What Happens If Intercooler Fails – Equipped with the brilliant 3.0-litre twin-turbo S55 in-line six-cylinder engine, the BMW M3/M4 is a formidable competitor in any dynamic driving scenario. In the Competition package specification, it has over 450 horsepower outside the package. The car is equipped as standard with an advanced suspension system that allows you to carve through every corner with great comfort. The M3/M4 is a fantastic machine; However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its flaws, like everything else. As few problems as these, adding well-designed aftermarket upgrades will cure any sports sedan (or coupe).
Today’s discussion is about the lean boost/charge air cooler part of the S55 powerplant. You see, because these engines perform so amazingly out of the box, most OE equipment is heavily loaded. BMW certainly goes beyond that and builds every vehicle with that in mind. However, as components age in different atmospheres, some begin to wear out and even fail. Such is the case with the OE liquid-to-air intercooler that sits at the top of the aggressive in-line six. Instead of walking you through a relatively simple 1.5 hour installation, I’d like to go over some of the critical reasons why this item should be replaced. However, for the record, all of these parts include hardware and fit directly into the OE locations without modification, which is always a big plus.
What Happens If Intercooler Fails
The factory S55 intercooler gained fame for its dramatic failures. This includes internal cracks in the core, which basically sprays coolant directly through the intake into the cylinders, causing a number of problems. At this point, the faulty coolant can not only mix with the engine oil, it can cause excessive wear on any rotating components and a huge drop in performance. It also has the ability to hydrolock the engine, leading to catastrophic failure. Either way, it’s not a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of situation. The factory heat exchanger needs to be upgraded. The sooner the better, because these components fail after 15,000 miles.
Ford Focus St Mk4/mk4.5
Now, for every aspect of the aftermarket, it’s not enough to simply replace the wrong part. We must improve with enthusiasm. Once the adjustments are made, we should increase the power and enjoyment of the vehicle. With that in mind, it would certainly be nice to get some power out of the heat exchanger and charge pipe upgrade. That’s what we’ll talk about today. We will demonstrate the installation of the Garrett Powermak™ Direct Fit Charge Air Cooler and Adventure Carbon Fiber Charge Pipe Kit.
We traveled with our friends at R/T Tuning in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania to document the installation of these items. If the car looks familiar, it’s because it’s our CMO’s 2018 BMW M3 F80, factory-finished in a spectacular Ferrari Red as part of the brand’s BMW Individual program. You may remember this elegant car from DDC’s KV Suspension System or the coverage of various photos from MPACT events. Regardless, this car has tasteful upgrades in almost every area, including a carbon fiber Venturi intake system that already takes up the engine bay.
In addition to replacing the factory core and eliminating the risk of failure, there are several different reasons why the Garrett Powermak™ is a great upgrade for the M3/M4. One is an additional 47 percent larger bi-directional coolant core that lowers the intake manifold outlet temperature by an average of 10 degrees Fahrenheit when hot! This decrease is significant compared to the performance of the base unit and can be noticed by physically touching it.
In addition to increased core size, flow and reduced inlet temperature, this air-to-liquid intercooler can generate an 18.7hp increase in power with an additional 6.4Nm of torque. This can change the look of the car while freeing it from a tool that is prone to failure – it’s a solid piece.
The Intercooler And Vehicle Safety
With CFD-optimized aluminum end tanks and internal core and core construction to improve flow distribution, the Powermak™ is capable of handling up to 980 horsepower. These factors qualify it as a suitable upgrade for the power-hungry S55.
“Garrett PowerMax™ products are designed to enhance the performance and maintenance of OEM equipment. We analyzed the turbocharged vehicle market for applications where high-performance products could enhance the driving experience. The BMW M3/M4 2015+ with its 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged engine is one of these popular vehicles. It’s a great platform to handle with the many performance modes on the market, and this air-to-liquid intercooler helps to elevate the ultimate rideable machine a bit,” said Tim Colte, Garrett’s Global Performance Marketing Leader.
Even with the charge air cooler replaced, other F80/82/83 chassis air intake faults, including the original plastic filler lines, are a problem. As with any piece of plastic operating in the ever-changing environment of the engine compartment, especially those subjected to varying levels of boost, failure is inevitable. In stock, BMW-equipped pipes proved prone to failure, increased leaks, and major power outages. This danger only increases when boost levels exceed factory values. The standard solution is to replace the plastic filling tubes with more suitable metal variants that do not break as easily under increased demands. However, there is another issue with bonnet clearance and general installation in confined spaces.
Solution? Enter Eventura, a world-renowned carbon fiber and air intake specialist based in the UK, backed by aeronautical and tuning engineers. So you know it designs new offerings with high quality and performance in mind. The company produces a very popular intake system for this segment of vehicles – the same set installed in this car. However, we will focus on a set of carbon filler pipes.
Cold Side Intercooler Hose Blew
To combat the filler tube failure we discussed earlier, Eventuri created their own solution using a multi-ply carbon fiber cross braid. The team built each tube with 2mm wall thickness for incredible strength. This process alone is enough to place it above the OE units. However, Aventuri went a step further by introducing CNC-machined stainless steel rings into the filler tube openings. This feature helps to cope with the additional contact forces associated with high-gain applications.
Strength is good and good, but the metal alternative achieves it at a fraction of the price, so why choose composite parts? Well, clearance for one and flow quality for the other. These parts are, of course, designed to make the best use of the intercooler’s power output and the limited space available in the F8X’s engine bay. Since synthetic materials are not limited to forming round tubes, the product’s innovative design maximizes the internal volume of the tube. This breakthrough makes turbochargers less restrictive and free-flowing, increasing the potential for power gains. While the metal alternative offers the same improvements, it will lose the bulk. Eventuri carbon tubes do this with no OEM interference – be it the factory hood or any related hoses or tubes. It’s a relief to see how simple the installation is, which includes removing the stock parts and installing a carbon arm.
In general, the updates we cover in this article are simple installs. They can be used as simple hand tools to loosen hose clamps, pull attachments and tighten coolant hoses. The ease of installation of these components combined with the potential risk of BMW component failure should put them at the top of everyone’s list looking to upgrade their F8K BMW M3/M4. We hope this article helped explain why.
Want to be notified when we publish a new article? Share your email address with us and we’ll deliver original content straight to your inbox! An intercooler is a device used to cool compressed intake air, typically found in forced induction (turbocharged or supercharged) internal combustion engines. Both turbocharger and supercharger systems rely on compressed air to provide more boost to the engine, but compressed air also increases its temperature. This is where the intercooler comes into play, cooling down the compressed air and increasing its oxygen density before sending it to the engine. The intercooler is an essential part of any forced intake system, but not all are created equal. To help you find the right one for your car, here’s how intercoolers work, the most common types, and some tips and tricks along the way.
What Is An Intercooler?
The intercooler works on the principle of heat exchange. A turbocharger or compressor compresses the air, which increases its temperature. This compressed warm air then enters the intercooler, where access pipes with high thermal conductivity absorb its heat and cool it. By cooling the air, the intercooler supplies oxygen-rich air to the engine, which increases the volumetric efficiency of the engine. This, in turn, allows the engine to burn fuel more efficiently and efficiently, while increasing engine performance.
Whether we are talking about turbocharger or supercharger systems, the intercooler serves the same purpose. However, intercoolers are a more common option in turbocharged systems
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