will my engine block freeze with no antifreeze or water? I just replaced the water pump and i am stuck on the power steering pump mounting brackets i am hoping to find a diagram or a link to a website. the vehicle is an 83 dodge d150 318 2wd.

  • 1
    Of course it'll freeze if it's below freezing outside. Whether it damages your engine block depends on if there's water inside that can also freeze, expand, and crack things.
    – cory
    Jan 6, 2017 at 14:10
  • @cory, if the system isn't closed (i.e. some hoses and or components remain disconnected), or if it's closed yet considerably low on coolant, won't any freezing action just push fluid out or into cavities, as opposed to freezing in place, expanding, and cracking components? ......even then, if closed and full, I would expect the lowest-tolerant components to take the punishment, like, the lower or upper radiator hoses. No?
    – elrobis
    Jan 6, 2017 at 17:51
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    @elrobis Sidewalks, roads, and all manner of things are not closed systems, but still crack due to water. It's much less likely that an engine will crack if it's been mostly drained. I wouldn't risk it though.
    – cory
    Jan 6, 2017 at 18:14

2 Answers 2


With no antifreeze or water, there is nothing to freeze so it will be fine to leave it drained of all coolant overnight.


If you had antifreeze in there before you started your repair, your motor will be fine. The antifreeze ISN'T so the ENGINE doesn't freeze, it's just "winter-grade" coolant.

Basically, during normal operation, the engine makes way too much heat for it's own good. Modern car engines are designed to be "water-cooled," but the problem in cold climates is that the water (not the engine) will freeze when the engine isn't running. We've been adding chemicals to water to keep it from freezing, so we've been calling the mix "antifreeze."

If water is what you've have in there before your repair, there's always some left behind after you drain it, so whatever is left will freeze. But like I said before, if it was coolant, the left over coolant won't freeze.

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