Oh for petes sake, not another coolant gauge question?! - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 2017, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Oh for petes sake, not another coolant gauge question?!

Hi! I have had my R56 cooper S (2013) for some time now and had a few issues recently. First the aux water pump went, then the water pump, and then I lost almost all of my coolant when the oil filter housing went. I've also noticed some build up of emulsification under the oil cap (probably caused by my commute recently changing from 40 miles each way to 9 miles each way... hopefully... but we'll get to that).

So, I've decided its probably time for some kind of a coolant/temperature gauge. After searching forums and online stores and very nearly getting the 'mini' aux gauges I decided that the most cost effective approach was a Scangauge E. No drilling, no holes, minimal effort and very low cost (relative to some options).

Happily driving around but have a query. Previous cars, the temp needle gets to about 90 degrees C and then just sits there, static. What I've noticed with the mini, is that it seems to fluctuate quite alot. One minute we're at 95 and the next minute its jumped down to 75 or 80 (ish). This could be normal operating as the thermostat opens and closes but my expectation was that the temperature should be fairly consistent once its warmed up. Could someone advise whether this sounds like normal behavior or could it indicate a faulty thermostat or sensor? and if so... does this suggest that the reason my oil is going a bit gammy under the cap is because the temperature isn't getting hot enough due to a sticky thermostat?

Dealer has indicated that 9 to 10 miles each way to work isn't sufficient to get things hot to burn off moisture but I've never had this problem with other cars so wondering if there could be some kind of a problem at play??

Advice much appreciated.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 2017, 09:01 PM
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That range of temp fluctuation is normal as the engine heats up and the thermostat opens, the cooled water in the radiator will reduce the temp and close the thermostat and the cycle continues. 9 - 10 Miles a day isn't enough to burn off any moisture/condensation especially if your in a cold climate. A good long weekend blast will burn of condensation so your oil level may appear to drop afterwards. Worst case may be a leaking head gasket in regards to the gunk so monitor it. Best advice would be an oil and filter change, take off the valve cover and clean any gunk up, do a couple of thousand miles and then another oil and filter change and at least once a week do a decent long drive. Then change the oil and filter every 5k regardless as the Mini recommendation Is crap. Remember Oil is cheap and engines are expensive.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2017, 07:03 PM
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I have the ScanGuage II fitted and from a cold start on a morning (say 3-7 degrees C) I would say it takes roughly 20 mins before I'm up to normal running temp which for me is about 102C and it is a pretty steady increase (although I try not to put my foot down until the oil temp >50C) - never seems to vary much from around there; may 97C-104C at the extremes (97C if I'm booting it and it's getting a blast of cold air through it, and 104C if I get stuck in traffic), radiator fan seems to kick in around 106C but I have to be sat in traffic a long time before it gets up that high. The only time I had big fluctuations like yours was recently when I had a thermostat housing leak and I think the coolant level was probably running low.
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