Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Tech Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-01-2004, 02:14 PM
lino's Avatar
Registered ®
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 981
Arrow DISTILLED vs TAP WATER***WHO IS THE WINNER

What's the best mix for antifreeze / coolant - Distilled Water or Tap Water?

What is Distilled Water?

Distillation is nature's way of purifying water. When the sun heats water, this causes evaporation, an example of distillation on the grand scale. Vapor rises from the surface of water, leaving behind all its impurities. These water vapors rise and cool as air temperature in the upper atmosphere drops, and the vapors change from gas to liquid, becoming water, ice or snow. If our atmosphere were not polluted, each drop of rain or snow would be pure H2O.

The production of distilled drinking water is man's attempt to copy nature's form of water purification . As with evaporation in nature, distillation actually removes water (in the form of steam vapor) from the heavier materials that are its impurities. Other types of water treatment attempt to remove contaminants from water, rather than removing water from the contaminants.

In the boiling chamber of the water distiller, tap water is heated to 212 degrees, killing bacteria and viruses. The heat produces steam, which rises, leaving behind inorganic minerals, lead, bacteria, nitrates chemicals and other contaminants in the boiling tank. As the water temperature rises, the light gases boil off and are discharged through the gaseous vent. A stainless steel condenser cools the steam, turning it into distilled water. This water passes from the condenser through an optional post carbon filter, and the purified distilled water that is 99.9 percent pure is collected in a reservoir.

Basically using tap water is bad because it could lead to corrosion of components. Some people might tell you that your tap water is as clean as the distilled you are buying. Tap water obviously varies. Apparantly, supermarket brands of distilled water vary too. The process used does not produce a particularly pure product. Can someone confirm or add to this?

__________________
1989 300CE Astralsilber/Schwarz
1992 300CE Schwarz/Schwarz
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-01-2004, 03:03 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,971
Back then that WAS antifreeze.

As far as the distilled water question. I need some distilled water for my battery. Last night I was emptying the tank from the dehumidifier in my basement and I thought "hmmmm, this might be close enough" This water is condensed from air moisture, and I can make lots of it!! As far as store bought, they have "Distilled" or "Purified". I think I will spend the .79 for the distilled.

Mike
__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-01-2004, 03:15 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,580
The distilled water issue has at times become as heated as the green vs. non-green coolant argument and dino oil vs. syn. oil.

A tech named Stu Ritter on the Ritter-Easley MB forums says NOT to use distilled water in MBs.

I asked this same question a few yrs. back. The thread is below.

Using Distilled water in Coolant
__________________
Mike Murrell
1991 300-SEL - Model 126
M103 - SOHC
"Fräulein"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-01-2004, 05:20 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,191
This debate is fueled primarily by misconceptions.

Way back in the fifties, if not before, some thought that running pure distilled water in a cooling systems was good, but without corrosion inhibitors, distilled water will rapidly corrode the system. Once the word got out, somehow this advice got turned into "don't use distilled water with antifreeze", which is wrong!

Ethylene glycol is carefully blended with various chemicals (both organic and inorganic in the case of HOAT anti-freeze that DC recommends) to prevent cooling system corrosion. Once you mix distilled water with antifreeze the original balance of various chemicals is preserved as intended by the manufacturer, and most commercial antifreeze products are blended to provide ideal corrosion protection when mixed with an equal quantity of pure water.

Using tap water can introduce additional chemicals to the solution, some of which can be detrimental. Chlorine, in particular, which is added to most domestic water can form hydrochloric acid, which is corrosive, and calcium can preciptate out and form cooling system deposits.

Most OEs say that clean, potable water is okay to mix with antifreeze, but there is a lot mineral and other ion content variation in "clean, potable water", so distilled water is a better choice since it contains lower concentrations of undesireable ions than even the "cleanest" tap water and is least likely to upset the intended chemical balance when used to dilute antifreeze.

Bottom line: Most tap water is "okay" (unless it is clear from smell or taste that it has high mineral or chlorine content), but distilled water is BEST!

Duke

Last edited by Duke2.6; 10-01-2004 at 09:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-01-2004, 06:00 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,971
It seems to me getting water without chlorine in it would be reason enough to use distilled water.

In the thread shown in post 4 of this thread, someone made the comment:

"Finally, if you use MB Coolant, you will have that little tell-tale chemical which will pinpoint any leaks."

Is there any truth to this? What are they talking about?

Thanks,

Mike
__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-01-2004, 07:26 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Minor coolant leaks you cannot see drip, will leave a telltale "crust". It seems to be more pronounced with the MB coolant.
__________________
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-01-2004, 07:42 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,307
I think distilled water is overkill, I'm sure my SDL has never seen a drop of it and the cooling system is still clean. My radiator died from old age, it still cooled fine. Unless you live in an area with a lot of crap in the water, like lime in FL for example tap water is fine. Tap water these days is filtered really well.
__________________
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2007 Tiara 3200
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-01-2004, 08:04 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,971
It died from old age? Not corrosion?

Mike
__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-01-2004, 08:31 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke2.6
Way back in the fifties, if not before, some thought that running pure distilled water in a cooling systems was good, but without corrosion inhibitors, distilled water will rapidly corrode the system. Once the word got out, somehow this advice got turned into "don't use distilled water with antifreeze", which is wrong!
That is right. In fact, running tap water alone in your cooling system will also cause it to corrode. The mixture of the coolant and the water provides the balance of lowering the freezing point, raising the boiling point, and inhibiting corrosion.

Most makes now recommend distilled water, and why not? It's cheap and plentiful.
__________________
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

http://img31.exs.cx/img31/4050/tophat6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-01-2004, 09:26 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTangas
Minor coolant leaks you cannot see drip, will leave a telltale "crust". It seems to be more pronounced with the MB coolant.
Since HOAT and IAT blends have some inorganic material they will leave a "trail" at any leak. I can tell you from experience that Dexcool, which has NO inorganic material leaves no trail other than maybe a slight hint of the orange die.

It's also my opinion from experience that Dexcool has more tendecy to seep from hose connections and other potential leak sources. The inorganics in HOAT and IAC precipitate out and form deposits at the leak sources, and these deposits may actually plug the leak path.

Duke
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-01-2004, 10:55 PM
lino's Avatar
Registered ®
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 981
Just found this:

...Coolant is a 50-50 mixture of purified (not tap and not distilled) water and antifreeze/coolant. Do not add straight water if the reservoir is completely empty as this can cause your car to overheat.


Source:
http://www.***************/mercedes-auto-parts/mercedes-auto-maintenance.html
__________________
1989 300CE Astralsilber/Schwarz
1992 300CE Schwarz/Schwarz
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-01-2004, 11:45 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,191
Some antifreeze products are sold "premixed" with water, so they are the equivalent of mixing equal parts parts of full strength antifreeze and water. Antifreeze is antifreeze, water is water, and a 50/50 mixture of the two is called "coolant" since a 50/50 mix of full strength antifreeze and water is what most OEs call "coolant".

These products are "convenient" because they require no mixing, but they are rather expensive and it is not that hard to add equal amounts of full strength antifreeze and distilled water when doing a coolant change. Unless there is a leak of a faulty pressure cap, it is unusual for the coolant level to drop between three year changes, unless the car is driven more than 30K miles.

If you start with a 50/50 mix and at some point the reservoir is a bit low and needs a few ounces, using either distilled water or straight antifreeze will not have a major impact on the desired 50/50 mix, which is the optimum tradeoff between corrosion inhibition and thermal capacity.

Duke
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-03-2004, 12:38 AM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpolli
It died from old age? Not corrosion?

Mike

The plastic around the crimp started to crack, the radaitor was fine other then that.
__________________
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2007 Tiara 3200
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-03-2004, 02:04 PM
W140 S600's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 188
age or murder...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
The plastic around the crimp started to crack, the radaitor was fine other then that.
Well actually Chris, it was murdered by a flathead screwdriver...oh and various other instruments "testing" the quality of the 16+ year old radiator
__________________
2002 G500 74K
1998 E300 200K and rising
1995 S600 73k


"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering
if they've made a difference. The Marines don't
have that problem."-Ronald Reagan


"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them
what to do and they will surprise you with their
ingenuity."-General George S. Patton

Last edited by W140 S600; 10-03-2004 at 04:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-03-2004, 03:28 PM
PA2TU
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Engine coolant and engine oil type, and interval to change them seem to generate the most opinions on this and other auto forums. With or without valid engineering reasons is another topic. I spoke to friends of mine who are on the forefront of engine testing:
Their advise to me:
1.) AL alloy engine/radiator and plastic top tank is a different animal from gray iron engine.. Treat it with respect else you will pay (dearly).

2.) Use the manufacturer premix 50/50 engine coolant.

3.) if you have to mix your own, use distilled water and NOT TAP WATER

4.) Distilled water is only $2-$3 cost vs tapwater, Very cheap insurance policy.

4.) Change coolant per maufacturers' recommendations.

My advise:
perferred method: Use MB 50/50 premix (its only $10-$20/gal)
alternative: Zerex-G05 ($8/gal) +distilled water ($0.70/gal) mixed to 50/50 by volume.

Dont use Dexcool on a MB Al engine.

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page