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j64

Nov 27, 2006, 6:40 PM

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Car care in Mexico

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What's the custom for adding water here to your car's radiator? Would you use tap water, pure water, distilled water, 50/50 antifreeze, another measure of antifreeze. whatever? I recently bought my vehicle from a GDL seller and I think there is just tap water in that radiator; car came from Illinois, to Texas, to GDL.



jennifer rose

Nov 27, 2006, 6:46 PM

Post #2 of 24 (2981 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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Sometime I use pure antifreeze if I'm lazy, and sometimes I use half tap water.


jerezano

Nov 27, 2006, 7:03 PM

Post #3 of 24 (2974 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Car care in Mexico

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Hello,

If you look at the instruction book which comes with any car with a pressurized water cooling system, it will recommend that you use the half anti-freeze and the half water mixture. This not only protects against freezing but provides the best mixture for the pressure system. The thermostats are set for that mixture.

Adiós. jerezano.


Papirex


Nov 27, 2006, 7:24 PM

Post #4 of 24 (2967 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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If you still have the owner’s manual for the car, read it. Most modern cars produced in the last 25 or 30 years have engines that are designed to run at a temperature above the boiling point, usually about 220° F. If you run them with the radiator filled with pure water, they will often boil over.

You may have noticed that most of the bottles of liquid radiator fluid are no longer labeled as anti-freeze. But they are now usually labeled as engine coolant, or antifreeze- coolant. They do act as an anti-freeze, but they also raise the boiling point of the coolant in the radiator.

A mix of 50/50 water to coolant is best in my opinion. Use tap water. It will give you the lowest freezing point possible. Pure coolant, oddly enough, has a much higher freezing point than any mix percentage with water does. Adding water to it lowers the freezing point. Pure coolant will freeze solid at 40° F below zero. I know that from education and experience.

My ex-wife bought a gallon bottle of antifreeze-coolant one cold winter day in Fairbanks, Alaska. She left it in the trunk of the car all day. When she got home, she found it was frozen solid as a wedge. She took it back to the store where she bought it and exchanged it. She thought it was defective, and so did the store manager.

When she told me about it, I explained the qualities of it to her, and explained that there was nothing wrong with it; it simply freezes at 40 below. Incidentally, 40 below zero is the point at which the temperatures on the fahreneit and Centigrade temperature scales meet and are are identical. Any pipefitter with experience in the petro-chemical industry will know about the qualities of that stuff. People that live in warmer climates will often use pure antifreeze-coolant in their cars in the winter; they think they have the lowest freezing protection that way. They are wrong.

Rex



"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


j64

Dec 23, 2006, 9:57 PM

Post #5 of 24 (2876 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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Thanks to all for your input. Well, I couldn't get my hands on a hydrometer to check the anti-free/conditioner because I have learned basically, no one checks. I have been told the antifreeze level is acceptable at 30-degrees, due to climate. Well, you can check that by the color of green in a 1-quart 50/50 versus a sample from your radiator, guessing again. What's your take?


jerezano

Dec 24, 2006, 10:48 AM

Post #6 of 24 (2831 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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Hello,

You said: Well, you can check that by the color of green in a 1-quart 50/50 versus a sample from your radiator, guessing again. What's your take?

Well why not? Unless you are color blind.

You could also just drain the whole mix and add a new half and half mix until the radiator is full.

What's a few bucks for the anti-freeze compared to a frozen block? And you have to live in pretty cold area of Mexico to worry about that.

Adiós. jerezano.


Papirex


Dec 24, 2006, 8:40 PM

Post #7 of 24 (2779 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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When I lived in Alaska, I would save a one gallon anti-freeze bottle when it was empty. Buy a new bottle, and pour half of it into the empty bottle. Then fill both bottles with water. Voila! A 50/50 mix. No fuss, no bother.

I still have a hydrometer; I haven’t used it in years.

Be carefull not to spill any of it when you are pouring anti-freeze. It tastes sweet to dogs and they love it. It is highly toxic to dogs.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Dec 24, 2006, 8:42 PM)


j64

Dec 24, 2006, 9:51 PM

Post #8 of 24 (2764 views)

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Re: [RexC] Car care in Mexico

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Thank you for that...and, had never heard nor read about dogs and antifreeze, being poison, anybody else?
Mom wouldn't let us kids have dogs, as she said they were too low to the ground, dirty, so about forty-years ago my wife right after the honeymoon, started bringing dogs home for me to feed, make fat, grow old, and finally bury. I read and listen to what I can, but you see, you just can't learn enough of hardly anything. Merry Xmas.


j64

Dec 24, 2006, 10:01 PM

Post #9 of 24 (2761 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Car care in Mexico

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Thermostats are set for 50/50 mixture, you say. So, if we don't get freeze weather here and we don't travel way NoB, what's important to know about the stat here? Does the stat blow out sooner or later if the alcohol mix is only 30%? Come to think of it, if a SoB car goes north the radiator alcohol level would need adjusting? I think there is never an axcuse to ruin your water circulation system, except neglect. (Oh, I will mention: went to the gas pump yesterday -- they didn't tell me they were sold out of regular -- just pumped in premium, and then I caught them. I guess in the future, it's MAGNA. Magna.)


Moisheh

Dec 25, 2006, 5:56 AM

Post #10 of 24 (2743 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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Your thermostat does not care if you have water or tequila in the rad. The stat is set to open and close at a preset temp. Usually that is 190 degrees. It is important for any car produced since the late 70's that the stat not be changed to a cooler temp. Your fuel mileage would suffer. NO WATER COOLED ENGINE SHOULD RUN STRAIGHT WATER . Anti freeze protects the entire cooling system from corrosion. A 50/50 mixture is what is required. If you are going to drain and refill the cooliong system do not use Mexican water. Buy some distilled water. Or better yet buy the 50/50 premixed A/F. Most cars use less than 4 gallons of coolant.

Moisheh


Bubba

Dec 25, 2006, 7:58 AM

Post #11 of 24 (2716 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Car care in Mexico

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If you are going to drain and refill the cooliong system do not use Mexican water. Buy some distilled water

Thank you Moisheh for that entertaining post. I now realize that I have not only been using Mexican water to cool my 1995 Ford Ranger for the past six years but have, horror of horrors, been using Mexican water in my windshield cleaner reservoir. On top of that, I have no thermostat since I live where it never freezes and my truck runs very cool (temperature wise).

I wasn´t worried about any of this and was about to drive that baby from Lake Chapala to Chiapas - some 1,100 kilometers. Now I´m scared to death.


jerezano

Dec 25, 2006, 9:42 AM

Post #12 of 24 (2697 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Car care in Mexico

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Hey Bubba,

You got me laughing again. If using Mexican water in your truck has you scared to death, you can always get rid of the beast by giving it to me.

But that advice not to use Mexican water in your car is just as entertaining, as you already noted. Can a motor really catch a virus? Either that is true or the water wherever that poster is living must be loaded with algae, dead bugs, and other crud that might possibly clog the pipes. Unbelievable.

Now as for your truck without a thermostat. Unless it really is an old klunker,you should put a thermostat in the damn thing and run the 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and Mexican water as is recommended. Modern pressurized cooling systems which run at at about 140*F give better gas mileage and more efficient engine performance. The anti-freeze also keeps the water pump lubed.

And yes, for one of the other posters, anti-freeze is poisonous and dogs do like it.

Adiós. jerezano.


Bubba

Dec 25, 2006, 10:23 AM

Post #13 of 24 (2689 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Car care in Mexico

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Now as for your truck without a thermostat. Unless it really is an old klunker,you should put a thermostat in the damn thing and run the 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and Mexican water as is recommended. Modern pressurized cooling systems which run at at about 140*F give better gas mileage and more efficient engine performance. The anti-freeze also keeps the water pump lubed.

Thanks for the advice Jerezano. I have only been driving the klunker around Ajijic but now that I plan to take that particular vehicle to San Cristobal, maybe I´d better follow your advice.

By the way, what advice can you give me regarding leaving a vehicle undriven for two to three months garaged in one of our homes while we live in the other home. We´ve never been in that situation before. Do we simply unhook the battery? Surely some of you snow birds have a routine that you use to assure the car you leave behind is usable upon your return.


esperanza

Dec 25, 2006, 10:29 AM

Post #14 of 24 (2687 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Car care in Mexico

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And yes, for one of the other posters, anti-freeze is poisonous and dogs do like it.

Adiós. jerezano.

Cats love it, too. If you spill it, either in your garage/cochera or in the street, please be sure to clean it up.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Moisheh

Dec 25, 2006, 11:09 AM

Post #15 of 24 (2672 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Car care in Mexico

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It is obvious that neither of you are very mechanical. If you look in any shop manual for any vehicle they will give you the same advice on distilled water. Water with lots of mineral deposits and silt is not good for you cooling system. As noted anti freeze will keep your engine from overheating and does lube the water pump. Any vehicle since the 70,s uses a 190 degree stat. Bubba stick to banking!!

Moisheh


Papirex


Dec 25, 2006, 11:26 AM

Post #16 of 24 (2667 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Car care in Mexico

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Bubba, an old trick of many motor homers is to disconnect the battery if the vehicle is not going to be driven for several months. When I was still living in Alaska, one of my sons was a fishing guide up there. He used to leave a Ford Ranger pickup in Alaska every winter when he went home to California every year.

He complained to me one time that his battery was always dead in the truck when he returned every year in the spring. I told him to disconnect the battery because believe it or not, the clock in the radio will eventually discharge the battery after a few months. He did that and had no dead battery every spring after that.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


j64

Dec 25, 2006, 11:27 AM

Post #17 of 24 (2666 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Car care in Mexico

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Really, appreciate your take on antifreeze, now I am at the hydrometer situation again, knew it. The simple one -- the rising balls -- can be bought for pennies, Is my garage man here only misinformed: that Mexican car cooling systems run on 70-30% mix, because of the Mexican climate and would you say that is prevailing opion here? I had bot this car a few months ago and it had some fan motor problem, and a loose damaged so and so that that made me replace the fan motor, shroud, fan complete. Water and mix have been added from time to time, so maybe the mix is unbalanced, but at this point the color of the freeze it is still okay for now. Now regret having brought up the matter at all, except the 30% mix part, new to me.


Bubba

Dec 25, 2006, 12:03 PM

Post #18 of 24 (2659 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Car care in Mexico

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It is obvious that neither of you are very mechanical

Bubba stick to banking!!

Moisheh:

Damn good advice if I must say so.

When one starts out in life to actually earn a living, one can become many things but let´s limit our choices to mechanics or banking.

Now, as time goes by, the principles of mechanical dexterity change so, while one may be quite adept at constructing efficient and well designed paraphernalia for wagon driven mule teams in 1885, one may find that one has been passed by by the invention of the automobile a few years later and may find oneself, despite one´s adaptability, to be of little value in the newly evolved mechanical market.

On the other hand, bankers are always needed no matter whether folks drive around in carriages or automobiles. We bankers control the purse strings while mechanics worry themselves senseless over the ratio of Mexican water to antifreeze and, once the mechanics figure out the proper ratio to achieve maximum engine efficiency we bankers are there to help them finance the production and sales of this new find and we screw the mechanics to the wall without ever really understanding what the hell it is that they are doing.

Three cheers for bankers. We will whip any mechanic´s ass every tme.


Moisheh

Dec 25, 2006, 3:54 PM

Post #19 of 24 (2621 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Car care in Mexico

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Touche Bubba!!

Re storing a vehicle. Disconnecting the ground cable will prevent phantom draws from draining the battery. There is a product that you can add to the fuel that will prevent the fuel from"aging". It is called Stabil. I doubt it is available in Mexico but who knows. If your vehicle is parked where mice or squirrels are prevalent you should place some rat poison in the car. Dont let the sun bake the upholstery.

Moisheh


smokesilver

Dec 25, 2006, 5:53 PM

Post #20 of 24 (2607 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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No. All coolants are not green. Soom are yellow.


jerezano

Dec 25, 2006, 7:19 PM

Post #21 of 24 (2586 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Car care in Mexico

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Hello Moisheh,

Mea Culpa. Like Bubba I admit I am not mechanical. All I know is that my Chrysler voyager and the one before it and my Chevy van all ran and run at just about 130*-140*F by the temperature dial on the dashboard. No matter what the thermostat is set at.

Also, yes, put distilled water in your car if you want. Just try and convince the mechanic servicing your car that he MUST put only distilled water with 50/50 mix of anti freeze in your car. Yep, just try. Of course you can pull a shotgun on him when he tries to run tap water into it.

And to the other poster about a 70/30 mix. If the car manufacturers say your car runs better and is better protected by a 50/50 mix which gives the lowest temperature protection and the best performance, why not believe them? True, I know Mexicans who run on straight water and have for years. The car runs and performs OK. So will yours. Just as it will with tap water.

The thing to remember about water systems on your car is REPLACE THE HOSE before it bursts. A good mechanic can and should inspect your hoses for weakenesses at least twice a year and before you make any long trips. Just as you need to have the belt inspected and replaced before you are trapped 150 miles into the desert.

Adiós. jerezano.


JohnnyBoy

Dec 28, 2006, 3:58 PM

Post #22 of 24 (2493 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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I may have missed it, but I don't think anyone has mentioned the fact that cars need a proper mixture of water and anti-freeze to keep them from over-heating in warm weather, especially when you are running the A/C, and especially if you are in stop-and-go traffic. Cars can overheat quickly which can lead to real damage to the engine. Several people have said they are not concerned about their engines and radiators freezing because of the warm climate. But if the temperatures where you live get over 75'F I think you need to be concerned about the cooling system.

In places like Sonora where I will be living, with the extremely hot summers, having the radiator full of a proper 50/50 mix of water and anti-freeze is imperative. Not a bad idea to monitor the condition of hoses, as well, and even have a spare on hand if you travel outside of areas where replacements are easy to find. Same goes for belts. The hot hot weather can make belts stretch out prematurely and can hasten the demise of the hoses that carry liquid to and from the engine/radiator.

Just before driving to Mexico in April I will have the cooling system flushed and re-filled here. I am having the hoses and serpentine belt changed and I am getting a spare one of each to keep in my toolbox. My truckito is 10 years old and I have only had it for the last year. No idea how long it has been since these things were last done, so I am doing them now, to be sure.

And by all means, make sure the old stuff or spills are properly cleaned up. Anti-freeze is very bad for any animal that ingests it.

jb


j64

Dec 28, 2006, 8:08 PM

Post #23 of 24 (2464 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Car care in Mexico

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These comments all make good sense. So, what I see in the forum, and pehaps we all agree, the exact attention we will finally give the water/alcohol thing: what vehicle, how old, our driving habits, our required routine maintainance/eduction, and plain ignorance of such considerations. OH yes, too, we change as go along. Thanks all.


pez222


Dec 29, 2006, 2:42 PM

Post #24 of 24 (2423 views)

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Re: [j64] Car care in Mexico

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Modern engines require coolants with corrosion inhibitors. Short term you will get by. Long term you may start your car one morning and find that you have a engine miss. Corrosion will eat up the metal in the head gasket and allow coolant to seep into one of the cylinders. It only cost a bit more to do it right. Use distilled water 50/50 with an approved coolant and change every year or two. Make sure your radiator cap is good and providing you with a pressurized system. This helps eliminate engine "hot-spots". Excess heat is your engines worst enemy. I'm a tight old geezer and still running a '87 Nissan with over 230,000 miles on it. As an old aircraft mechanic, I feel I've learned a bit about engines.
 
 
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