DEXCOOL

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Thread: DEXCOOL

  1. #1
    2.5L Iron Duke
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    I keep hearing more and more complaints about dexcool,every mechanic i know has said they have had GM cars in their shops with cooling problems.From clogged radiator to bad freeze out plugs to clogged heater cores and all on fairly low mileage cars.From what i can figure out this stuff is garbage.I checked the radiator in my 99 regal gs and found scale under the cap and white corrosion in my radiator my car only has 30000 miles on it.My advice to any one with dexcool in their car is to get it serviced and do it often or you will have problems.

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  3. #2
    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC
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    If the coolant level gets too low and/or you have a coolant leak and you get air in the hot spots, you can get some 'sludge' that gets built up.

    Change coolant when needed and make sure it is full!

  4. #3
    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC
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    Also, only use distilled water to fill the system. I've read that regular tap water and DexCool don't play very nice.

  5. #4
    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 chev454ls's Avatar
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    You also can't mix the Dexcool with the normal red stuff because it will basically gell up.
    '97 GTP
    '65 Impala Convertible

  6. #5
    2.5L Iron Duke
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    My 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix was recalled last year because of DexCool. The dealer put tablets in the coolant to stop leaks in addition to installing a new intake manifold gasket (the second time). My car currently has 42,000 miles on it. Now I've notice my car isn't heating up very well this winter. I'm thinking that the heater core is getting clogged. I'm beginning to think my 3800 isn't going to go past another 20,000 miles before I have significant engine problems. It's really gotten course sounding at idle and the idle hunts up and down slightly when I sit in traffic for long periods.

  7. #6
    GMI Staff Member Premium Member Ming's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chev454ls@Nov 19 2003, 11:39 PM
    You also can't mix the Dexcool with the normal red stuff because it will basically gell up.
    My understanding is that a lot of people do this. They just buy brand X green stuff and pour it in with Dexcool.....not smart.

  8. #7
    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Premium Member Ghrankenstein's Avatar
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    My understanding is that a lot of people do this. They just buy brand X green stuff and pour it in with Dexcool.....not smart.
    I've seen a lot of trade-ins like this.

    Ghrank
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  9. #8
    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC
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    While I do acknowledge the possibility that there is a “problem” with Dexcool, I doubt it, I have 100k on my 99 Grand Prix, my mother has close to 63k on her 02 Bonneville, and my grandparents 99 GMC Suburban (which I am driving at the moment) has 98k and we have had no problems with the coolant. This whole topic makes me wonder how many people have actually read their owners manual. I have read the Prix’s three times front to cover and the Bonneville’s twice, and the Suburban’s twice. Having done so, I have demanded Dexcool when GM dealerships said it was not necessary, and have not had a problem.

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  11. #9
    Walking
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    i also have had dexcool problems. i have no heat. the dealer says dexcool turned to gel and ruined heater core. warranty nor gm will cover the problem. dealer says i need new heatercore at 875.00. ive gone the entire (cold winter in chicago with no heat) but i have good news for all. i have a friend whos a mechanic. ( he says hes had several gm cars in with same problem) he said all i needed was an acid flush. (not regular flush, acid flush!&#33 i did it and i now have heat. why didnt gm offer me this option?. my advice though is to do it yourself or find someone who knows about cars because gm will charge you a fortune. the acid costs all of 25.00- 50.00. and i didnt have to replace the heatercore. if you live in the chicago suburbs i have a great mechanic. if not look into this. it will save you alot of money and best of all youll have heat!!!!

  12. #10
    2.5L Iron Duke
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    Hmmm... I had a bad water pump seal (leaking ) and near-radiator overheating with my '98 GTP at around the 40,000 mile mark myself, and yes, the mechanic said the Dextcool was the problem, but this doesn't make sense.
    Why would GM claim no radiator change upto 100,000 miles if this was the case (under normal driving conditions-which I am)??
    My theory is what others are saying: That either the mechanics are topping off the Dexcool with other AFreeze and it doesn't mix well or (my theory)- At routine oil changes, some nonattentive mechanic mistakenly mixes the WS washer solution in the fill reservoir of the AFreeze tank and doesn't mix as well! All I know, is I had an almost paper-like whitish gunk in my AF reservoir.

  13. #11
    Walking
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    I know that Dexcool was shown to cause cavitation of the water pump during its testing in vehicles, before its introduction in 1996. This cavitation leads to coolant loss, which shows no sign of leakage onto the ground. I have experienced failed water pumps on two of my GM vheicles: 1996 and 2003 model year (Regal and Grand Prix respectively). In the 1996 Regal, which experienced the problem in 1998, I had to have the water pump changed. Then mechanic changed the coolant over to the traditional coolant after thoroughly flushing the system. Now the vehicle has 160,000 miles, it hasn't had a problem since. On the 2003 Grand Prix, we experience the first water pump problem at approximately 15,000 miles. The dealership said that GM was working on a fix for this, not sure what the fix acutally will be though besides changing the formulation for Dexcool.

    Dexcool is a long-life coolant and cannot be directly mixed with the traditional coolants. There is no harm in flushing the system thoroughly and then changing over to the traditional coolant. Dexcool was more of a marketing/sales campaign to say that you can go longer between maintenance. Just don't directly mix the long-life (acid based) with the silica based coolants because the will gel up. Flush first and you will be fine.

  14. #12
    Walking
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    Like Laurie, I had the same problem with no heat. I took my 1998 GMC Jimmy to a non-GMC mechanic, and had them flush the system and refill with non-dexcool ... and lo a behold heat. Funny thing ... I was quoted $1,000 to change the heatercore.

  15. #13
    1.8 Liter ECOTEC oldsmaniac's Avatar
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    I now know that you can't mix the red coolant with the green coolent, but if you do, what can you do to fix the problem and get all of the gel out?
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  16. #14
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    Theres actually a TSB issued on the DexCool by GM. The sludge is really internal rust in the cooling system due to air pockets.

    Pulled up a rather GM generic TSB....you may be able to get an idea of whats up...




    Rust in Cooling System, Heater Inoperative, Blows Cold Air, Engine Overheats (Flush Cooling System) #99-06-02-012D
    Rust in Cooling System, Heater Inoperative, Blows Cold Air, Engine Overheats (Flush Cooling System)
    1996-2000 Chevrolet and GMC S/T Models (Blazer, Jimmy, Sonoma, S10 Pickup)

    1998-2000 GMC Envoy

    1996-2000 Oldsmobile Bravada

    with 4.3L V6 Engine (VINs W, X -- RPOs L35, LF6)

    This bulletin is being revised to include additional model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 99-06-02-012C (Section 06 -- Engine).

    Condition
    Some customers may comment that the heater is inoperative, blows cold air, engine may exhibit an overheat condition or the coolant reservoir has rust in it.

    Cause
    Vehicles equipped with DEX-COOL® coolant, which may have been operated for extended periods of time with a low coolant level, usually in excess of 32,000 km (20,000 mi), may be susceptible to the formation of a rust-like material in the cooling system.

    Correction
    Flush the cooling system using the repair procedures that follow.

    Parts and equipment required/suggested for this correction are listed below.

    1 each *Prestone® Flush and Fill Kit #AF-KITP U.S. (#00050 in Canada). This kit can be obtained from your local parts supplier and can be used on all vehicles repaired under this procedure. Save it after performing the repair, as it is reusable.
    1 each *Prestone® Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner, GM P/N 12346500 - 1 per vehicle. This cleaner is in powder form and contains a neutralizer. Do not substitute other cleaners. The diluted cleaners that are available in liquid form are not recommended for this repair.
    5.7 L (6 qt) of 100% (non-diluted) DEX-COOL® coolant (GM Spec 6277M).
    1 each new thermostat, GM P/N 12563335.
    2 each new radiator cap, GM P/N 15075565.
    1 each *Prestone® yellow funnel. This funnel can also be obtained from your local parts supplier. It fits snugly into the radiator opening for an easy fill and is reusable.
    *We believe this source and their products to be reliable. There may be additional manufacturers of such products. General Motors does not endorse, indicate any preference for or assume any responsibility for the products from this firm or for any such items which may be available from other sources.


    Important
    Verify the fuel level in the fuel tank. The fuel level should be above ¼ tank before this procedure is started.

    As a precaution, verify the oil level in the crankcase. Add the amount required to bring the oil level into the normal range.

    It is recommended the vehicle be placed in a position so that the following are available:

    A sanitary sewer -- not a storm drain, etc
    A monoxivent system (if the outside temperature is less than 10°C (50°F)).
    Hot running water


    Notice
    Due to the complexity of these procedures, the following repair steps must be strictly adhered to in order to achieve the intended results. Any deviation or substitution may result in sub-standard cleaning/flushing results or system damage.


    Diagnostic Procedure
    Install the Scan Tool. This will allow monitoring of the coolant temperature throughout the procedure.

    Caution
    As long as there is pressure in the cooling system, the temperature can be considerably higher than the boiling temperature of the solution in the radiator without causing the solution to boil. Removal of the radiator cap while the engine is hot and pressure is high will cause the solution to boil instantaneously - possibly with explosive force - spewing the solution over the engine, fenders and the person removing the cap. Under some conditions, the engine coolant is combustible.



    Important
    The installation of a NEW radiator cap at the beginning of this procedure and the second new cap at the end of the repair procedure is necessary in order for the correct pressure to be achieved and for the repair to be completed successfully.
    The radiator cap is NOT a good indicator of the general condition of the cooling system. Typically the underside of the radiator cap will exhibit a greater amount of contamination than the rest of the system. It is important to evaluate the condition of the cooling system by checking the following before beginning the repair procedure:

    Remove the radiator cap. Install a new radiator cap, GM P/N 15075565. A properly operating radiator cap is essential for this procedure to work properly. Be sure to wipe off all radiator cap sealing surfaces prior to installation.
    Start the engine.
    Using a flashlight or lead light, look into the radiator. From the right side of the vehicle, peer into the radiator toward the left side of the vehicle. Observe the top three rows (or tubes) of the radiator. (It may be necessary to drain off some of the coolant to see the top three rows of the radiator). If it appears the coolant is able to flow through the third row down from the top, the vehicle should be repaired using Procedure A. If it appears the coolant is NOT able to flow through the third row down from the top, then the vehicle should be repaired using Procedure B.
    Stop the engine.
    Repair Procedure A & B

    Important
    If available, use coolant exchanger Pro-Fill 42-75100-KM, Power Flush 211-07601/DEX (available through the GM Dealer Equipment program), or equivalent to evacuate the system of coolant. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for exchanging used coolant with new coolant. However, for this procedure, use water in place of new coolant. Be sure to exchange 1½ times the cooling system capacity of the vehicle with water. This will ensure that only water remains within the cooling system. Once the coolant has been displaced with water, drain the water from the radiator.
    If you are located within an area which regulates the disposal of used coolant (check with your local water treatment facility), all coolant and coolant/water mixture must be captured until the water runs clear of coolant. Use a clean 208 L (55 gal) drum or similar to contain the waste coolant. Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 00-06-02-006 for information on coolant recycling and removal services.

    Drain and properly dispose of the coolant.

    Caution
    Any obstructions in the hoses to or from the coolant recovery bottle may cause over-pressurization of the cooling system. This over-pressurization could result in serious personal injury.


    Inspect the following hoses in order to assure there are no obstructions and the coolant is able to flow freely:
    The hose to the coolant recovery bottle.
    The relief hose from the coolant recovery bottle.
    Disconnect both coolant hoses to the heater core from the engine.
    Back flush the heater core for 5 minutes after clear water is present. Pressurized water not to exceed 345 Kpa (50 psi), may be used.
    Reinstall the heater return hose to the engine.
    Install the radiator cap and properly tighten.
    Install the "T" from the flush and fill kit to a 25.4 cm (10 in) piece of 19 mm (¾ in) heater hose. Tighten the clamp.
    Install the hose to the engine. Tighten the clamp.
    Install the other end of the "T" in the heater core inlet hose. Tighten the clamp.
    Disconnect the upper radiator hose from the radiator. Properly position the hose, so the accessory drive belt or any pulley/belt cannot touch the hose.
    If you used coolant exchange equipment, disconnect it.
    Attach a garden hose to the "T" of the flush and fill kit. Turn on the water and back flush the cooling system for at least two minutes after the water runs clear.
    Start the engine and continue back flushing the cooling system for five additional minutes.
    Turn the engine "OFF".
    Turn the water "OFF".
    Re-attach the upper radiator hose to the radiator.
    Open the radiator drain and drain all water from the radiator.
    Remove the lower left water pump crossover bolt. This allows lowering the water level in the left side of the engine.
    After the water stops running from the water pump bolt hole, reinstall the bolt.
    Close the radiator drain.
    Mix the Prestone® Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner, GM P/N 12346500, in approximately 3 L (3 qt) of warm water. Pour the mixture into the radiator. Top off the system with plain water and reinstall the radiator cap.
    Run the engine at 1600 to 1800 RPM with the air conditioning in the maximum cool position. To achieve the 1600 to 1800 RPM, place a dime between the closed throttle stop and the screw. This screw should never be adjusted, under any circumstance. Its only purpose is to keep the throttle plate from sticking in the bore when the throttle is slammed shut. It is not a minimum idle (RPM) control adjustment screw.

    Important
    It is imperative that all air pockets have been removed from the cooling system in order for the cleaning procedure to be effective.

    Service Procedure A
    For Service Procedure A, the cleaner should be left in the system for three hours (after normal operating temperature of the cooling system has been achieved). Normal operating temperature is when the coolant temperature stabilizes around 98°C (200°F). The best results are obtained when the coolant temperature is between 98°C (200°F) and 110°C (230°F). DO NOT EXCEED 113°C (235°F). Use the Scan Tool to determine when this point has been reached. When this temperature has been reached, start the clock. Periodically (every twenty minutes or so), monitor the coolant temperature and engine during the three hour run time. A half hour has been built into the actual labor time to cover for the time spent monitoring the engine, etc.

    In order to achieve a constant temperature of 98°C (200°F) to 110°C (230°F) during this procedure, maintain the idle speed, turn on the A/C or partially close the hood.

    Service Procedure B
    For Service Procedure B, the cleaner should be left in the system for two and a half hours (after normal operating temperature of the cooling system has been achieved). Normal operating temperature is when the coolant temperature stabilizes around 98°C (200°F). The best results are obtained when the coolant temperature is between 98°C (200°F) and 110°C (230°F). DO NOT EXCEED 113°C (235°F). Use the Scan Tool to determine when this point has been reached. When this temperature has been reached, start the clock. Periodically (every twenty minutes or so), monitor the coolant temperature and engine during the two and a half hour run time. A half hour has been built into the actual labor time to cover for the time spent monitoring the engine, etc.

    In order to achieve a constant temperature of 98°C (200°F) to 110°C (230°F) during this procedure, maintain the idle speed, turn on the A/C or partially close the hood.



    Important
    The vehicle should not be left idling outdoors when the ambient temperature is below 10°C (50°F). The flushing procedure relies on heat as a catalyst in order to be effective. Ambient temperatures below 10°C (50°F) do not allow sufficient cycling of the thermostat to effectively clean the cooling system.


    Turn off the engine.
    Remove the dime from the closed throttle stop screw. Do NOT remove the radiator cap. Following the procedure listed below will assist you in draining the cooling system thoroughly.
    Place a drain pan under the radiator drain hose.

    Caution
    The cooling system and coolant are hot and under pressure. Loosen only the radiator drain until the pressure has been released from the cooling system and follow the procedures exactly in this bulletin, using normal safety precautions to avoid being injured by the hot coolant mixture.


    Loosen the radiator drain. Drain approximately 1 L (1 qt) of liquid from the system.
    After the pressure has been released from the cooling system, slowly loosen the radiator cap to the safety stop. Do not remove the cap (This releases the spring pressure on the secondary seal while retaining the primary seal to the top of the filler neck and will allow the coolant reservoir to be evacuated).
    When the coolant reservoir is empty, re-tighten the radiator cap fully.
    Remove the cap from the flush and fill "T". This will allow the coolant to be siphoned from the heater core and the engine block.
    When the water has stopped coming out of the radiator drain hose, close the radiator drain. Do not place the cap on the "T".
    Using Prestone® Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner, GM P/N 12346500, mix the neutralizer (from the bottom of the can) with approximately 3 L (3 qt) of warm (shower temperature) water.

    Notice
    Do not put cold water into a hot engine as engine damage may occur.

    Under no circumstances should the neutralizer be left in the cooling system for any longer than ten minutes once the vehicle has reached operating temperature (thermostat open). The neutralizer is corrosive to aluminum and will damage system components if it is left in the cooling system for longer than ten minutes.


    Pour the mixture from the step above into the radiator.
    Completely refill the cooling system with warm to hot water through the "T". When the radiator is full, install the radiator cap to the safety catch. Continue to fill until the overflow reservoir is filled to the hot line on the reservoir.
    Remove the fill hose and install the cap on the "T" and the radiator fully.

    Important
    It is imperative that all air pockets have been removed in order for the procedure to be effective.


    Start the engine. After engine speed stabilizes, reinstall the dime between the closed throttle stop and the screw. With the A/C on, bring the cooling system back to normal operating temperature and follow the directions on the can.
    Turn off the engine.
    Remove the dime from the closed throttle stop and the screw.

    Caution
    As long as there is pressure in the cooling system, the temperature can be considerably higher than the boiling temperature of the solution in the radiator without causing the solution to boil. Removal of the radiator cap while the engine is hot and pressure is high will cause the solution to boil instantaneously - possibly with explosive force - spewing the solution over the engine, fenders and the person removing the cap.


    Drain the cooling system, following the procedure listed in Step 24 above.
    Do not close the radiator drain. Leave it open.
    Disconnect the upper radiator hose from the radiator. Properly position the hose, so the accessory drive belt or any pulley/belt cannot touch the hose.
    Attach a garden hose to the "T" of the flush and fill kit. Turn on the water and back flush the cooling system for at least two minutes after the water runs clear.
    Start the engine and continue back flushing the cooling system for five additional minutes.
    Turn the engine "OFF".
    Turn the water "OFF".
    Close the radiator drain.

    Important
    If the repair is a Procedure A, go to Step 40.

    If the repair is a Procedure B, remove the radiator and have it recorded and steam clean the end tanks. After reinstalling the radiator, continue to Step 40.


    Remove the air cleaner housing and tube assembly from the throttle body.
    Remove the two nuts holding the throttle cable bracket to the throttle body and position the bracket and the cables out of the way.
    Remove the thermostat.
    Remove the previously installed flush kit "T" and hose. Save for future use on other vehicles.
    Install the heater inlet hose to the intake manifold and secure with the original spring clamp.
    Inspect the thermostat opening and cover for foreign material. Clean if necessary.
    Remove the left lower water pump crossover bolt to drain the left side of the block and the left cylinder head.
    Install sealant to the bolt threads, using GM P/N 12346004 (Canada GM P/N 10953480), or equivalent and reinstall the water pump crossover bolt. Tighten
    Tighten the bolt to 41 N·m (30 lb ft).

    If available, use coolant exchanger Pro-Fill, Power Flush, or equivalent to fill the system with 50/50 DEX-COOL® coolant. If a coolant exchanger is not available, proceed to the next step now. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for system fill/coolant exchange. If you are using coolant exchange equipment, you will need to install a new thermostat, GM P/N 12563335 and top off the system with clean drinkable water prior to exchanging. After exchanging, install the upper radiator hose and clean out the coolant recovery bottle. Proceed to Step 56.
    Pour 5.6784 L (6 qts) of 100% (not pre-mixed) DEX-COOL® coolant into a clean container.
    Using a clean funnel, pour as much of the 100% DEX-COOL® coolant that you can into the engine through the thermostat opening.
    Install a new thermostat, GM P/N 12563335. Tighten
    Tighten the bolt to the specified torque of 19 N·m (14 lb ft).

    Hold the upper radiator hose in the straight up position and pour 0.473 L (1 pint) of the 100% DEX-COOL® coolant into the hose.
    Install the upper radiator hose to the radiator and properly position the clamp.
    Flush the coolant recovery bottle thoroughly.
    Complete the fill of the cooling system with the balance of the 5.7 L (6 qt) of 100% DEX-COOL® coolant and top off with plain water. If the water is not drinkable, do not use. Water must be clean and fresh.

    Important
    The second new radiator cap must be installed at this point of the procedure. It is possible that small contaminants may have become lodged in portions of the first cap during the cleaning procedure.


    Clean the radiator cap sealing surfaces on the radiator. Install the radiator cap, GM P/N 15075565.

    Important
    It is imperative that all air pockets have been removed in order for the cooling system to function properly.


    Run the engine to operating temperature with the air conditioning in the maximum cool position for ten minutes.

    Caution
    As long as there is pressure in the cooling system, the temperature can be considerably higher than the boiling temperature of the solution in the radiator without causing the solution to boil. Removal of the radiator cap while the engine is hot and pressure is high will cause the solution to boil instantaneously - possibly with explosive force - spewing the solution over the engine, fenders and the person removing the cap. Under some conditions, the engine coolant is combustible.


    Turn the engine "OFF" and let it cool.
    Check the coolant concentration for a 50/50 mix, using refractometer J 26568 (Centigrade scale) or J 23688 (Fahrenheit scale). Follow the manufacturer's directions for using the coolant tester. Unless your coolant tester has a provision for temperature correction, it is imperative that the correct coolant temperature is achieved when testing the coolant. If the coolant is warmer or cooler, the reading may be incorrect.
    Top off the radiator and fill the coolant recovery bottle to 2.54 cm (1 in) above the full hot mark on the coolant reservoir. Add the appropriate coolant mixture to come to a 50/50 mix of the DEX-COOL® coolant.

    Important
    To assure intended system performance, inform the customer that the cooling system MUST be maintained in a completely full condition.

  17. #15
    GMI Staff Member Premium Member Ming's Avatar
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    Little off topic, but does anyone know if Dexcool plays well with Purple Ice? Any additives to avoid with Dexcool?

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