Antifreeze Math Problem

I’m high school educated so can just about read, write, and do a bit of math.
Except today I was stumped completely by the simple task of watering down an antifreeze mix.

Here’s the problem.
Take a 2 liter bottle of premixed anti freeze at 50% strength
(proof to -34° Celsius)
Only I need a 75 % : 25 % mix for the boat’s cabin heating system.
1 liter water and 1 liter antifreeze =    50 % strength (premix)
2 liters water and 1 liter antifreeze = 33 % strength
3 liters water and 1 liter antifreeze=  25 % strength

Simple eh?
Well not exactly and that little gem of an answer took two of us (SWMBO and me) the best part of a half hour of argument.
Fun bit? She was an accounts clerk in a past life!

Now comes the best bit.
After completely refilling the system, I used my little antifreeze tester to check the strength. It came out as 33%:-

arghyellRight enough humor, what color antifreeze do you use?
That and can you mix the colors to make a psychedelic mix?

Why is that important?
Different antifreeze (coolants) mixes use different chemicals.
In basic terms:
Green glycol, has silicate and phosphate corrosion inhibitors, good on iron and aluminum.

OAT, That’s organic acid technology. NO SILICATE OR Phosphates.
Now it gets confusing. Orange, pink, and DARK green.
OAT antifreeze (coolant) is designed to be used to protect aluminum components from corrosion in newer cars. It may not do as good of a job preventing corrosion of brass or copper.

Hybrid OAT antifreeze (coolant) called G-05.
They do not have 2-EHA but use other organic acids and add a little silicate.

Simple eh? Well no actually because those are only the basics,
Other colors include Yellow (go-5), Orange (Dex), purple, red

Now the $64 question can you mix them?
Honestly? I haven’t a clue yet my garage says NO but only because they had been told that i.e.  They didn’t KNOW WHY!

Well they are sort of right and the mixing of different chemicals and heat can produce particles in the fluid. That could block water ways in an engine over time.

Note I say COULD!
It doesn’t mean it will every time.
What has been proven though that mixing two different types will usually affect the antifreeze (coolant) performance.

My Advice?
Always use what the manufacturer recommended and not the local 7-11 special offer.

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3 Responses to Antifreeze Math Problem

  1. Brittius says:

    After reading and blogging news for over thirteen hours, this brain twister. My head is throbbing and about to pop.

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