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Can You Add Water In Lieu of Coolant in a European Vehicle?

Technically, you can use water as a coolant in your European vehicle, although it is not recommended for long-term use. Only in desperate situations should water be utilized. The drawback of using water rather than engine coolant is that water freezes at 0°C. During extreme weather conditions, mostly in winter, pure water will start freezing, causing serious damage to the engine parts, such as warps and cracks.

Similarly, even in warm environments using water is not ideal. The engine's operating temperature differs, and it is much more common for the engine temperature to exceed 100°C, which is the boiling point of water. When water boils inside your cooling system, it will bring more harm than good. The major function of the cooling system is to divert heat away from the combustion process. Boiling water can also evaporate, increasing the chances of corrosion and build-up due to the mineral content in the water.

Using the recommended antifreeze in your cooling system has multiple advantages over using water. The dilution lowers the freezing point and raises the boiling point making it more effective at regulating the engine temperatures than using water alone. Furthermore, using diluted antifreeze helps reduce the chances of corrosion and build-ups.

However, if you find yourself in a remote or without a choice and the coolant levels are down, you can use distilled water which is mineral deficient. Tap water contains minerals that might harm the system. Nevertheless, replacing the water or replacing it with antifreeze as soon as possible is recommended. Flashing the radiator is also recommended before adding antifreeze to avoid the possibility of aluminum radiator failure. After completely flushing the radiator, fill it with distilled water and a 50/50 blend of the Coolant recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.

If you need coolant replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Central Import Automotive today!