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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18 Aug 2009, 05:51 pm
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Unhappy coolant reservoir question

so my boyfriend checked my coolant reservoir on my 2006 pt cruiser before going on a 2 hour drive and noticed that it was pretty much empty. he called his mechanic (who likes to cut corners, which makes me really nervous) and the mechanic said to just add water to the reservoir and it would be fine. so we filled it up with water. my car hasn't had any problems even before we added the water but i'm going on a 10 hour trip later this week and i really want to drain the water and add the mopar hoat coolant from the dealership. i asked the same mechanic if he would drain the water for me but he said i was wasting my money by putting coolant in there and draining the water. he said my car is fine with the 90% of water thats in there. is that right?? i dont know anything about cars but the idea of having almost all water where there is supposed to be coolant is making me really nervous. especially since we're going on such a long trip. help?
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 06:15 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

Welcome.
How much water did you have to add? Probably a quart or less, so that doesn't dilute the mix by much. You have a mix of anti-freeze and water in there from the factory....
By the way - distilled water is best, if your water has a lot of minerals in it (like mine), that's bad...
At least your mechanic isn't trying to rip you off...
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 18 Aug 2009, 06:29 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

And he called himself a mechanic?!

A 50/50 mix is (usually) the way to go. Go buy a coolant tester from any auto-parts or big store (Wal Mart carry it) and you'll know when the mix is ok.

Don't worry...It's not because you filled 90% of the over-tank with water that the mix is now 90/10. There's plenty of coolant mixture inside the block, the rad, the hoses...

If you don't have enough room to add the right amount of coolant, drain/pump some "old" mix and then add PURE coolant to bring the mix back to 50/50.

Don't forget that the PT needs HOAT coolant.


Some may think (the so-called mechanic...) that water is OK as coolant in hot area or summertime since there's no chance that the stuff freezes...


But it's not just about anti-freezing...The additives in the coolant are there to also prevent boiling, lime, rust and so on. Hard water isn't good with metallic parts you know.

Adding water is OK for a short period if you have nothing else to put in it, as an emergency solution though. It's better than seizing your engine.



Oh...a free advice...NEVER let this "mechanic" coming closer than 100' from your PT. If he wants to admire it, send him a picture...
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 07:32 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

he's not a professional mechanic. he's just a guy that fixes cars who lives in the neighborhood. he's also very lazy which is why i dont trust a word he says (hence coming on here instead lol). my boyfriend checked my radiator and it was full of coolant. only the reservoir was empty. there was only an inch or so of pinkish red coolant and then my boyfriend added water so that it was in between the "add more" line and the "full" line (i can't remember the exact wording but you get the point). it was the water at the air/water pump they have at gas stations. i read in the manual that it is supposed to be distilled water so i told my bf to go buy a bottle of water to put in but he said i was being overly cautious and disregarded my suggestion. i knew i shouldnt have listened to him


so basically i need to drain it and add the hoat coolant like i thought correct? how many gallons of coolant will i need to buy in order to refill my radiator and my reservoir?


p.s. thank you guys soooo much for the help! this is my first car and i dont trust ANYONE so i'm glad to have found somewhere to turn for advice
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 07:40 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

Like one of the above post suggested, get a coolant tester at a store. When you check it you'll probably find that a quart or so of HOAT will bring it to the correct mix.
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 07:49 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
Like one of the above post suggested, get a coolant tester at a store. When you check it you'll probably find that a quart or so of HOAT will bring it to the correct mix.


ok does it matter that i didnt use distilled water though? thats why i thought i should still drain it. also, where do you buy HOAT coolant? can you only buy it at chrysler? i've checked autozone and pep boys without any luck. in fact pep boys told me to use the universal dexcool one. luckily i refused to let my bf buy it until i was 100% that was the right stuff. now i know it definitely isnt.
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 08:00 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

Depends how much water was added.
If it was a quart or less, I wouldn't sweat it.
In supermarket, buy a gallon of distilled water (for steam irons) and keep it in your car in case you have a need for more.
What state are you in? If winters aren't severe, a little extra water won't hurt.
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 08:10 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
Depends how much water was added.
If it was a quart or less, I wouldn't sweat it.
In supermarket, buy a gallon of distilled water (for steam irons) and keep it in your car in case you have a need for more.
What state are you in? If winters aren't severe, a little extra water won't hurt.
like i said, it was practically empty with maybe an inch or so of coolant and then my bf added water so it went past the "add more" line but below the "full" line. i'm bad with measurements. would you say thats less than a quart?


i'm in california so winters arent too bad. it gets a little icy sometimes (like frost on the windshield), but it never snows or anything

Last edited by pineapple; 18 Aug 2009 at 08:19 pm.
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Old 18 Aug 2009, 08:20 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

Quote:
Originally Posted by pineapple View Post
like i said, it was practically empty with maybe an inch or so of coolant and then my bf added water that went past the "add more" line but below the "full" line. i'm bad with measurements. would you say thats less than a quart?


i'm in california so winters arent too bad. it gets a little icy sometimes (like frost on the windshield), but it never snows or anything
What did he use to put the water in? That'd give you an idea (unless he stuck a hose in)... Looking at the coolant bottle, I'd say a quart or less to bring up to the "low" line if nearly empty.
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nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 18 Aug 2009, 08:33 pm
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Default Re: coolant reservoir question

he stuck a hose in (it was one of the ones from the gas station) so i'm a little clueless. from what you said i would guess he put in a little over a quart. so i should drain it?
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