Can you run straight water in your radiator?

Water is corrosive. You will shorten your engine’s life if you don’t add antifreeze. Antifreeze, on top of everything else it does, also acts as a rust inhibitor. Yes, you can run straight water, but your coolant boiling point will be lower AND you’ll corrode the inside of your engine and destroy your water pump.

Keeping this in consideration, can you put water in the radiator?

Although water can be added to the radiator for this purpose, it’s preferable to add a mixture of coolant and water because plain water can boil before the proper coolant will boil, causing your engine to overheat [source: pontiac]. A car radiator cannot work if there isn’t enough coolant inside the system.

Can you use tap water in your radiator?

No, you should use distilled water or better yet, de-ionized water. The reason for this is that tap water has minerals that can deform deposits inside the radiator and the cooling system passages of your engine. And over a long period of time they can lead to over-heating.

Can you put tap water in your radiator?

NEVER operate your car without water!!! Distilled water is the only water you should put in your radiator or coolant reservoir, unless it’s an emergency. Tap water and even purified water have small amounts of hard minerals in them.

Your car’s radiator is an important part of its cooling system, and it’s crucial to keep it in good working order. But what happens if you need to add fluid to your radiator and you’re in a bind? Can you just add water, or do you need to use a coolant?

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The answer is, it depends. If your car is newer and it has a closed cooling system, then you can probably get away with adding just water to the radiator. However, if your car is older or it has an open cooling system, then you’ll need to use a coolant.

Let’s take a closer look at each type of cooling system to see why this is the case.

Closed Cooling System

A closed cooling system is sealed, and it doesn’t allow air to enter. Usually, closed cooling systems are found in newer cars.

The advantage of a closed cooling system is that it’s less likely to overheat because there’s no air in the system to cause problems. The disadvantage is that it can be more expensive to maintain because you can’t just add water when you need to top off the fluid level.

Open Cooling System

An open cooling system is not sealed, and it allows air to enter. Open cooling systems are more common in older cars.

The advantage of an open cooling system is that it’s less expensive to maintain because you can just add water when you need to top off the fluid level. The disadvantage is that it’s more likely to overheat because there’s air in the system that can cause problems.

So, Which Should You Use?

If your car has a closed cooling system, then you should use a coolant. If your car has an open cooling system, then you can probably get away with just using water.

Of course, it’s always best to consult your car’s owner’s manual to be sure. And if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and use a coolant.

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