driving with no coolant, only water

Posted by domenico_169, Sep 2, 2004
Newbie Forum - Beginner DSM modification questions and discussions. Common, repetitive, and general discussions will get dumped here from other tech forums. Unless you're a Probationary member you shouldn't post threads here.

  1. domenico_169

    domenico_169 Proven Member

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    Edmonton, Alberta_Canada
    so on my way to work the car overheats and i have no fluid left, and the rad cap isnt on properly. so to get to work some nice guy pulls over and we put water in, is it safe to drive home with just water in it and no coolant? i drove like 10k like this and it was fine.
     
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  2. halik008

    halik008 Proven Member

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    canton, Michigan
    yeah it's not going to hurt anything in that short trip but replace it immediatelly when u get home after the car cools off...

    halik
     
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  3. DevilSperm

    DevilSperm Proven Member

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    Holdrege, Nebraska
    ^^^ what he said
     
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  4. Chuck_3

    Chuck_3 Proven Member

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    Juneau, Alaska
    id say just keep an eye on your temp guage and if it gets really high id pull over and let it cool off
     
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  5. 2FastTSiAWD

    2FastTSiAWD Proven Member

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    Portage, IndianaUS
    My little brother bracket races his 91 Tsi AWD every sunday. The track told him that he could not run coolant in the car, so he runs water with a bottle of redline water wetter. Belive it or not, his temp gauge stays lower than normal, even on the long highway trips back from the track.
     
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  6. TheTSiGuy

    TheTSiGuy Proven Member

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    Eh,

    Nothing wrong with running water. Coolant is used in the winter so nothing freezes. I run water in the summer, and coolant in the winter. And my car runs pretty damn cool with just water in.
     
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  7. DSMvroom

    DSMvroom Proven Member

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    Issaquah, Washington
    yea what he said. people who live in places where it never gets cold can run water and have no problems. antifreeze is just that . . . anti - freeze.
     
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  8. unior

    unior Proven Member

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    coolant also will not boil as fast as water if things get hot

    water actually cools better than and coolant though
     
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  9. Chuck_3

    Chuck_3 Proven Member

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    Juneau, Alaska
    he said he already had an overheating problem so i suggested to watch his temps on the way home :thumb: cuz my friend was drivin his car home and it was past the redline and he decided to keep driving and ended up crackin his block :rolleyes:
     
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  10. pinknuggit

    pinknuggit Proven Member

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    joplin, Missouri
    yeah, every year when it gets warm, I pop the thermostat out and flush the coolant system with distilled water and I run Distilled watter plus watter wetter with awesome results.
    Running water isn't going to harm anything in your cooling system at all. Just be sure to put some antifreeze in there when it starts getting colder.
    If you flush with and use distilled water, you won't get as much gunk buildup in your coolant system. :thumb:
     
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  11. Strm Trpr

    Strm Trpr Proven Member

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    Stockton, California
    Well fellas, I have an opinion on the matter.
    Bout 8 years ago, my buddy was into mini trucks, and he had a lowered toyota early nineties toy.
    He only ran water, and low and behold he was doomed by electrolysis (sp).
    By running only water, he had no protection from the electricity flowing thru the engine.
    Electrolysis is why manufacturers recommend changing your coolant every 2 years or so.
    It eventually ate a hole in the cooling jacket of the head on top of one of the pistons.
    He parked it, ate some pizza and when he started....
    er tried to start his truck, hydro lock boom....
    The piston apparently was on a suck stroke....
    and literally sucked water into the cylinder, not to mention the pressure that was in the system forced water in too.
    He cranked his engine over and bent the conrod and scarred the cylinder pretty bad.
    Granted you have to run a few years on the same water for this to happen, but it can happen.
    So I guess if you guys change from coolant to water during the seasons, you should be ok.
    Just my $.02......
     
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  12. halik008

    halik008 Proven Member

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    canton, Michigan

    ehh i'm not 10% sure, but distilled water does not conduct electricity.....

    EDIT: ha should say 100%

    halik
     
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  13. AWDPetmitsu

    AWDPetmitsu Proven Member

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    ., Pennsylvania
    You need the lubricating properties of antifreeze/coolant to protect the water pump from corrosion, but running on plain water due to emergencies for a short period of time won't do any harm.
     
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  14. Kuroko Rei

    Kuroko Rei Proven Member

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    ehh i'm not 10% sure, but distilled water does not conduct electricity.....

    halik

    distilled water will still conduct electricty because it will absorb some of the metal particals and that sort in the system. Also im not completly sure on this but i believe in the ionization process of filtering water it will still conduct electrity. That is why you cannot run a total immersion computer cooling system on distilled water.
     
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  15. herovueboi

    herovueboi Proven Member

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    wouldn't it affect ur A/C or Heat, i just always thought your coolant might have something to do with that, but with water wetter, it works magic
     
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  16. domenico_169

    domenico_169 Proven Member

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    Edmonton, Alberta_Canada
    THANKS ALOT GUYS! well i made it home, it was just barely barely a little bit hotter, but i made it home. thanks alot
     
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  17. Defiant

    Defiant DSM Wiseman

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    glorious Galt, California
    Let's all try again.

    Automotive anti-freeze -which I guess you guys are calling "coolant" these days ( I think Mopar invented this idiotic term in about 1966)- contains rust inhibitors, wetting agents, water pump seal condtioners and lubricants, electrolysis blockers, surfactants, and a high resistance to freezing.

    In the summer, you will gain the best benefit from a mixture of about 30% antifreeze. In a DSM, this can easily be attained by using a gallon of the "pre-mixed" Prestone, and the rest some nice distilled (not drinking) water from the grocery store. In very cold winters, you may want to run up to 50% antifreeze. More than that brings about diminishing returns.

    Never run a cooling system with just water, or just water and deterge...erm, "Water Wetter". It will cause both corrosive and electrolytic damage to the head and block, and be harmful to your water pump seal.

    Change antifreeze every two years. Modern garages have recycling/reconditioning systems which will bring old antifreeze up to new specs. It's just an additive package.

    Don't ever use any antifreeze that isn't green. Avoid the Delco orange sh** like the plague it is.
     
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  18. pinknuggit

    pinknuggit Proven Member

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    joplin, Missouri
    I'm not trying to argue about this so PLEASE no one step on my toe about what i'm about say.

    "Never run a cooling system with just water, or just water and deterge...erm, "Water Wetter". It will cause both corrosive and electrolytic damage to the head and block, and be harmful to your water pump seal."

    In some conditions, yes. I have used distilled water with a half bottle of water wetter in my truck every summer all summer long since 1996 with no ill effects and after 147k miles, my stock waterpump seal is just fine and there is no corossion in my coolant system. I tore my block down for a rebuilt at 130k and when i cleaned the block, my coolant passages all around looked almost immaculate.
    Using water Can cause electrolytic and corrosive damage, and it is likely that it will, but it's not guaranteed to.

    In the winter, I use Caterpillar Extended life coolant mix because i get it for free at 50/50 with distilled water (no water wetter). It's purple in color, but it is not an organic acid coolant. There's nothing wrong with using organic acid coolant as long as you don't mix it with any other type. Be sure and flush your block and coolant system Very well if you decide to use red or orange coolant.
     
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