Antifreeze vs. Waterless Coolant—What’s the Difference?
When I’m at the races, it’s fairly common for people to ask how our waterless coolant compares to other brands like Engine Ice, Maxima Coolanol, Bel-Ray Moto Chill, Amsoil, etc. While there are differences between antifreeze formulations, the one rule is that they are all half water. Based on that fact, their boiling point, vapor pressure, corrosion protection, and lifespan are all pretty much the same.
Water was the first fluid ever poured into an engine in an attempt to control the heat. Everything from that time forward has been an attempt to limit the havoc that water wreaks inside a precision machine. After all, you wouldn’t pour water into your TV or smartphone, would you?
The Problem with Water
Water is really abusive to metal; it corrodes, erodes, conducts electricity, and expands when it freezes. Before 50-50 glycol/water antifreeze was introduced in 1927 by Prestone, people would add alcohol to water to keep it from freezing; they would have to replace the alcohol throughout the winter because it would boil out.
Today, there are a range of additives used to retard corrosion, but these inhibitors are also temporary. Some fall out of solution, creating the sludge you see in the bottom of the expansion tank. Others are sacrificial, which means they stick to the metal surfaces as a physical barrier. If you replace your pump but continue to use the same antifreeze, the pump will be destroyed well before its listed service life because there are no additives left to coat its metal.
Deionized water is premixed into antifreeze now with the description that it is more pure and doesn’t conduct electricity as much. But deionized water doesn’t stay deionized for long—it quickly leaches from the metal components in a system and re-ionizes.
A Revolution in Coolant
There have been no big changes to coolant technology since 1927. Until now. Removing the water removes the source of the majority of failures and maintenance costs that exist in a cooling system.
Evans coolant is a blend of glycols, the same basic chemicals that are already commonly used in antifreeze. The performance differences that Evans Coolant brings to an engine are due to the absence of water. The boiling point of Evans waterless coolant is 375°F and the system doesn’t build vapor pressure. As an extra bonus, waterless coolant retains a strong corrosion protection quality for the lifetime of the vehicle.
Evans Coolant doesn’t build vapor pressure because there’s no water to boil. If the radiator gets a hole in it, some coolant will obviously come out, but it doesn’t spray out under force like antifreeze. This also means it’s not boiling out while the engine is under a heavy load. If you do lose coolant and need to add something to get home, you can add antifreeze or water. It will then perform the same as antifreeze does, but no worse.