The summer heat is blasting down upon us as we are reaching the height of summer. The heat in Chicago can get downright miserable. The theory being that urban areas generate more heat due to the urban heat island idea. The urban heat island model takes into account the distinct characteristics of cities and their propensity to give off more heat that a rural area would. Human-caused circumstances will raise the temperature of an urban area simply because there is more activity than in a rural setting. Rural settings are generally more lush with plant life, and plants are an effective way to cool down an area. The roofs that make up every building in the Chicago skyline and the asphalt roadways are almost always black and increase heat absorption. If you have ever walked barefoot on an asphalt driveway you know what this feels like. The big buildings limit airflow in big cities and increase the temperature, and the heat from a million vehicles contributes to raising the temperature as well. If there is one thing we know at Bavarian Auto Werke, it is keeping your BMW or MINI cool in the heat island that is Chicago.
In the olden days, our ancestors were much tougher people than we are today. Riding around in wool suits with long sleeves in cars that had zero air conditioning, much less airflow. Their cars overheated constantly, and just driving around downtown Chicago was probably a miserable experience. The technology simply was not there to keep either the occupants or the engine from overheating. The first air conditioner units available for vehicles was a system that, by today’s standards, was very primitive. An evaporative cooler that hung off of the side of the window and injected cool air into the vehicle. The first stock units were powered by the engine as today’s are, but with different configurations. It was not uncommon for the air conditioning systems to fail and be removed. This was especially true for those wanting more performance out of their vehicles. In the performance community, air conditioners were considered to be huge power drains on the engine, and the racers counting horsepower would ditch the entire system.
Back in the 70s and 80s, automotive air conditioning systems were filled with a refrigerant called R-12. The thing about R-12 is that when it was vented into the atmosphere, it was extremely harmful to the environment. R-12 was eventually phased out and replaced with a “safer” substance which has already proved to be dangerous. Regardless of what the system is, an air conditioning system needs to be maintained just like the rest of your vehicle. An air conditioning system is a complex array of lines, compressors, condensers and many other critical parts. The system must stay closed in order for it to work, and any leak will render the system useless. Routine maintenance by a certified shop like Bavarian Auto Werke is the best way to keep your cool in the summer.
The Vehicle Cooling System
The air conditioning system does little to cool your engine in hot weather, in fact running the A/C can cause your engine to work harder and generate more heat. This makes it all the more important to have an efficient engine cooling system. Much like the air conditioning system, your engine cooling system is a closed loop system and will not function with any sort of leak. It is recommended that your coolant be inspected every oil change and changed when the owners manual recommends a coolant flush. Your engine’s cooling system flows through small passages in your cylinder head and engine block meaning that your coolant must be free of debris and contaminants. If it has been a while since you have had your coolant system inspected, bring it to the BMW and MINI experts at Bavarian Auto Werke and we can help you out.
No matter what the issue with your BMW or MINI, the factory trained experts at Bavarian Auto Werke are equipped to repair it. Our expertise does not end at repairs, however, we are the finest BMW restoration shop in the area. We love the opportunity to dig into a classic BMW! So if you need help with keeping cool this summer, engine or cabin, please give us a call today!