Water vs coolant - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-11-2015, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Water vs coolant

I'm curious how bad, if at all, is to use just water instead of coolant? I know rusting might be one of the issues for long term water use but is there any other pros and cons? I'm riding through South America and had radiator leak about a week ago. Once I welded it, I just added water to remaining coolant I had, so theres about 60% water and 40% coolant. I've reached Usuhaia few weeks ago and now moving north to Brazil so weather is pretty hot right now and will be for remaining of my trip. Was wondering if I should drain it all and add all coolant again or just keep on riding like this.
Unrelated to this, oil consumption in my '09 is very inconsistent. My riding didn't change but since Peru I've noticed that it will burn lot of oil for 2-3 weeks and then go back to normal for about a month. It now has 32000 miles on it, and no other issues. Been using same 15-50 semi synthetic for a while.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-11-2015, 03:00 PM
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Renimus,
Water is actually a Better Coolant than anti-freeze/water mixed, it Extracts more heat per cycle.
But pure water does Not have any water pump seal lubricant!
A thinned mix is Sufficient. Just do Not Park it in temperatures below freezing.0c. or 32f.

As to your sporadic oil consumption, I think we are all stumped.

pdwestman
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-11-2015, 03:40 PM
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Besides lubricants, anti-freeze (as the liquid was once known) contains corrosion-inhibitors unknown to water.

Not sure, but . . . does a 50/50 mix of water and coolant not have a lower freezing point, and a higher boiling point, than water alone?

Oh, Google, wherefore art thou?

At atmospheric pressure, HowStuffWorks tells us:

Fluid - Freezing Point - Boiling Point
•Pure Water: 0 C / 32 F - 100 C / 212 F
•50/50 mix of C2H6O2/Water: -37 C / -35 F - 106 C / 223 F
•70/30 mix of C2H6O2/Water: -55 C / -67 F - 113 C / 235 F

With a pressure radiator, the boiling point rises with pressure.

Last edited by Damocles; 03-11-2015 at 03:47 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-11-2015, 03:58 PM
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Damocles,
Now how about 30% anti-freeze/70% water.
And 15% anti-freeze/85% water.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-11-2015, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Damocles,
Now how about 30% anti-freeze/70% water.
And 15% anti-freeze/85% water.
Paul, even GOOGLE has its limitations!

In my research, however, I found corroboration of your statement, pure water has higher heat capacity and ability to cool. Article said, that's why RACING ENGINES often use pure distilled water; the times they run may be few and far between, their maintenance may be impeccable; thus . . . no need for the lubricants and inhibitors "daily drivers" might profit from . . . the immediate cooling advantage trumps long-term benefits, and . . . little danger of coolant freezing on the race track!
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-12-2015, 07:40 AM
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There's a "wetting" agent in there also. A lot of road racer bikes use water with a wetting agent instead of the typical 50/50 anti-freeze/water mix.
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