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Edgingage

Concentrated antifreeze/coolant - curious question

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Hey folks:

 

Is there any harm to the cooling system to run it all in only concentrated antifreeze/coolant, without any water dilution?

 

Water is an oxidant (corrosive) per se.  Coolant/antifreeze has also anti-corrosive additives.  I was thinking that the less water and the more concentration of anti-corrosive additives per total volume in the cooling system the more protected the system would be.  I know it'll cost a little bit more money (around 30% more), but would this better protect the system against failures, particularly better protection against water pump failure?

 

Your opinions and advise are always very welcome, please.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Straight anti-freeze does not disperse heat as well as a 50/50 mix.  

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There is ample corrosion inhibitors in any antifreeze to prevent corrosion when diluted.  Antifreeze does two things, it is a corrosion inhibitor and it raises the boiling point and lowers the freezing point of the coolant.  However, antifreeze is lousy at heat transfer, water is much better.  Hence the 50/50 target mixture, which provides ample corrosion protection, raises the boiling point and lowers the freeze point more than enough and still provides efficient heat transfer.  The water is not 'filler'.

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First of all, I really thank you all for your concerns, advise and opinions.

 

I'm going to explain what my real concern is:

 

In another thread, I asked for advise regarding a wrong coolant "my" dealer put in.  After quite a few emails back and forth, and Ford Canada involved, the dealer agreed to put the correct coolant at their expense (it was their mistake).  Now, when that happened I wasn't sure (I didn't know) the type, the procedure, and not even the great importance of the correct coolant AND the correct mix (I learned those things after I posted my question in this great forum).  Because if the dealer got it wrong several times (by their standard procedure) I thought it shouldn't be that important.  But THANKS to you folks I learned a lot about coolant (still learning) and got the strength to put up a battle with the dealer that I "won" (not really).

 

So, according to all the valuable info I've been getting here since that dealer-coolant event, I figured out that the dealer got it wrong four (4) times at once: how is it possible that:

1- they refilled using the wrong coolant (I could get it wrong; but how come the dealer can get that wrong?)

2- they refilled with only one 4qts-jug of concentrated coolant (do the math: 4 qts of coolant diluted in 8 qts of water is only a 33/67 coolant/water dilution)

3- they did only one (1) drain and then refilled it with the above mentioned (4 qts of concentrate + water to fill up the 11.7qts system)

4- they used tap water; yes, tap water to dilute and refill.

 

So, the above is their SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).  Of course I don't know how many water pumps have gone bad around here over the years; I have no access to those records...

 

Now the real why I was thinking to add more concentrated coolant (hence my original question):

 

When they finally refilled with the correct coolant, they told me they "did the process three times".  Do you folks know which "process", how they did it?  Me neither.  I can only assume that they did it wrongly once again because that's their SOP.  So this time, for the whole three-times "process", they used only three (3) jugs of 4-qts factory pre-diluted coolant.  Great! (you would think)  But I'm not really sure.  Why:

- what did they refill it with after the first two times they drained it?  Tap water only?  Or 1 jug of prediluted coolant + tap water in the first two refills?  I don't know (they didn't want to describe what/how they did it)

- did they drain and refill with tap water twice and then drain and did the final refill with 3 jugs of factory prediluted coolant?  That may be great; I just don't know.  And... what about the tap water trapped in the system after they drained the third time (IF so they really did it three times; I don't know).  They normally drain and refill only once as per their SOP.

 

In summary (and really sorry for my rant), I don't really know what proportion/dilution ended up in my cooling system.  The best I can assume is that it ended up with almost 3 jugs of factory prediluted coolant to complete the  11.7 qts of total volume with the tap water trapped in the system.

 

That's why I wanted to know how beneficial will be to add more concentrated coolant to the system.  I'm thinking to remove the mix of prediluted coolant with trapped tap water from the coolant bottle, and then add the same amount of concentrated coolant in the bottle (several times) until the whole jug of concentrated coolant is in.  I think it'll be a little bit better than what is right now in the cooling system.

 

What do you folks think?

 

After all the above details, if you think what it's currently in my coolant system is good enough to leave like that, just let me know by all means, please.

 

Again, really sorry for my ranting frustration (with "my" dealer ;))

 

I think I also asked in some other thread if anybody knows the approximate volume remaining trapped in system after a drain.

 

Thank you all for your great advise and opinions; I really appreciate them all.  Sorry again for my lengthy writing.

Edited by Edgingage

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Test it.  If it’s diluted too much it will show up.

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They only replace what they drain.  The system holds 11.7 quarts.  Sounds about right that 8 quarts would have been drained (it's difficult to drain the engine block and heater core).  So 4 quarts of concentrate and 4 quarts of water go back in.  This is typically done once.  The objective is to replenish the corrosion inhibitors, not to drain every drop of old out.  Replacing 2/3 is fine.  Some people go for a vacuum flush and fill,  at a  substantially higher cost.  It appeals to some, but is not necessary.  As for using distilled water, yes it is preferred, but not required.

 

I am not sure what 'wrong' antifreeze they used, but I doubt a Ford dealer has any 'wrong' antifreeze on hand.

  • Thanks 1

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Hello Todd:

 

Thank you VERY MUCH for all your helpful answers.  I almost kindly ask akirby which tool he'd suggest for me buying to specifically test coolant dilution (I don't have any tools to test coolants).

 

Todd, thanks again: the dealer refilled it with fluorescent green (C)VC-5.  According to the info provided in another thread (thank you folks), later confirmed by Ford Canada, green VC-5 is not compatible with any Edge model.  That's why the dealer went ahead and replaced it again at their expense; this time with the correct (C)VC-13DL-G.

 

Again, thank you very much.

Edited by Edgingage

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1 hour ago, Edgingage said:

I almost kindly ask akirby which tool he'd suggest for me buying to specifically test coolant dilution (I don't have any tools to test coolants).


Every auto parts store has coolant testers.  $3 and up.

 

https://www.autozone.com/heating-and-cooling/antifreeze-coolant-tester?filterByKeyWord=antifreeze&fromString=search&isIgnoreVehicle=false

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Never mind my comment; deleted.

 

Thank you.

Edited by Edgingage

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