling the altitude and slow speeds had something to do with it.

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post #4 of 9 Old Jun 18th, 2015, 11:20 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

Work = heat, so running at high altitudes usually means seeing many more uphill grades and there's much more heat to dissipate. About all you can do is make sure the radiator fins are free of bugs and check the coolant level. Remember too that the LT is a relatively high RPM engine, so downshifting and keeping the RPMs above 4000 can help greatly.
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post #5 of 9 Old Jun 19th, 2015, 6:38 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

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Originally Posted by deanwoolsey View Post
Work = heat, so running at high altitudes usually means seeing many more uphill grades and there's much more heat to dissipate. About all you can do is make sure the radiator fins are free of bugs and check the coolant level. Remember too that the LT is a relatively high RPM engine, so downshifting and keeping the RPMs above 4000 can help greatly.
I thought the more speed you have and less RPM was the answer I guess not

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post #6 of 9 Old Jun 19th, 2015, 8:03 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

Cooling efficiency de-rates at 3300asl. Does this for all things, not just bikes. Thinner air = less cooling efficiency.
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post #7 of 9 Old Jun 19th, 2015, 9:36 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

Yup - altitude means more work plus thinner air. Net result - motor works harder and therefore hotter.

Mine always runs hotter in the mountains, meaning the fans come on more often. Unless for some reason you're constantly in the red, it sounds normal to me.

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post #8 of 9 Old Jun 19th, 2015, 9:47 am
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Re: Coolant Temp

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I thought the more speed you have and less RPM was the answer I guess not
Generally more RPM is better, up to a point. You get more friction at high RPM which creates a little more heat, but you also get a lot more coolant flow since the water pump on most engines runs at a speed that is a direct function of engine speed. So you get a little more heat generation, but a lot more coolant flow which is a good trade.
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post #9 of 9 Old Jun 19th, 2015, 2:23 pm
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Re: Coolant Temp

Voyager is right, live in AZ where I do a lot of mountains and high altitude (at this time of the year the only place you can ride is high elevations). I have found repeatedly that unless I am on a plateau that keeping those RPMs around the 4,000 mark will keep my engine running right around (a little above) the middle mark where it normally lives. When I let the engine wallow around in the 3k range the water temp goes up.

I generally prefer higher RPM's in the mountains because I have more power immediately available for when the grade changes to uphill, also already in a lower gear to get some added engine braking when it switches to downhill - win / win in my book.

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