After the final event of the season, most racecars are driven (or pushed, or dragged) off the trailer, parked and generally forgotten about until a month before the first event. However, Race cars have a winterizing step that most HPDE cars do not. Antifreeze coolant is prohibited in wheel-to-wheel race cars because of its extra slippery nature is an extra risk on a track full of racing cars. This creates a very important step for the winterization of racecars, swapping out water for antifreeze coolant. A friend suggested I buy a special funnel to help make this routine job as easy as possible.
With a racecar you are draining and filling the cooling system at least twice a year, more if you’re doing work on the car (Aren’t we always?). Then add in the Tow vehicle, daily drivers, etc. Maybe I have a fleet of Jalopies but I feel like I’m always working on and around cooling systems. The annoying last step of any job is filling and “burping” those last little air pockets, It takes a while and can be very challenging for some cars. The Spill-Free Funnel changed the process from a headache to quick and easy.
The idea behind the funnel is simple, it locks to the radiator cap location with adapters to fit different OEM radiator cap sizes/designs. When you are filling the system with coolant, it now holds extra fluid in the funnel, effectively raising the highest point of the cooling system. With fluid halfway up the funnel, the system can drink or burp coolant without spilling over or taking in air. Finish the job and have extra coolant in the funnel? Insert the plunger, remove the funnel and let it drain into another container… Still no spilling.
This funnel helps make notoriously tough to fill cars and trucks significantly easier. Some vehicles have cooling system designs that inherently trap air in high spots within the system. Jacking the car up or parking on an extreme angle may help burp them by lifting the radiator cap towards being the highest point… Instead of driving around looking for a steep hill to park up, use one of these funnels to artificially raise the highest point and help air escape from tough spots in the cooling system.
Another Pro-Tip: When filling the cooling system, Use Distilled Water, NOT tap water. Distilled water is the way to go, as it is simply H20… pure water. Tap Water has minerals and additives in it that may (or may not) be good for your body, but definitely aren’t good for your cooling system. Minerals can build up in small cooling passages, lead to rust, and eventually cause problems. Distilled water is easy to find in Grocery and Drug Stores and is around One Dollar per gallon.
While we’re on the subject of freezing, RACERS with Fire systems: Don’t forget to remove your fire system bottles if the car will see below-freezing temps! Fire bottles (especially ones filled with AFFF solution) are prone to freezing and damage. Not only could the bottle be damaged from freezing, it could instead fail in a way you cannot see, but render it useless in the unlikely but unfortunate emergency that you may need it. So remove that bottle and get it someplace warm.
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