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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N57 / M57 Turbo Diesel Discussions - 335d > Winter Driving - To Cover the Grill or Not to Cover the Grill



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      12-17-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
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Winter Driving - To Cover the Grill or Not to Cover the Grill

For the cold weather diesel drivers out there.

Do you cover your grill in the winter, and if you do does it help much?

Thanks
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      12-18-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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For the cold weather diesel drivers out there.

Do you cover your grill in the winter, and if you do does it help much?

Thanks
Modern premium diesels have an electric coolant heater that in cold weather brings the engine to operating temp faster and allows for the cabin heater to work. The rest of the benefit of a grill cover in winter may just make it easier for the thermostat/system to work, but perhaps may not be necessary. Can't think of a reason it would interfere with anything in the dead of sub-zero winter, so it shouldn't hurt. I would be careful not to overheat the all-aluminum engine if the temperature becomes more human.

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      12-18-2012, 07:18 AM   #3
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Modern premium diesels have an electric coolant heater that in cold weather brings the engine to operating temp faster and allows for the cabin heater to work. The rest of the benefit of a grill cover in winter may just make it easier for the thermostat/system to work, but perhaps may not be necessary. Can't think of a reason it would interfere with anything in the dead of sub-zero winter, so it shouldn't hurt. I would be careful not to overheat the all-aluminum engine if the temperature becomes more human.

PL
So far everything has been working pretty well without, but when it gets down below -10F it does seem to affect the heat somewhat. It could be me just needing more heat than what I am getting. I think TDIWyse was covering his grill and monitoring the coolant temps which is why I asked the question.

On gas vehicles I never did this because they run less efficiently and they had a lot of excess heat to share but I find that the diesel does not throw heat like our gas running BMW in the same temperatures.
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      12-18-2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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So far everything has been working pretty well without, but when it gets down below -10F it does seem to affect the heat somewhat. It could be me just needing more heat than what I am getting. I think TDIWyse was covering his grill and monitoring the coolant temps which is why I asked the question.

On gas vehicles I never did this because they run less efficiently and they had a lot of excess heat to share but I find that the diesel does not throw heat like our gas running BMW in the same temperatures.
This makes sense, especially if you can monitor actual coolant and oil temperatures, not just with the idiot light.

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      12-18-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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I think TDIWyse was covering his grill and monitoring the coolant temps which is why I asked the question.
He had a thread on it, I think it was last winter. Check on the fest, and maybe pm him for his thoughts. IIRC, he seemed pretty pleased with what he did, but keep in mind he was monitering temps when he did it.
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      12-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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the 335d has an electric ceramic heater for those cold mornings precisely
because the diesel engine coolant takes so long to get warmed up. I read
about it in some BMW technical training publication for service techs.


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      12-18-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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It makes no sense to cover the grill.
From an engineering perspective, application is designed and tested at minus 40C/F

Cabin, coolant, engine oil, transmission oil and fuel temperatures are eletronically managed and include back up heaters to bring them to ( and keep at) operating or set up temps.
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      12-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jffeijao View Post
It makes no sense to cover the grill.
From an engineering perspective, application is designed and tested at minus 40C/F

Cabin, coolant, engine oil, transmission oil and fuel temperatures are eletronically managed and include back up heaters to bring them to ( and keep at) operating or set up temps.
I will agree that they are designed for the temperature, but I can tell you just driving around town in both vehicles that the gas one is doing much better in the heating of the cabin department.

On the highway I would probably not think of adding a cover, but my driving is essentially city traffic and shorter distances and -40 is as nasty as the number implies.
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      12-19-2012, 05:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vreimann View Post
I will agree that they are designed for the temperature, but I can tell you just driving around town in both vehicles that the gas one is doing much better in the heating of the cabin department.

On the highway I would probably not think of adding a cover, but my driving is essentially city traffic and shorter distances and -40 is as nasty as the number implies.
Then it becomes a personal option. And to that there should be no arguments.
Is it technically needed, no. Do you feel better doing it, yes. Your choice!

Most 335d sold in severe winter areas have the 'cold weather package' (heated seats and steering) that certainly adds thermal confort to cabin in extreme situations.

I probably cannot be considered as a standard sample for users, as my cabin temp set up is 62F
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      12-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Then it becomes a personal option. And to that there should be no arguments.
Is it technically needed, no. Do you feel better doing it, yes. Your choice!

Most 335d sold in severe winter areas have the 'cold weather package' (heated seats and steering) that certainly adds thermal confort to cabin in extreme situations.

I probably cannot be considered as a standard sample for users, as my cabin temp set up is 62F
Yeah that is cold. I keep the car the same as the house in winter at 75 degrees F.
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      12-21-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
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I would never cover the grill of a car with a diesel all aluminum engine ...
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      12-31-2012, 10:18 PM   #12
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No. -Mike
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      01-01-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jffeijao View Post
It makes no sense to cover the grill.
From an engineering perspective, application is designed and tested at minus 40C/F

Cabin, coolant, engine oil, transmission oil and fuel temperatures are eletronically managed and include back up heaters to bring them to ( and keep at) operating or set up temps.
Actually from my experience over the Christmas break this is not true for the cabin controls and the temp was only -28 to -31Celsius.

I did my winter loop to visit family and over our 10 day winter break. On the first leg of trip the battery was frozen to the point where the car would start but not provide heat under the Auto or manual function. The voltage is too low, and the computer will not allow the fan to run in auto or manual.

The only way to keep the windows from frosting was to push the defrost setting which works fine to keep the front windshield from frosting up but you get no heat on your midsection or feet. Driving like this for many hours is not fun.

Needless to say there are additional items required to make this vehicle work in winter. -31 celsius was enough to freeze the battery to keep the fan function from working and it never really worked until the last portion of the loop where we lucked out and a Chinook system was able to warm the battery up to around -10 celsius.

Talking with the SA, this happens to be a common issue to when the temp drops.
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      01-01-2013, 08:05 PM   #14
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Consistent Numbers

First: If battery voltage drops and if the HVAC fan will not function, placing a cover on the grill is not a remedy. E.g., Higher radiator core temps will not increase battery temp / voltage.

Second: The places in Canada with average low December temperatures anything like you suggest are places like Yellowknife (-27C), Inukjuak (-21C) and Winnipeg (-11C).

So, unless one has a 335d in one of these places (and why would you chose a 2-wheel drive diesel in one of these places anyhow?) it seems highly unlikely that the scenario you suggest would arise. Not that is was not cold where you were, but that is not a common environment and, your low voltage issue is not related to radiator core temp. Accordingly, while batteries will experience a cold-related voltage drop- the system should carry the proper voltage once recovered from starting / glow plug load. Perhaps your car has a battery / charging system issue.

Would this thing even start at -30C unassisted?

-Mike

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      01-02-2013, 11:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vreimann View Post
Actually from my experience over the Christmas break this is not true for the cabin controls and the temp was only -28 to -31Celsius.

I did my winter loop to visit family and over our 10 day winter break. On the first leg of trip the battery was frozen to the point where the car would start but not provide heat under the Auto or manual function. The voltage is too low, and the computer will not allow the fan to run in auto or manual.

The only way to keep the windows from frosting was to push the defrost setting which works fine to keep the front windshield from frosting up but you get no heat on your midsection or feet. Driving like this for many hours is not fun.

Needless to say there are additional items required to make this vehicle work in winter. -31 celsius was enough to freeze the battery to keep the fan function from working and it never really worked until the last portion of the loop where we lucked out and a Chinook system was able to warm the battery up to around -10 celsius.

Talking with the SA, this happens to be a common issue to when the temp drops.
With the engine running, electrical system's voltage shall be anywhere from12.5 to 14 volts. This is generated by the alternator and limited by a voltage regulator. Battery is not source of power, it is just an energy acumulation device. In your case, if engine starts, the battery is not the cause of your issue. It might be something else in the electric system of the car.
I agree that under extreme low temps the battery performance dramatically decreases, as the chemical reactions that enable charge/discharge are severely impacted on their dynamics. So heating the battery would enable faster energy replenishment.
The other potential cause is the overall power consumption at a given circumstance being above the alternator's capacity. This is unlikely but possible and would drain energy from the battery with eventual malfuctions on electricity dependant features. This could stall the car when the battery capacity reserve is drained. You would not be able to re start the engine without help.
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      01-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Second: The places in Canada with average low December temperatures anything like you suggest are places like Yellowknife (-27C), Inukjuak (-21C) and Winnipeg (-11C).


So, unless one has a 335d in one of these places (and why would you chose a 2-wheel drive diesel in one of these places anyhow?) it seems highly unlikely that the scenario you suggest would arise. Not that is was not cold where you were, but that is not a common environment and, your low voltage issue is not related to radiator core temp. Accordingly, while batteries will experience a cold-related voltage drop- the system should carry the proper voltage once recovered from starting / glow plug load. Perhaps your car has a battery / charging system issue.

Would this thing even start at -30C unassisted?

-Mike
Mike, you would be surprised how many 2wd gas or diesel vehicles are where I live and we see -30 and it's nothing special. When it's -40 then we complain about it.
The mean temperature last month was -18 with lows down to -32.

The 335d does start easily without problems with overnight temps of -31 and this was sitting for 4 days. currently the only issue I plan on addressing is the battery blanket and maybe an oil pan heater.

The covers seems to be a non issue.
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      01-04-2013, 08:40 AM   #17
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Here's a link from awhile back where there's some data and discussion regarding this topic that might be of interest to some.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=594801
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      01-04-2013, 09:01 AM   #18
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As mentioned in that thread, having a front grill cover like this OEM version on the 530D would be really cool.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...79&hg=51&fg=15
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      01-04-2013, 10:44 AM   #19
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Partly Sunny with Blue Skies 80 degrees here in Puerto Rico , WHAt cold weather? LOL
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      01-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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I find the car heats up quickly even in cold weather.
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      01-04-2013, 06:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIwyse View Post
Here's a link from awhile back where there's some data and discussion regarding this topic that might be of interest to some.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=594801
Thanks TDI, Love the time you have spent getting all this together.

You data at -5F is exactly the type of stuff I have been curious about. I should try and take some time and put together some logs for temperatures below this but lately we have been getting some pretty normal temps only down to -5F and the motivation level is low in winter.
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      01-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #22
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Partly Sunny with Blue Skies 80 degrees here in Puerto Rico , WHAt cold weather? LOL
You are a very lucky guy with the nice weather.
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