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Old 01-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
ji58
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Default Need help quick! Antifreeze frozen!

it got down to 7 degrees here last night, so i thought i'd check on my 76 sitting in my carport,i opened radiator cap and found frozen coolant, kinda like a slushie, i wanted to see if the engine would crank so turned the key and it fired right up. it sounded fine and in no time the froze coolant melted, i had tested this coolant in the fall and tester said good to 20 below, well that was way off!! so i let it run, water pump sounds good and its not leaking anywhere, i left the cap off radi and the old coolant ran out of the radiator top, so i put a whole new jug of prestone in, engine is runnig fine but i'm not seeing any flow in radiator, coolant just siting there, also no heat in car, no leaks, so what do i do now? should i let it idle more? temps gauge around 175 or so, with more idle time should heater start working? any advise would sure be a big help, thanks!!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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I would go get some polyethelyne sheeting from the home center and wrap it around the bottom of the car like a skirt, get it down on the ground to help cut the breeze out from under the car, then you can take a drop light and lay under the car, it will create enough warmth to hopefully help thaw things out some. the key is to try and trap some of that heat under the car and not let the wind take it away.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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During the Korean war, my buds dad would build a fire under their catapillars to warm them up so they would start. Said they would sleep under them too....................
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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thats a good idea, i'll keep it in mind. i just tapped on the t neck allitte, thought maybe the thermostat was stuck, sure enuff, it opened and now i got great heat/def now, no leaks, oil and coolant look good. man its scary to open your radiator cap and see it frozen!! but looks like everything good now. the old coolant was some of that 50/50 crap i put in last summer,not using that never again! i'll test this antifrezze here in a bit, hopefuly that'll be it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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I would still wrap it up, maybe not put the light under there but anything to keep the wind out from under the car can help
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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Hope everything turns out for you!
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ji58 View Post
...the old coolant was some of that 50/50 crap i put in last summer,not using that never again!...
The 50/50 premix stuff is fine for most places other than where the weather truly gets extreme.

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Originally Posted by ji58 View Post
...i put a whole new jug of prestone in...
If you had to put a gallon of coolant in it, sounds like that could have been where your problem was.

Just the same, sounds like you got away lucky.

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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Pick yourself up a hydrometer and verify the freezing point of your antifreeze. Trust this from an expert,-20F (did the conversion for ya) here this morning.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
paul 74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Mike View Post
The 50/50 premix stuff is fine for most places other than where the weather truly gets extreme.



If you had to put a gallon of coolant in it, sounds like that could have been where your problem was.

Just the same, sounds like you got away lucky.

I agree. Sounds like the system was only 1/2 full. Most 50/50 quality anti-freeze is fine to about -40*F. In fact the mix is better than straight anti-freeze. Yes, he was lucky!

BTW, windchill here tonight is -36*F. So my daily driver (newish Impala) may be a treat in the morning.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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well it now tests to a bit past 15 below, i did put a gallon of new prestone in, put before i did i removed about a gallon of the old coolant, so i think my level was ok, not sure what happened. i also tested with a new tester too. but now level looks good, blows great heat and no leaks
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankeery View Post
Pick yourself up a hydrometer and verify the freezing point of your antifreeze. Trust this from an expert,-20F (did the conversion for ya) here this morning.


And it was only -25c here this morning too....
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ji58 View Post
well it now tests to a bit past 15 below, i did put a gallon of new prestone in, put before i did i removed about a gallon of the old coolant, so i think my level was ok, not sure what happened. i also tested with a new tester too. but now level looks good, blows great heat and no leaks
Your 'old coolant' might have been straight water.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:20 PM   #13
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And it was only -25c here this morning too....
Looks like -29*C (-20*F) here tonight plus windchill. I'm staying inside.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ji58 View Post
well it now tests to a bit past 15 below, i did put a gallon of new prestone in, put before i did i removed about a gallon of the old coolant, so i think my level was ok, not sure what happened. i also tested with a new tester too. but now level looks good, blows great heat and no leaks
There is still something going on. It should test to -37*F. What tester are you using?
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mike Ward View Post
Your 'old coolant' might have been straight water.
Mike,

There is something very strange here. A quality 50/50 mix should show close to -40*F. I have seen -45*F and DexCool in my Impala become a slush puppy but it does melt down pretty quickly. His reading of -15*F is very unusual. That is not good enough in these temps.

Last edited by paul 74; 01-23-2013 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #16
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Do you have your oil changed at one of the 'quick stop' places? If so, you may have been losing coolant and they "helped you out" by filling it up with just water. After a few times, you have little other than water in your system. Check for coolant leaks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #17
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well the tester i'm using is peak antifreeze tester that i bought new today.i'll check it again, but the arrow was between 15 to 20 below. the new antifreeze is much more green than what was in there before. it was around july that i put most of a gallon of 50/50 in. maybe all the was in there was water. and it ended up watering down the 50/50 mix even more. thanks for again the help, in over 35 years since my first car, i've never had this happen! so with a gallon of straight new prestone, i should be around 45 below reading?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:35 PM   #18
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it was in the high 30s f this morning and i didn't want to get out of bed, i can't believe i used to live where it got really cold.
i don't know how you guys do it
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:49 PM   #19
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An old trick that wokrs really well if you still have some concerns, is to put a drop light in the engine compartment, turn it on, and lower the hood. The warmth from that light will make all the difference until you can be sure you have the right mixture in there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:57 PM   #20
paul 74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ji58 View Post
well the tester i'm using is peak antifreeze tester that i bought new today.i'll check it again, but the arrow was between 15 to 20 below. the new antifreeze is much more green than what was in there before. it was around july that i put most of a gallon of 50/50 in. maybe all the was in there was water. and it ended up watering down the 50/50 mix even more. thanks for again the help, in over 35 years since my first car, i've never had this happen! so with a gallon of straight new prestone, i should be around 45 below reading?
I would say about -35 to -40*F when that new Prestone is mixed in by circulation. You will be OK.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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