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Old 01-11-2006, 08:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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PH Balance of Coolant effect Head Gasket?

Hey guys,

I'm having a debate with a mechanic friend. The question in general is if you use straight dexcool coolant without water will the coolant become acidic or not work correctly?

While not related to my Z06 yet? I just had a head gasket failure in my daily driver Regal. Last year when the water pump was replaced straight coolant was used instead of a mix of 50/50. Head gasket let go on number two piston area on my 3.8L.

Mechanic said it looked like the gasket was chewed up? I do not think the coolant issue was the deal.

He says mix is correct and I say it should not matter maybe protected better then the mix? In relation to the gasket failure.

For those who know the deal please chime in. I do not care about who's right or wrong, but I want to know as I think the dealer used straight coolant on my Z last year as well. Thanks, Don
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know enough about it to comment however, maybe an email to the manufacturer's customer service people would get you an answer straight from the horse's mouth. To the best of my knowledge, a 50/50 mix offers the best freeze/boil over protection and anything greater or lesser decreases the protection. As far as this having an effect on the acidity, I just don't know.

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Old 01-11-2006, 09:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Charlie,

I was going to try that, but not sure how honest they will be considering there is a class action suit pending on the Dexcool issues with GM vehicles. Don
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I believe the reaon for the mix of water and coolant are to keep the motor cool. If you use straight coolant it is thicker than water and will retain heat, as the water mix will help keep the temp down. The black dots in the coolant are also cooling aids as well as long gevity of the coolant
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I’m no expert but antifreeze must be mixed from what I understand. Glycol is one of the main ingredients of antifreeze (so that methanol does not boil over) but it needs to be mixed with water because when added straight, it does not transfer heat. The water is what transfers the heat (the antifreeze doesn’t) and antifreeze just allows the water to be useful at very low and high temperatures. Without a good heat transfer you will get hot spots throughout your engine, which could have caused your head gasket failure. The chemicals/inhibitors used in antifreeze are meant to be mixed with water, without the water they maybe too concentrated and be harmful to parts of the engines. Also the corrosion inhibitors that are important in antifreeze, are designed to work in a water solution. In fact, the inhibitors are activated by the water which in turn lets it protect the metals. In essence, the antifreeze does not work correctly without water, but water works correctly with antifreeze.
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Pressure is what raises the boiling point, not the glycol. That is an antifreeze, not an anti-boil.

http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/genche...ting.html#boil

Note that at 2Atm (~28psi), the boiling temp has increased to 120 deg C (248deg F).

The best cooling you get is with straight water + water wetter. But, you lose the corrosion protection. Out here in Phoenix (if my car never left the area), I'd run a real small amount of anti-freeze in my coolant mix, just to get the corrosion resistance. In places where it get cold, I'd run a 50/50 mix (or whatever it indicates on the bottle).

I don't think I'd ever run straight antifreeze as you'll lose a lot of cooling capacity that way. Water can hold a lot more heat than gycol.
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I made a mistake in my previous post.

The glycol raises the boil over of the methanol.

Yes, pressure raises the boiling point of the _water_
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks all. Anymore info out there? Keep it coming.
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