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Old 04-04-2009, 08:25 AM   #1
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Is it okay to use water as engine coolant?

I know on older cars you just filled the radiator with water, but the 'coolant' in my car is a red colour, so I don't know if it's some sort of a special liquid or what?

If I can just use water than I'd much rather do that than to buy red coolant, money's tight these days.


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Old 04-04-2009, 08:35 AM   #2
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NO NO NO, u don't wanna just use water, not unless u wanna crack ur block, spend the money and buy coolant.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by niteninja01 View Post
NO NO NO, u don't wanna just use water, not unless u wanna crack ur block, spend the money and buy coolant.
That depends on the situation.

If the temps frequently drop below freezing where you live- then it's not a good idea.

However, if you have a slight leak somewhere in the engine that's allowing a small amount of coolant to get into the combustion chamber, then water instead of anti-freeze is a much better idea until you repair it. My van is currently that way. The one thing that will cause you problems if you do it for a long time is rust.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross PK View Post
I know on older cars you just filled the radiator with water, but the 'coolant' in my car is a red colour, so I don't know if it's some sort of a special liquid or what?

If I can just use water than I'd much rather do that than to buy red coolant, money's tight these days.
Unless you get stranded cause you have like no coolant left or very little then I'd throw some water in it. But not if your just tight on money...you'll mess the engine up and potential be spending way more then just the 10 dollars or w/e it is in the UK for coolant. Not a good idea. Also make sure you get the right coolant color.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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coolants are 50% water,
so it is fine to use 100% water, but only if it is during summer time above freezing.

However it is going to rush everything, which is not a very good choice.

Now my own question comes in, why not 100% coolant? then no water to rust the system. Anyone can point me to the right direction?
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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as long as the motor doesnt reach boiling point water will be ok temporarily.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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as long as the motor doesnt reach boiling point water will be ok temporarily.
true, but that will be overheating already isn't it?
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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what does the color of the coolant have to do with it? just curious..
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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Well, your vital fluids on a car you value in any way is the last place to skimp on. That being said, coolant not only decreases the freezing point but raises the boiling point. And it has a rust inhibitor in it.
If you use water, don't use tap water if possible. You should use water distilled by ionization as tap water (especially in Europe)has more minerals and can leave a lot of deposits in the cooling system.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:47 PM   #10
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X2 ^^^^

would also add that most drag strips absolutely hate when cars dump coolant all over the track, which is why they want you to use water only. With that said using water is ok but coolant like said above has its advantages.

1. it raises the boiling point
2. it lowers the freezing point
3. you wont have to drain it and replace it when it begins to get cold out.
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