Radiator Dilemma – Water vs. Anti-freeze

Editor’s note:  This article was recently printed by the Auto Doc in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

If you have trouble with overheating in the summer, it might help you cool down to know that straight old ordinary water has more than twice the ability to dissipate heat (thermal conductivity) as common glycol antifreeze/coolant.  Our mechanic sources also indicate that a 1:1 mix of glycol has a boiling point of only 15 F higher than that of water (with a 15 psi radiator cap).  They also recommend using pure distilled water only in the summer (with an anticorrosion agent mixed in) and as little antifreeze as possible used to get you by for winter.  Flush the entire system once a year.  Mixing glycol antifreeze at 1:2 ration (instead of the common 1:1 ratio) with water still gives protection down to 0 degrees F.  Be sure to check with your owner’s manual before proceeding.

This tech tip was printed in the October 2002 “A” Quail Call.

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