Should i add more coolant?

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This is a typical BITOG OCD type of question that only we ask ourselves. My infiniti in the signature, I had to do an emergency thermostat replacement on it in april . Installed a OEM nissan thermostat and gasket, i didn't have time to get a coolant. I just went to walmart and got a gallon of distilled water. Used almost the fill gallon and everything is all said and done. Fast forward to today, I just thought about my coolant/water mixture and the upcoming winter. Being in chicago where we can see -20F sometimes. My FSM states i have 9 1/4 US quart of coolant, that is about 2.3gal. My simple math shows that my current system has about 30/70 coolant/water mixture (1.3g of 50/50 mix and 1g of water) Think i'm good for the winter? My car doesn't sit outside much, inside my garage or in my heated work garage. Should i just do a drain and fill with Zerex asian which is a 50/50 mix, to bring it up to near 40/60. Or do something else... what temperture is a 30%coolant mixture good for? And is my math right?
 
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I wouldn't take the chance for this coming winter. It's supposed to be a real "BEAR" living in Chicago! laugh Do a proper Drain and Refill and get your coolant concentration to the required 50/50! Why chance it? smile
 
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pbm

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A 30/70 mix is not good enough for Chicago IMO. If you don't want to bother with a full change I would at least drain the radiator and refill with full strength coolant. Prestone or Peak AMM should suffice.
 
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Agree with above posters, if -20F is likely I'd not risk it. I'd at least do the ZAF 50/50 rad. d&f you mention. To give you another option if you're looking for a full strength Asian AF and have a Pep Boys fairly close. PB has a 'concentrated' Asian P-HOAT, OEM brand, even comes in Nissan matching green, for ~$20/gal. That way you can make a 60-40 or 70-30 mix with distilled water to bring the concentration up using rad. d&f if you choose. But the rad d&f with ZAF at the least would be advisable imo. http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/879918/00094/car_care/antifreeze_coolant/antifreeze_coolant
 
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I would not leave it as is. Correct the coolant strength so you have 50/50. Using 'distilled' water is best. Then sleep better at night. Do not use the premixed 50/50. Your already at 30/70 You would never get the correct strength of coolant in engine.
 
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If you can afford it without giving up the necessities of life you might consider a complete drain and refill. Your car is already about 9 years old and if you're going to keep it for a few more years a few dollars invested in maintenance would be worth the expense. As they might say in Chicago, this might cost you 2 or 3 sawbucks considering your labor is free.
 
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I would just drain the radiator measure what came out in a bucket, figure out the mix to bring the whole system to 50/50 or so. for example if you got 1.3 gallon out you would have 1 gallon at 30% you basically want 1.1gal of coolant with 1.1gal of water that means for the other 1.3 gallon you would add aprox. .8gal of coolant and .5 gal water (if 1.3gal came out draining the radiator) and voila you did maintenance and refreshed your coolant as well as correcting it to the right %
 
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Definitely do NOT leave it how it is --according to this link , at 40% you're only good to -4F.
Originally Posted By: SHOZ
If you were good before the 1 gallon of water then drain out a gallon and refill with 100%.
Agree!
 
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Your simple math shows you have 0.65 gallon of coolant already in the system? Since you want 1.15 gallon of coolant in there (for a 50/50 mix), you must evacuate about half a gallon and replace with half a gallon of pure coolant. This is oversimplifying things, but it's close enough. You don't have to drain the radiator to do this. Get a turkey baster and suck it out through the radiator filler hole.
 
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Originally Posted By: pbm
A 30/70 mix is not good enough for Chicago IMO. If you don't want to bother with a full change I would at least drain the radiator and refill with full strength coolant. Prestone or Peak AMM should suffice.
Agreed but I would fill it with 50/50. Full strength will be too much antifreeze.
 
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You can do it the lazy man's way, empty the overflow reservoir and fill it with straight coolant, and honestly, how often (ever!) does it get to 20 below in Chicago?
 
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Using the lazy mans way and it could take a year to completely normalize the concentrations between the pressurized coolant and what is in the overflow bottle. 50/50 is also good for 284F at 15 lbs of pressure protecting from micro-boiling points in the engine.
 
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Originally Posted By: Nayov
You can do it the lazy man's way, empty the overflow reservoir and fill it with straight coolant, and honestly, how often (ever!) does it get to 20 below in Chicago?
I used to live near there - it happens, and you are assuming he will not travel to an even colder area. It's always wise to have a hefty safety margin. Glad you don't design bridges.................... do you??
 
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Live in Chicago also. I'd be concened that the 30/70% mixture could freeze and fail in the heater core. Just a little freezing and that thin metal and solder of the heater core could fail. Then you are into a far bigger expense. And the rust preventative factor of a proper 50/50 mix. Again, your car is always in a garage, but someone might borrow it and it sits outside. The cost shouldn't be a concern . This is a contest (winter v. your best guess) that you should not partake in. Play it safe.
 

bowlofturtle

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Originally Posted By: Nayov
You can do it the lazy man's way, empty the overflow reservoir and fill it with straight coolant, and honestly, how often (ever!) does it get to 20 below in Chicago?
Physical temp, rarely however. We have this thing know as "windchill effect" and weatherman always often mentions of a -20 or more. This winter was a freak of nature BUT if you threw a cup of HOT water up in the air, it would froze instantly. So back on topic, I'm going to go ahead and do one more drain and fill. Where can i go buy test strips to see my mixture %. I bought one of those gauges with bubbles from autozone, they dont work. I know you dont need an exact 50/50 mixture. But if i put 1 gallon of pure coolant in my mixture will be around 70/30 wouldn't it? I dont know how to do this math at all, someone help me. Do i put Zerex Asian 50/50 mixture in? This should get me to like 40-45% coolant (i think). I have this tool, i dont think it works very well or i dont know how to properly use it doens't have instructions. http://www.amazon.com/Prestone-AF-1420-A...lant+test+strip
 
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