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Unread 12-07-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
SBTlauien
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Forgot To Add Coolant/Water Is Frozen

I replaced my radiator in summer and didn't add coolant, just water. It's freezing now and the water is completely frozen.

I tried starting my 93 Jeep Cherokee, 4.0L, 6 cyl. , and it at first wouldn't start and then turned over and ran rough for about 10 seconds and then I turned it off. Some smoke or steam came up after I turned it off.

What should I do? Please help, I really need to go to the post office.

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Unread 12-07-2009, 12:32 PM   #2
BigD 275
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Get the Jeep out of the cold asap!! Into a garage, etc. with heat to thaw out your radiator, hoses and engine block. Once back to water, check everything to see if there are any cracks, leaks, etc. Drain 50% water and add 50% coolant.

If you are lucky, and I mean really lucky, you don't have any damage from the water freezing and expanding.

Good luck.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
little_Jeep
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Big D is right on the need to thaw this sucker out. What part of the World are you in and how cold are we talking? You may want to rent a Radiator Pressure tester from AutoZone once your Jeep thaws out to help determine if you have bigger problems than just a little ice.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
Fir3Chi3f
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Complete agreeance with BigD, maybe get the hair dryer out there. As it starts to melt, might try adding coolant to try and speed things up, like putting salt on ice.

And after your post office trip, completely drain it and put in a good 50/50
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Unread 12-07-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
little_Jeep
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Do you know if your water pump was turning? Smoke could have come from belt sliping because water pump wasn't turning... If water pump was/is froze solid, then that would give some indication to how hard of a freeze this was.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 12:54 PM   #6
SBTlauien
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I live in Salem, Oregon. right now it's around 29f, who knows how cold it got last night...

Im not sure about the water pump. I have no hair dryer either. I'm really screw.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
SBTlauien
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i have no garage or heater and no way to get a heater. i have no family and no friends.

would it be okay to pour hot water over it all and then try to start it?

how bad is it if I try to start it when it's all frozen?
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #8
FLATFENDER54
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You absolutely can NOT drive it with the coolant frozen. You will burn up your motor because the coolant will not circulate. Can you get it inside somewhere???

* edit* How cold last night? Was it in the high 20's or are we talking about below zero???
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:22 PM   #9
SBTlauien
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the internet says around 15F at night. I CAN NOT get it into a garge...I live in an apartment. Could I pour many gallons of hot water over it?
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:38 PM   #10
FLATFENDER54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBTlauien View Post
the internet says around 15F at night. I CAN NOT get it into a garge...I live in an apartment. Could I pour many gallons of hot water over it?
Yes you can and it wont hurt anything but if it is frozen solid inside the radiator and the block its not gonna do much. Hopefully it didnt crack anything.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBTlauien View Post
the internet says around 15F at night. I CAN NOT get it into a garge...I live in an apartment. Could I pour many gallons of hot water over it?
Problem with hot water is it would take a boat load of it, and it would soon turn to cold water, then to ice leaving you in an even bigger mess. Light bulbs (60 watt?) under hood, old blankets on hood, plastic garbage bag on grill.... besure not to start a fire... all you need to do is block cold air off radiator and engine, then raise temp to something slightly above freezing.... a couple household light bulbs under a well insullated hood (see above) for a few hours should do the trick.

Last edited by little_Jeep; 12-07-2009 at 02:00 PM..
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:47 PM   #12
SBTlauien
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sorry for my ignorance, but what at what temp does water freeze?

also, with 15F temps last night, and me trying to start it at 30F and letting it run for about 20 seconds, what are the chances I busted my block?

what are the chances of other damage at those temps?
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #13
LobstahJeep
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Water freezes at 32F degrees. If it was 15F and there was ZERO coolant, the chances you blew out a freeze plug, cracked the block or radiator, or busted a hose is very high. Also, if you tried to start it and the water around the water pump was frozen, you may have destroyed the pump.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:52 PM   #14
drdemux
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Plug in the bock heater? I assume you have one, but being in Or, you may not.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 01:57 PM   #15
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBTlauien View Post
sorry for my ignorance, but what at what temp does water freeze?

also, with 15F temps last night, and me trying to start it at 30F and letting it run for about 20 seconds, what are the chances I busted my block?

what are the chances of other damage at those temps?
Water will freeze at anything below 32F. Probably first area to freeze would be radiator because it is most exposed. The engine block is a little better protected and probably not as quick to freeze, but who really knows. The OEM radiator is plastic, so won't take much of freeze to cause damage. The engine block has freeze out plugs that will hopefully fail before any real damage can be done to block. The biggest concern you have is to thaw everything out without causing more damage. Personally, I do not like idea of trying to start engine (even for a minute or two) without having a better idea of what froze and how hard it froze. What is the current temps? Have you looked in radiator to see if still frozen (block could still be frozen even if raditator isn't). The parts that are first to freeze will be the first parts to thaw out. The slower parts to freeze will be the slower ones to thaw out.
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