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Old 04-05-2009, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can I top off my car coolant with water?

another totally noob car question.

previously I've posted about an engine coolant reservoir with 2 small holes on the top. There is some coolant in there, but it is not visible in the reservoir when the car is cold. When the car is hot the coolant is a little under the fill line.

can i just wait until top off the reservoir with water while the car is cold? tap water? distilled water? Brita filtered water because I don't have distilled water?

I'm in SoCal. It gets a little hot, but even in traffic the car temperature dial stays around the middle. Should I even bother topping off the coolant?

edit: it says no water here: Coolant or Water? is it legit?
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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coolant raises the boiling point of water...so its ok to top off with water..but the next time you should add coolant
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Anti Freeze does two things. It raises the boiling point - but also stops the water from freezing in your engine block in the winter.

You have little chance of that happening in Cali - so water should be fine - but you want to see where that coolant is going if you are refilling a lot!

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Old 04-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It'll be fine to top off. Water should be mixed in coolant any ways. You don't put the stuff straight into the radiator or reservoir, you're supposed to cut it. Different percentages will have different results, depends on your area and what would be best.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine just just keep leaking out anti freeze got expensive, lost a whole bottle after two days, so I put water in it. Since I live in FL, freezing isn't an issue. After watching mythbusters I found that putting a cracked egg into the rad directly will plug up any leaks. And 2 months in, and no leaks.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Water is ok.

And since you are in so. cali. where freezeing isn't an issue, not a problem there. However..... what has not been mentioned is that water alone in a radiator will sooner or later cause corrosion. Anti freeze will slow that process. in addition to cooling more efficiently in hot weather, and being in so. cali. I would assume that IS an issue. Check and keep the ratio of coolant/water within mfgr. specifications.

Titus: I have also heard that oatmeal.. the cooking kind, not instant stuff... will also seal a leaking radiator. however neither eggs nor oatmeal is really a permanent fix ... I would look into something better ($$ permitting) It would be MY luck to have an "oatmeal" radiator repair let go on my way to the next Paintball meet

P.S. Eggs, Oatmeal........ I wonder if anyone has tried bacon in there?!
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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from personal experience, a teaspoon of pepper also will seal small pinhole leaks.
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Why not use a legit product instead of putting in something that will rot? They make a metal powder for radiator leaks that works well. You will not catch me putting food into my coolant system.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
Mine just just keep leaking out anti freeze got expensive, lost a whole bottle after two days, so I put water in it. Since I live in FL, freezing isn't an issue. After watching mythbusters I found that putting a cracked egg into the rad directly will plug up any leaks. And 2 months in, and no leaks.
you seriously cracked an egg in your radiator?
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-D View Post
However..... what has not been mentioned is that water alone in a radiator will sooner or later cause corrosion. Anti freeze will slow that process. in addition to cooling more efficiently in hot weather, and being in so. cali. I would assume that IS an issue. Check and keep the ratio of coolant/water within mfgr. specifications.
oh, corrosion...

i guess i'll leave the water out for now. the car has never reach high temp so i'm guessing it still has enough coolant in there. might as well not accelerate the corrosion if it's cooling just fine....?
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