dexcool problem: replace w/ green stuff?


74editrix
04-30-2008, 01:21 PM
So my car (2003 Grand AM GT v6, 49000miles) has run into the DexCool problem, where the coolant is degrading the intake manifold gaskets. My mechanic is going to replace the gaskets and flush the system -- and yes, I will be filing with the class action lawsuit by the deadline. Sadly I've had the car >5 years.

QUESTION: My GM mechanic (not a dealer, but used to work for them) recommends completely flushing and replacing the DexCool with the regular "green" antifreeze rated up to 50K miles. He says the replacement gaskets supposedly don't degrade as quickly with the DexCool, but they do still degrade. The green stuff doesn't do it. He says that's what he's done to his car and others' and the green stuff is fine.

Do others here agree with his advice? Or do I have to stick with the DexCool, even though it seems like it will just cause this damage again with the replacement gaskets?

J-Ri
04-30-2008, 04:54 PM
I have green coolant in both my "Use dex-cool only" cars, and it's fine. We've flushed hundreds of customers cars with green and never had a problem. I've never heard of this class-action lawsuit, but to be safe, you might want to check with a lawer (or maybe someonw here knows) to see if using green would somehow exempt you from joining? I know if you flush it with green, the warranty on anything coolant related is void. Green doesn't hurt anything, but considering how screwed up the legal system is it may be better to get car advice from a lawer rather than a mechanic.

The only thing on green is to use a non-silicated formula or it "can" damage the radiator or heater core.

'97ventureowner
04-30-2008, 05:10 PM
PLEASE read the following story before you make a decision as to what coolant to use:http://free-auto-repair-advice.blogspot.com/search/label/Dex-Cool .
You can do much more damage to parts of your engine by using a non-OAT based coolant. The problems associated with DexCool in most cases are other issues such as poor gasket materials/design, and air infiltraton into the cooling system by something as simple as a faulty radiator cap. There are plenty more vehicles on the road using Dex Cool successfully than there are with issues. We seem to hear more of the bad ones because when people are dissatisfied with something, they tend to be very vocal about it, more than when they are happy with something or not experiencing problems.Dex Cool is the recommended coolant for your vehicle and it's a good idea to stick with it to avoid any future problems. Also the newly designed gaskets are supposed to eliminate the previous problems the gaskets experienced.

74editrix
04-30-2008, 05:48 PM
Dex Cool is the recommended coolant for your vehicle and it's a good idea to stick with it to avoid any future problems. Also the newly designed gaskets are supposed to eliminate the previous problems the gaskets experienced.
I know if you flush it with green, the warranty on anything coolant related is void. [snip] The only thing on green is to use a non-silicated formula or it "can" damage the radiator or heater core.
Thanks, y'all. I assume you're making basically the same points about the silicated/non-silicated formula. I don't think I'm under any warranty anymore, but I suppose future recalls could be invalidated also.

But 97ventureowner, do the new gaskets actually hold up? :confused: I don't want to have to drop another $1000+ in another 50K miles to replace the darn things all over again.

J-Ri, the lawsuit URL is here: www.dexcoolsettlement.com (http://http://www.dexcoolsettlement.com/)
Whether the fault lies with the coolant or the gaskets, there is some coverage provided. (The point about consulting a lawyer before a mechanic made me laugh. Too true.)

xeroinfinity
04-30-2008, 08:18 PM
Thier are alternatives to the green.
The newest green colored stuff is probly as safe as Dex. I usualy do what ever the customers want, unless it's under a factory warranty.

I dont know about the GM improved gaskets, but I have used the Fel Pro gaskets , they are better IMO.

My SE still uses Dex it looked horrid 2 weeks after I put it in. My GT I have Prestone Extend Life in it, it still looks new and it's a little over a year old.
Prestone® Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant is compatible with ANY antifreeze/ coolant – regardless of color – for use in ALL makes and models of cars and light duty trucks. This patented formula provides a high degree of performance durability and carefully balanced protection against temperature extremes and rust corrosion of all cooling system metals, including aluminum.

and here we go with the Dex links. lol
http://www.modexcool.com/

:2cents:

'97ventureowner
04-30-2008, 11:26 PM
But 97ventureowner, do the new gaskets actually hold up? :confused: I don't want to have to drop another $1000+ in another 50K miles to replace the darn things all over again.

Like was said in the above post I'd go with the Fel Pro. I've been hearing good things about those, and those that use the Fel Pro gaskets are getting less comebacks into the shop for problems. I used GM gaskets back in '02 and I think the Fel pros were about the same back then, but have gotten better over the years.
Whatever you decide to use make sure it meets at least the minimum specifications set forth by GM. As what was stated in that article I linked to serious damage can occur to engine components and I'm sure you don't want to keep replacing water pumps over the life of your ownership of the vehicle.
FYI as a comment to J Ri's post (#2 above) The settlement is a "payment" to cover past repairs done to the LIM and is not affected by what coolant you are presently running in your vehicle.

Nitro23
05-01-2008, 08:52 AM
Go Green, use the Prestone extended life.

+1 for Felpro Pro kit - MS 98003T

J-Ri
05-01-2008, 04:19 PM
The lower intake problem was caused by the following: Poor engine design, bad coolant, casting defects and bad gaskets. I have a 4 page bulletin about it in my tool box. If I remember, I'll post the main points.

I have never used anything but Fel-pro and have never had a comeback out of dozens and dozens and dozens of lower intakes on 3.1, 3.4, 4.3, 5.0 and 5.7 engines.

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