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Old 04-21-2016, 04:42 AM   #1
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Coolant mixture question

I replaced my water pump over the winter. Not knowing any better I used tap instead of distilled water when adding back what I lost from draining from the manifold drain plug. Likely added 2 gallons of water plus 2 gallons of coolant. Is this something I need to worry about now or can I just swap out next winter. I will put about 2.5k on it in that time.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:50 AM   #2
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50/50 mixture is correct... tap water is fine... there are less impurities in distilled water that's all.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #3
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Depends on the quality of water where you live.
Tap water can cause scale and electrolysis.
Distillied water is 64cts a gallon, it's worth it
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:22 AM   #4
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Depends on the quality of water where you live.
Tap water can cause scale and electrolysis.
Distillied water is 64cts a gallon, it's worth it
This is 100% correct. Two gallons is just under half the entire coolant system, so I would drain the system, flush with a lot of distilled water and replace the coolant with the correct 50/50 mix.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:15 AM   #5
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50/50 mixture is correct... tap water is fine... there are less impurities in distilled water that's all.
Not really. Tap water contains dissolved salts which degrade the performance of the coolant with heat cycles, leading to problems like corrosion and diminished freeze protection.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:03 AM   #6
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Not really. Tap water contains dissolved salts which degrade the performance of the coolant with heat cycles, leading to problems like corrosion and diminished freeze protection.
Ok point taken; I also use Distilled water, or at least when I have it available. Our water here is very good and I often forget that other area's aren't as lucky and have a lot more crap in their water. I don't think having good quality tap water in the cooling system will hurt anything, especially if you change out the coolant on a regular basis.
Many folks refuse to change their coolant every 2-3 years like it should be done, and if it was done on a regular bases it probably wouldn't have as much of an impact having a few liters of tap water in the system; but leaving the coolant in the system for 4-5-6 or more years is probably more risky as the minerals will begin to crystalize over time and the PH level drops making the antifreeze more acidic.
In my opinion not worth flushing out the whole system because of tap water added to the system (especially if it was good clean water) - just change it in a year or two again.... but that's just me.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:23 AM   #7
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I can understand adding a few ounces of tap water in a pinch, but 2 gallons of tap water is basically the entire system (half of the 50/50 mix in a 4.5-5 gallon system).
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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Ok point taken; I also use Distilled water, or at least when I have it available. Our water here is very good and I often forget that other area's aren't as lucky and have a lot more crap in their water. I don't think having good quality tap water in the cooling system will hurt anything, especially if you change out the coolant on a regular basis.
Many folks refuse to change their coolant every 2-3 years like it should be done, and if it was done on a regular bases it probably wouldn't have as much of an impact having a few liters of tap water in the system; but leaving the coolant in the system for 4-5-6 or more years is probably more risky as the minerals will begin to crystalize over time and the PH level drops making the antifreeze more acidic.
In my opinion not worth flushing out the whole system because of tap water added to the system (especially if it was good clean water) - just change it in a year or two again.... but that's just me.
H
We have run the factory coolant, mixed with distilled water, for as long as seven years before any change in pH, clarity, or freeze point; and the coolant passage internals on those engine's were spotless as well. Using distilled water can not only lengthen the expected life of the coolant, but dramatically reduce the system build up as well.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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I hope the Porsche Pink is more like 4-5 year until flush ($40/gallon)

I needed to flush out unknown old so I thought 2 water flushes before 50/50. I toyed with using tap water for the first but at 90 cents/gallon for Distilled, stayed with Distilled
I suspect my water isn't that clean.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:42 AM   #10
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Heiko: "...leaving the coolant in the system for 4-5-6 or more years is probably more risky..."

I hope the Porsche Pink is more like 4-5-6 years until flush ($40/gallon)
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:35 AM   #11
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So what is the answer, am I ok to wait until December or is it something I do now? Considering I haven't figured out how I am even going to jack the car up now, I was hoping to hold off. Any chemists in the house?
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:00 PM   #12
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Don't use tap water.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:39 PM   #13
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Ill call my mechanic. Yes or no would suffice regarding the time. I know I wasn't suppose to use tap. That's why I posted the question.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:55 PM   #14
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I would not wait until December. The longer you leave the tap water in the system the more time it has to cause problems.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:05 PM   #15
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Thanks Rick. I do appreciate it.

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