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Old 10-28-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
JerryHughes
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Default Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Hi all,

May have found out why my temperature gauge on my 97 SL is running hotter than most. Most on this board say their gauge checks a little over the 1/4 mark but mine is checking just a little below the 1/2 way mark. When I recently changed my antifreeze, Chilton called for a mixture of 68% antifreeze (max.) and the rest water. According to that, I used too much antifreeze in the mixture, at about 75%. Anyone know if that will hurt anything or because it is running hotter, will it help burn carbon deposits off my spark plugs, or help the car run more efficiently? Or is it worth draining a little out and adding more water? Thanks for any info on this subject.

Jerry

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Old 10-28-2005, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Will it hurt? If you like overheating you car.
Plugs are $2 each... how much an engine cost?

Drain it quick and put more water. Anti-freeze is a horrible heat transfer meterial.

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Old 10-28-2005, 07:40 PM   #3
JS593
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

maybe thats why mine heats up alot, i have about 90% antifreeze and 10% water.... but i put alot less water due to our winters... they tend to get BITTER COLD here...

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Old 10-28-2005, 07:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Not near my Hanes or owners manual, but thought both said to use a 50/50 mix. Just changed thermostat & flushed, put premixed 50/50 in & it's running between 1/4 & 1/2 on the gauge-maybe a little closer to 1/2 than it use to, but not by much.

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Old 10-28-2005, 08:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Ive always used a 50/50 mix..

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Old 10-28-2005, 08:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

My '96, with a new(er) thermostat & ECTS sits just a lil under the half mark @ operating temp; I wouldn't worry about it as long as your fan is turning on before the red zone.

75% is still too much coolant, though; especially in CA. 50/50 is a good compromise. Don't forget to use distilled water, too.

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Last edited by 96GSL1; 10-28-2005 at 08:47 PM..

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Old 10-28-2005, 09:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JS593
maybe thats why mine heats up alot, i have about 90% antifreeze and 10% water.... but i put alot less water due to our winters... they tend to get BITTER COLD here...

I don't care how cold, that is TOO MUCH ANTIFREEZE!!!!

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Old 10-28-2005, 10:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

you should use a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water.

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Old 10-29-2005, 11:43 AM   #9
JerryHughes
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Default Q

Last night I emptied my reservoir tank and put in just distilled water. After driving around a bit I did notice the temperature gauge drop a little. Before putting on a new ECTS connector and adding new antifreeze, I know my temp gauge was recording around half way between 1/4 and 1/2 on the gauge so I will empty some more antifreeze mixture and add more distilled water.

I also checked the Prestone Dexcool antifreeze container and that called for a mixture between 50% and 70% but I'm still going to drop the mixture down to around 60%. That way if I happen to need to add fluid, I can get away with only adding more water instead of worrying about dropping below the 50% mark.

And JS, 90% antifreeze is WAY too much! I'd drop it down to the level that is advised on your container of antifreeze. There is a point where a mixture above the 50-50 percentage does not over-protect your car from colder winters.

Thanks everyone for the input.

Jerry

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Old 10-29-2005, 12:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

I live in Canada....not many have a colder winter than we do......I use a 50/50 mix....been told to use that by many mechanics

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Old 10-29-2005, 03:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

And as I live in southern California, I've used 20% anti-Freeze, a bottle of Water Wetter,and the rest distilled water. (((>I do this, with the full knowledge, that it is recommended to have a 50/50max mixture. <))) With that in mind, I would not change my mixture settings, though. And I frequently have to drive through Majove, CA in the height of the day and it's corrresponding over 100 degree heat.

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Old 10-29-2005, 03:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

I was always under the impression that coolant was also a rust preventative. Are the insides of the radiator & heater core not metal anymore, or is the lower percent of antifreeze enough to prevent the fins from rusting?

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Old 10-29-2005, 05:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

water is what cools the engine, antifreese does the corrosion protection.your engine shouldn't have any problems at all with 75% antifreese.i've read here that these engines run at the 1/2 mark fine all the time. if it's too hot,that's why you have a thermostat,and an electric fan that kicks on before the engine gets TOO hot.

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Old 10-30-2005, 05:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Quote:
> Fm Dave <
> water is what cools the engine, antifreese does the corrosion protection.your engine shouldn't have any problems at all with 75% antifreese. <
Rebuttal > I've never seen any documentation supporting using antifreeze in any other mixture other than a 50/50 mixture. With that in mind, a 75% antifreeze and 25% water, would not be prudent.(( Inspite of my own personal mixture, and my having done exhaustive research, for my personal driving habits, others should follow the industry recommended mixture of 50/50 ))

...
> 95 SL 2 = 649,619 Miles 40.4 MPG, as of 4/19/11. My manual Radiator Fan Switch, courtesy of Wolfman's patient installation guidance, continues to be.......invaluable <

Last edited by Luke; 10-30-2005 at 05:10 PM..

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Old 10-30-2005, 05:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

In ANY of the vehicles I've owned I've allwas added 50% water 50% antifreeze, and to be honest, I don't just use tap water, usually distilled.

On that note, I have never had to replace a rad, or had an engine overheat, and have never been told not to use a 50/50 mix....and I live in Canada as well.

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Old 10-30-2005, 05:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Have always used a 50/50 mixture myself and we can get pretty chilly here also. I think they say that about about 60% the anti freeze capability doesn't really change and the ability to cool reduces. Also antifreeze I believe helps even in hot weather plus helps with corrosion.

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Old 10-30-2005, 06:14 PM   #17
JerryHughes
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke
And as I live in southern California, I've used 20% anti-Freeze, a bottle of Water Wetter,and the rest distilled water. .
I've heard that the antifreeze is there to stop corrosion and for lubrication and that you shouldn't go below the 50% mark. Good luck, I hope you don't have any problems but as mentioned, you've run this way for a long time without problems. But I'll stick with my 60% antifreeze.

Jerry

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Old 10-30-2005, 10:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

My mechanic has been putting in a 70/30 mixture because it gets -40 below here in the UP of Michigan. He claims this is for extra insurance. Perhaps he is wrong here but I have not had any problems with cooling the car in the summer. My Temp guage always stays just a little above the 1/4 mark unless it sits and idles for a long time. No radiator problems at all.

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Old 10-30-2005, 11:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

What's that I hear? A firestorm approaching??

I refill every Saturn "S" series with 1 gallon (4 quarts) of straight antifreeze, and 3 quarts of TAP WATER. I have yet to have a problem. This equates to a 57%/43% mixture. And will protect to ~-45dF. (Or February in Maine)

Antifreeze is also the ONLY LUBRICATION your water pump gets, and YES, it is also there to inhibit corrosion in the cooling system.

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Old 11-01-2005, 08:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Coolant/water mixture percentage?

Ok, I decided to do a little research on the properties of ethylene glycol. Here is what I found:

Melting/freezing point. The melting point of pure ethylene glycol is -13C. The lowest melting mixture of ethylene glycol and water contains 55% ethylene glycol v/v and melts at -50C. Mixtures containing between 52% and 67% ethylene glycol all melt below -45C. The 50/50 mix melts at -38C. Mixtures containing between 55% and 80% glycol can be cooled below their melting points before freezing under some conditions. The lowest obtainable supercooled temperature without freezing is -63C at 62% glycol.

Boiling point. Pure ethylene glycol boils at 196C. The sea level boiling point of water/glycol mixtures increases fairly linearly from 100C for pure water to about 115C for 70% glycol, then rises more quickly as the glycol concentration increases.

Heat capacity. Heat capacity for water is 4.18 kJ/kg.C. Heat capacity for ethylene glycol is 2.65 kJ/kg.C. This means that the amount of energy that will heat 1 L of water by 10C will heat 1 L of ethylene glycol by 16C

Viscosity. The viscosity of ethylene glycol is about 10x higher than water at 100C and 30x higher at 0C. The 50/50 mix is about twice as viscous as water at 100C and 4x at 0C. 70/30 glycol/water is about 3x and 8x.

What does it all mean? Well, if you live in a tropical climate you can increase your coolant's heat capacity (reducing the temperature increase as it flows through your engine) and reduce it's viscocity (making it easier to pump and *possibly* increasing flow) by using more water. Do note wolfman's points about water pump lubrication and corrosion inhibitors though, and remember that the boiling point will be a few degrees *lower*.
If you live in a very cold climate, you can give yourself more freeze protection by using a little more antifreeze, but going beyond 2/3 antifreeze is counterproductive in many ways. The ideal cold climate mix is probably between 55/45 and 60/40 glycol/water, so wolfman's "add a gallon of antifreeze and top off with water" sounds like a good plan.

References (If you are interested):
http://www.meglobal.biz/literature/p...Global_MEG.pdf (a datasheet from Dow)
Fluid Phase Equilibria (1996) vol.117 p.146 (engineering journal)

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