Disadvantages of Using Water As Coolant in Car Engine

Disadvantages of Using Water As Coolant in Car Engine

Disadvantages of Using Water As Coolant in Car Engine

Is it safe to use water as a coolant in your car? This question may arise in your mind but let us answer it straightforwardly – No, you should not use water as it reduces the life of the engine. But yes, you can use water once or twice in an emergency situation.

As a car owner, you may have heard that water is a nice coolant for your car’s engine. Though it may be true that water is a cheap and easily available coolant option, has several disadvantages also.

In this blog, we will look into some of the disadvantages of using water as a coolant in your car engine.

But first, let’s understand what coolant is.

What is Coolant?

Coolant is a special liquid that is put into the radiator then it circulates through your car’s engine via tubes attached to the radiator and helps cool down the engine temperature. It absorbs heat generated by the engine and transfers it to the radiator, where it is dissipated into the air.

This process helps prevent the engine from overheating, which can cause damage and even engine failure.

What Does Coolant Contain?

Typically, the coolant liquid contains a mixture of water and antifreeze (also known as engine coolant). Antifreeze is a chemical additive that helps lower the freezing point and raise the boiling point of the coolant.

It also contains corrosion inhibitors to protect metal components in the engine from rust and other types of corrosion.

Most commonly, antifreeze is made of ethylene glycol, which has a sweet odor and taste. However, it is also highly toxic, so it’s crucial to handle it with care and dispose of it properly.

Some newer antifreeze formulas use propylene glycol, which is less toxic and safer for the environment. In addition to the antifreeze and water mixture, some coolants may also contain additional additives to improve their performance, such as lubricants and detergents.

Disadvantages of Using Water as Coolant

Here we go:

1. Water Freezes in Cold Weather

One of the main disadvantages of using water as a coolant is that it can freeze in cold weather. Its freezing point is 32 degrees F (0 Degree Celsius). If the water in your engine freezes, it can cause severe damage to your engine. Frozen water can expand and crack the engine block, leak in the radiator, water pump failure leading to costly repairs.

Coolant, on the other hand, is made to resist subfreezing temperatures and safeguard your engine.

2. Water boils in hot weather

Just like water can freeze in cold weather, it can also boil in hot weather. Its boiling point is 212 degrees F (100 Degrees Celsius). This is particularly problematic in the summer when high temperatures can cause your engine to overheat. If your engine overheats, it can cause severe damage and even engine failure.

Coolant, on the other hand, has a higher boiling point and can better withstand high temperatures.

3. Water promotes corrosion

Water is a corrosive substance that can damage metal parts in your car engine. Over time, water can cause rust and corrosion, leading to leaks and other engine problems. Antifreeze, on the other hand, contains additives that protect metal parts and prevent corrosion.

4. Water Promotes Mineral Formation

When water is used as a coolant, it promotes the building of mineral deposits inside the engine. This buildup reduces the efficiency of the cooling system and causes blockages in the engine’s passages. Over time, this can cause your engine to overheat and fail.

5. Water is not as efficient as antifreeze

Finally, when it comes to cooling your car’s engine, water is not as effective as coolant. Coolant can absorb more heat and eliminate it from the engine since it has a higher heat capacity and better thermal conductivity.

On the other side, water can take longer to cool the engine because it has a lesser heat capacity.

 In conclusion, to ensure the longevity and reliability of your engine, it is best to use coolant as your primary coolant. Coolant is developed in such a way that it withstands extreme temperatures, prevents corrosion, and promotes efficient cooling, making it the better choice for your car engine.

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