Never Change Your Coolant Again?

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Story and Photos by Tim Suddard

Water mixed with antifreeze has served the automotive industry for more than a century; more recently, an additive package arrived on the scene that reduces corrosion inside the engine. The combination is cheap and effective, the perfect one-two punch for cooling a classic, right?

As you may have guessed, there are several downsides to traditional coolants. The first bugaboo is that corrosion is always ready to strike when water meets metal. The regular maintenance is a hassle, too, as traditional cooling systems should be flushed every two or three years. Of course, most of us don’t do this.

Then there’s the biggest limitation of a standard cooling system, the water itself. Water begins to boil, and therefore evaporate, at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To combat this, cars use pressurized cooling systems that increase the boiling point by about 1 degree for every 3 psi.

While effective, this added pressure has some obvious drawbacks. It can cause more leaks, but perhaps more troubling is the potential for jets of super-hot water to launch out of the engine compartment if something breaks. Water’s limitations range from a bit frustrating to downright dangerous.

Farewell to Water


The aftermarket is always looking to revolutionize automotive technology, and that next big thing has arrived for cooling systems. Evans has developed a waterless coolant alternative with an additive package that, they say, cools and protects better than the traditional method. We decided to try it on our old Edsel wagon.

While the formula is top secret, the Evans coolant boasts a boiling point of 375 degrees Fahrenheit. They claim it remains effective down to 40 degrees below zero.

But here’s what may be the most impressive advantage: Since the product is free of water, it won’t cause rust, meaning it can last the life of your engine.

This all sounded good, so we decided to convert our 1959 Edsel Villager to run the Evans fluid. Installation took less than an hour.

First, we had to drain the wagon’s entire cooling system; on most cars, that will include the radiator, engine block, heater core and overflow tank. And we couldn’t depend on just gravity to rid our system of antifreeze and water: The Evans coolant loses its effectiveness if it's mixed with more than 3 percent of its volume in water.

Enter Evans Prep Fluid. It attracts any lingering water in the cooling system and washes it out as it drains. We followed the instructions on the jug, running the stuff through the cooling system for 15 to 20 minutes–long enough to get the engine up to temperature. Then we drained it.

At this point, Evans recommends blowing high-pressure air through the system to remove any remaining water. (Of course, if you’re starting with a fresh, green engine, these first steps are unnecessary.)

Then it was time to fill the system with the Evans coolant. (Most of our sports cars have cooling-system capacities of about 2 gallons.)

This coolant does not require a different radiator cap; your current one should be fine. Evans waterless coolant creates only 3 to 5 psi of pressure as it heats up, and your cap is most likely rated for 7 to 15 psi.

So what’s the catch to this magical science?

If there is a downside–and it's a minor one–it is price. Good coolant (not the watered-down 50/50 stuff) retails for about half the cost of the $45-per-gallon Evans fluid. A gallon of the Evans prep liquid costs about $30.

However, once you factor in the potential savings from never changing your car’s coolant again, that price almost seems too low. We’ll be converting more cars in the future.

This article is from a past issue of the magazine. Like stories like this? You’ll see every article as soon as it's published, and get access to our full digital archive, by subscribing to Classic Motorsports.Subscribe now.


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View comments on the CMS forums
nderwater UltimaDork
10/31/18 11:00 a.m.

I'd love to see a side-by-side comparison (on Engine Masters, etc) of traditional coolant and waterless coolant in two engines run near redline to really explore what happens to them when the coolant temps soar past 250°F and the water-based coolant boils.

Any idea whether IMSA/FIA teams are already using this?  Waterless coolant seems an obvious choice for racing applications.

JoeTR6 Dork
10/31/18 11:07 a.m.

I was thinking of going this route with my TR6 project.  It sounds even easier since the system is completely rebuilt and dry.  When the engine was rebuilt, the freeze plugs were replaced and the machinist did not use any adhesive.  I believe they were staked into place.  My only concern is that the waterless coolant may not rust the new freeze plugs into place the way a traditional coolant would.  OTOH, less coolant pressure should make it less likely to have a plug pop out.  We will see.

Thanks for the timely article.

Toebra Dork
11/1/18 12:08 p.m.

I suspect this is like the lifetime transmission fill.  Lasts until the transmission fails.


Water boils at 212*F/100*C  Water with coolant mixed in it does not boil at 212*F/100*C, it is higher, pressurized system also raises the boiling pont.

Durty New Reader
11/2/18 7:53 a.m.

Is it racing approved? Part of the reason we use only water in racing applications is the ease of clean up when it ends up on track.

stu67tiger Reader
11/2/18 11:39 a.m.

I'm trying to remember stuff from those old chem and physics coursed back in the day.   Is it called "Specific heat"?  Its a measurement if how much heat ti takes to raise the temperature of a liquid 1 degree C.  IIRC you want a coolant that takes a lot of heat to raise its temperature.  How does the Evans stuff compare to water or the standard 50/50 mix?


11/4/18 4:12 p.m.

In reply to stu67tiger :


I used Evans Coolant in my RX-7. Two major reasons I switched to Evans were the fact I could run unpressurized system, and the fact that since there is no water, the chance of air pockets and hotspots are nil.  In the time I had the car, I took it out to several track days with sustained high RPM laps. The gauge never went above the half way mark, and It never roller-coastered.


Notamiata New Reader
11/4/18 4:14 p.m.

In reply to Durty :

I’m not aware of any race sanctioning organizations that allow it for competition, for the same reason they don’t allow traditional  coolants other than water.


11/6/18 8:38 a.m.

I read the article and thought it was a great idea until I got the sticker shock. My car holds 18 litres of coolant and it sells in Canada for $70 + tax for 4 litres. So almost $400 plus the prep stuff makes it an awfully expensive option.


bobzilla MegaDork
11/6/18 9:35 a.m.

I shall with hold commenting on this. 

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