You might wonder why anybody buys a jug of an antifreeze/coolant and water blend rather than a jug of straight antifreeze/coolant. Isn’t this just wasting money on water that you could simply add to the vehicle radiator at home? There are two primary reasons. First, using distilled water is considered best, and many people don’t keep distilled water on hand. Second, it’s not always easy to get an equal mix of antifreeze/coolant and water, but that equal mix is optimum.
Why Distilled Water Is Best
You may have seen people pouring water from the garden hose or a gallon jug of water from the sink tap into a vehicle radiator. It’s not an uncommon practice, but tap water typically has some amount of mineral content. That can lead to mineral deposits in the radiator and its components, especially if you don’t have the radiator flushed every year or two.
If the heater core becomes clogged with minerals, that’s an expensive repair.
Why An Equal Ratio is Important
Most antifreeze products contain ethylene glycol. Interestingly, ethylene glycol actually freezes at a higher temperature than a blend of this substance with water.
In addition, if your radiator contains substantially more antifreeze/coolant than water, the system will have more trouble cooling down. The chemical composition of the products means they work better for cooling with an equal ratio of water.
Because of its chemical consistency, pure antifreeze/coolant also is more likely to leak from any tiny flaw in the system than a blend of the product with water is.
Making Your Own Blend
You might consider buying one container of antifreeze/coolant mixed with water and then use that container to blend your own after the original product is gone. When you buy the new pure antifreeze/coolant, you’ll have a second container. Pour half of that liquid into the original container and then add an equal amount of water to both containers.
Distilled water is cheap, so consider buying enough to top off the antifreeze containers instead of using tap water.
If you know you’ll be conscientious about keeping a good mix of antifreeze/coolant and water in your radiator, then you don’t need to buy the combination product. You can blend your own at home and save money.
If you need to add liquid to the radiator now and then, have your vehicle checked by a skilled mechanic to make sure nothing is leaking or to complete radiator repairs. There may be nothing wrong, but minor leaks can lead to bigger problems in the future.Read More