Viscosity, the Weather, and Your BMW

Viscosity, the Weather, and Your BMW - Motorwerkes - BMW Certified Technicians

Remember last week’s article on synthetic motor oil? We briefly touched on the importance of viscosity, but it’s a key characteristic to keep in mind for both oil and other fluids in your BMW. This is especially true now that it’s getting colder out there.

Going with the Flow

Many critical mechanical components in your BMW rely on the proper flow of fluids. Your transmission needs its fluid to stay lubricated, not to mention to receive power properly from your engine via the torque converter. A power steering system needs its hydraulic fluid to flow cleanly and freely in order to transmit power successfully, and similarly, your brakes rely on efficient flow of brake fluid to transfer and amplify pressure into power for effective braking. What these and other fluids have in common is that their viscosity determine their success in performing their responsibilities.

Cold Weather

The higher the temperatures these fluids are subjected to, the lower their viscosity. Meanwhile, the lower their temperatures, the more viscous they become. As winter hits and ambient temperatures drop, it’s good practice to keep in mind how the fluids in your BMW will be affected and how this will in turn affect the performance of the vehicle, not to mention the integrity of its parts. If you don’t pay much attention to regular fluid changes and do not use approved fluids, issues like locked-up power steering, dragging brakes, or excess stress on your engine during cold startups could be just around the corner.

Tips for Proper Care

Ideally, your BMW won’t get to the point where you experience the worst consequences of poorly-flowing fluids. Thanks to synthetic fluid technology, viscosity problems are usually quite simple to prevent. The number one tip is to follow your owner’s manual and get recommendations from a local BMW certified technician as per your vehicle. Depending on a number of factors, you may need to switch to an oil with a viscosity rating that renders it less resistant to flow. As for other fluids, always be aware of how they will be likely to perform in particularly cold conditions and ask your technician which types will perform best on a cold drive!

Notice anything unusual with your engine, transmission, or other fluid-reliant components? The BMW certified technicians at Motorwerkes can provide you with specialized advice and more. Call (403) 768-3167 to give your vehicle what it really needs!