For the cooling system of the engine, does water or liquid antifreeze?

Líquido refrigerante del motorit Is possible that on some occasion, or on several, we have listened to a conversation in which a debate over if use water or liquid antifreeze in the cooling circuit of the engine. In fact, it is possible that we have intervened to give our point of view, but what really comes out cost-efficient to use liquid anti-freeze? Does the water current will damage our engine? We’re going to find out.

In the first place, we should bear in mind that the cooling circuit is of vital importance to the heart of our car, the engine; much like the system of greasing internal. Therefore, it is more than what we have in mind, let us know what is their function, review regularly and in case of doubt or problem we go to our mechanic. It is better to invest a few euros in the workshop that break the engine.

refrigeration Circuit: what’s it good for?

Reloj de temperatura del motorfirst of all we must know what it actually serves the refrigeration circuit, although it is likely that you already know. Its main function is that of evacuate the high internal temperatures in the engine. Inside the cylinders, at the time of the explosion of the fuel is when it reaches the highest temperature. We talk about 2,000 degrees approximately, even though it falls rapidly when it begins the career of expansion. During the phase of escape and the time of admission continues to decrease, until you reach about 150 degrees more or less.

As the average temperature inside the cylinders is very high, the heat is propagated through its walls for all the parts of the engine. If our car does not have a cooling system, or suffer a breakdown that would reduce its function, the average temperature would go up, causing dilatations and deformations of the different parts of the mechanics. This could give rise to the friction of the pistons with the sleeves of the cylinder (which would be in a scuffing in a very short time), burn the head gasket, or even to crack, literally, any of the parts, especially the cylinder head as it is weaker than the engine block. In short, a fault very “fat”.

Another function that meets the cooling system is the heat the passenger compartment. Yes, the heating is achieved thanks to the heat of the engine. As the refrigerant fluid is at an elevated temperature and takes a little time to warm up, we took the opportunity to circulate outside air through a radiator by a fan and it enters the passenger compartment. A few paragraphs below, you will understand the why and how to take advantage of that heat.

is Water or antifreeze? Decide yourself

Without a liquid fluid that is responsible for the cooling, it’s not worth anything around the circuit and the various elements that make it up, so that, as it is an element of vital importance, and the one who actually absorbs the internal heat of the engine, we will give you the attention you deserve.

Use water or liquid antifreeze, hence the question. The water can be a liquid refrigerant valid, in fact, in the first engines with these liquid cooling systems are used simply water. The anti-freeze fluids are basically water, although they contain a number of additives that improve its capabilities significantly.

Agua del grifo

Can we use water? Yes, but not just any water

If we remember the chemistry lessons of the last courses of primary, we will remember that the water is called a chemically H2O. That “O” means oxygen, so that can oxidize and corrode parts of the circuit. In addition, and in accordance with the elementary classes, the water changes its state from liquid to solid below 0 degrees and to steam at over 100 degrees.

what does This mean? It means that if we use water as a coolant and we leave our car parked on the street in certain areas of our geography (and especially during the night), there is a possibility that fluid from the cooling system to freeze, something that does not interest us for nothing. On the other hand, high circuit temperatures may facilitate, in certain cases, the boil.

it should Be noted that, if for some reasons or other we simply use water as a coolant, should not be the faucet. The tap water brings with cal, which would attack and obstruct medium-term parts of the circuit. Therefore, the use of water, it is distilled.

Audi TTS Roadster advantages of the liquid anti-freeze, water-front is achieved thanks to a series of additives. These supplement the drawbacks of the water to reduce the freezing point up to about 30 degrees below zero approximately, it increases the boiling point about 20 or 30 degrees, and prevents rust and lime.

In a nutshell: anti-freeze fluids, despite the fact that they will not improve the performance of our vehicle, guarantee a better performance and care in the same comparing with the normal water and current. We can use distilled water, but it is more advisable to use this type of fluid with a few additives that are specially designed to lengthen the life of the circuit and ensure better cooling.

In the case of suffering a small leak and not have to hand liquid anti-freeze, nothing happens by filling in the coolant level with water until solventemos the fault and renew the fluid. And now that we’re renewing the coolant, it is best to stick to the time indicated by the manufacturer in his book of maintenance, which varies depending on each one, although the norm tends to be to change it every 2 or 3 years.

like the rest of the fluids, filters, element and systems of the car, is very important to review the level and the visual state of the liquid coolant frequently. The engine is the heart of our vehicle and, therefore, we should expect that no damage and that everything is in order.

What elements make up the cooling system of the engine and what are their functions?

once it has become clear why you need our engine a cooling circuit and why it is better the use of anti-freeze specific than just water, we’re going to identify what are the elements that compose it, the function of each one of them and where they are located.

water Pump

Bomba de aguaIs located at the bottom of the engine and is the in charge of promoting the water through the circuit, so that its correct operation is very important.

Is composed by a propellers that rotate to a greater or lesser speed depending on the revolutions of the motor, because the movement is transmitted via a pulley solidarity that is moved by the continuous rotation of the belts, either the timing belt or the accessory.

internal Ducts

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TDI 184 DSGIn its interior the engine is equipped with a series of perforations that act as conduits. For them to circulate the fluid coolant absorbing the heat given off by the cylinder and transmitted through the different internal parts, so it is important that there are no obstructions.


Termostato comandado electrónicamente

Thermostat controlled electronically

The thermostat is a valve that regulates the temperature of the fluid. When the engine is still cold, the thermostat remains closed with the objective that the liquid does not pass through the radiator and cool down even more; that is to say, tends to block the passage of the fluid into the radiator until it reaches 90 degrees (optimum temperature).

once at 90 degrees approximately, the thermostat will open and let fluid into the radiator main. Therefore, fulfils two functions: allow the engine to reach as soon as possible to 90 degrees, and that once it reached that temperature does not exceed.

main Radiator

Radiador de cocheWhen the thermostat is open, the liquid refrigerant, we will already be hot, will flow towards the main radiator, which is located in the front of the vehicle. Enter a corner of the top of the same and shall be divided flowing through thin pipes into the radiator, providing cooling.

The outside air will reduce the temperature and, in case this is not enough because the air circulation is reduced, the electric fan in the front is activated automatically by sending a powerful current of air.

once the liquid refrigerant to a lower temperature) to come out of the radiator, will continue your tour by a sleeve until you get back to the water pump, repeating the cycle over and over again.

expansion Vessel

Vaso de expansión is communicated with the radiator and is the element that is located at a higher height of all the components of the system. Its function is to to absorb the differences of pressures that occur in the interior of the circuit. Were it not for him, the high pressure attained when the temperature of the liquid is high, it would blow up any part of the circuit. When the engine cools down would happen on the contrary, since lowering the temperature would produce a vacuum that could deform a component.

in Addition to this main circuit, we find the circuit for the heating the passenger compartment. A second radiator, of dimensions much more contained is located near the dashboard. The hot liquid that comes out of the engine comes up to him through a pipe, and runs through its interior. A fan generates a current of outside air that will absorb part of this temperature (the air heats up) and sent to the various gates of the system of ventilation of the cockpit.

Now we can say what it is for the cooling system of the engine, what fluid we should use, what elements compose it and what function has each of them.