Since the 1930s, hot rodders and performance car enthusiasts have relied on engine coolants made from a mix of ethylene glycol, water, and corrosion inhibitors. While these water-based coolants do a good job of keeping engine temperatures in check, they fall short when it comes to protection at high operating temperatures and over long periods of time.
It’s the water that is the weak point. Water has excellent heat transfer capabilities, but the typical 50/50 mix of coolant and water has a low boiling point, very close to most engines’ operating temperature. That can cause the coolant to vaporize at normal operating temperatures, leading to overheating and boil-over. Overheating is the most common cause of engine down-time and is responsible for over a third of catastrophic engine failures.
Water in the cooling system also degrades the metals in its components, usually from the inside out. The resulting corrosion, cavitation, and electrolysis issues eventually reduce cooling system efficiency and shorten the life of radiators, water pumps, thermostats, seals, and gaskets.
There is an alternative.
Evans Waterless Coolant has a patented, glycol-based formula that provides excellent protection at high temperatures compared to traditional water-based coolants. Since it has no water, Evans Coolant is non-corrosive, stops electrolysis, prevents cavitation, and will last the life of the engine with no need for additives or regular coolant replacement. That makes it perfect for virtually any vehicle on the road, but is especially ideal for race cars and vehicles like classic cars, street rods, muscle cars, etc. that are stored for extended periods of time.
Here are the major causes of cooling system failures and how Evans Waterless Coolant prevents them from happening.
Water Vapor, Killer of Engines
Water’s boiling point is 212 degrees F. Mixing traditional ethylene glycol antifreeze with water in a 50-50 ratio increases the boiling point to 223 degrees F, which is close to the operating temperature of an engine. At that temperature level, water-based coolant vaporizes into steam.
That’s bad, and here’s why. Vapor is about 94 percent less effective than liquid at conducting heat. At its boiling point, water-based coolant is not cool enough to condense the vapor, allowing vapor pockets to form, especially around the hottest parts of the cylinder head(s) where cooling is needed most.
Vapor pockets insulate hot metal from liquid coolant and prevent proper heat transfer. That makes the metal hotter still and the potential for overheating much greater. This overheating and excessive thermal stress leads to several problems:
- Pre-ignition (engine knock) in carbureted engines
- Pre-ignition and detonation
- Reduced combustion efficiency and detonation issues in fuel-injected engines
- Cavitation caused by vapor escaping due to pressure drops in the water pump
- Boil-over during operation and after-boil when the engine is stopped
Evans Waterless Coolant has a boiling point of over 375 degrees F, well above your engine’s operating temperature. That means it will remain a liquid, maintain constant liquid-to-metal contact, and ensure consistent heat transfer.
We’ve mentioned that water-based coolants can cause cooling system damage via electrolysis. Electrolysis occurs when electrical currents flow through the system due to voltage differences in the engine water jackets, the radiator, and the heater core. One source of those voltage differences is stray voltage from poorly grounded electrical components. Another is the interaction of dissimilar metals in the cooling system. The coolant acts as an electrolyte, causing one metal to act as a cathode and the other as an anode. Either way, electrolysis can cause corrosion, pitting, flaking, and pinholes in cooling system components.
Since Evans Waterless Coolant has no water, its electrical conductivity is far lower than the typical 50/50 mix of ethylene glycol and water. This virtually eliminates the chances for electrolysis to occur.
Reduced Cooling System Pressure
As water heats up and reaches its boiling point, it generates high vapor pressures that exert internal stress on cooling system components. When the engine cools down, the pressure goes down too. This repetitive cycling often leads to metal fatigue and component failure, especially with hoses, water pump seals, and radiator seams.
Because Evans Waterless Coolant has a boiling point above 375 degrees F, it will not vaporize and generate high pressure in the cooling system. In fact, Evans says its coolant can reduce cooling system pressure to as little as two to four PSI. That can extend the operating life of system components by many years, and makes it a lot safer if you ever have to crack open the radiator cap in an emergency while the system is still hot.
Which Evans Waterless Coolant to Use
There are several types of Evans Waterless Coolant to cover a wide range of vehicles. They all work the same way, but have additive packages based on engine type or usage:
- High Performance Waterless Coolant is the original formula waterless coolant. It’s ideal for gasoline and light diesel engines for street, off-road, and racing use. It’s even NHRA-approved.
- Collectors Choice Waterless Coolant is formulated for vintage and classic gasoline vehicles, bikes, and light to medium duty diesel engines that are not driven on a daily basis or are stored for extended periods.
- NPG Waterless Coolant is recommended for racing where propylene glycol-based coolants are allowed but there is a “no ethylene glycol” rule. NPG can be used in high performance street vehicles with high-flow cooling systems.
- Powersports Waterless Coolant is designed for motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and other powersports equipment with small, highly stressed engines.
- Evans Heavy Duty Industrial Waterless Coolant is for larger diesel engines with wet cylinder liners as found in Class 8 trucks, heavy construction equipment, agricultural equipment, and heavy-duty generators.
Converting to Evans
Once you’ve decided that switching to Evans Waterless Coolant is the right choice for your engine, all existing water-based coolant must be completely drained from the system. It’s not a difficult process; an overview of the procedure is available on the Evans Cooling website or you can download the complete instructions. Here are some important highlights:
- Evans Waterless Coolant should not be installed in a dirty cooling system. If the system requires cleaning before coolant changeover, do a chemical flush first, then flush the system with water
- Since the cooling system might not drain completely by gravity, Evans Prep Fluid is needed to completely absorb and remove any residual water-based antifreeze. It’s especially useful for engines that have inaccessible block drains.
- A high-volume, low-pressure air source is required to help remove the old coolant. It is safer and more effective than high-pressure compressed air, which can damage cooling system components. A shop vac or a vacuum/blower like those made by Metrovac are recommended.
- When you have finished the conversion to Evans Waterless Coolant, you will need to test it with a refractometer to ensure that the water content is below five percent maximum. Summit Racing carries an Evans refractometer for the job.
- Do not use coolant additives! They will contaminate Evans Waterless Coolant, requiring a complete system flush and coolant replacement
- In general, Evans recommends single-pass radiators with large-diameter tubes as they have less flow resistance than multi-pass radiators.
The following are minimum radiator core suggestions based on horsepower level:
- 300 HP or less without A/C: 4-row copper/brass with 1/2″ tubes
- 300 to 400 HP with A/C: 2-row aluminum with 1″ tubes
- 400 to 600 HP: 2-row aluminum with 1.25″ tubes
- 600 HP and above: 2-row aluminum with 1.5″ tubes or 3-row with 1″ tubes
Check out the video below for a more visual explanation on how Evans Waterless Coolant works.