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Old 08-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 781
My Ride: 2003 ZHP 6MT
Watch my car overheat during AutoX, in HD -- What NOT to do!

I mentioned in another thread my car overheated during an AutoX, 3 days after doing my cooling system refresh. But now you can watch it in Hi Definition video on YouTube. (Plus you can criticize my driving technique.) You'll see that everything is fine in the first run (that was actually my 6th run of the day) but it overheats halfway through the next run.

0:48 Start first run (6th of day)
3:45 Start 2nd run (7th of day), temp gauge looks normal
4:30 Temp needle rising towards red
4:44 Red idiot light goes on
4:45 Idiot fails to notice (watching the cones)
5:27 Red light goes off (why?)
7:38 Silly driver finally notices overheat and shuts down engine.

When I open the hood, steam and coolant were coming out of the ET cap. Ended up getting towed home, later found new aftermarket thermostat was stuck shut. Put old BMW thermostat back and now it's gone through 500 miles of driving and 2 more AutoX events and doesn't overheat. Knock on wood! I am SO ASHAMED that I didn't see the red light and failed all the fanatics who have warned us not to drive with the temp gauge is in the red. My car ran in the "red zone" a full 3 minutes before I noticed and turned it off. I'm only posting the video now that it appears my head gasket survived intact.

So besides the horror of watching me ignore an overheat, a question! Why did the red light go off? It's not burned out because it still lights up whenever the key is turned to "on." Maybe the thermostat temporarily opened up a bit at the end of my run? Is there a coolant temp high enough to peg the needle in the red but low enough not to turn on the red light?

And here's my car back at Qualcomm Stadium last Saturday--not overheating. Got body roll?
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Lowering my car's resale value one track day at a time...

Last edited by LivesNearCostco; 08-16-2011 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Added body roll comment
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autox, coolant, overheat, qualcomm, thermostat

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