The extreme drop in temperature of the winters brings about many challenges for your vehicle. For this reason, it is crucial that you make the right preparations in late fall season, to ensure your car is ready to function in even the harshest of environments. One of the critical preventative measures involves flushing out the coolant and replacing it with a high quality Antifreeze.
Some people will resort to water instead of an anti-freeze mixture as their coolant. A diluted coolant that you purchase from an auto-shop is just a concentrated anti freeze mixture that is diluted with water.
Like the name suggests, anti-freeze has properties that prevents it from freezing at extreme temperatures. Therefore, if you are currently using water as a coolant in your vehicle and the winter is expected to drop temperatures in your region close to freezing points, then it is important that you replace it with an anti-freeze mixture.
Is Water Safe for your Engine?
Water inside your radiator will not harm your engine in the short term. However, it is important to note that coolant has a higher boiling point than water, which means that it is more suitable for an internal combustion engine since there are many exothermic processes that happen inside the engine.
Furthermore, all water is not the same, which means that some types of water are more harmful for the engine than the other. Water includes many types of contaminants, including magnesium, chloride, calcium and sulphate, which can be safe for human consumption but not so much for the engine.
It is therefore important to not top off the radiator with any type of water without considering the OEM specifications. Contaminants such as chloride and sulphate lead to the formation of scale inside the cooling system. In highly oxidized conditions, they can also form hydrochloric acid or sulphuric acid and this can result in severe corrosion.
Adding water to the system can also have an impact on the glycol concentration, which decreases the boiling point and freezing point protection inside the cooling system. This in turn will make your car overheat at extreme temperature since the water compromises the efficiency of the coolant system.
Dilution as a Solution
When flushing your cooling system, adding a coolant solution along with water remains as the most effective solution. The best dilution formulation of Anti-freeze is one that provides the best glycol concentration, and moderates contamination levels.
Not using a high quality coolant will therefore affect the coolant inhibitors in the system. A decrease in corrosion protection levels will leave to corrosion, which in turn will result in heavy metal deposits in the coolant.
Now that you have a better idea of the coolant and its importance in extreme temperatures, you should consider purchasing a good quality coolant. Make sure to flush your cooling system with non-corrosive detergents as well. If you have any questions, always make sure to call us for an appointment.