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What Do To If You Forget Antifreeze In Your Car...  
User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2784 posts, RR: 15
Posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17403 times:

Hum... not good.

Okay, so suppose you forget to put enough antifreeze in your car come winter and you go out and try to start it and you get this "thunk" 'cause, well - y'know, the friggin' engine block is more like an ice block. Aside from microwaving the car, is there anything layman-ish to do?

lol - I'm a case when it comes to cars.



"Mental health is reality at all cost." -- M. Scott Peck, 'The Road Less Traveled'
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7737 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17361 times:

If you don't have enough antifreeze or coolant (which is the same thing) you're car would still overheat. If your anti-freeze was old, loaded with crap and diluted your car would run cold... as a result it would likely run pretty rough.

Now your engine wouldn't freeze up. It would have to be pretty cold to do that... and if you lived in such a place your car would have an engine block heater.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17352 times:

Are you sure the thunk is a result of a frozen radiator? I've had those and the car still started and ran. It overheated very quickly, but it ran.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2727 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17337 times:

Leave your radiator cap off overnight so if it freezes it expands out there rather than popping your freeze plugs which costs time and money to replace.

Wait till it defrosts before starting but obviously this is a temporary measure only !



" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 17341 times:

In theory if the coolant freezes it should push the freeze plugs out of them block and save your engine...........in theory...

It isn't expensive to replace a freeze plug yourself, it is just a metal cap that presses into the hole, that way when the coolant expands it is just pushed out of the block, the problem is that some of them can be a real pain the ass to replace. Usually you can do it without removing the engine from the car but some of them require you to be a contortionist  Laugh out loud


How cold did it get? Nobody runs straight water in a radiator, you need the Anti-freeze to keep your water pump lubricated. As had been mentioned earlier you would have to get pretty cold to actually freeze it, typically I think most people up here in Alaska run their coolant/water at about 50/50 or 40/60. So I have a feeling that your car didn't freeze solid.

If you did pop a couple of freeze plugs consider taking the time to replace them with block heater plugs so that you can plug your car in a night, another good investement is a coolant heater, typically you just spice it into your heater hoses. The nice part is that when you go to start you car after the heater has been pluged in you get hot air right away since the coolant is allready warm. No waiting for it to warm up.

Just to warm up your engine since it is allready cold, get a drop light or two with a 100 watt lightbulb and leave it on under your hood overnight, you may consider putting an old blanket over the hood to hold the heat in. If there is a puddle of coolant under it hopefully you only pop a freeze plug, otherwise you may have some $$$ to spend for repairs.

If you have a torpedo heater(reddi heater) you could also point it under the car for a half hour or so and warm it up that way.

If you car still doesn't start, or it starts and starts spewing fluid/steam then you need to shut down and figure out where it is comming from....think on spending $$$ again.



Just out of curiousity how cold did it get? and what type of car/engine are we talking about.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 17320 times:

Oh. Here is something more to consider.

I have yet to see a coolant pump that is engine driven, the ones that I have seen are all belt driven, so that in the eventually that you do start it and the it is frozen, it will at least slip on the belt until it warms up.

What freezes up cars up here is the engine oil. A lot of the lubrication in the engine is from the crankshaft splashing around in the oil and throwing it around. If the oil is cold it can get pretty close to molasses and if it get cold enough the starter motor won't have enough power to turn the motor over. The fact that the battery loses efficiency when it gets cold doesn't help. A lot of cars up here put battery blankets on their batteries, same idea as the coolant and block heaters, you plug it in and it helps keep the battery warm.

What weight of oil are you running? I doubt you are running a straight weight oil but if you are switch to a multi weight. If you are running a multi-weight oil then consider switching to one that has a lower first number. For example I run 5-30 in my car normally, but last winter we had a cold snap where it was getting down to -10 F. I was seriously considering going to 0-30 weight. The first number on a multi-weight oil is the equivalent cold temperature weight, the second number the the warm temperature weight

Based on what you told in the begining what I suggest you heard was the starter motor arm(right name???) clunking in and out of the flywheel when you tried to start it. You normally can't hear it over the other noises form the starter motor itself spinning and the motor starting.

Same cure, Stick a couple of drop lights under the hood overnight, with a blanket on the top of the hood.

See my other positing for all of the long term cures with heater plugs and coolant pumps.

Can you repost with some more specifics about what happened what you heard and what you did.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 17303 times:

I'm not going to be very helpful as it never kind of *freezes* here. But we do use Anti Boil. Cars overheat here like you wouldn't imagine.

mb

clown=freeze


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6289 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 17278 times:

Dear 747-600X, you need a lot to learn to run a car in winter.

First of all, the antifreeze has nothing with startability to do. It just prevents that the coolant freezes solid and ruins the engine. If in doubt, go to a garage and have the freeze temperature tested - they have an optical instrument for that and it takes ten seconds.

Living in cold areas with temperatures down to -25C (-10 or -15F) you prepare your car for winter and go as normal. Much colder than that and it becomes more tricky.

You make sure that you have a good engine oil, max. 10W/xx, and preferably 5W/xx or 0W/xx.

Keep the ignition cables clean, especially from salt spray.

You make sure that you have a good battery and that it is fully charged. You test the charge state with a flyid density tester - costs $3 or so at a shop.

If charge state is low, then you charge it with an external charger - $20 in the same shop. Read instructions carefully before operation.

If that doesn't help, buy a new battery.

If you often have temperatures below at or slightly below -10F, then you may opt for a larger than standard battery, choose at least 60Ah for a 2 litre engine.

If it doesn't do the job, leave your car at a repair shop because something is wrong with your car.

If it gets much colder than that, or if you want comfort, then you install some heating device. The simple and cheap version is an electric heater in the engine block and under the battery. The sophisticated version is a gas burner which starts when you dial it plus a PIN code on your phone half an hour before you want a nice and warm car engine and cabin.

Good luck, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 17261 times:

Just add to what Preben is saying.

You don't need to have a mechanic test your anti-freeze ratio.

Just go and get an anti-freeze tester. They have them at Wal-mart or NAPA. It is just a plastic thing with a bulb on it. Take off the radiator cap and squeze the bulb to suck fluid up in to it and the pointer points to the freeze temperture of the fluid or water/fluid ratio.

They are pretty accurate and cheaper then having a mech do it.

We used to use one to make sure that our de-icing fluid was 50/50 mix until the company ralized that Propolene glycol and radiator glycol don't have exactly the same specific weights. Then they spent the money and bought a refractor type of measure, which is the optical one that Preben mentioned.

Big money for that one, just go down to Wal-mart and spend the 5 bucks for the cheap one.



Never heard of the gas burner type of pre-heater Preben, they must not have made it to this side of the pond. A lot of people buy remote car starters, that start you car with a push of the button on your keyring. I personally am not a big fan of having an unattended fire on your car or right next to it.

I have seen people put those glue on electric pads on the bottom of the oil pain too. Kind of like a tannis heater for your car.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineDC10Tony From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 17258 times:

747-600X-

Depending on the car you have, you may not need to change the antifreeze/coolant. Newer GM vehicles come from the factory with Dex-Cool antifreeze/coolant which does not need to be changed for 5 yrs. or 150,000 miles, so it's pretty much good for the life of your car. Dex-Cool is red and does not look like the neon-yellow Prestone.

The next time you get your car serviced, ask about Dex-Cool, I highly recommend it, it's maintenance-free and worth the money.


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 17248 times:

my car indicator says i am low on coolent. will driving the car with that light on ruin the engine?

thanks guys


User currently offlineDC10Tony From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 17248 times:

It won't really ruin the engine, but there is a possibility of doing some damage to it. If you have low coolant, your car will run hotter during warm weather, which will make the car run inefficiently, decreasing gas mileage, having a loss of power, etc. Your car may even start to steam if there's a total coolant loss.

Go and get it checked out, it sounds like you've got a puncture in your coolant hose or the person who flushed and filled your system last time didn't put enough coolant in when they refilled it.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17237 times:

If the light is on put coolant in it and sleep tight.

Coolant will evaporate over time, but since it is supposed to be a sealed system it takes a long long time. If it is just a very very slow decrease over time in the level in the car then you probably don't have a leak per say, or at least have one that is worth trying to trace down.

Safety tip. If you are going to put more antifreeze in the car, don't overfill and don't do it with a hot engine.

Do it in the morning before you have started the car.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 17219 times:

yeah i should put it in in the morning with the car off right? after its sat out in the cold for 8 or 9 hours?

thanks


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17215 times:

That is a better plan then ending up with a gyser of 200 degree anti-freeze headed right toward your face.


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 17208 times:

That´s the problem with water cooled cars (freezing over night). The air cooled got it´s sides as well, you have to cover part of the air intake to avoid
to ruin the engine.


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17194 times:

thanks. put motorvator coolent in it this morning and no more indicator light. spilled a bit - but made an effort to clean it up.

User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2675 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 17181 times:
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This comes under the "don't try this at home" category.

Many moons ago we lived on a quarter-section in the bush in Northern Alberta. First winter, no electricity yet. When the temperature hit -40, the only way I could get the car engine warm enough to turn over was to slide a small hibachi under the oil pan. Important step -- light the charcoal, and WAIT FOR THE FLAMES TO DIE DOWN! Took about 10 minutes to get the oil warm enough. Did this half a dozen times with no problems (I know -- lucky, lucky, lucky). Fortunately this was in the '70s before the proliferation of plastic components. Car was a ventura with a 350 V-8.

Once we got electricity -- the block heater worked just fine. Never did get the soot off the oil pan, though.

Some people had portable propane burners they could light up and aim at the engine from a suitably safe distance. But at -40 the damn propane doesn't evaporate, so there's no pressure!

Those were the days.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 17171 times:

Using a Hibatchi to preheat a car? I like that  Laugh out loud

Of course most cars sat a little higher back then.

I have seen aircraft preheaters improvised with a plumbers torch and a length of pipe.

You stick one end of your pipe under the engine cowl and the other one the lit torch.




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
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