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    Thread: Dangers of driving a car without antifreeze/coolant

    1. 01-17-2006 09:44 AM #1
      Friend of my is running his truck (s-10) without any antifreeze/coolant.

      Can you guys shed the light on this subject and help me convince him that this is bad.

      If you could post links so he can read about it...that would be helpful too!

      Thanks.


    2. Member ginster vr6's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 09:46 AM #2
      does he have atleast water in it.

    3. Member MEIN_VW's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 09:47 AM #3
      What is he running for coolant? straight water? Water + metal = rust.

      Did he mention that he wants to kill his engine? If so, he's fine.


    4. 01-17-2006 09:50 AM #4
      Quote, originally posted by ginster vr6 »
      does he have atleast water in it.

      nada..temps here for the last couple of days haven't been higher than 32 F.


    5. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      01-17-2006 09:50 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by sphipps70 »
      Friend of my is running his truck (s-10) without any antifreeze/coolant.

      Can you guys shed the light on this subject and help me convince him that this is bad.

      If you could post links so he can read about it...that would be helpful too!

      Thanks.

      Frankly, I'd be more inclined to just let him blow his engine like a cheap firecracker. If he needs to be "convinced" of this painfully obvious fact, then let him learn the lesson the hard way. No sympathy for idiots who think they're smarter than the designers.


      Modified by Turbiodiesel! at 6:52 AM 1-17-2006

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    6. 01-17-2006 09:51 AM #6
      Quote, originally posted by Turbiodiesel! »

      Frankly, I'd be more inclined to just let him blow his engine like a cheap firecracker. If he needs to be "convinced" of this painfully obvious fact, then let him learn the lesson the hard way.


      I would...but he knows "crap" about cars....and I don't want him to ruin his truck....

    7. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      01-17-2006 09:55 AM #7
      If you own a car, and value it, then you should be knowledgeable enough to take proper care of it. If you don't, you deserve what's coming to you- and taking a few thousand dollar whack to replace the engine is a most instructive antidote to ignorance. You've told him, he disregarded you, the idiot deserves to watch it backfire in his face.
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    8. Member GTiTOM's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 09:57 AM #8
      Quote, originally posted by sphipps70 »

      I would...but he knows "crap" about cars....and I don't want him to ruin his truck....

      jeeze. just go to the store, buy a 15 dollars worth of coolant, fill it up for him, THEN send him some tech articles on how he's a moron.

      if a friend of mine had a proclivity to stabbing his eyes out, i'd probably tell him how it was bad AFTER i forcibly made him stop.


    9. Member quickhuh's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 10:04 AM #9
      steve i will tell him if you want i have about 35 guys here at work that will agree with me
      RIP Alexi, keep on dubbin


      Nice to know vortex is still run by nazi's after all of these years

    10. 01-17-2006 10:05 AM #10
      Quote, originally posted by GTiTOM »

      jeeze. just go to the store, buy a 15 dollars worth of coolant, fill it up for him.

      we are doing that much.


    11. Member NOTORIOUS VR's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 10:08 AM #11
      The biggest problem with even just running water in the cooling system is that, water boils @ 100 deg. C... which means that it cannot absorb anymore heat... So if the motor does decide to run hot, then he's in big trouble. He might be ok for the winter months (except for the fact that water freezes), but come summer, it's a big no-no.
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      01-17-2006 10:10 AM #12
      Quote, originally posted by sphipps70 »

      nada..temps here for the last couple of days haven't been higher than 32 F.

      Even if it's 32F, the engine still needs antifreeze/coolant What a dumb friend you have. Did he say "i know what, I'm gonna remove this fluid that has no need for being in the radiator?"

    13. 01-17-2006 10:16 AM #13
      Not to play devil's advocate, but what year S-10 we talkin' 'bout here? I had a '93 that developed a leak in the coolant system, and being in college and short on funds, I just ran water (didn't want to constantly be leaking a toxic substance) for several weeks until I scraped enough together to get it fixed. The truck NEVER overheated and four years after the repair the system still showed no ill effects whatsoever.

      That old 4.3 was a brute.


    14. 01-17-2006 10:24 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by passaturge »
      Not to play devil's advocate, but what year S-10 we talkin' 'bout here? I had a '93 that developed a leak in the coolant system, and being in college and short on funds, I just ran water (didn't want to constantly be leaking a toxic substance) for several weeks until I scraped enough together to get it fixed. The truck NEVER overheated and four years after the repair the system still showed no ill effects whatsoever.

      That old 4.3 was a brute.

      I know it's a 97...and I believe he has the 2.2


    15. Member quickhuh's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 10:25 AM #15
      Quote, originally posted by Quattro Krant »
      Even if it's 32F, the engine still needs antifreeze/coolant What a dumb friend you have. Did he say "i know what, I'm gonna remove this fluid that has no need for being in the radiator?"

      No he didnt remove it, he just doesnt have any, and like steve said hes not very mechanical

      RIP Alexi, keep on dubbin


      Nice to know vortex is still run by nazi's after all of these years

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      01-17-2006 10:26 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by quickhuh »
      steve i will tell him if you want i have about 35 guys here at work that will agree with me

      35 Helen's agree

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    17. 01-17-2006 10:28 AM #17
      He's been warned. Obviously there's a leak, so anything you put in will leak straight back out. Leave him to his fate. Don't touch the truck or he'll come back and blame you for the damage.

    18. 01-17-2006 10:31 AM #18
      He's not using ANY antifreeze/coolant?

      Your friend is a moron. Anybody knows that antifreeze/coolant is necessary for an engine, unless you drive an air-cooled VW bug!


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      01-17-2006 12:17 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by ATL_Av8r »

      35 Helen's agree

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      01-17-2006 12:21 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by quickhuh »

      No he didnt remove it, he just doesnt have any, and like steve said hes not very mechanical

      I'm still confused...does he have any liquid of any description in the cooling system right now, whether it is water or not?

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    21. 01-17-2006 12:35 PM #21
      I checked both his coolant reservoir and radiator and both are bone dry.

      I told him not to start it until the gets antifreeze/water in there. Hopefully I'll see the leak and will be able to help him fix it.


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      01-17-2006 12:40 PM #22
      If it is entirely dry, the motor will sieze up once it has been run for awhile, regardless of the outside temperature. Straight water will freeze, probably cracking the block and the radiator.
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    23. 01-17-2006 12:42 PM #23
      It will warp the block

    24. 01-17-2006 12:46 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by NOTORIOUS VR »
      The biggest problem with even just running water in the cooling system is that, water boils @ 100 deg. C... which means that it cannot absorb anymore heat... So if the motor does decide to run hot, then he's in big trouble. He might be ok for the winter months (except for the fact that water freezes), but come summer, it's a big no-no.

      The only reason for anti-freeze, is to do what the name says, stop it from freezing. Water has a higher boiling point than just 212F/100c b/c the system is under pressure (about 15psi or alittle less) which ups the boiling temperature of the fluid.

      Just plain water transfers and absoarbs heat BETTER than with any coolant mix. Plain water and a water-wetter type additive is the best there is for heat transfer.

      The big problem with just water is there is no resistance to corrosion in the system as well as there is no lubrication for things like the water pump.

      To the topic starter, i wouldnt even touch that kids car, just let him do what he wants with it. ITs possible that the system does have fluid in it, just not any excess to show up in the coolant reservour. Once the thing is cool pop off the top radiator cap and peak in. if that fluid level is low he is pretty screwed.


    25. 01-17-2006 12:49 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by Banditt007 »


      To the topic starter, i wouldnt even touch that kids car, just let him do what he wants with it. ITs possible that the system does have fluid in it, just not any excess to show up in the coolant reservour. Once the thing is cool pop off the top radiator cap and peak in. if that fluid level is low he is pretty screwed.

      As stated before I checked and couldn't detect and fluid.

      I'm not fixing his car...I'm just trying to help him not ruin it.


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      01-17-2006 12:52 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by sphipps70 »

      As stated before I checked and couldn't detect and fluid.

      I'm not fixing his car...I'm just trying to help him not ruin it.

      If he's been running it with no coolant whatsoever, it is probably already ruined.
      --Chuck--


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      01-17-2006 12:58 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by quickhuh »

      No he didnt remove it, he just doesnt have any, and like steve said hes not very mechanical

      Well I'm not a rocket scientist but I know a rocket needs rocket fuel to work properly

    28. Member Goonster's Avatar
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      01-17-2006 01:22 PM #28
      Quote, originally posted by Banditt007 »

      Just plain water transfers and absoarbs heat BETTER than with any coolant mix. Plain water and a water-wetter type additive is the best there is for heat transfer.

      WRONG!

      specific heat of water = 75.4 J/(mol K)
      specific heat of ethylene glycol = 149.5 J/(mol·K)

      Quote, originally posted by Banditt007 »

      Water has a higher boiling point than just 212F/100c b/c the system is under pressure (about 15psi or alittle less) which ups the boiling temperature of the fluid.

      True, but ethylene/propylene glycol still raises the boiling point of the coolant mixture.

      boiling point of ethylene glycol = 197.3 °C


    29. 01-17-2006 01:26 PM #29
      Ok, not a tech article, but a description from a techie...

      - coolant (antifreeze/water in whatever mixture) will act as just that, a method by which to cool the engine.
      - running just water in sub-zero temps will lead to either a cracked block, blown frost plug, or other severe damage
      - running just antifreeze will work, but is not recommended
      - running no coolant means his water pump is receiving no lubrication, leading to premature failure and then failure of his serpentine belt system when it breaks (other ammenities then fail to work)
      - no coolant means the engine will overheat and crack the block, warp, boil the oil, cause it to catch fire, cause other close components to catch fire, cause general vehicular and possible bodily harm.
      - no coolant means that he will not see the temp gauge move. He then probably thinks that the engine is not getting hot. But the engine temp sensor is likely in the coolant system and measures the temp of the coolant and not the engine (per se). If there is no coolant, it will no read. Get it?
      - If you care about your friend, take the keys away until he can get it fixed (don't even let him drive it to the shop, have it towed if it's got to go somewhere).
      - If you don't care about him, turn and walk the other way...FAST!!!

      There are a lot of components he will miss when they fail for not having any coolant. He will also have no heat as cabin heat is provided by the coolant going through the heat exchanger...it's cold out, you even said that.

      Need I go on?

      Mikey


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      01-17-2006 01:49 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by mikeyworks »
      - no coolant means that he will not see the temp gauge move. He then probably thinks that the engine is not getting hot. But the engine temp sensor is likely in the coolant system and measures the temp of the coolant and not the engine (per se). If there is no coolant, it will no read. Get it?

      This whole post is correct and comprehensive, but the above point is especially important and relevant to this thread.


    31. 01-17-2006 02:43 PM #31
      I've had a problem with my 88 Volvo 245 for the past 2 months that i couldnt afford to fix at the time. Drove it for 2 months with no coolant (as it kept leaking/spraying out or whatever) and its still in great shape Getting the hoses fixed in the shop today

      Oh and my temp gauge did work.


    32. 01-17-2006 02:46 PM #32
      yeah....his temp gauge does work and like I've said before..there is no coolant in the radiator or reservoir.

    33. 01-17-2006 02:48 PM #33
      The engine will run too hot and also corrode. Minerals in non-distilled water clog the coolant channels (called 'galleries') and the coolant also will inhibit electrolysis if the engine has metals in it that cause electrolytic reactions (I am not certain of this but I believe the combination of copper [head gasket], aluminum and iron creates a corrosive electrolytic reaction. Any chemists out there?)

      Factory-spec or factory coolant and distilled water running 50/50 is best for optimal performance and engine life.


    34. 01-17-2006 03:01 PM #34
      Quote, originally posted by sphipps70 »
      yeah....his temp gauge does work and like I've said before..there is no coolant in the radiator or reservoir.

      Then it does have some coolant in it (enough to hit the temp sensor) but I guarantee it's not reading correctly.

      Mikey


    35. 01-17-2006 03:03 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by mikeyworks »

      Then it does have some coolant in it (enough to hit the temp sensor) but I guarantee it's not reading correctly.

      Mikey

      yeah...I couldn't see all the way into the radiator.

      but what I did see...wasn't a good color (brownish/green).

      we are going to have him fill it up with water/antifreeze and some of his friends are going to diagnose his issue.


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