Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, Texas
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Water Wetter?
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PM AutoJim (cooling system engineer) and ask him about Water Wetter. I'd also be prepared to have your ears burnt off by his reply. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Aww, c'mon, I'm not that bad! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Seriously, though, Water Wetter and its similar competitors from Royal Purple and others are the Slick 50s of cooling system additives.
They're basically surfactants (along the line of dishwasher detergent) along with a smidgen of anti-foaming agent and a few anti-corrosion additives. All of which are already present in commercially-available coolants.
Some racing sanctioning bodies require the use of plain water (no glycol) to prevent slick track conditions in the event of a spill. Glycol is slicker than oil on a track surface and harder to clean up. In that specific circumstance, I would consider the use of Water Wetter for the corrosion inhibitors only -- but all the testing I've ever been involved with with the stuff showed trivial temperature changes under controlled testing conditions. By "trivial", I mean lost in the experimental noise.
If you have a vehicle that's running high coolant temps, you need to diagnose *why* and fix the problem, not slap a band-aid on it.
Possible reasons (not all-inclusive):
- modified engine makes more power and thus more heat than originally specified
- restrictions to air and/or coolant flow (radiator, heater core, other heat exchangers, pinched hoses
- worn-out/broken/defective parts (water pump, fan, fan drive, radiator air louver system on big trucks, thermostat(s), pressure cap) in the cooling system
- major engine problem (cracked head, blown head gasket)
Of course, you first have to determine *if* it's really overheating. Lots of people get all panicky when temperatures go over 200F, but there's really no reason to do so. 50/50 ethylene glycol coolant and water mixture boils at 224F at atmospheric pressure, and you add 3F to that for each PSI above atmospheric, so a typical 16 psi cap yields a boiling point of 264F.
That said, most diesels don't like to run up past 230F coolant temp on a regular basis, but the real reason for that in most modern diesels is an effort to keep NOx emissions down (and, in some cases, prevent piston scuff that would be caused by insufficient allowance for thermal expansion at higher temperatures).
Former Cooling Guy
'99.5 F350 Lariat CC SRW 4x2, 7.3L 4R100
'99 Mustang Cobra, SCCA Solo2 E Street Prepared
'97 Dodge Neon, SCCA ITA/STU/EP Club Racing
Now I do subsea ROV tooling.