OT -- imitation antifreeze

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This is probably OT, but I can't find a good general car newsgroup.
What is an alternative to ethylene glycol antifreeze? Some kind of alcohol used to be used, but I don't know what.
Anything dissolved in a solvent lowers the freezing temperature and raises the boiling temperature. Salt sound corrosive, but how about sugar? Would that cause any harm? My engine has iirc both steel and aluminum parts, plus there are rubber or neoprene parts. Any other materials likely to be used in a '95 Chrysler cooling system?
I have a leak in the radiator, and until I can get a replacement and have weather above 40 or 45 to put it in, it's just often enough below freezing here that I can't just keep refilling with water. But for money and environmental reasons, I don't want keep using ethylene glycol.
Thanks
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http://beta.communities.msn.ch/CARANDTRUCKREPAIR
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A few seconds of Googling suggests that most alternative antifreezes are geared towards being more enviro or pet friendly, not necessarily cheaper. There could be something out there, some chemical powder say, that disolved in water depresses the freezing point and is also not corrosive but if so why wouldn't we be using it in the first place?
Would an engine block heater be a least costly solution?
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On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 04:28:15 GMT, Steve Kraus

Yeah. I was looking for something we already had at home, like rubbing alcohol (or drinking alcohol, but that's probably too expensive. How about cheap white wine? Would that damage the engine?)
I'm really curious about sugar now. It doesn't evaporate. I wonder why I've never heard of it being used.
Or pepper. I have an extra can of ground pepper.
Or a weak solution of baking soda or vinegar. AiUI, anything dissolved in water lowers the freezing temp and raises the boiling temp. The lowest it ever gets here is 10 and usually no lower than 20, and this year so far, no colder than 29. If really cold weather was predicted before I had time to receive and install the new radiator, I could go out and drain the radiator etc.

For example, we no longer use alcohol as an anti-freeze because it evaporates**, but that must take a measurable amount of time (like maybe all winter), or we never would have used it in the first place. So it would probably last at least as long as it takes for the water to leak out, but I don't know what kind of alcohol is best or how much it would cost.
**That's why ethylene glycol is called "permanent" antifreeze.

I don't know, maybe, but in my particular case, the electric cord would have to cross two sidewalks to get to my car. And other people walk on the sidewalks and I'd be afraid someone would trip, especially at night. (If I had the right trees, I could run the wire above everyone, all I have are 5-foot bushes. :( )
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Yes, it would. Wine is fairly acidic, and you'd have a major corrosion problem. It also wouldn't save you any money, either: you can get antifreeze at discount stores for around seven dollars a gallon. Try buying wine for a dollar-forty a bottle...

Because it's a bad idea...

Pepper doesn't dissolve in water.

A weak solution of *anything* isn't going to help you. Even a weak solution of antifreeze isn't going to help.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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mm wrote:

Tried some sealant from auto parts store? Bar-leak something like that.
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Yeah, I did try BarsLeak and it seemed to work great. But that was a week or two ago. A couple days after I added it, the level was just as high as when I put it in (which is funny because even when there is no leak I seem to lose some in the overflow bottle.) Tonight, I noticed that even though the engine was a lot hotter than normal, one or one half index mark from the top of the scale, there was no heat coming from the heater. No heat is a pretty clear sign I have less water than I should (Maybe half as much as I should is my guess). So when there is daylight, I'm going to find out whether there is a leak or not, but I'm pretty sure there is. Oh yeah, I opened the hood and in the dark saw some signs of water on the radiator.
Even if perchance, it's not leaking, the question still interests me, so I asked tonight.
I used the metallic version of Bars Leak, not the original version that looks like rotten black peas, so Andy, I have a feeling the ALUMINA stuff would be similar to what I used.
Maybe I'll try it anyhow, but I don't think it will work and I think I'm going to replace the radiator. In warmer weather I would just carry 2, 3, 4 gallons of water with me, to make sure I can always get home (One time in an area that had no gas stations, I ran out of water so I even drove up someone's driveway and asked for some, which they were happy to give me, from the garden hose. They were sitting on lawn chairs at the end of the driveway by the house, so I knew they were home. Although if I were really desperate, I would fill my bottles from the garden hose or garden faucet even if the people weren't home. That's the kind of world I grew up in, where that was ok, and I assume that's the way most people still feel.) But I have a 2800 mile trip coming up in March. I'm only taking some tools and I'd rather do the repair before I leave than on the road.
Mail order, off the web, the radiator is about 105 dollars. I'm curious whether it will be more or less at the stores around here. I'll find out tomorrow. Any predictions?
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No heat is not always a sign of low coolant level. In your case, the level may have droped at some point far enough to empty the heat exchanger. When you refilled the radiator, the heat exchanger remained filled with air. It needs to be bled out.
Using straight water is an excellent way to destroy your water pump. If you are losing coolant and the radiator appears dry, you may have already done so. My advice is that you are headed for trouble. Expensive trouble. Forget all of the lame-brained schemes to put off replacing the radiator, and do it immediately. Even if that means paying someone else.
CWM
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"Forget all of the

for very short-term..I think one of the first enviro-friendly versions of antifreeze was called "Sierra" but not 100% sure.. I changed a water pump in -20F temps by working 10-20 minutes then going in to warm My fingers many years ago,,took all day,,If I can do that You can change a radiator in above 0 temps..If You have serious health issues disregard the preceeding!
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This is a case of trying to save a buck may cost you dearly in the end. That Bars Leak may have plugged the radiator core. Yes, it happens often. The real solution is a proper radiator repair. Now you may need a new radiator core also. A competent radiator shop would have had you going in a short and cost effective time compared to what you may face now.
As a teenager, I tried all sorts of additives in some old clunkers I drove. It taught me a valuable lesson; get the car fixed properly. There is no substitute for soldering a hole or replacing a bearing, or whatever the real problem is.
I hope I'm wrong but find out before more damage is done from overheating. .
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Just a general reply. Forget the alcohol no matter how cheap. Yes it evaporates, it does so even faster when heated. As in maybe only an hours driving. At least that was the case back in the days of non-sealed cooling systems. My old man tried it back in WWII - didn't work.
Pepper - used to be used as a leak sealent. A handful dropped in the rad supposedly seals the leak, never tried it, never knew anyone who did but there are lots of references to it.
You keep refering to replacing the rad, why not take it to a rad shop and have it fixed. Should be cheaper than a new one.
Harry K
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Don't use the sugar, wine, rubbing alcohol, methanol, etc. In fact, if you use just plain water, regardless of freezing concerns, long enough, you are going to have corrosion problems. The odd-ball additives you mention may have additional consequences as well, possibly forming deposits on metal surfaces and adversely affecting water pump, thermostat, etc.
However, interestingly enough, a can of pepper, though not soluble, _may_ temporarily stop the leak. I wouldn't recommend it except in an emergency, though. Sooner or later you will have to fix or replace the radiator. Seems like a good use for a charge card if you don't have the cash.
--
Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor.
--Benjamin Franklin
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called "ALUMINA" comes in a small tube. I had a 93 Chevy s-10 Blazer, with 70,000miles, with a small leak. I put a tube in the radiator, and it sealed it up. i drove that Blazer for 130,000, and it never leaked!

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The product's proper name is Alumaseal . http://www.goldeagle.com/alumaseal/index.htm
--
Steve Barker

"Andy & Carol" < snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifreeze

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There are non-toxic alternatives made for engine cooling use, like propylene glycol, which is available at marine supply stores. However, they are more expensive than regular anti-freeze. As others have suggested, I would not try some home brew idea. In addition to preventing freezing, antifreeze must have lubricating properties for the water pump, and additives to balance the PH and prevent corrosion.
If it's a minor leak, I'd just try to get by with regular anti-freeze. If it's worse than that, I'd take it to a shop, if necessary.
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Go to an auto parts store and get yourself a bottle of Bars Leaks. Use according to the directions. If the leak is big enough that Bars Leaks won't stop it, then you need to either replace the radiator or get the leak soldered. Anything else you do short of that is just pissing money away.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Why not try some alumaseal stop leak? http://www.goldeagle.com/alumaseal/index.htm
--
Steve Barker


"mm" < snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com> wrote in message
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mm wrote:

If it's a small leak, loosen the radiator cap so the system never pressurizes; it will leak a lot slower and might even heal itself with mineral deposits. Keep it topped up with, say, 2:1 water and antifreeze instead of 1:1 until you get it fixed if you don't need really cold freeze protection. Your water pump will thank you for not running straight water.
Best regards, Bob
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How do you know how cold of protection he needs?
--
Steve Barker



"zxcvbob" < snipped-for-privacy@charter.net> wrote in message
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