Home > Support > Water Methanol Injection FAQ (Gas)

1. Boost Cooler Benefits (Gasoline):

  • Low cost - where else can you get up to 60HP for as low as $304?
  • More Power - We don't create an intake restriction like an intercooler, and unlike race gas, we reduce intake air temps and improve charge air density too!
  • Efficiency - leaner air fuel ratio can be utilized for normal operation.
  • Easy Installation - Snow Performance systems can be installed in a matter of hours without having to remove bumpers or do custom intake piping.
  • Engine Health - Snow Performance systems effectively steam clean the valves, valve seats, and even the piston tops and intake when they inject. This reduces carbon build up.

2. Can the Boost Cooler be applied to naturally aspirated and nitrous engines?

Naturally aspirated/high compression engines: Water/Methanol injection allows the use of pump fuel in all but the most extreme situations which effects tremendous cost savings as well as horsepower increases due to air density increase and higher timing advance potential.

Engines using nitrous: With nitrous, water/methanol injection allows the use of more timing advance even with large (250HP+) quantities. The cooling effect of the water/methanol inside the combustion chamber also makes for reduced peak combustion temperatures.

Naturally aspirated/stock compression: With naturally aspirated engines using less than 10:1 compression, water/methanol is used often in warm climates to get the intake temps lower. Benefits include: 10-15 HP increases from air density increases and full timing as well as more effective air/fuel ratios, increased gas mileage, and carbon free combustion chambers.

While power gains are typically less in stock compression naturally aspirated vehicles compared to high compression or forced induction engines, the benefits of water-methanol injection can still be realized due to more timing advance, leaner air/fuel ratios, cleaner engine components, lower temperatures, and the use of the methanol in the injection fluid as a secondary fuel source.

3. What power gains can I expect?

Boost Coolers® allow for more power in two ways on a gasoline application.

Extra octane. This allows for much more aggressive tuning safely to make more power. Timing can often be advanced 10 or more degrees in the power band. Boost can often be increased 5 or more PSI. Air/fuel ratios of around 12.5:1 can be utilized even in high boost applications.

Better cooling of the intake air charge. We often cool intake air temperatures 50-150 degrees. This means denser air charge for more efficient power.

If these methods are used, a 20% increase in HP is possible. In naturally aspirated applications, gains of 5-10% are possible.

4. Can the Snow Performance system improve my fuel economy?

Yes! Snow Performance systems are designed to do just that. Both the diesel and gasoline systems are specifically designed to inject a very small and precise amount of water/methanol under normal driving conditions such as accelerating away from a stop light or driving up a slight grade.

The extra 20-25 points of octane provided allows for more spark timing advance and a leaner air/fuel ratio with the use of a programmer. Both of these factors not only improve power, their efficiency gains improve mileage as well. Additionally, many modern cars will detect the combustion of the methanol and reduce the injection of gasoline accordingly through the adjustment of long-term fuel trim values in the vehicles computer. This can directly and positively impact gasoline fuel economy. Gains of 5-15% are possible depending on how the vehicle is tuned and driven.

5. What fluid can I use in my system?

  • Boost Juice®: This is the best fluid to use and is Snow Performance’s 49% methanol, 51% water mixture that can be shipped to your door or picked up at a local dealer. (If you are using your washer reservoir as the injection tank, Boost Juice® is a great washer fluid – works as a de-icer!)
  • Windshield Washer fluid: Only if it is blue in color and rated for -20 deg F. It should have no special additives. This means it is safe to use and made of about 30% methanol, 70% water. If it is another color or another temperature rating, do not use it.
    • You can “spike” your Blue -20 Washer fluid to a 50% mixture by adding 3 12OZ yellow bottles of Heet® gas-line-antifreeze to every gallon of washer fluid.
  • Mix your own: You just need to make sure the methanol is “neat” and contains no lubricants or other additives. We recommend a 50% mixture.
  • Ethanol: It is not as good as methanol, but it can be used as a 2nd best option if you can’t find methanol. It can also be mixed with water up to 50%.
    • Do NOT use E85 or any other fluid with gasoline mixed in. It will destroy the fluid delivery part of your Boost Cooler® and instantly void the warranty.
  • Isopropyl/Denatured Alcohols: These can be used, but are not as good as methanol. They have a lower BTU, or energy content, and a lower latent heat of vaporization (fancy way of saying how much heat they absorb) as well as a lower octane rating compared to methanol.

6. Why Methanol?

Methanol is a very high octane fuel that is extremely resistant to detonation with an excellent cost/benefit ratio. Its high latent heat of vaporization also makes it an excellent air charge cooler which means a denser mixture and more horsepower. Because of these characteristics, it suppresses detonation more effectively than ethanol or iso-propanol although they will work in a pinch. It is toxic and should be handled with rubber gloves in well ventilated areas only. Care should be taken to avoid skin contact.

7. Where can I purchase Methanol?

Snow Performance sells 51/49 water/methanol mix as Boost Juice™. If this is used exclusively, Snow Performance can lifetime warranty a system so long as the free registration card is sent in soon after purchase.

Methanol can generally be purchased where racing fuels are sold. Also, most gas line dryers like "Heet" are simply methanol. Suppliers of industrial chemicals can also supply methanol for a very reasonable price. Ensure that the methanol is "neat" and therefore has no additives or lubricants added by the supplier.
Methanol can be purchased at VP Racing Fuels.

-20 degree F rated, blue windshield washer fluid is acceptable for use as well, and is available at most service stations. Although some fluids rated to under -20 degrees F contain glycol and other copolymers, most windshield washer fluids are up to 40% methanol. Try to find one that displays "contains methanol" on the label and is good to -20 degrees F, with no additives or special ingredients and is blue in color.

Additionally, many sprint car drivers and circle track and drag racers use methanol as a primary fuel. They often have methanol on hand and will even sell methanol that has been un-sealed for a long time at a very low price. Just be sure that the methanol has NO additives or lubricants (such as top lube), as they are not needed and can damage the pump.

8. What ratio of water/methanol is recommended?

A 50/50 ratio is recommended. This has been demonstrated to be the best for charge/air cooling, excellent detonation control, and safety.

Ratios of anywhere from 30% to 50% methanol work well and deliver excellent octane gains and cooling.

9. Can I use pure methanol?

While all components of Snow Performance systems are designed to be able to handle pure methanol, it is not recommended for a number of reasons.

Safety: Pure methanol is easy to ignite witha low 140F degree flash-point and burns with an invisible flame.

Performance: Water absorbs almost twice as much heat as methanol in the intake and inside the combustion chamber. Water cannot be flash-ignited, so has what is almost an infinite octane number. In the government studies for WWII piston-powered aircraft, 50/50 water-methanol was found to be the best fluid to use for auxiliary fluid injection.

10. Do I need an intercooler with Water/Methanol Injection?

Up to approximately 30 psig of boost, water/methanol injection (using 50% methanol) will provide all the density increase/detonation control needed in most applications. Of course, intercooling and water/methanol injection would provide even greater benefits, especially beyond 30 psig of boost. Most air-to-air intercoolers are only 50-65% efficient. For example, with 11 psi of boost and the resulting 120°f air charge temperature increase, an intercooler reduces the air charge temperature only 60 degrees. Also, an intercooler will reduce boost 2 - 4 psig. on average.

11. Why not use a windshield washer pump?

Water/Methanol must be injected at above 50psig to properly atomize. Lower than 50psig causes greatly reduced air charge cooling as the result of larger droplets and their reduced total surface area. Also with inadequate atomization, there is a greater propensity to quench combustion resulting in a loss of power.

Snow Performance systems also regularly inject into charge air passages at 40 psig or higher boost pressure, and a simple washer pump will not handle that kind of stress. The pumps in Snow Performance kits are specifically built for water/methanol injection in any environment that might arise.

12. How much range will a tank of Water/Methanol provide?

This depends on a number of variables. HP, injection system, settings, driving style, etc.

For most engines in the 200-500hp range, the standard 3qt tank will last around a tank of gasoline.

For higher HP levels with the MPG system, it will be more like 1 gallon per tank full of gasoline. The
#40016 2.5 Gallon reservoir could last two or even three tanks of gasoline.

13. I don't have any room in the engine bay for a reservoir, what are my options?

Use the factory washer fluid tank! Snow Performance fittings can be plumbed in directly to the OEM washer bottle and leave the windshield washer functionality in tact. 50/50 water/methanol makes an excellent washer fluid that can still be sprayed on the wind shield.

Trunk mounted reservoir. The reservoir and pump can be mounted in the trunk. 2.5 gallon reservoir upgrades (PN# 40014) feature extra tubing and mounting brackets for trunk mounting. We always recommend a #40060 solenoid for trunk mounting.

14. Where can I mount my reservoir and pump?

The pump needs to be within about 24” (hose length) of the reservoir, and as low or lower than the base of the reservoir. It is a “pusher” pump, not a “puller” pump.

Engine bay: In the engine bay, the reservoir and pump can be placed almost anywhere, as long as they are not very close to exhaust heat, or in the path of debris from the road. Be sure that the pump is mounted at the same level or below the reservoir and that the reservoir is not located higher than the nozzle. If the reservoir must be located higher than the nozzle, a solenoid upgrade (part number 40060) is required to prevent gravity feed.

Trunk mounting: This is fine, but again, the pump needs to be close to the reservoir and gravity fed. Lengths of 20-25 ft of tubing to the nozzle are fine. We always recommend a #40060 solenoid for rear-reservoir mounting, including use of the 2.5 gallon reservoir (part number 40014)

15. Is it better to inject the water/methanol solution before or after the Turbo? Where is the best place for a few specific vehicles?

There has been more discussion recently (especially on the internet) advocating pre-turbo injection. Most of the debate centers around increased atomization. You can probably get away with this in the short run if you inject a small quantity of finely atomized fluid (less than 10micron droplet) with a very low injection duty cycle. Also, if you don’t care about turbo longevity (like some race applications where the turbo is replaced frequently) or you have a system that doesn’t atomize correctly and need the turbulence to help (low injection pressure and nozzles that aren’t designed to atomize correctly). In diesels, especially where injection quantities are large in relation to fuel and where there is benefit to injecting at low/mid engine load states on up, it becomes a question of when compressor wheel damage becomes too severe as pre-turbo injection has been proven to cause compressor wheel erosion. The amount of erosion depends on the quantity injected, the size of the droplet injected, the speed of the compressor wheel, and the injection duty cycle (what % of total engine operation is water-methanol injected). Also, the argument of reduction in compressor work per unit flow and the increase in mass flow rate doesn’t hold water in a properly sized modern non-wastegated turbo.

16. Where can I mount the nozzle? Pre- or Post- throttle body/carburetor?

Performance: It makes almost no difference. Before or after the throttle plate(s) won’t change the effectiveness of the fluid. A given amount of fluid will absorb a given amount of heat, whether it is done more before or after the throttle plate really doesn’t matter.

Installation: It is usually easier to inject pre-throttle body in the intake tube. Easy access, no solenoid required (unless rear-mounting a reservoir). On a carburetor, it can actually be easier to use the
#40050 carb spacer plate and a #40060 solenoid for a bolt-in installation. These components are included in our RT and MC series systems.

In a blow-through carburetor setup with an air-box enclosure around the entire carburetor, injecting after the carburetor is preferable.

17. Pre- or Post- Supercharger/Turbocharger?

Centrifugal/Turbo: (Procharger, Vortech, Paxton, Powerdyne, Rotrex, etc.) Never mount an injector nozzle before a centrifugal supercharger or turbocharger compressor. Sending fluid through the compressor wheel that spins anywhere from 50,000rpm to 250,000rpm can erode the leading edges of the fine aluminum. Studies performed by SAAB, concluded that pre-turbo injection will over time cause cavitation on the turbo wheel leading edges.

Positive Displacement Supercharger: Roots style (B&M, Eaton, Magnuson, etc.) or twin screw (Lysholm, Kenne Bell, Whipple, etc.) Mounting the nozzle before this style of blower is perfectly safe and actually provides some additional benefits. The small amount of water-methanol fluid isn’t harmful to any rotor seals or surfaces or coatings, and it helps to seal the clearances and condense the air some more, resulting in a more efficient output. Additionally, it keeps the rotors and housing MUCH cooler, which reduces heat transfer to the rest of the intake and air charge.