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Why Isn't Water an Acceptable Substitute for Antifreeze?

Water – A short Term Substitute for Antifreeze

Although water can be used for a very short time when antifreeze isn't available, it isn't a good long term substitute. Although it is needed as a conductor of heat, using straight water can lead to issues with rust and corrosion. Antifreeze also contains lubricants that are designed to help the water pump as well as anti-foaming agents. In most cases, a 50/50 mixture is recommended for nearly all passenger vehicles.