A Better Option For Engine Coolant In Your Car Doesn’t Include Water

Ever since man created the first working engine, he has needed to figure out a way to keep that engine from overheating and becoming a boat anchor. Water was the initial idea for liquid cooling, but running just water created a myriad of long-term issues. It didn’t take long for engineers to realize that engine coolant made from a mix of ethylene glycol, water, and corrosion inhibitors was the answer. But is that still the case? While H2o-based coolants do a satisfactory job of curbing engine heat, sometimes, overheating, boil-over, and after-boil conditions at high operating temperatures can still be an issue. However, according to the folks at Evans Coolant, those issues can be a part of history.

Keeping Your Cool

There are not many things that are worse than pulling into a car show or cruise night and announcing your entry with a plume of steam or a puddle of coolant. If you’re driving a classic hot rod, you’ve experienced this situation at least once. According to Evans Coolant, its waterless coolant virtually eliminates these scenarios. “How,” you ask? Water starts to boil at 212 degrees and boiling water turns to steam (vapor) that wants to expand. When it expands, it builds pressure. This pressure forces the steam and coolant out of the system. Evans Coolant uses a propriety liquid the company claims has a boiling point of over 375 degrees. No boil means no excessive expansion.

engine coolant

The folks at Dream Giveaway were converting the sweepstakes ’69 Camaro from a mix of water and antifreeze to the Evans Coolant system.

According to the folks at Evans Coolant, its product is made of a propriety, water-free base fluid that doesn’t have the physical and chemical limitations of water. By not including water in the cooling system mix, Evans Coolant says its waterless coolant offers four main advantages over traditional water-based coolants: It eliminates overheating, does not require the cooling system to work under pressure, and it will not corrode. There is also, another huge consideration for our friends that live in climates that see freezing temperatures, “The biggest thing that gets overlooked is the negative 40-degree freeze point,” says Evans’ brand representative, Brett Gaylord. “Due to there being no water, Evans will contract rather than expand, eliminating freeze burst. This is great for northern enthusiasts.”

Drain all parts of the cooling system. You must remove as much of the water and antifreeze mixture in the engine as possible before adding the Evans coolant. We used the Evans Prep Fluid to completely flush the system. We actually did it twice to be sure, and the Prep flush can be reused.

Also, when water reaches its boiling point and starts to vaporize, that vapor is about 97-percent less effective at conducting heat than liquid. It reduces the coolant’s ability to cool. This heated vapor typically forms around the hottest parts of the cylinder head, and unfortunately, that is where cooling is most needed. Once a vapor is created, these localized vapor pockets can create a barrier between the hot surface and the coolant. This will prevent the necessary heat transfer that is required for cooling.

An Overheating Engine Can Cause

  • Pre-ignition
  • Reduced combustion efficiency (loss of power)
  • Erosion caused by pitting on the cylinder heads, pump, and other areas
  • Cavitation when combined with pressure drops in the water pump

However, the higher boiling point of Evans Waterless Coolant ensures the coolant remains a liquid at all times. This is beneficial to maintaining effective cooling. And since the 375-degree boiling point is considerably higher than the operating temperature of most engines, any localized vapor is absorbed back into the nearby coolant, which remains way below its boiling point.

Did you ever wonder why your engine’s cooling system needs to hold pressure? As mentioned, when a water-based coolant vaporizes, it creates added pressure within the cooling system. This pressure needs to be kept in check or the water-based coolant will always be expelled via the overflow or out from under the cap. Since Evans Coolant’s Waterless Coolant is, well, void of water, it is much less likely to vaporize. This can actually reduce stress on hoses and fittings, which can eliminate the expense of replacing ruptured hoses or damaged components.

engine coolant

When new, the Prep Fluid is a clear liquid. Here you can see how much contamination the Prep removes from the system. We ran the fluid through the system a second time to get as much of the traditional coolant removed.

No More Corrosion

It’s also no secret that water corrodes metal. There is no way to stop it. Sure, there are corrosion inhibitors that can reduce corrosion, but water-based antifreeze formulations currently on the market still exhibit some corrosion tendencies. They have also been known to regularly allow cavitation, oxidation, and galvanic action that can damage pumps, radiators, and other metal components. Corrosion build-up, inhibitor drop-out, and lime-scale precipitation significantly reduce heat transfer efficiency and accelerate overheating. That’s why traditional anti-freeze manufacturers recommend changing the coolant every few years. The folks at Evans tell us that since its waterless coolants do not contain water, the formulation prevents corrosion in cooling systems.

Switching Over

Once you’ve realized the benefits and have decided the switch to a waterless coolant, there are some very specific steps you must follow for a seamless transition. According to Brett, first and foremost, all existing water-based coolants must be drained from the system. “Put in the work and have patience draining and flushing the old coolant,” he affirms. “Some have pulled freeze plugs, but opening petcocks, and using compressed air (low PSI) will ensure a water content of three percent or lower.” The water content of your Evans Coolant coolant should not exceed more than three percent in order to be effective. For this reason, the company recommends you flush the cooling system with its Prep Fluid to absorb any residual water or coolant.

engine coolant

With the system thoroughly flushed, the Evans Coolant is poured in. The Evans liquid does not need any dilution and is poured directly from the jug.

Another benefit of the conversion to Evans is reduced maintenance. The waterless coolant won’t break down over time and is designed to last as long as your engine. There’s no need to add coolant, change the coolant, or even flush your radiator at the end of the season.

We were fortunate enough to hear that the folks at Dream Giveaway were doing an Evans conversion on one of its latest giveaway cars — a ’69 Camaro you can read about by clicking here. We were intrigued to see what is required to do the change, so we made the trip to the Dream Giveaway garage. In actuality, the conversion is easy and anyone can accomplish the task in a couple of hours.

Engine coolant

We do want to make something clear. The Evans coolant is not designed to decrease your engine temperatures. We have heard claims from some enthusiasts that this occurred, but it’s not a guarantee from Evans. You will likely notice the same engine temperatures after the conversion, but the benefits the Evans coolant offers over traditional water-based coolants make it a definite, welcomed addition to any car or truck.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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