Water or antifreeze: What is best for the cooling system of your car?
You have probably heard this debate on more than one occasion. What is better, water or antifreeze for the engine cooling circuit? Well then we will try to clarify some doubts on this subject. The first thing to say is that the cooling system is of vital importance to your car and that its maintenance should be the best possible.
Because it is responsible for evacuating the high internal temperatures that occur in the engine. Up to 2,000 degrees can be achieved during the fuel explosion inside the cylinders. Subsequently, that very high temperature will decrease when the expansion stroke occurs and in the exhaust phase it will continue to fall to 150 degrees.
The cooling system will therefore be responsible for reducing the average temperature of these elements. Without this system dilations and deformations could be created in different parts of the mechanics. Some examples could be the rubbing of the pistons with the shirts of the cylinders , to burn the gasket of the cylinder head and even that one of the weakest pieces was cracked.
In the cooling circuit there must be a liquid , which will be responsible for absorbing the heat emitted by the engine and therefore that the temperature will drop. That is where our two main options , water and antifreeze liquid appear, and the doubts of which to use. A few years ago, water was simply used, but then came the antifreeze liquids that mix water and some additives to improve their capabilities.
Therefore, yes we can pour water into the cooling system and it will work. However, it will not be the most recommended option. Water contains oxygen (H2O) and therefore may oxidize some of the parts. It also changes state with temperature and this means that it can freeze below 0 degrees or evaporate if it exceeds 100 degrees. Also note that you can not use tap water, which contains lime and could clog some parts of the circuit. In any case, if used, it would have to be distilled water.
The antifreeze liquid will have advantages over distilled water thanks to the additives we said before. This will ensure that the liquid does not freeze until about 30 degrees below zero, in addition to raising the boiling point by 20 or 30 degrees. Another positive point is that we can forget the rust and lime that could accompany running water.
This means that the antifreeze fluids guarantee a better functioning of the refrigeration system and will also improve its useful life. We will also ensure a better cooling with these liquids thanks to its improved properties. Although of course it will be acceptable to use distilled water if we need it or if we have any emergency in order to avoid major evils.
Maintenance in this case will not be very complex. It is advisable to check the level and visual state of the coolant frequently. It must be remembered that the proper functioning of the motor will depend on its cooling. Usually the time to replace it is usually between two or three years , something that will have to be reviewed in each manufacturer’s maintenance book.
In this video tutorial you can see how to clean the cooling system a vehicle. It is a simple action and many will know. In any case if there is a problem of more seriousness in the refrigeration system the best will be to pass through the hands of a professional.