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Warm up faster

February 06, 2009

When you start your car in the morning, the coolant in the engine is cold. It's the same coolant (antifreeze) that provides cabin heat. The longer it takes for the liquid to heat up, the longer it takes for your interior to warm up on a cold winter day.

But Heater Hotter is a handy bottle of orange stuff that mixes with your antifreeze to accelerate the transfer of heat from your engine to the coolant, and thus to your heater system for a claimed reduction in warm-up time of up to 50 percent. And on an a -20F morning, 50 percent is a big deal (just ask your fingers).

A 16-ounce bottle costs about $10. Design Engineering Inc. sells a number of other thermal products, including a coolant additive called Radiator Relief that will lower your engine operating temperature by up to 30 F, great for tow vehicles (especially with a an automatic transmission whose cooler absorbs extra heat from the radiator liquid).

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There's no mixing required: all you have to do is add it to the radiator fluid and, according the manufacturer, it's safe on all metals it comes in contact with. Be sure to visit www.designengineering.com to order online, or call 800-264-9472.

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