anti-freeze/coolant/water mix for cold temperatures

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Damiano, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Damiano

    Damiano damianomigani

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    just relocated to London UK from SouthCal
    Hi,
    I'm going on a long ride soon and I want to make sure the bike is in 120% top shape before I leave.
    I have a question about engine coolant fluid.
    I'll be in fairly cold areas, where I don't really know how the temperature will drop at night.
    Right now I'm running a 50/50 coolant mix from Prestone that is rated to up to -34F, which should be fine for most of my trip (I hope it's not gonna get that cold, or else I'm dead ;) ).
    anyway, I've been wanting to replace the coolant for some time and now feels the right time to do it.
    100% anti-freeze is definitely not recommended, how about 70/30?
    is there a pre mixed product I could use for this occasion?
    what mix would you run in really cold weather?

    Thank You
    Damiano
    #1
  2. Oldschoolorange

    Oldschoolorange Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Hamilton Ont
    Run 50/50, You can go as high as 60/40 if you are in extreme cold. I never run more than 50/50 in my own vehicles. If the ratio of coolant to water is too high you run into all sorts of problems such as poor cooling and gelling coolant. Never go any more than 60/40
    #2
  3. civhatch90

    civhatch90 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    NJ
    Definitely do not go over 60/40. If you go beyond that, the freezing point will actually increase. Meaning, 60/40 will allow for the coldest temperature the antifreeze will remain a liquid.
    #3
  4. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,663
    Location:
    The only county in Illinois with no train tracks
    As mentioned, if you don't know what else to do go with a 50/50 mix.

    But the actual answer should be what the recommendation in the manual is.

    The issue with antifreeze is that it does transfer heat as well as pure water does. So a mix that works well to -40F might overheat the engine when it hits 90 degrees. So you need to pick a ratio that protects from freezing but also allows enough heat transfer to protect during the hot temps too.
    #4
  5. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,743
    Location:
    South of the Great North Woods
    I use the premix Yamalube stuff in my bike. I think it is 60/40 mix, but I could be wrong. I like the darker shade of green :D
    #5
  6. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,407
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Fairly certain all pre-mix is 50/50 which is the safe and effective choice.
    #6
  7. Damiano

    Damiano damianomigani

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    just relocated to London UK from SouthCal
    60/40 it is..
    thank you all!
    #7
  8. Tepi

    Tepi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    Helsinki/Heinola Finland
    As said before. 60/40 can cause more problems than 50/50. 60/40 will actually have a worse cooling capability than 50/50, in some cases you can boil due to it, bike rads are very small compared to the power output, sure they weight alot less than a similarly sized car. I wouldnt go 60/40 on a bike, max 50/50, which is what almost all premixed are (I've yet to find one that isnt, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt).

    So unless you're going to be parking in rural siberia, you shouldnt have problems with 50/50, heck I live in finland and we have no problems with 50/50 :D
    #8
  9. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,076
    Location:
    FDL WI.
    As stated... 50/50 is plenty good for anything you will encounter. If you want to cheat to 52/48 ish... (that is what I tend towards) that is fine.
    A product like "water wetter" or some such has been shown to improve the movement of heat from block to coolant and coolant to rad/air...

    May be worth the couple of $$$ if you want better cooling. Don't worry about freezing. 50/50 is good to -34 deg. F You will not see that kind of cold.

    Have fun :deal
    #9
  10. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,717
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    Don't do it. Everybody has tried to tell you, I'll tell you in plain terms, big print, so you don't miss this:

    ANTIFREEZE DOES NOT COOL YOUR ENGINE AS WELL AS PURE WATER!

    Every bit of anti-freeze added to the mix is done for a reason. The reasons you can't run pure water in an engine are because:

    1. It does not provide antifreeze and boil-over properties that are important for varied use of the vehicle.
    2. Pure water does not provide any corrosion protection for the dissimilar metals in your cooling system or lubrication for the water pump.
    50/50 is your best compromise for a motorcycle engine. Any more coolant in the system than that and you are reducing your cooling system's capacity. You are far more likely to overheat with 60/40 in the desert than you are to have the bike freeze in Alaska. Don't laugh, the possibility of overheating with their precisely-engineered systems is VERY, VERY real.

    In my motorhome, a 10% change in the ratio of the coolant can make the difference between making it up a long grade without overheating...or not.

    I now run 40% coolant in the motorhome for that very reason. It's a compromise but, it needs the extra capacity. Yes, it makes a noticeable difference.

    Save yourself the possibility of damaging your engine and stick to 50/50.
    #10
  11. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,211
    Location:
    The Teton Rockies

    fixed it for ya.:1drink

    Mix 50% antifreeze with 50% distilled water and forget about it. Why distilled? Cuz it doesn't have dissolved minerals and stuff in it that will condense on your engine parts...
    #11
  12. Damiano

    Damiano damianomigani

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    just relocated to London UK from SouthCal
    Today I flushed the radiator several times, and I added to the 50/50 mix a little extra antifreeze I had sitting in my garage. it was very little so I don't think the new ratio is above 55/45.
    I'll run this mix for my trip to Alaska, and when I get back to southern california, I'll flush out a little and add distilled water to bring back the ratio to 50/50.
    Yamaha actually sells a 70/30 coolant for temperatures up to -80F, which makes me think that the mix doesn't have to be extremely precise.
    Honestly I don't think the temperature is going to be anywhere near -34F but if it happens, at least I wont do any damage.
    thank you all for your valuable advice!!
    #12
  13. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,717
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    #13
  14. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,846
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    colder in some places...
    #14
  15. Damiano

    Damiano damianomigani

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    just relocated to London UK from SouthCal
    dude, no need for ALLCAPS, I can read

    but thanks
    #15