How is water a coolant
Refill or change cooling water
The correct amount and composition of the cooling water keeps the engine running and prevents damage. Even in summer you should always make sure that the mixture of distilled water and antifreeze is correct. 50 to 50 is ideal, in case of doubt you should measure and rather fill in a little too much antifreeze than too little.
Cooling water loss?
Normally, a car loses little or no coolant. If a larger amount is suddenly missing, there is a high probability that there is a leak. For example, the cooler itself is leaking or a hose is dripping. A problem with the cylinder head gasket can be identified by a white plume of smoke. The repair can be expensive, especially if a defective water pump is to blame.
The current cooling water level can usually be checked at a glance. The corresponding container is freely accessible in the engine compartment and has a minimum and a maximum mark, between which the water level should be. If you remove the container lid, water can be refilled as required (or drained with the help of a hose).
The right coolant for the car
The main advantage of distilled water for the cooling system is that it does not contain any lime that could, for example, settle in the hoses. However, it is also possible to use normal, low-lime tap water. The pros and cons are discussed intensively on expert websites such as autoplenum.de.
The point of the antifreeze, on the other hand, is self-explanatory: It prevents the liquid from freezing, can no longer circulate, expands and destroys pipes. The antifreeze also contains additives that counteract the corrosive effects that could be caused by pure distilled cooling water.
Attention: Not every antifreeze (the different types are colored for better recognition) is suitable for every engine. If in doubt, the operating instructions provide information. To be on the safe side, never use several different colored products at the same time. The chemicals contained can even react with each other and lose their protective effect.
Change cooling water
There are several reasons for completely replacing the coolant: Incorrect topping up results in too much water and too little antifreeze; various antifreeze agents accidentally got into the cooling circuit; After the antifreeze is a few (two to four years) old, many manufacturers recommend a complete change.
In the first step, the old cooling water must first be drained off and collected in a container. To do this, a special drain plug must be actuated. In addition, the vent screw should be opened. When refilling, you should know how much fluid is needed in the entire circuit, not just in the cooler itself. With this information, you can easily fill in the appropriate mixture of cooling water / antifreeze when the engine is cold, then start the engine and continue to fill it up to the maximum.
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