Dex Cool Coolant ... It's Bad News


Pegisue
08-21-2003, 01:11 AM
Our 97 Chevy Silverado 2500HD had the radiator replaced at the dealership in June 02. It had been leaking from a seam and was replaced with a manufacturers specified radiator & the dexcool coolant using the extended warranty.

In July 03 just 3,600 miles (yeah, I know we don’t put many miles on this vehicle) later, the engine severely overheated, the top and bottom radiator hoses collapsed and the head gasket blew. This happened on our first camping trip with our new trailer (5500 lbs so don’t worry, we didn’t overload the truck)

We had it towed to the dealer initially for their diagnosis, which was that the engine had been blown and our only option was to put in a “crate motor” for what we felt was a very high price. We chose to have it towed to an independent mechanic that we have taken our vehicles to for many years and had the engine rebuilt for just over half the price quoted by the dealer. The radiator was sent out to a radiator shop to be bore out, and was found to be 50% blocked internally. He cleaned out red gunky substance that was clogging the radiator and causing it to not function properly.
Also as a note, this heavy-duty truck has a single core radiator as a stock issue, which seems kind of small for the engine and load size considering that this truck has a weight rating of 9,000 pounds that it can tow. I have had the dealer verify that the correct radiator was installed. The radiator shop mechanic recommended replacing it with a double core radiator to lessen the chances of overheating in the future.

Now that our truck is home and repaired we have to go through the “break in period” with the rebuilt engine and cannot tow our new trailer all summer if we want to break it in properly and safely since we live in a valley and everything from here is up a hill there is no real flat land camping to go to. We surely don’t want to heat it up and cause a problem at all, so we’re taking it easy.
I have called the dealership and their standpoint it that this is a General Motors issue and they say that they installed the proper radiator in the truck so there wasn’t a problem on their end. I have called GM and they said that since I didn’t have all of my oil changes done at the dealership that they cannot determine that we have properly maintained this vehicle and therefore are not liable for anything.

No where in the owners manual does it say that we are required to take our vehicle to the dealer for maintenance so I think that GM is trying to get me to back down by finding something that I might not know and perhaps they can scare me away.
I can’t get anyone to talk about the Dex cool issue. I have read some stories online about the problems people have had. I am hoping to get GM to help me pay for this engine rebuilding and admit that there can be a problem with using their Dex cool product.

Is there anyone out there that has had a similar experience or has some advice for my situation?
Is there a class action lawsuit in California for this?
I would appreciate responses from anyone with information, opinion or experience with this matter.

Thanks!

Pegisue

klohiq
08-22-2003, 02:52 AM
My cav has had a lot of problems with overheating, but in general not anything really serious. The radiator may need to be replaced, but it could be because the mechanic we usually take it to put regular coolant rather than dex cool at one point. The radiator seems to be fine and that was over 100,000 miles ago (260k and some change on the car currently :) ).

Alero GL Lemon
03-17-2004, 06:42 AM
Dex cool is garbage! I'm replacing my intake manifold gasket possibly the rad. my engine is full of sludge! GM claims people are having problems because they didn't keep the coolant full. When I did bring my car to GM for regular maintance they didn't check it! My low coolant light came on shortly after a "scheduled maintance", I bought the death-cool and maintaned it myself. You can't trust GM Goodwrench to "care for your GM". My lemon is in the shop and has been several times for different reasons.

fajita23200
03-17-2004, 10:48 AM
My cav has had a lot of problems with overheating, but in general not anything really serious. The radiator may need to be replaced, but it could be because the mechanic we usually take it to put regular coolant rather than dex cool at one point. The radiator seems to be fine and that was over 100,000 miles ago (260k and some change on the car currently :) ).
I have no idea which shop you're going to.But,if a mechanic does not know the difference between the two he needs to be shot.If it's made for one it will not run on the other for very long.

C_Sephiroth
03-18-2004, 11:03 PM
Dex Cool is a very Good Coolant. Safer for the environment. Has added Benefits for the cooling System. Lubes Water pumps better. Has a Better Heat Exchange Rate. The list goes on and on. Yes they had problems when it first cam out, as ANYONE does with new products. (Should always wait till the 3rd year for something new 1st year to new, bugs. 2nd year they are working the bugs out. 3rd year they pretty much have the bugs out and 4th year they are trying to make things cheaper) But Now they pretty much have the bugs all worked out for the Dex Cool. It is like the Synthetic Engine Oils. When they came out back in the 50's (mind you I wasn't alive) They had all kinds of probelms, Causing Seals to leak, Foaming up. all kinds of stuff, and now well for nearly 20 years, there isn't a Really a bad thing about Them, except Cost. I am changing over my Green Coolant to Dex Cool this summer. The Only thing you have to do is flush it out, with a chemical and water, then add the dex Cool. From Stuff I have seen you DO NOT WANT TO MIX the green and the Orange, even though The new Dex cool States that you can Safely Mix 10% and not have a problem, I wouldn't even Try it. It makes the Nastiest Sludge and Slime. Most of these Failures that you speak of are Probably of this Nature, Some where Someone Probably Added the wrong stuff. Shit happens ya know.

danstrong
03-19-2004, 05:27 PM
If you are converting your car from ethelyne glycol to dex cool in an older car, be sure to have the bars leak ready for all the leaks.

Dan Strong

C_Sephiroth
03-19-2004, 11:42 PM
Well First I wouldn't be converting if I hadent replaced Everything. What makes you think it will Leak?
FYI Dex cool is a Ethelyne Glycol Base.

Alero GL Lemon
03-21-2004, 03:06 PM
Dex-Cool may be better for invro which is great!It is not better for your cars engine!Go to
www.nbc4.tv/automotive/236981/detail.html and see my problem with death-cool!

spooleffect
03-21-2004, 03:10 PM
Dex-Cool is and excellent coolant/anti-freeze.

If you have sludge in your engine thats because you still had some of the old green coolant in there. You CANNOT mix traditional coolant with dex cool because it will mix into sludge. You have to completely flush your entire system free of the green stuff before you can introduce dex-cool into the system.

Alero GL Lemon
03-21-2004, 06:15 PM
My car NEVER had the green stuff in it!It is a GM factory dex-cool car.I look after my car and knew to use dex-cool.Do you what make a Alero is? Maybe you should pay more attention to user names!

fajita23200
03-23-2004, 12:07 PM
My car NEVER had the green stuff in it!It is a GM factory dex-cool car.I look after my car and knew to use dex-cool.Do you what make a Alero is? Maybe you should pay more attention to user names!
Hi,I have a 98Cavalier.It has the dex-cool in it .I've never had a problem with it.I know that very soon I need to replace the coolant.It has 95,000 miles on it.I've replaced a few other parts.The dealerships always try to say you did'nt maintain your vehicle.But,that GM's Problems excuse on their part is always bullsh$%.That's the company they represent right???

C_Sephiroth
03-23-2004, 10:25 PM
The only reason Dex Cool turns sludge is because someone added Green Coolant to it. Not saying you did it, but that is the only way it will turn to sludge.

bigdaveangell
03-28-2004, 01:15 AM
dex cool is shit. If you talk to any gm tech, none of them will even use it in their car or truck. Its corrosive to aluminum. Thats why you get sludge in you engine and radiator. Most people think that you cant run the green stuff in a dex cool system. Thats not true. If the dealer finds out that voids your warranty but that is the only bad thing that will happen.

C_Sephiroth
03-28-2004, 11:00 AM
Well Whoever you are talking to doesn't know SHIT. Dex Cool Is less acidic. it has an average ph of about 8 and the Green stuff has an average of about 10-11 (Lower #'s GOOD). The Sludge builds up because someone Mixed The Two. I am a GM Tech. I specialize in Corvettes. We have converted many older vetters to the Dex Cool because it is less Corrosive to aluminum.

bigdaveangell
03-28-2004, 01:08 PM
it may be less corosive im not arguing about that but it eats at aluminum. maybe a chemical reaction. Ive seen it alot in colorado

C_Sephiroth
03-29-2004, 11:02 PM
No way, if it eats aluminum that would make it COROSIVE.

bigdaveangell
03-30-2004, 01:26 AM
Ive had to replace water pumps and radiators because of dex cool. and no, it wasnt mixed with antifreeze

C_Sephiroth
03-30-2004, 07:01 AM
You probably had to replace them because they were faulty. Don't just asume it is because of the dex cool. Don't get me wrong when they first started the Dex cool thing (late 95) They did have some problems, but the Dex Cool they are using now is far better than it was before, Like I said You need to wait till about the 3rd year of something new before you buy it,there are always bugs.

Jimmiz71
04-01-2004, 11:43 AM
I have 81,000 on my New Body Style 99' and run Dex Cool I pull a trailer on weekend with my quad on it and have no problem with the coolant. I admit I was a lil skeptical about it when I bought my truck but its done nothing but good for me. I check under the hood on a regular basis, Alero man seems kind of bitter about his ride, Maybee you should buy a dodge and let the transmission fall out from under you =) If you dont like GM then go elsewhere.
-Jimmy

C_Sephiroth
04-01-2004, 04:18 PM
You must not understand what Corosive means. It only "Eats" something because of the acid levels in the coolant. So if it is eating aluminum it means someone hasn't taken care of there cooling system

2003CAVw/issues
04-08-2004, 12:55 PM
Our 97 Chevy Silverado 2500HD had the radiator replaced at the dealership in June 02. It had been leaking from a seam and was replaced with a manufacturers specified radiator & the dexcool coolant using the extended warranty.

In July 03 just 3,600 miles (yeah, I know we don’t put many miles on this vehicle) later, the engine severely overheated, the top and bottom radiator hoses collapsed and the head gasket blew. This happened on our first camping trip with our new trailer (5500 lbs so don’t worry, we didn’t overload the truck)

We had it towed to the dealer initially for their diagnosis, which was that the engine had been blown and our only option was to put in a “crate motor” for what we felt was a very high price. We chose to have it towed to an independent mechanic that we have taken our vehicles to for many years and had the engine rebuilt for just over half the price quoted by the dealer. The radiator was sent out to a radiator shop to be bore out, and was found to be 50% blocked internally. He cleaned out red gunky substance that was clogging the radiator and causing it to not function properly.
Also as a note, this heavy-duty truck has a single core radiator as a stock issue, which seems kind of small for the engine and load size considering that this truck has a weight rating of 9,000 pounds that it can tow. I have had the dealer verify that the correct radiator was installed. The radiator shop mechanic recommended replacing it with a double core radiator to lessen the chances of overheating in the future.

Now that our truck is home and repaired we have to go through the “break in period” with the rebuilt engine and cannot tow our new trailer all summer if we want to break it in properly and safely since we live in a valley and everything from here is up a hill there is no real flat land camping to go to. We surely don’t want to heat it up and cause a problem at all, so we’re taking it easy.
I have called the dealership and their standpoint it that this is a General Motors issue and they say that they installed the proper radiator in the truck so there wasn’t a problem on their end. I have called GM and they said that since I didn’t have all of my oil changes done at the dealership that they cannot determine that we have properly maintained this vehicle and therefore are not liable for anything.

No where in the owners manual does it say that we are required to take our vehicle to the dealer for maintenance so I think that GM is trying to get me to back down by finding something that I might not know and perhaps they can scare me away.
I can’t get anyone to talk about the Dex cool issue. I have read some stories online about the problems people have had. I am hoping to get GM to help me pay for this engine rebuilding and admit that there can be a problem with using their Dex cool product.

Is there anyone out there that has had a similar experience or has some advice for my situation?
Is there a class action lawsuit in California for this?
I would appreciate responses from anyone with information, opinion or experience with this matter.

Thanks!

Pegisue


I have a friend with a late 90's or 2000 model Chevy Impala her car had high mileage, but the Dex Cool caused build-up around something in the engine and Chevy paid part of the repair bill, can find out more if you would like more info.

C_Sephiroth
04-08-2004, 10:59 PM
Well How High is High? Did she ever have the cooling system flushed? Just because it says 5 years 100,000 (or 150,000 now) does not mean it will last that long. If the coolant test out bad it should be flushed regardless of the mileage.

knucklebuster2
04-08-2004, 11:18 PM
I have been repairing cars for twenty years. I have friends( mechanics) at GM. Never in a million years will they go on record saying Dexcool is garbage. Believe me when I tell you they've told me in order to solve the brown sludge problem, switch to green antifreeze. The sludge is the Dexcool breaking down. It is not because it was mixed with green antifreeze. I have had my Pontiac from day one, and no one has worked on my car but me. My car never saw a drop off green antifreeze until lafter the brown sludge clogged my heater core and rad and I switched over. By the way, all the vehicles that have come into my shop that have had the "Dexcool effect", I have changed to green antifreeze, and have had positive results. True, Dexcool may have had problems in the beginning, it's just a very long beginning.........Dexcool may be better now, and I realize they work out "bugs", but unless my customer requests it, I highly recommend the changeover.

C_Sephiroth
04-08-2004, 11:29 PM
Personaly I would Stay with the Dex Cool (The newer stuff) Maybe just me but From the research I have done, and from what I have heard Dex Cool has Many more Benafits that the Green Coolant does. If you Flush it (when it starts to get bad, and don't wait untill it is Bad) then you will never have a problem.

bigdaveangell
04-09-2004, 01:22 AM
Ive got friends that are gm techs and none of them will use dex cool.

ceanern
07-02-2004, 05:40 PM
I have a 99 chevy Blazer LS, and I have a 99 chevy cavalier Z24 with a 2000 motor in it. I Just went and looked at my antifreeze and it appears to be the dexcool. But it is a orangeish brownish color. Is that normal for it. I am unsure if the cavalier has the dexcool in it or if it was switched over. Since I wasn't the person who performed the motor swap and intial purchase of it. Should I maybe get that system flushed to be on the safe side? And thanks for having this posted I wasn't even aware of the dexcoolant until finding this article!!

bigdaveangell
07-02-2004, 05:50 PM
If you have orange coolant with brown in it that sounds like dexcool with rust in it. If it is rust try a cooling system flush. If you do have rust in your radiator or another part the only solution would be to replace the part

public
07-02-2004, 08:54 PM
When DexCool came out I converted my 89 Cavi and later my 94 Cavi. I then bought a 98 Buick Century. Oddly the 1989 is the only on that never developed problems with the DexCool. My 98 came with the Dexcool and it started to sludge up. The 94 had the same thing. I checked online and found all the problems. I flushed all three cars and went back to the green stuff. Several years now with no more problems. I won't be using DexCool again anytime soon.

C_Sephiroth GM says it is from running the car low on coolant, not mixing the green stuff. Check this out. The Story is on several local news websites around the country. It reminds me of Ford blaming the tires for rollovers. GM had no rollovers with those tires. Always blame someone else.????

http://www.wivb.com/global/story.asp?s=1366511

tom3
09-23-2004, 10:10 PM
2001 Blazer, dealer serviced since new. Gurgling noise under dash, engine getting noisy at 12,000 miles. Very low coolant. Took to two dealers to finally get it loaded up with stop leak. Yes, sawdust in a new low mileage vehicle. If the coolant doesn't degrade the plastic (?) intake gaskets, something sure did. How does this company stay in business? Like to see them cut the rebates and start servicing what they sell - and build them better to start with. Whew.....

grimesjm1
09-27-2004, 11:04 AM
The sludge you people are talking about can be caused by two things...

1. Mixing the coolant with green coolant, and
2. Letting the coolant run low and overheating the engine. If your engine overheats one time, the anti-freeze is shot if you have dex-cool. it will sludge up and block water ports in your engine, creating hot sapots and blowing gaskets. Dex-cool is fine if you replace it every 30,000 miles like the green stuff(not 100,000 like it advertises), and never let it get low. but it would be a wiser decision to stick to the green stuff, which can accidently run low without "burning" and sludging up your engine.

KJRich
09-30-2004, 10:18 PM
My dad has a '98 Chevy Venture van with the 3.4 V6. It has over 217,000 miles on it. It has had Dex-Cool in it since it was brand new. There are no problems with this one. Of course, the Dex-Cool has been changed more often (probably every 2-3 years) than the recommended 5 year interval, too.
I've read a lot about the problems with Dex-Cool, but then I look at his van and I don't really know what to believe.

jayson716
10-02-2004, 08:28 AM
well i have never had a problem other than blowing up the motor but when i pulled it out the insides were clean flushed out radiater and put Dex cool back in and still no problems.

Screwtape
01-27-2005, 01:10 PM
Well Whoever you are talking to doesn't know SHIT. Dex Cool Is less acidic. it has an average ph of about 8 and the Green stuff has an average of about 10-11 (Lower #'s GOOD).

in the ph scale, 0 is more acidic than 10-11

4dr92cavi4cyl
01-27-2005, 01:31 PM
Yup, 0-6.9 is acidic, the lower, the more acidic. 7 is nuetral. 7.1 to 14 is basic. Why would they make this sh!t if it burns when low, freaking stupid engineers. No, GM is wrong, this stuff is NOT going to save people money, unless they have some knowledge of cars and actually look under the hood once a week, this stuff is going to COST these auto-ignorant people money.

tom3
01-27-2005, 01:39 PM
No doubt the main purpose of this antifreeze is to keep people out from under the hood of their cars until the warranty is certainly over with. What happens then is out of your wallet. Dare say the majority of owners have no problems with Dexcool, but those who do have serious, expensive problems. I'd rather have a routine maintenance item that I can rely on.

KJRich
01-28-2005, 11:30 AM
I just change it more often than they tell you to.

movin2stereo
01-28-2005, 10:20 PM
Don't mix,this is true.All it takes is someone to add a little green to your red and you will have a mess.This should be made aware to all people because most people don't read their manuals or the info labels under the hood.Just as scary many backyard mechs don't either.

dobach4
02-23-2007, 06:04 PM
For everyone wondering if Dex-Cool is good or bad. There is a class action law suit against GM for the damage that Dex-Cool causes to engines and cooling systems. I personally have a 2001 Venture and the radiator and cooling system was full of sludge. The Dex-Cool also causes the seals to leak after about 80,000 miles.

Blue Bowtie
02-23-2007, 06:18 PM
Interesting news, but this thread was started over 3½ years ago. It would be better to start a new thread.

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