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Old 02-03-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
kmc59
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Plain water in modern cooling systems?

My question is, in a modern vehicle, (Big 3 Pickup Truck, or full size Van)...

A.
Are the cooling systems designed so if PLAIN WATER was used, under moderate to heavy load, the system could handle the load, and not overheat, or discharge liquid?

Or

B.
The systems are designed so coolant/antifreeze is required to raise the boiling point and prevent overheating and discharge of liquid from the pressure cap?

In other words, does the stock system have enough cooling capacity
to work with plain water and not boil the water and lift the pressure cap?

I appreciate any comments, speculation, or guesses.
But I would really like to hear from someone directly involved in
power train engineering that is truly in the know, and can comment
without any doubt or speculation.

Thanks in advance!
K
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #2
aleekat
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Re: Plain water in modern cooling systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmc59 View Post
I appreciate any comments, speculation, or guesses.
But I would really like to hear from someone directly involved in
power train engineering that is truly in the know, and can comment
without any doubt or speculation.

Thanks in advance!
K
If it wasn't an issue then the engineers would have stated that in the owners manual. Tap water alone causes corrosion and scaling. Any water should be distilled or de-ionized and mixed with coolant per the manual.
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:30 PM   #3
kmc59
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Re: Plain water in modern cooling systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleekat View Post
If it wasn't an issue then the engineers would have stated that in the owners manual. Tap water alone causes corrosion and scaling. Any water should be distilled or de-ionized and mixed with coolant per the manual.
Did you actually read the question??
Notice I didn't mention corrosion. My question has nothing to do with corrosion, it only focus's on cooling capacity and the function of the cooling system's ability to shed the heat produced by the engine.
Your response isn't even close to answering the question, and therefore is completely useless.
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Old 02-03-2018, 03:21 PM   #4
maxwedge
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Re: Plain water in modern cooling systems?

Ok, easy guys, if I understand where you are going, a 50/50 mix or premixed coolant is your best bet. Tap water can vary in content. Some evidence shows tap water is ok as a mix with coolant. Coolant mix transfers heat better than water, every cooling system and engine will have it's own characteristics relative to temperature control. Forgetting about the protection that coolant provides as well as lubricating the water pump, yes straight water could get the job done in most circumstances.No reason to do this though?
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Old 02-03-2018, 04:53 PM   #5
kmc59
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Re: Plain water in modern cooling systems?

Well, maxwedge, your vote is that plain water will do the job.
The -cooling job-.
Interesting.

Let me try to clarify it even more.

Plain water, as in PLAIN WATER. Tap, distilled, Poland Spring,
it don't matter. Think water without any coolant/antifreeze.

Again.....
Not concerned about whether it's a good or bad idea to run plain water as far as corrosion or possibly cavitation issues go.

IF the coolant system is filled with PLAIN WATER, will the system components be able to remove enough heat/BTUs to cool the engine, and keep the water below boiling.
Are modern Truck/Van radiators, water pumps, fans, etc. (mostly a radiator issue) sized large enough so that the higher boiling point of 50/50 mix is not needed? Or will the water temp. go high enough that it will boil....being PLAIN WATER?

Note:
The pressure in the system raises the boiling point of PLAIN WATER higher than 212F at atmospheric pressure. Does it raise it high enough so that boiling is not going to happen?

Another perspective:
Take a modern (2016) pickup truck with V8 engine.
Drain cooling system, and re-fill with plain water.
Drive truck around town at 30mph.
Will it overheat?

Drive truck up steep hills that require half throttle to climb.
Will it overheat?

Attach trailer, and load trailer to max towing capacity.
Drive truck and trailer up steepest hill in town with pedal
at near WOT and engine at max load.
Will it overheat?
Would it overheat with 50/50 coolant in it?

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-03-2018, 05:40 PM   #6
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Re: Plain water in modern cooling systems?

I have no direct experience trying this. I would think in a newer engine with no rust or contamination in the cooling system, and subject to normal use, not pushed to near it's limit, overheating would not occur, many would argue against my opinion. Too many variables to give a definitive answer. Again the trailer question, too many variables, proper gearing, tire friction, oil quality, size of engine, total load all come into equation.
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Old 02-03-2018, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Plain water in modern cooling systems?

Well, your opinion is appreciated in my quest to find the answer to
this question. Thank you for your point of view!
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