Here’s a tip for pouring liquids without the use of a funnel. Rather than using a long object to help the liquid slide into the waiting container or reservoir, we are simply going to be a good shot and prevent the container from “swallowing” air as we pour it out. Here’s an example of how to pour antifreeze into a coolant reservoir, but first, we need to recognize eight things:
- The width of the container dictates the width of the stream you are going to pour. This should match the goal you are targeting.
- How fast it is poured and the viscosity of the liquid affect the “range” of the stream – the distance from the peak that the arc of the liquid travels.
- The design of the container and the way you hold it will allow air to enter to promote smooth pouring or will inhibit incoming air and cause “swallowing”. Swallowing saliva will cause the container to bend and the liquid to rise as you search for it. Surge voltages will cause the “span” of the current to vary erratically and make it highly unlikely to be controlled.
- If you pour too fast, the liquid will “swallow”, no matter how well the container is designed.
- Foil seal debris left in the nozzle opening can alter the range, width, and direction of the stream.
- The lower you can clamp the bottom of the container, the closer you can bring the pouring spout closer to where you want to pour and thus improve accuracy.
- The “span” will vary slightly from when you start pouring, until you are pouring completely, and when you finish pouring. The reason is that it won’t pour the liquid out completely or stop it instantly. You have to aim the jet during its “reach” variations to make a clean pour from start to finish.
- Liquid spilled into the container will alter the characteristics of the spill.
Better designed gallon jugs have the pour spout to one side. This allows you to pour with the spout side up so that air gets in as you pour (to replace the liquid as it comes out), thus reducing the tendency of the liquid to swallow. It’s not intuitive, but the spout should be on the high side of the jug when you pour (even though that puts you further away from the target of your flow). If you have the spout on the low side of the bottle, the liquid will spill out very soon after tilting it, and the protruding contents will prevent the air from flowing back into the bottle and causing you to gulp.
With the above in mind, you can pour antifreeze with little to no spillage. Expect a range of approximately two inches with the container held approximately 12 inches above your target. It will spill out much the same as what you would expect from water.
The challenge with a gallon jug is finding a spot in the engine compartment that allows you to lower the bottom of the jug so you can bring the spout closer to the reservoir opening. For some vehicles, the reservoir is close to the wheel well, so holding the jug outside the engine compartment may allow you to keep it lower and thus bring the spout closer to the reservoir opening.
It is best to hold the handle of the jug with your fingers and let the heel or back of your hand rest on something stable. This helps with a good and consistent goal. Also, allow the pitcher to sit still for a while just before pouring so you don’t have the liquid splashing back and forth in the container and varying the scope and direction of the stream.
Tilt the bottom of the jug up to pour deliberately, but in a gentle and limited way, until you are sure your target is good and you have correctly calculated the range of the jet. Make small adjustments to your aim and lean throughout the pour. Stop him in case you’re terribly wrong on either one.
If you are unsure about using this technique, simply use an empty pitcher of the same design filled with water and practice under conditions that replicate what you will find in the engine compartment. You could even practice pouring water into the closed lid of the reservoir as a great mockup before trying it out with the lid open and a gallon jug of antifreeze solution.