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Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
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sax88player Offline
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Post: #1
Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
So the other night I had both my generators set up in my car (one going to the air-box and the other to my pcv) and I went on a 2 and a half hour drive in -9 degree weather... WELL, as the condensation and or steam from my gen. to my PCV built up ice in my hose going into the pcv line and it eventually plugged it up completely and the pressure from the gas still being produced pushed most of the water in that generator out through the seal at the top and all over my engine compartment. So when I got to my destination I realized that there was white sodium hydroxide ice EVERYWHERE (thankfully not on the engine its self.)

SO, I just thought I'd pass this on so that no one else has to go through cleaning up such a mess like i had too!

~Cory
01-25-2009 10:24 PM
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thomasbala Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
(01-25-2009 10:24 PM)sax88player Wrote:  So when I got to my destination I realized that there was white sodium hydroxide ice EVERYWHERE (thankfully not on the engine its self.)
SO, I just thought I'd pass this on so that no one else has to go through cleaning up such a mess like i had too!

~Cory
If you're using a strong base like KOH or NaOH it's usually a good idea to carry a few jugs of white distilled vinegar to neutralize the caustic. If you get a chance when it's warmer wad up some aluminum foil in about 1/2 inch balls and drop them into a concentrated solution of NaOH or KOH in an open area and quickly move away. Massive amounts of hydrogen and heat are produced. Most of the time the heat is great enough to make the hydrogen explode. Same thing happens when that caustic hits your a/c condenser or radiator. Glad to see you didn't harm your engine or components.
01-25-2009 10:36 PM
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Gary Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
I think a quart of vinegar is enough to allow you to find some rinse water somewhere. No sense lowering your FE adding a lot of weight. Electrolyte won't eat right through a motor, but it sure will nasty it up quickly, as it did my transmission. The real danger is if it gets INSIDE the motor, where surfaces are more critical.
While we don't have the freezing problems you do down here, I'd suggest wrapping your lines with foam pipe insulation to keep down the temperature variable and subsequent condensation.
01-26-2009 05:43 AM
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sax88player Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
Ya... My line is very exposed to the cold. But it is only really a problem when it is far below freezing to the point where my engine can't even get fully up to operation temp... I think I'm just going to wait a month or so for the temp to get back up and keep going... I'm in college anyways, so I rarely drive.

Thanks for the advise... So if I gather what I read straight, I should mix some white distilled vinegar with water to clean up the caustic mess? It really didn't hit any of the engine components... it just spilled everywhere around where my struts are and stuff....

Thanks guys!
01-26-2009 10:17 AM
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thomasbala Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
(01-26-2009 10:17 AM)sax88player Wrote:  ... So if I gather what I read straight, I should mix some white distilled vinegar with water to clean up the caustic mess? It really didn't hit any of the engine components... it just spilled everywhere around where my struts are and stuff....
Hope you know a chemistry professor. Ask him or her what are the effects of say a 30% solution of NaOH on steel, rubber, aluminum, your "struts and stuff". I'm sure you'll be told that it's highly corrosive; NaOH can be compared to sulfuric acid in its corrosive properties. They're just on different sides of the ph scale. A low ph value means the substance is an acid; a high value means it's a base. Water, having a ph of 7 is neutral. Rub some between your fingers; it gets slippery; it's turning your skin into soap and glycerine. Wash it off quick before you get a burn. I wouldn't dilute the vinegar; I'd hit the car wash, if it's not too cold, wash it down once; drown the areas with vinegar; wash it down again and drown in vinegar leaving it on. The smell will go away in a few days.
01-26-2009 11:38 AM
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sax88player Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
All of this water on the inside of my engine compartment from washing won't hurt anything like my alternator? (which is right below where the spill was)

~Cory
01-26-2009 04:27 PM
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thomasbala Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
(01-26-2009 04:27 PM)sax88player Wrote:  All of this water on the inside of my engine compartment from washing won't hurt anything like my alternator? (which is right below where the spill was)

~Cory
It won't hurt your alternator splashing fresh water on it. Same thing happens once in a while in the rain while driving. Don't put any vinegar on or in the alternator. If the spill is below the alternator just use the carwash wand below the alt. What little water splashes up onto or in the alt. won't hurt it. Haven't you ever seen anyone at the car wash spray "Gunk" on a dirty old engine then wash it off with the high pressure rinse and drive off?
01-26-2009 04:46 PM
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martinruf Offline
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RE: Vacuum and cold can be a bad mix!
(01-25-2009 10:24 PM)sax88player Wrote:  and I went on a 2 and a half hour drive in -9 degree weather... WELL, as the condensation and or steam from my gen. to my PCV built up ice in my hose

I think we (you and me) need a summer cell with no heat production (<2 volts) and for the the other seasons a winter cell with a little heat production (>= 2 Volts). I talk about heat and no about steam.


The heat <40deg helps that your system not freeze while running.

Ford C-Max 1.8i flexfuel (petrol)
Victor-Tupperware-Cell
4x 5N at 1-2AMP
20% less Liter/100km
(This post was last modified: 06-15-2009 12:21 AM by martinruf.)
06-14-2009 08:47 PM
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