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Old 06-24-2018, 08:32 AM   #1
satmark
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Default Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Anyone else have this issue? My procedure is to drain and run distilled water a couple times before putting in new coolant (routine maintenance). I leave the cap off when the water is in. I try to get the temp to the 1/2 mark but the water always expands and overflows before then so I just shut the engine off. I do this on a slightly inclined driveway. I don't fill the water to the full mark, maybe a 1/2 inch below.

My other question is if it's a bad idea to put the cap on when running distilled water and if so why.

Thanks!

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Old 06-24-2018, 09:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Just put the cap on when you're doing it. Otherwise with no pressure the water exceeds the boiling point and overflows. There is no harm running the straight water as long as you have the cap on. Just make sure you let it cool off enough before you vent the cap to drain the water.

This will also ensure that your tank and cap are holding pressure properly. The pressure in a properly working system will actually raise the boiling point more than the coolant does.

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Old 06-24-2018, 09:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

I did the same flush but with the cap on. First round I drove it to work, the next two I just ran it a bit.

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Old 06-24-2018, 09:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Quote:
Originally Posted by satmark View Post
Anyone else have this issue? My procedure is to drain and run distilled water a couple times before putting in new coolant (routine maintenance). I leave the cap off when the water is in. I try to get the temp to the 1/2 mark but the water always expands and overflows before then so I just shut the engine off. I do this on a slightly inclined driveway. I don't fill the water to the full mark, maybe a 1/2 inch below.

My other question is if it's a bad idea to put the cap on when running distilled water and if so why.

Thanks!
When flushing the cooling system, there is a drain plug on the radiator. When running pure, distilled water through, you are supposed to continuously add water with the engine running(which keeps it from boiling because you are adding cold water), until the radiator drain has clear water in it. The system should NOT be allowed to build pressure as boiling water inside the engine is BAD.

The cooling system can be flushed, without the need to run the engine at all, on the S-Series.

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Old 06-24-2018, 10:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
When flushing the cooling system, there is a drain plug on the radiator. When running pure, distilled water through, you are supposed to continuously add water with the engine running(which keeps it from boiling because you are adding cold water), until the radiator drain has clear water in it. The system should NOT be allowed to build pressure as boiling water inside the engine is BAD.

The cooling system can be flushed, without the need to run the engine at all, on the S-Series.
Have you ever even heard of science?

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Old 06-24-2018, 01:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

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Have you ever even heard of science?
Have you ever heard of a blown head gasket, cracked cylinder head, cracked water jacket, or cracked engine block?

Have you ever heard of reading the flush instructions printed on a jug of Prestone antifreeze(or any other brand for that matter?)

There is a reason they put instructions on the jugs, and I'm going to take a stab in the dark that it isn't so you blow your engine by overheating it. Boiling coolant/water can't properly whisk away the heat generated by the combustion process, in the needed milliseconds it would take due to the air bubbles in the fluid.

And yes, I am also well-aware that boiling the coolant/water can boil the scale off internal surfaces. This doesn't mean you should do it. A properly-maintained cooling system will have a little bit of scale from the electrolysis process of metals reacting with the oxygen content of the water(hence why distilled water is to be used instead of tap water).

Scale only becomes a problem on neglected cooling systems, which can then cause clogs in the heater core, internal block/head surfaces, manifold passages, and radiator. Not flushing the cooling system will also degrade the seals to your water pump bearings. Boiling coolant also causes cavitation in your water pump, since it is pumping air bubbles.

And distilled water WILL boil over at 212F, even with the pressure cap on the expansion tank. The pressure cap merely prevents the expanding liquid, as it heats up TO its boiling point, from spewing out of the bottle at atmospheric pressure(about 14.7psi, hence why the caps are rated between 15-18psi)

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Old 06-24-2018, 03:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

The boiling point is raised in a pressurized cooling system.

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Old 06-24-2018, 03:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

^ Correct, a sealed cooling system using plain water or any mixture of antifreeze and water will pressurize as coolant is heated. Boiling point is raised in proportion to pressure. Science is lost on those refusing to accept Boyle's and Charles law........ Didn't everyone have science in high school?

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Old 06-24-2018, 06:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

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The boiling point is raised in a pressurized cooling system.
Not entirely true. A liquid's specific gravity affects the boiling point, as well. In fact, the tester for antifreeze boiling point is an eye dropper with tiny, plastic balls that have a specific gravity per cm.

http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/c...antantifreeze/

The tool for this is called a hydrometer, and is similar to the type of tester used for specific gravity/concentration levels of sulfuric acid in your wet cell battery.

The cap PREVENTS EXPANSION of the fluid. When you heat something, it expands at a molecular level.

Try making hot tea on a stove with the old tea kettles. The boiling temperature of the water remains unchanged. The sound of the steam escaping occurs when the vapor pressure exceeds the atmospheric pressure holding the lid to the spout closed.

Or, try this. Fill a 2-liter bottle and use exactly a 1" square piece of notebook paper as a cap. Turn it upside down. Not a single drop will pour out, as there is enough atmospheric air pressure to hold the water inside the plastic bottle. Now, apply a heat source to that water to increase its temperature, and it will not take long to blow that piece of paper off the cap area of the bottle, causing the water to come rushing out. The increase in temperature causes a molecular exansion and since the volumetric area is NOT increased, internal pressure or force against the container is increased.

Ever wonder why aerosol can usually state: "Store below 120F. Do not store in direct sunlight."?

You are discussing physics. The chemical composition of the fluid determines its boil over protection temperature. The cap does nothing but prevents vapor pressures from exceeding that of the atmospheric pressure above it.

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Old 06-24-2018, 06:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

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^ Correct, a sealed cooling system using plain water or any mixture of antifreeze and water will pressurize as coolant is heated. Boiling point is raised in proportion to pressure. Science is lost on those refusing to accept Boyle's and Charles law........ Didn't everyone have science in high school?
Charles's Law and Boyle's Law both apply to gases and are not relevant to the boiling point of a liquid.

I actually did take Advanced Physical Science, Chemistry, and 2 years of Biology throughout my four years of high school.

And if you watch the coolant with the cap off, it is not boiling over the top. What you are watching is the expansion process of the liquid from being heated amd causing it to expand.

Place pure water in a sealed pot, on your stove. The water will still boil @ 212F, however the lid will not blow unless the steam vapors of oxygen and hydrogen capable of exerting more force than the what the seal is holding the lid in place with.

Now, once the liquid is boiling, then(and only then) do either Charles's Law or Boyle's Law would apply because the liquid has been heated into a gaseous form.

Until ANY material has been heated to its boiling point, neither of these laws apply or affect the boiling point of its molecular composition.

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Old 06-24-2018, 06:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Not entirely true. A liquid's specific gravity affects the boiling point, as well. In fact, the tester for antifreeze boiling point is an eye dropper with tiny, plastic balls that have a specific gravity per cm.

http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/c...antantifreeze/

The tool for this is called a hydrometer, and is similar to the type of tester used for specific gravity/concentration levels of sulfuric acid in your wet cell battery.

The cap PREVENTS EXPANSION of the fluid. When you heat something, it expands at a molecular level.

Try making hot tea on a stove with the old tea kettles. The boiling temperature of the water remains unchanged. The sound of the steam escaping occurs when the vapor pressure exceeds the atmospheric pressure holding the lid to the spout closed.

Or, try this. Fill a 2-liter bottle and use exactly a 1" square piece of notebook paper as a cap. Turn it upside down. Not a single drop will pour out, as there is enough atmospheric air pressure to hold the water inside the plastic bottle. Now, apply a heat source to that water to increase its temperature, and it will not take long to blow that piece of paper off the cap area of the bottle, causing the water to come rushing out. The increase in temperature causes a molecular exansion and since the volumetric area is NOT increased, internal pressure or force against the container is increased.

Ever wonder why aerosol can usually state: "Store below 120F. Do not store in direct sunlight."?

You are discussing physics. The chemical composition of the fluid determines its boil over protection temperature. The cap does nothing but prevents vapor pressures from exceeding that of the atmospheric pressure above it.
I do not need to know about aerosols or chemicals. It is the industry in which I make my living. I'm also not given to arguing about them in threads. I well remember my mom's pressure cookers.

https://www.cgj.com/2013/05/14/how-d...sure-cap-work/

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Old 06-24-2018, 06:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Coolant does far more to improve low end temperature protection and corrosion inhibition than it does for the improving the boiling point in an automobile.

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Old 06-24-2018, 06:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Saturn Night, you missed some basics of both laws. Rather than debate your incorrect assumptions, did you ever use a pressure cooker. Some are equipped with a pressure gauge to observe pressures as heated water and food is cooked. Surely you can understand a sealed volume like a pressure cooker with plain water in it and heat will not bring it to boil as the pressure builds up. A higher temperature is needed to boil water because it's under pressure. All you have to do is boil water with the lid off and as water comes to a boil, put the lid on. As soon as this hot water begins pressurizing, it ceases to boil until reaching a higher pressure when the relief valve releases excess pressure when water is at a ......higher boiling point due to it being under pressure. If I can't convince you how easy it is to translate science into actual observations then no one can convince you of flawed thinking. To put it simply, you're wrong and should review both laws, paying attention to a sealed volume that's heated, temperatures and pressures...... This applies to water in a cooling system and whether or not antifreeze is used. This applies to ac systems using the same sealed volume. Every pressurized can, paint sprayer, manually pumped garden sprayer, propane tank, submarine, any sealed volume. Vary temperature and pressures vary in direct proportion. Under pressure, any medium will have its boiling point raised. Water will not boil at 212F in a sealed cooling system, period. It will absorb heat as the sealed volume pressurizes well above 212F. There are many running plain water in their cooling systems for economic reasons and don't suffer overheating. The pressure cap allows water to rise to a higher temperature before boiling. The same as in pressure cookers.

Guess what r134a does at atmospheric pressure. Its a gas. A can of refrigerant is under pressure because this gas was pressurized to reduce its volume to a liquid. Release a can of refrigerant and guess what occurs? Since refrigerant boils at much lower temperatures than water, it boils out immediately and changes back from its high pressure liquid state to a gas, its normal state. It's boiling out as its being released. Releasing a pressurized refrigerant in liquid form allows it to absorb heat. In turn, this liquid resorts back to its gaseous state at atmospheric pressure. Same laws of physics.

Last edited by fdryer; 06-24-2018 at 06:59 PM..

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Old 06-24-2018, 07:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Hate to be the one to point out the obvious but...

Where, exactly, do you expect the overflow to go with no overflow tank for the overflow to go into?
It's a pressurized system that (when not being abused) has no need of an overflow tank like old-school systems (to be fair even an '09 Prius I replaced the engine in use's the open non-pressurized cooling system).

This is most commonly found when the cap fails to build pressure, the coolant expands & 'leaks' out the cap.

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Old 06-24-2018, 07:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

All I can say at this point is that some of you have been much more kind in your responses that I probably would have been able to do.

I was busy trying to get in touch with the F1 team engineers and let them know that despite intentionally running their cooling systems at high pressure, I heard on the internet that the water will still boil at 100 degrees C.



Keep the cap on the system, and fluid expansion along with the building pressure of the air in the reservoir will raise pressure. As pressure rises, so does the boiling point. Pressure also helps remove heat more efficiently. If anyone has an S Series car that boils over with the cap on using straight water, you have cooling system problems of some sort.

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Old 06-24-2018, 07:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

Some food for thought - if discussions were a card game, does knowledge (is power), science and critical thinking trump ignorance and assumptions? I leave out politics, philosophy and religion.......

I am at the age where I can say I've forgotten more than some think they know. I'm reminded of what I've forgotten and have to review things like density altitude, hypoxia, refrigeration burns, toxic gases when someone mentions mixing ammonia and bleach for a home brew cleaning solution, what voltage is needed to cause an electric shock, igniting fuel vapors inadvertently, reviewing hydraulic pressure fundamentals when discussing it with family members bringing friends with seized and worn out brakes. My guess is I can't memorize it all because of the one cell between my ears.

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Old 06-24-2018, 07:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

I for one love the discussions, even about religion, one of my favorite subjects. I visit the forum somewhat infrequently at times due to the demands of taking care of a very large household. I even very much enjoy the posts of those that are incorrect at this point in addition to others that have posted to this thread. Always learning ...

Chemicals and physics, however, are something that this most often quiet guy does actually know a little something about.

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Old 06-24-2018, 11:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

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Charles's Law and Boyle's Law both apply to gases and are not relevant to the boiling point of a liquid.

I actually did take Advanced Physical Science, Chemistry, and 2 years of Biology throughout my four years of high school.

And if you watch the coolant with the cap off, it is not boiling over the top. What you are watching is the expansion process of the liquid from being heated amd causing it to expand.

Place pure water in a sealed pot, on your stove. The water will still boil @ 212F, however the lid will not blow unless the steam vapors of oxygen and hydrogen capable of exerting more force than the what the seal is holding the lid in place with.

Now, once the liquid is boiling, then(and only then) do either Charles's Law or Boyle's Law would apply because the liquid has been heated into a gaseous form.

Until ANY material has been heated to its boiling point, neither of these laws apply or affect the boiling point of its molecular composition.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:05 AM   #19
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

https://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/files/...s/ts1pcac2.pdf

Liquids expand before reaching their boiling point, as indicated by this PDF file and experiment with water that was heated to 90C(or about 195F). The rate of area increased about 3.4%, thus confirming what I have previously stated about the physics behind this.

At sea-level, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and pure water will boil @ 223F, which would be about 3/4 on the first gen temp gauge in my car. With a bad cap, I was losing coolant at the 5/8 mark, which would be only about 210F with 50/50 mix.

It was not boiling fluid. It was expanding fluid. There is a difference between the two.

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Old 06-25-2018, 11:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: Replacing coolant, distilled water, tank overflows

It's great to throw out links most of us already know the sciences except you still haven't accepted this new and same fact to a closed volume of space. Most of us here seem to have a more rounded understanding of science dynamics than you. You're insisting on one or two things while still missing the crucial point, what occurs in a sealed volume? It doesn't matter if it's a sealed cooling system or the canned spray paint, they're both sealed volumes where the laws of physics applies, not what you think. You're missing a large clue by leaving out a sealed volume when boiling water. And you still haven't replied to a simple test using a pressure cooker to understand what occurs when heating water, applying temperature, in a sealed volume and understanding how pressure rises while the boiling point rises.........

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Distilled vs. Deionized water Frankd1 S-Series Tech 11 07-09-2009 10:02 AM
Overheats, Coolant Overflows, no fan simpsondb S-Series Tech 10 06-07-2009 04:39 PM
Distilled water? Mr Mike Miscellaneous Tech 2 11-10-2000 09:26 PM


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