General Installation Instructions
The conversion from a water-based antifreeze to Evans waterless coolant is a straightforward process that can be undertaken by anyone with some basic experience in engine mechanics, provided the instructions are adhered to. These general installation instructions apply to the majority of vehicles.
Important Facts to Know Before You Begin:
- You will need enough of the Evans coolant appropriate for your vehicle, as well as Prep Fluid. See your owner’s manual for cooling system capacity. Not sure which coolant to use? See our FAQ.
- The existing water-based coolant must be completely drained from the system before Evans waterless coolant is installed.
- Water should NOT be used to flush the system after draining the coolant UNLESS the system is contaminated with oil, rust or sediment.
- New Evans coolant should not be installed into a dirty system. If the system requires cleaning before coolant changeover, a chemical flush should be performed. Follow the cleaner product instructions closely. The system must be thoroughly flushed with water after using the cleaner.
- Evans waterless coolants are not intended to be used in conjunction with supplemental coolant additives (SCA) or extenders. No additions of any kind should be made to the system with the exception of topping off the system with new waterless coolant. If compromised by the addition of other coolants or fluids, including water, a coolant replacement should be performed.
- Because Evans waterless coolants tends to remove old cooling system deposits which are then trapped by the filter, the filter on higher mileage vehicles should be inspected monthly and changed as needed until they appear essentially clean.
- All V6 and V8 engines require special attention to the draining of the block.
WARNING: NEVER WORK ON OR REMOVE THE PRESSURE CAP FROM A HOT PRESSURIZED COOLING SYSTEM. ALLOW TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE STARTING COOLANT CONVERSION.
The Role of Evans Prep Fluid
An important part of a good installation is using Evans Prep Fluid. Prep Fluid is specifically formulated to purge remaining water-based antifreeze from the system after initial drain. Since certain parts of the cooling system might not drain completely by gravity, installing a scavenging fluid is the most practical method of removing all of the water-based antifreeze. Evans Prep Fluid is not formulated to chemically clean the engine of rust and scale, but the process of circulation and draining will help remove any loose sediment. Buy Prep Fluid now.
Special Equipment Needed for Conversion
- A high-volume air source (rather than high pressure): Compressed air used to help remove the old coolant and water can damage cooling system components. The use of high-volume, low-pressure air is preferred because it is safer, and in most cases, more effective. Recommended air sources include the Makita UB1103 variable speed hand-held blower and the various on-off blowers by Metro Vacuum. A shop doing commercial installations should consider the Metro Vacuum MB 3CD Air Force Master Blaster.
- Brix scale handheld refractometer: Testing the water content of the installed Evans waterless coolant requires the use of a refractometer as shown in Appendix 1 of the General Installation Instruction Booklet. Note that the Brix Refractometers used to measure water content are not the same as those used to determine freeze point.
Handling, Storage and Disposal
As with water-based coolants, Evans waterless coolants and Prep Fluid should be considered toxic. Used coolant and Prep Fluid should be collected and disposed of in accordance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations. Evans waterless coolants should be tightly capped for storage and kept away from children and pets. Evans waterless coolants and Prep Fluid are hygroscopic (can absorb water from the air), which is another reason to avoid leaving partially used containers open.
General Installation Procedure
Drain the System
- Remove the pressure cap (see warning above). Open all drain valves and plugs. Open bleeder or petcock vents if there are any.
- Drain all parts of the system, including radiator, coolant reservoir, engine block, and heater. (Draining the system only from the bottom of the radiator removes less than half of the system capacity.)
- Use high-volume/low-pressure air to gently blow out various parts of the system. If accessible, blow out heater circuit, blowing only in the direction from the hot coolant source (generally, the
cylinder head) toward the coolant return (generally, the inlet to the coolant pump). Ensure that the heater control valve is open before applying the air.
- Block drains are frequently inaccessible, ineffective, or non-existent, and considerable amounts of coolant can remain in the block. Removal of the thermostat provides an opening to the engine where high volume air can be blown through the head and block, pushing old coolant past the coolant pump and out the bottom radiator hose or radiator drain.
- Completely empty the overflow bottle if the vehicle is equipped with one. If the system has a pressurized expansion tank, blow air into it to make sure it is empty.
Purge the System
- Close all drain valves, plugs and vents, and reconnect circuits. If the engine is equipped with a coolant filter (heavy duty systems), replace the filter with one that does not introduce coolant additives.
- Fill the system with Prep Fluid to flush the parts of the cooling system suspected of harboring residual coolant or water. DO NOT use water. Vent as needed to ensure complete fill.
- Replace the pressure cap and run the engine with the heater on, at full hot, for 10 minutes after reaching operating temperature (thermostat open).
- Repeat the Drain sequence above to drain out the used Prep Fluid.
Refill the System
- Close all drain valves, plugs and vents, and reconnect all circuits.
- Fill system completely with the appropriate Evans waterless coolant and start engine. Add coolant as needed to keep system full. If system is equipped with a vented overflow bottle, leave it empty for now.
- Replace the pressure cap and run engine with the heater on, at full hot, for 10 minutes after reaching operating temperature (thermostat open). Shut the engine off and allow the system to cool.
Test the Coolant
- Draw a sample of well-circulated coolant from the radiator or pressurized overflow reservoir. Check the water content using a refractometer as outlined in Appendix 1 of the General Installation Instruction Booklet. The coolant being tested must be at room temperature before testing. Minimize exposure of the coolant to air during testing.
- If the above procedure has been rigorously followed, the water content of the coolant should be within specification (below 3%) to take best advantage of the waterless coolant technology. If the water content exceeds 3%, run the system again to operating temperature, and allow sufficient time for the thermostat to open and fluid to circulate through the radiator. Repeat sampling and water content test. If the water content still exceeds the limit, see remediation procedure under Appendix 1 of the General Installation Instruction Booklet.
- If the water content is 3% or less, the equipment is ready for use. Ensure the overflow bottle or expansion tank is filled to the “cold” mark with Evans waterless coolant. Place Evans warning stickers in strategic locations (radiator cap, radiator shroud, overflow bottle, expansion tank) to warn against adding water or water-based coolant to the system.
- Upon cool-down and for a few days thereafter, small amounts of coolant addition may be necessary. Whether the system has a pressurized expansion tank or an overflow bottle, the coolant level should be at the cold line when the engine is cold.
Special Considerations for After Installation
Mixing Coolants: Waterless and water-based coolants should not be mixed. In the event that significant waterless coolant is lost from the system during operation and no waterless coolant is available to fill the system and reach a repair facility, water-based coolant or water may be used. However, repairs should be made as soon as possible, and the system should be drained, purged and re-filled with new waterless coolant.
Stop Leak Use: Leaks should be repaired. Stop-leak type products are not intended to be permanent repairs. However, they may be used as a temporary measure. Carefully follow the instructions on the stop leak product label. Overuse may clog radiator and heater core passageways.