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Why not Car Coolant?

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
I have been wondering why car coolant is not being used in computer water loops.

I have mine running for 2 years now and i can only say it is still working. pump and blocks are still leak free at the moment. @ years ago, i bought this kit in eBay, a complete kit called "syscooling", including tubing, 2x120mm rad, chipset/cpu/vga block. It has also a pump with integrated reservior.

I have this question because most of the forum is basically saying "no, you cannot use car coolant".

Anyone have tried it and went into disaster?

It is importanty for me to know as I am building another watercooled machine and probably I just got lucky with my first watercooled system using a car coolant.

thanks to all!
Edited by rheicel - 5/25/11 at 10:49pm
    
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post #2 of 79
Believe it or not, it isn't a great thermal conductor. THe main reasons why you need to put antifreeze in a car cooling system are the fact that it keeps the coolant from freezing, prevents rust in the iron components of the loop and it lubricates the water pump. It is much more viscous than water and probably places more strain on PC water cooling pumps than they're designed for.
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post #3 of 79
As P said it sucks for cooling. Race cars don't run coolant at all because they aren't allowed to freeze. Coolant protects the cooling system from rust and the engine block from freezing. Water actually does the heat exchanging work in the loop of a car. The more water you can run and less coolant the better the temps are in your car.
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post #4 of 79
So if you have intel you use dexcool right?

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post #5 of 79
There isn't really anything wrong with using car coolant you just wont get the best temps. It probably includes corrosion inhibitors which is a good thing. The downside is that anything other than pure distilled water is actually a lower performance coolant. Distilled will give you the lowest temperatures.

Are you running your system in sub zero temperatures? No? Then why do you need antifreeze?
    
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post #6 of 79
Thread Starter 
Not a thermal conductor, I was surprised with this!

But I agree with you on the viscousity, car coolant far worst compared to water.

I can now get better temps if i use normal water compared to car coolant in my first water cooled pc, right?
    
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post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by p-saurus View Post
Believe it or not, it isn't a great thermal conductor. THe main reasons why you need to put antifreeze in a car cooling system are the fact that it keeps the coolant from freezing, prevents rust in the iron components of the loop and it lubricates the water pump. It is much more viscous than water and probably places more strain on PC water cooling pumps than they're designed for.
This. Word for word.

Also, please remember than Car coolant is usually %50 or more Distilled Water. Cars run coolest with distilled water, Antifreeze is only added to prepare the system for its environment.

So yes, as an anti-freezing agent, viscous lubricant(like transmission fluid), slight anti-corrosive, and far too viscous to be run regularly through a 1/2" space when it normally runs through an area 5x as wide.

I sincerely hope that the antifreeze you used in your cooling loop was at least a premix of %50 distilled water.
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post #8 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope View Post
There isn't really anything wrong with using car coolant you just wont get the best temps. It probably includes corrosion inhibitors which is a good thing. The downside is that anything other than pure distilled water is actually a lower performance coolant. Distilled will give you the lowest temperatures.

Are you running your system in sub zero temperatures? No? Then why do you need antifreeze?
No, not in sub zero. I am only concern on the algae growth. My system seems to be running fine for 2 years now without changing the car coolant, hahaha.
    
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post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rheicel View Post
Not a thermal conductor, I was surprised with this!

But I agree with you on the viscousity, car coolant far worst compared to water.

I can now get better temps if i use normal water compared to car coolant in my first water cooled pc, right?
Yes, and you don't have to worry about your cat dying if some leaks on the floor.

And yes, coolant in cars is supposed to be maintenance free for 5 years or so, preventing oxidation along the way. So it is not surprising that you had no problems, but there is a much better way of doing things.
Edited by Nytehawk - 5/25/11 at 11:01pm
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post #10 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nytehawk View Post
This. Word for word.

Also, please remember than Car coolant is usually %50 or more Distilled Water. Cars run coolest with distilled water, Antifreeze is only added to prepare the system for its environment.

So yes, as an anti-freezing agent, viscous lubricant(like transmission fluid), slight anti-corrosive, and far too viscous to be run regularly through a 1/2" space when it normally runs through an area 5x as wide.

I sincerely hope that the antifreeze you used in your cooling loop was at least a premix of %50 distilled water.
I think most of the car coolant is pre mixed with water anyway right? Its colour is red and feels like a cola when you touch it.
    
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