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Coolant water choice ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rdemilt, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. rdemilt
    Joined: Jan 12, 2009
    Posts: 135

    from so florida

    What are your ideas on water in a coolant system ? I was reading the back of a purple ice coolant additive bottle and it said do not to use distilled water with that product. I was curious why so I called royal purple and spoke to a tech, he said that only pertained if I had a aluminum radiator, since I dont, distilled water is OK but he recommended using good old drinking water or water from a municiple water source. I am confussed as I was recently told distilled water is the way to go.

    I dont have any cooling issues, I just had my copper/brass radiator cleaned and a small leak repaired so I want to start fresh for the florida summer. I tried a search but found no results.

  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,263


    Tap water works. There's something about distilled water wanting to have impurities in it, and helping itself to the cooling system materials to get them.
  3. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    This really makes no sense to me that pure water "wants" impurities so sucks them out of the radiator metal.... every other source recommends distiled water... anecdotal evidence on the failure of a radiator really doesn't give a scientific answer.

    I am not saying I know the answer - just that I haven't seen a good answer yet for using tap water.
    And by the way, every city tap water has differenet impurities.

    ".........I filled it right from the kitchen sink, which is "city" water that has run through my softener - I ran the hot water side, the kitchen cold is not softened.............."

    So your softener took the iron out of the water... why not go a step further and use distilled?

    Meanwhile I will use distilled water in my radiator antifreeze, and in my battery.

    edited: comment on the softener
  4. big creep
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,945

    big creep

  5. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,865


    Distilled water is preferable to tap water for use in automotive cooling systems. The minerals and ions typically found in tap water can be corrosive to internal engine components, and can cause a more rapid depletion of the anti-corrosion additives found in most antifreeze formulations.
  6. JimV57
    Joined: Feb 15, 2011
    Posts: 230

    from California

    distilled water leaches chemicals from aluminum, (or other metals for that matter)such as impurities or other by-products. I think purified water would be better than distilled. The only thing distilled water is used primarily for is in steam irons and older car batteries.
  7. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    I use spring water and no antifreeze. Spring water never freezes.
  8. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,872

    Special Ed

    I'm sure hoping that you are just kidding around...too many folks on here take anything and everything posted online as the truth. :) and I'd sure hate to see a bunch of cracked blocks from following bad advice...
  9. Chevy54
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,413

    from Orange, CA

    Where Im originally from its not coolant........its anti-freeze!:D But now I use coolant!
  10. Gdog3225
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 59

    from Tennessee

    Just a thought would distilled water also keep down on tiny air bubbles that start eroision or would that be the same no matter what water??
  11. dorksrock
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 416


    Dang, I have been doing it wrong this whole time!
  12. moonman29
    Joined: Apr 2, 2010
    Posts: 169


    Those tiny bubble are called cavitation and is only caused by a severe pressure differential at the suction side of the impeller on the water pump and would only occur in very high rpm like in a race engine, typically this is not the cas on most engines. Those bubbles is just air that is entrapped in the water and will rise once the water starts flowing. The only other way bubble would occur is with a low pressure in the cooling system and the water would boil. With the proper cooling system, typical tap water will do. However, if you have aluminum radiator or heads, make sure you have a GOOD ground to the frame from the engine to prevent electrolysis breaks down the aluminum and makes it very pours and prone to leaks.
  13. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,340


    i agree
  14. Graystoke
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 414


    I'm Confused !!!:confused:
  15. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    I think I have a special garden hose.:D

    Comin' up on 50 years playin' with these things and I've never used anything but what comes out of my spigots. In the early days it was city water. For the last 25 it's been from my well that has plenty of iron in it. No water wetter, water pump lube, cathodes or anything special. Just anti-freeze and tap water. After all these years I don't think anyone can scare me into using anything else.

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