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Homework Help: Which is a better coolant for a car: methanol or water?

  1. Apr 6, 2004 #1
    What exactly is a coolant? Which is a better coolant for a car: methanol or water? Why?

    Thank you for your time! :wink:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2004 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    Science Advisor

    A "coolant" is something that cools! I would have thought that was obvious. Most automobiles use water (Old Volkswagens were air cooled. I don't know about the new ones.). Methanol has both a higher heat conduction constant and a lower evaporation temperature than water and so will transmit heat away from the car faster but will also "boil away" faster (and, of course, costs more).

    I will let you answer the question "which is a better coolant".
     
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