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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobus Vorster View Post
    A battery consists of two different metals (lead and a lead oxide in car batteries, zinc and carbon in dry cells etc) as electrodes, immersed in a conductive electrolyte (sulphuric acid or whatever). As it delivers electricity, one of the electrodes gets eaten away.

    Modern "water" cooled engines do NOT use water as coolant, for a good reason: they use very different metals for the various engine components (engine block, cylinder head, water pump, radiator etc) which can potentially act as electrodes. All that it needs to act as a battery is a conductive electrolyte, which water (as clean as you can get it) becomes soon after getting in contact with these electrodes. What's more, the electrodes are mostly in direct contact with each other, creating a short circuit for your "battery".

    Therefore, do NOT use water, pure or otherwise. It may be a good coolant (because of water's good heat capacity), and the "battery" it forms is not a good one (so the effects will take some time to become apparent), but in the longer term some components will be eaten away, resulting in the water pump or leaks occurring all over the place. This may take a few years to happen, but happen it will!

    Rather avoid these issues by using only a good coolant from a reputable manufacturer. My present car (a Prado V6) is now 13 years old with absolutely no cooling system problems whatsoever ... no other problems either, but that is irrelevant for this discussion. Had I used water, I am sure that there would have been problems by now ... before I made this discovery I have had many such problems (hole eaten through the thermostat housing on a Chevair, radiator core eaten away on an earlier Toyota, water pump impeller which "disappeared" on a Cortina).

    So, do learn from my experience mixed with a little bit of chemistry! Rather use your distilled water in your screen washer, mixed with a little Sunlight liquid ... but that is another story.
    What is the chemical composition of "a good coolant"?



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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Tashtego9, I don't KNOW, but I strongly suspect that commercial coolants are largely water ...? Perhaps someone who knows better about that would care to comment. However, water is not the only liquid that evaporates, so whatever a coolant consists of there will still be some evaporation. I am not sure why the diesels you have had required more top-ups than the petrol ones, but I could think of two reasons (there are probably more): (i) the diesels' expansion bottles might have had more evaporation because they heated up more (placement, proximity of the turbo, higher under-bonnet temperatures with diesels ... ?), or (ii) the bottles might have overflowed at the diesels' running temperatures (because the bottles were too small to absorb the diesels' water expansion because of higher temperatures or bigger volumes of water in the diesel engines). If I had a diesel I would have experimented with a larger bottle, to start with, and perhaps also its placement (ahead of the radiator, perhaps?).

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  4. #43
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    So after a lot of reading on here I have learned the following:

    1. The Wurth premix I have is ok to use on its own without requiring any rain or other water to be added.

    2. The rest was too complicated to understand so just stick to option 1.

    Thanks chaps.

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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by hatjohan View Post
    What is the chemical composition of "a good coolant"?
    Glycol of some type. Some use organic acids, some not. No quick answer. We'd need a chemist.
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Glycol of some type. Some use organic acids, some not. No quick answer. We'd need a chemist.
    Jip, but what I am after is that it may well contain a good proportion of good old H2O in any case - even pre-diluted as per instuction on a bottle of consentrate. Ready mixed? Pretty sure it contains H2O. Hence my question.



  8. #46
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobus Vorster View Post
    A battery consists of two different metals (lead and a lead oxide in car batteries, zinc and carbon in dry cells etc) as electrodes, immersed in a conductive electrolyte (sulphuric acid or whatever). As it delivers electricity, one of the electrodes gets eaten away.

    Modern "water" cooled engines do NOT use water as coolant, for a good reason: they use very different metals for the various engine components (engine block, cylinder head, water pump, radiator etc) which can potentially act as electrodes. All that it needs to act as a battery is a conductive electrolyte, which water (as clean as you can get it) becomes soon after getting in contact with these electrodes. What's more, the electrodes are mostly in direct contact with each other, creating a short circuit for your "battery".

    Therefore, do NOT use water, pure or otherwise. It may be a good coolant (because of water's good heat capacity), and the "battery" it forms is not a good one (so the effects will take some time to become apparent), but in the longer term some components will be eaten away, resulting in the water pump or leaks occurring all over the place. This may take a few years to happen, but happen it will!

    Rather avoid these issues by using only a good coolant from a reputable manufacturer. My present car (a Prado V6) is now 13 years old with absolutely no cooling system problems whatsoever ... no other problems either, but that is irrelevant for this discussion. Had I used water, I am sure that there would have been problems by now ... before I made this discovery I have had many such problems (hole eaten through the thermostat housing on a Chevair, radiator core eaten away on an earlier Toyota, water pump impeller which "disappeared" on a Cortina).

    So, do learn from my experience mixed with a little bit of chemistry! Rather use your distilled water in your screen washer, mixed with a little Sunlight liquid ... but that is another story.
    I beg to differ. "Coolant" as such consists of an anti-freeze concentrate plus water (in this context at least) So, looking at the below phodies, VW/Audi is completely missing the plot? I really doubt that. But then, one is never to old to learn

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The original VW/Audi product (G12 at the top and G13 below [note the "distilled water only" instruction at the bottom]) did cost me a pretty penny, but then, a lot less that an engine overall for the 4 VW/Aidi products that we have in the family. And I don't have to stress whether I am using the right product or the correct mixtures or procedures. Even the distilled water or the boiled water is not bankrupting me.
    Last edited by hatjohan; 2020/06/01 at 06:23 PM.



  9. #47
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by rob wilson View Post
    You should most certainly not put distilled water into the cars cooling system. It is corrosive. pH is below 7. Use the proper coolant. Otherwise nothing wrong with clean rainwater.

    James Stevenson said: "I didn't know this

    The PH of distilled water immediately after distillation is 7 however within hours of distillation it has absorbed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and becomes acidic, with a PH of 5.8. This happens in about 2 hours."

    Then this is what I have in may garage

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.DISTILLED WATER.jpg 
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    Not sure if Autozone is taking me for a ride?
    In any case, once you have added the ant-freeze, I am pretty sure that you will l have a (ph) safe and "clean" "coolant"

    Question: Isn't an (too) alkaline mixture even more detrimental to aluminium?
    Last edited by hatjohan; 2020/06/01 at 06:25 PM.



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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by one-more-landy View Post
    So after a lot of reading on here I have learned the following:

    1. The Wurth premix I have is ok to use on its own without requiring any rain or other water to be added.

    2. The rest was too complicated to understand so just stick to option 1.

    Thanks chaps.
    I would happily use a quality product, such as Wurth and others, instead of the VW product. It is just not as easy to get hold of Wurth products.
    And I am not sure it will be cheaper?



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    Default Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by hatjohan View Post
    I would happily use a quality product, such as Wurth and others, instead of the VW product. It is just not as easy to get hold of Wurth products.
    And I am not sure it will be cheaper?
    I found the Wurth product from their outlet in Montagu Gardens, Cape Town.
    Cost R65/l
    Last edited by one-more-landy; 2020/06/01 at 06:32 PM.

  12. #50
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by one-more-landy View Post
    I found the Wurth product from their outlet in Montagu Gardens, Cape Town.
    I really like their products, but you have to search for a retail outlet in my town. And if you find one, they only stock a limited variety of the available products. They are big in Kempton, but that is a few Ronts away. And should I go there, I must leave my credit card at home Do yourself a favour and have a look at their on line store.
    They do online as well, but delivery for me can be a schlep.
    Last edited by hatjohan; 2020/06/01 at 06:31 PM.



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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.


  14. #52
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashtego9 View Post
    I have also wondered this. Some cars I have had have needed occasional top ups at the bottle , especially toyotas turbo diesel.

    Others , mostly petrol,never do.

    And I don't mean cars with a blown head or gasket or with any cooling system leaks.

    Maybe some evaporation of H2O occurs at the bottle level, since the bottle is not pressurised and the bottle cap is not hat tight? I assume the commercial premixes available still contain a certain amount of H2O?
    Some vehicles/manufacturers (like VW) use an expansion bottle that is closed to the environment and maintains the same pressure as the rest of the cooling system. This is an entirely closed system.

    Others (like Toyota) use a non-pressurized overflow bottle that is open to the environment. These tend to vent and loose some fluid over time.

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  16. #53
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Best to use Castrol premix long life coolant. Not no name spares shop brand, then you might as well use Oros.

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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    Put the dam water in, will do nothing, one or two litres of water will hardly contain enough of anything to cause a problem, how long does it take a kettle to scale up after boiling thousands of litres.
    I agree. A bit of filtered water in your cooling system will not block anything, even with very fine particles of dust off your roof. In an emercency it will be just fine. I wouldn't even bother to flush afterwards, we used to add tap water to all our cars, all the time, sometimes even without any anti-freeze. Never had a blockage.
    Do the newer engines have narrower water jackets or something I don't know about? Maybe ignorance is bliss..

    Edit: I asked the real expert and this was his response.

    Jy gooi water en antifreeze mengsel in jou engine vir verkoeling, gemeng soos die vervaardiger dit wou gehad het. Skoon water val die aluminium dele van jou engine aan en vreet dit vol gate. (Now I know)
    KLAAR!
    Ek verstaan nooit hoe hierdie klomp keyboard mechanics vir bladsye en bladsye kan stry oor die onnodigste ### nie.
    Hoekom sal jy ooit hieroor twyfel?
    As jy gestrand is en nie antifreeze het om in te gooi nie, pis in die ding... Dit sal tydelik werk. Maar vervang dit as jy by die huis kom met wat daar in behoort te wees
    Last edited by Pierreb; 2020/06/02 at 06:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    I am coming in late with this one. I am amazed that folks will pay good money for something that drops from the sky for free and/or pours from a tap on demand. Viz the proliferation of 'bottled' water on sale in shops that is supposedly cleaner/healthier when in fact it is often no such thing. (Often from a tap in the factory from the same supply as you!)
    It's a fad of modern society and carries a fad's price tag for a fancy lable suggesting Mountain Spring, Morning Dew, you name them. I drink tap water and have done all my long life (except where the supply is deemed unsafe in some remote countries.)
    And the same applies to engine coolant. Water with some Antifreeze for cold climates. Water is the coolant and serves no other purpose. It is cheap and readily available from the tap, dam or in emergency a river.
    I have run cars for over 50 years without any problems whatsoever. Moderns ones need no top ups but I always check levels just in case there is a leak. I have been known to add Porridge Oats to cure a leaky radiator. It works too.
    Buy 'special water' for a car? You have to be kidding! I have never seen any corrosion from using tap water.
    And I have also operated more than my fair share of boats. You know; those cars that float. Some have had closed circuit (tap)water cooling (helps the calorifier provide domestic hot water for FREE!) but others have had raw water cooling straight from the river or canal. Not sea water of course but the odd trip on tideways does no harm provided you return to fresh water to give it a flush out.
    Next time you go down to your local river/sea way take a look at a boat with its engine running. See that little spout of water coming out the side? That's coolant being changed for free.
    Now; back in days of Steam we would get boiler problems if we ran with polluted water but with modern diesels that does not happen.
    Infernal combustion engines don't need special water to keep cool. Any water will do the job.
    Save your money for something you do need.
    Albert

    Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long.

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  20. #56
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    yep

    If my water was dodge I'd fork out for the premix stuff.
    I Agree,Just bought Holts 5liter 50/50 coolant for R290. Engines coolant total was 7.3 liters added 2.3 liters of soft tap water , acceptable +-33 percent for KZN coast. peace of mind for 2/3years.

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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashtego9 View Post
    I have also wondered this. Some cars I have had have needed occasional top ups at the bottle , especially toyotas turbo diesel.

    Others , mostly petrol,never do.

    And I don't mean cars with a blown head or gasket or with any cooling system leaks.

    Maybe some evaporation of H2O occurs at the bottle level, since the bottle is not pressurised and the bottle cap is not hat tight? I assume the commercial premixes available still contain a certain amount of H2O?
    I have yet to come across a vehicle which requires 100 percent coolant. All vehicles i am aware of ,requires water as a added cooling component. I suspect that running an engine on 100 percent coolant may cause overheating, i may be wrong.

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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by hatjohan View Post
    I would happily use a quality product, such as Wurth and others, instead of the VW product. It is just not as easy to get hold of Wurth products.
    And I am not sure it will be cheaper?
    Speaking about VW, I remember some years back a owner of a vw kombi had a destroyed engine under the warranty period .

    VW refused to do it under warranty because he did not use a coolant with the specified type of additives. In this case it was the anti corrosive additive that was ineffective. This engine apparently had some bolt going through a water passage.

    Bolt corroded ,broke and destroyed engine.

    Currently coolants are complex ,the standard older car coolant IAT [inorganic acid technology]. The newer longlife coolant is OAT[organic acid technology ].
    Our Chrysler requires a HOAT [Hybrid oat] coolant and then there is PHOAT Phosphate hoat] coolant used ,depends on metal mixes in engine ;from the little i know.

    I am sure someone will give details on this soon.

  23. #59
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Ross View Post
    I am coming in late with this one. I am amazed that folks will pay good money for something that drops from the sky for free and/or pours from a tap on demand. Viz the proliferation of 'bottled' water on sale in shops that is supposedly cleaner/healthier when in fact it is often no such thing. (Often from a tap in the factory from the same supply as you!)
    It's a fad of modern society and carries a fad's price tag for a fancy lable suggesting Mountain Spring, Morning Dew, you name them. I drink tap water and have done all my long life (except where the supply is deemed unsafe in some remote countries.)
    And the same applies to engine coolant. Water with some Antifreeze for cold climates. Water is the coolant and serves no other purpose. It is cheap and readily available from the tap, dam or in emergency a river.
    I have run cars for over 50 years without any problems whatsoever. Moderns ones need no top ups but I always check levels just in case there is a leak. I have been known to add Porridge Oats to cure a leaky radiator. It works too.
    Buy 'special water' for a car? You have to be kidding! I have never seen any corrosion from using tap water.
    And I have also operated more than my fair share of boats. You know; those cars that float. Some have had closed circuit (tap)water cooling (helps the calorifier provide domestic hot water for FREE!) but others have had raw water cooling straight from the river or canal. Not sea water of course but the odd trip on tideways does no harm provided you return to fresh water to give it a flush out.
    Next time you go down to your local river/sea way take a look at a boat with its engine running. See that little spout of water coming out the side? That's coolant being changed for free.
    Now; back in days of Steam we would get boiler problems if we ran with polluted water but with modern diesels that does not happen.
    Infernal combustion engines don't need special water to keep cool. Any water will do the job.
    Save your money for something you do need.

    "Infernal" combustion .Great wordplay

  24. #60
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    Default Re: Rain water as coolant.

    ... well yes ... use the most appropriate coolant available but, once, in a remote area, ( with a faulty thermostat ?)
    I did have to stand on the bumper ...
    Last edited by BushNomad; 2020/06/02 at 05:22 AM.
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