Updated: May 10, 2022
May 2, 2022
Anti-freeze(the main component in radiator coolants) like the word suggest, keeps the water in the radiator from freezing in winter, so if you live in cold climates you can still drive your car when its sub zero temperature in winter. The anti freeze effectively lowers the freezing point of water in the radiator system. Correspondingly, when the freezing point is lowered the boiling point of the water is raised so the results of using anti-freeze/coolant lowers the freezing point & raises the boiling point. Increasing the boiling point The increase in boiling point is what we’re after in a hot climate in the sub/tropical countries like ours. A car’s engine operating temperature needs to be maintained at about 97°C. If the car is driven hard, high speed & in a long distance drive, the “water” in the radiator would boil at 100°C causing many common sights of cars pulling over with steaming white vapor coming from under the hood! The radiator cap also prevents boil over by keeping 13-16 PSI pressure in the system. (Think of it as a pressure cooker pot). If the system has a leak you will have problems, no ifs, ans, or buts.
Here are some examples of high quality Antifreeze/Coolant
Besides all this...
Antifreeze/Coolant is anti-corrosive. Antifreeze has up to 70% less oxygen than cheap coolant or water. Oxygen is the building block of corrosion. When aluminum corrodes or steel rusts, actually when any metal corrodes, it oxidizes. In other words, it mixes with oxygen. So in the respect of less oxygen, antifreeze cuts corrosion by 40%-70% depending on the concentration. Remember, this is not taking into account that high quality Antifreeze also has anti corrosion additives and a optimal pH level that stops oxidation. Antifreeze/Coolant cuts your car's cooling system corrosion by 97%.
You guessed it...there's more.
Besides This, high quality Antifreeze (the expensive stuff), usually around 25 to 30 dollars a gallon, also provides lubrication for the water pump. With antifreeze a water pump can last 10x longer than if used with just water or cheap coolant. This alone can save you 100 to 300 dollars every year. On some vehicle engines, the manufacturer required antifreeze must be used or damage can quickly occur to the water pump.
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If you don't understand the science behind electrolysis and the nobility of different metals and how they react to each other, you can do some research. Or you can trust me and metallurgists. (Metal scientists). Plain water in your car’s cooling system will eventually damage your engine beyond repair.
Modern engines are made from aluminum and steel. An all aluminum engine (head an block made of aluminum), has a stainless steel head gasket. This gasket, and others in the engine assembly are more noble than the aluminum they are sandwiched between.
Water in in the cooling system will cause electrolysis to form between these mating areas and lead to a blown head gasket, a cracked head, and ultimately a destroyed engine.
A head gasket replacement will cost between $400 and $800. A head replacement will cost between $600 and $1300. And a engine replacement will cost anywhere from $1500 to $4000.
If these expenses are fine with you, you can use water instead of antifreeze/coolant.
However at Embury Mobile Mechanics we use genuine products and genuine branded Antifreeze. Sometimes these coolants can cost up to $80 a gallon. But the product and the protection it provides is well worth the cost. Long-life antifreeze/coolant can last 150,000 miles or 5 years.
So to sum it all up... Can you use water or cheap coolant in place of Long Life Antifreeze?
1: Yes. If you want to. Or in an emergency to get home. Also if your car has a leak and you need to get to the mechanic.
2: No. If you care about your car and want it to last a long time without expensive repairs.
Never mix coolant colors. Depending on the brand of your vehicle, you may have pink, blue, yellow, orange, or green coolant. These colors signify what type of technology is used in the antifreeze. It may be OAT, organic acid technology, IOAT, inorganic acid treatment, or G-05 hybrid technology. As well as g12, g13 ect.
Engineers design and develop engines to be used with specific types of coolant. Use the correct type. If you mix the colors you run the risk of the coolants reacting with each other and conglomerating into a brown thick substance and will end up clogging the radiator and destroying your engine.
If you are unsure, add distilled water and contact Embury Mobile Mechanics for information. 1(242)359-7231