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Local Ford dealership used tap water for coolant mix

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I got my coolant changed out at the local ford dealership. They used tap water to mix 50/50 and I realized after I got the vehicle back why I always did maintenance myself. No auto shops around here use distilled water. I was wondering if I should redo it myself? I get mixed answers when I research this online.  Some say it's a big no no, and others say that the coolant has enough corrosion inhibitors that it won't make any difference and not to worry. Either way, I have tons of motorceaft 50/50 and the pure orange coolant at home made for my 2017 Ford Edge 3.5L V6. So from your experiences does tap water cause any sort of corrosion or deposits or anything negative? It's been in my vehicle for about 9 days now. This was the first coolant change it ever got. Has 32000km. Should I leave it? Or rush to change it? I don't have any flushing addictive at the moment. If necessary I will buy some. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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You'll probably get all sorts of responses to your question ranging from let it go to change that coolant, like, yesterday! 

Here's my take FWIW.  The issue is with minerals in your tap water. If you typically have fairly 'soft' water in your area then there's not much of an issue.  If you have extremely 'hard' water then those minerals are slowly depositing themselves on every surface of your cooling system from water jackets in the engine to passages in the radiator.   So, if your water is soft, it's not a huge issue, plan on changing coolant again in 30k miles.  If it's hard then (if it were my Edge) I'd be draining and filling again.

Meanwhile, work on getting a full refund from the shop that did the work.  I've attached a screenshot of the back label from Motorcraft (orange) coolant concentrate.  Note it specifically says to use "distilled water".  Your shop failed to follow very specific instructions for product use so they owe you a refund or....do the job over with proper products.

mcraftcoolant.jpg

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I'll call them as soon as they open again. I was gonna do that but wasn't sure if I was gonna sound too picky. I also checked the water hardness for here in Timmins Ontario, and it says Hardness 45mg/L or  Hardness 2.6 grains per gallon

 

seems lower then many other places. But I'm still gonna swap that out ASAP.  

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Not too serious depending on the specific content of the tap water, but most locations have minerals (calcium, iron, chlorine, sodium, .....) that can precipitate in the cooling system and cause problems.

 

Distilled water is so cheap and readily available, there's no reason to take a risk with tap water.

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On 8/11/2019 at 11:52 AM, 1004ron said:

Not too serious depending on the specific content of the tap water, but most locations have minerals (calcium, iron, chlorine, sodium, .....) that can precipitate in the cooling system and cause problems.

 

Distilled water is so cheap and readily available, there's no reason to take a risk with tap water.

On 8/10/2019 at 6:24 PM, Gadgetjq said:

You'll probably get all sorts of responses to your question ranging from let it go to change that coolant, like, yesterday! 

Here's my take FWIW.  The issue is with minerals in your tap water. If you typically have fairly 'soft' water in your area then there's not much of an issue.  If you have extremely 'hard' water then those minerals are slowly depositing themselves on every surface of your cooling system from water jackets in the engine to passages in the radiator.   So, if your water is soft, it's not a huge issue, plan on changing coolant again in 30k miles.  If it's hard then (if it were my Edge) I'd be draining and filling again.

Meanwhile, work on getting a full refund from the shop that did the work.  I've attached a screenshot of the back label from Motorcraft (orange) coolant concentrate.  Note it specifically says to use "distilled water".  Your shop failed to follow very specific instructions for product use so they owe you a refund or....do the job over with proper products.

mcraftcoolant.jpg

 

 

 

 

I called the local ford dealership and there gonna refund me the whole amount of 149.00. They tried to fight back, but I simply told them to read the back of the bottle lol. That pretty much did it right there. They can't argue not following directions. If they could afford bottles of motorcraft coolant, they should easily have distilled water on the shelf to go with it. Anyway I was looking at deionized water. They have some sold here at Canadian tire called Turbo Power Deionized water that says it's made for radiators and coolant, also used for filling battery. I'll post the information it shows on the Canadian tire website just below. I think I may just stick to distilled since that is what it states on back of coolant bottle. Than you for all your help. Greatly appreciated.  

 

FEATURES

  • Turbo Power Deionized Water helps provide protection against the damaging effects of scale build-up and corrosion often caused by the use of regular water
  • Ideal for cleaning and topping-up cooling systems
  • Effective for topping-up car batteries when battery acid level is low
  • Used to dilute concentrated radiator antifreeze/coolants and as a top-up to cooling system
  • Prevents scale build-up and discolouration in household steam irons and humidifiers
  • Size: 3.78 L (1 US gal)
  • Note: Contains a bittering agent and is not intended for human consumption

20190812_130629.jpg

Edited by ThugFordEdge3.5
Added picture
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From what I understand, Ford recommends a coolant system flush if you are going to change coolants.  They even make a flush to help facilitate that. Personally I would flush my system and then fill it with ford 50/50. Or the premix, the only advantage you get by using concentrate is that you will have enough left over to change your coolant next year.  Thats a win for me.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Ford-VC-1-Premium-Cooling/dp/B000NU16UA

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32 minutes ago, onyxbfly said:

From what I understand, Ford recommends a coolant system flush if you are going to change coolants.  They even make a flush to help facilitate that. Personally I would flush my system and then fill it with ford 50/50. Or the premix, the only advantage you get by using concentrate is that you will have enough left over to change your coolant next year.  Thats a win for me.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Ford-VC-1-Premium-Cooling/dp/B000NU16UA

Is that if you're changing coolant type, or is it also required for a maintenance coolant replacement?

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5 minutes ago, 1004ron said:

Is that if you're changing coolant type, or is it also required for a maintenance coolant replacement?

 

That is a very good question. I interpret it that you use the flush if you are changing coolant type.  If you are doing a maintenance coolant replacement, the coolant type is the same and the flush is not required.

Edited by onyxbfly

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1 minute ago, onyxbfly said:

 

That is a very good question. I interpret it that you use the flush if you are changing coolant type.  If you are doing a maintenance coolant replacement the coolant type is the same and the flush is not required.

That's what I assumed, and just wanted to check if that was a correct assumption.

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1 minute ago, 1004ron said:

That's what I assumed, and just wanted to check if that was a correct assumption.

 

We're on the same page!

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Why are you even changing coolant on a 2 year old vehicle with 32K kms?  You would have been good to go for at least 4 more years!  Sometimes messing with stuff causes more problems than it solves.

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8 hours ago, Waldo said:

Why are you even changing coolant on a 2 year old vehicle with 32K kms? 

With the 3.5 engine frequent coolant changes are all about water pump preservation. If the pump goes so (frequently) goes the engine.  💥

Edited by Gadgetjq
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11 hours ago, Waldo said:

Why are you even changing coolant on a 2 year old vehicle with 32K kms?  You would have been good to go for at least 4 more years!  Sometimes messing with stuff causes more problems than it solves.

 

 

 I brought my edge in for a warranty fix on the emergency brake light that stayed on saying it wasn't working. They change the emergency brake cable.  So while it was there I remembered the coolant level being really low so I told them to check it out and go ahead and refill it with new coolant while there at it. I completely forgot why I never get it done at dealers until it was already done.  Also after break in period I try to have all fluids and filters changed. Especially PTU, and transmission. Seems in the beginning a lot of metal shavings dirty the oils. I try to clear everything up and give a fresh start after break in is done and all those metal moving parts found there place.  A nice clean fresh start  gives me peace of mind. Plus I'm OCD lol.

Edited by ThugFordEdge3.5
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On 8/12/2019 at 5:43 PM, onyxbfly said:

From what I understand, Ford recommends a coolant system flush if you are going to change coolants.  They even make a flush to help facilitate that. Personally I would flush my system and then fill it with ford 50/50. Or the premix, the only advantage you get by using concentrate is that you will have enough left over to change your coolant next year.  Thats a win for me.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Ford-VC-1-Premium-Cooling/dp/B000NU16UA

 

 

I'll be doing a flush for sure on the next change.  I haven't changed coolant types. This was the first coolant change ever for this edge. A bit early but I like to get everything changed after 30000km to 35000km oils and filters. 

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10 hours ago, ThugFordEdge3.5 said:

 

 

I'll be doing a flush for sure on the next change.  I haven't changed coolant types. This was the first coolant change ever for this edge. A bit early but I like to get everything changed after 30000km to 35000km oils and filters. 

 

Correct you haven't changed coolant types but the coolant you have in there that is mixed with tap water is less than desirable.  IMO the coolant that is mixed with tap water is not the same as the 50/50 premix, nor mixing concentrate with distilled water.  If it was we wouldn't be having this discussion.  

 

Not suggesting that you will have any issues. On the flip side if you were to have any coolant related issues between now and your next coolant change. They will visually inspect the coolant and say it looks like blah blah. You will say y'all mixed it with tap water.  They will say we issued you a refund. Anything after that is on you.  

 

If it was my truck I'd take the refund and go to a different dealership and explain the situation to the service advisor. This way it will be documented that the previous dealer used tap water and issued a refund etc. It will also suggest to the service advisor that you are well aware of what type of coolant should be used. 

 

Who says the previous dealer noted that they screwed the pooch?

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If it were me, I would do it myself.  Then I know exactly what went into my car.  Flush with distilled water, drain out 50% of the coolant capacity, fill back up with undiluted coolant.

 

However, since you don't live in a hard water area, it is probably not that urgent.

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On 8/14/2019 at 7:34 AM, onyxbfly said:

 

Correct you haven't changed coolant types but the coolant you have in there that is mixed with tap water is less than desirable.  IMO the coolant that is mixed with tap water is not the same as the 50/50 premix, nor mixing concentrate with distilled water.  If it was we wouldn't be having this discussion.  

 

Not suggesting that you will have any issues. On the flip side if you were to have any coolant related issues between now and your next coolant change. They will visually inspect the coolant and say it looks like blah blah. You will say y'all mixed it with tap water.  They will say we issued you a refund. Anything after that is on you.  

 

If it was my truck I'd take the refund and go to a different dealership and explain the situation to the service advisor. This way it will be documented that the previous dealer used tap water and issued a refund etc. It will also suggest to the service advisor that you are well aware of what type of coolant should be used. 

 

Who says the previous dealer noted that they screwed the pooch?

 

On 8/14/2019 at 8:53 AM, mike dexter said:

If it were me, I would do it myself.  Then I know exactly what went into my car.  Flush with distilled water, drain out 50% of the coolant capacity, fill back up with undiluted coolant.

 

However, since you don't live in a hard water area, it is probably not that urgent.

 

What I ended up doing is using 50/50 orange motorcraft coolant.  I drained out about 5 liters and filled with 50/50 and ran the engine with heat on for about 15 minutes and rev here and there at 3500 rpms and then I drained again and repeated. I did this 2 times and on the 3rd time I left it in. I will do a flush on the next change. The tap water here is 45mg/L and one of the lowest  in Ontario. 

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I hear tap water and shudder at the thought. At times it feels that I have some of the hardest water in the country. I never had it tested but I know I wouldn't want it in my cars coolant system.  Plan your work and work your plan!

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Unless you have a leak that requires regular water adds and you use tap water, you have nothing to wory about.  A single fill of tap water will result in mineral deposits on warm surfaces but the total mineral content of even very hard water is almost nothing for a single fill.  Things like water heaters,  cooling towers, etc that have more or less continuous water addition end up with large mineral deposits but that's because the volume of water used is many, thousands of times the volume of the container itself.

 

-Scot

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Since an old thread was resurrected, I was just wondering how exactly ThugFordEdge3.5 knew that the dealership used tap water during his repair?

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