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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm replacing the engine in my 2002 Grand Prix (3.8 V6). The original engine, since long gone, came with DEX COOL antifreeze.

I've heard nothing good about this stuff. And even when the engine was replaced before, it was installed with normal antifreeze.

So to put it simply.... do I replace the Dex cool or not?

Feel free to ramble in your answers... any information is appreciated....
 

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must be a form of Dextron coolant used in GM vehicles.

i think that stuff is used for aluminum engines....or engines where the coolant goes through a lot of aluminum.

is the 3.8 an aluminum block or heads?

.....some GM guy will chime in....thats all i know /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

EDIT*
i didnt answer yur ?..oops........i heard its important to use that kind of coolant on thier engines....from what i heard regular stuff breaks down ..something.....and does ...something....bad /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

*waiting on the GM guys*
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 

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Not just a GM answer, goes for any aluminum block/head, Dexcool is an ethylene glycol antifreeze which is safer to use on aluminum components than standard propylene glycol mix, which will etch aluminum, and over time, weaken it. Granted, safer doesn't mean perfect, and you should still flush your radiator every once in a while if you use it.

The main complaints I've heard about the stuff is it's protection range is more limited than normal glycol antifreeze. Same complaints I've heard about eco-cool back in the 90's. but essentially anti-freeze is anti-freeze, Dexcool will just protect your aluminum goodies , and work just fine through a working cooling system.

Edit : update, an article regarding the problems with Dex Cool extended life antifreeze, also explains a few of the issues regarding it's deployment problems and poor reputation.

http://www.imcool.com/articles/antifreeze-coolant/dexcool-macs2001.htm
 

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You’ll end up voiding warrantees if you do not use the GM approved stuff. Several different anti freeze makes now meet the GM standards.
 

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Correct about ethylene glycol.
There is an aluminum protectant called 'NalCool' out there, add it (or equivalent) to the regular anti-freeze or use the Dex.

Dex still needs to be changed out every three to five years depending on milage and climate.

Dex does a really good job for a long time, but when it gives up, it's like a Dana 20 Rear, it gives up quick!
Acids are the enemy and Dex or NalCool have a remarkable capacity for either neutralizing or suspension of the acids but it has it's limits just like anything else...

Like Smokey used to say,
"There are three way to keep and engine alive,
#1. Maintenance, #2. Maintenance, #3. Maintenance."
 

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Click here: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=dex+cool to see pages of complaints, responses & lawsuits on the stuff. The main complaint is that it eats intake manifold gaskets causing an $884 bill to replace on my wife's 2002 Buick Rendezvous with 37K miles at the GM dealer. Luckily, I had an extended warranty on it, so I paid zero. The dealer that did the repair did not use DexCool when finished. Kinda seems like they know the stuff isn't good.
 

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I've heard a few second hand horror stories about DexCool but I don't have any actual first hand knowledge simply because I don't use the stuff.

There are 2 major coolant bases; Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. Most of them are 90% to 97% base and 3% to 10% additives. The additives are what determines the corrosion inhibiting, wetting and temperature qualities. Either type will probably be suitable for your needs.

Some differences:

Pure Ethylene Glycol - Toxic, cheaper, freezes at 9°, boils at 388°
Pure Propylene Glycol - Non toxic, costs more, freezes at -74°, boils at 370°

If you have anymore questions, I'll try to answer them.
 

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The guy at the parts store told me DON"T MIX DEX-COOL WITH OTHER ANTI_FREEZE!!!!. he said it doesn't play well toghether.They will sludge up & block the system. So I flushed it & dex-cooled it. That stuff is more$$$
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I've heard a few second hand horror stories about DexCool but I don't have any actual first hand knowledge simply because I don't use the stuff.

There are 2 major coolant bases; Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. Most of them are 90% to 97% base and 3% to 10% additives. The additives are what determines the corrosion inhibiting, wetting and temperature qualities. Either type will probably be suitable for your needs.

Some differences:

Pure Ethylene Glycol - Toxic, cheaper, freezes at 9°, boils at 388°
Pure Propylene Glycol - Non toxic, costs more, freezes at -74°, boils at 370°

If you have anymore questions, I'll try to answer them.

[/ QUOTE ]

I do have a question(s)? Why is the "Ethylene Glycol" SO much cheaper than the "Propylene Glycol?"

I once heard rotten fruits, are used in the process of making anti-freeze, and if the fruit crops didn't produce well for the year. The cost of antifreeze usually shot up! Is this true?

Do you think? If the "Ethylene" type of antifreeze was banned,(due to it being toxic to animals) and we were only left with the "Propylene" type of antifreeze...would the price of the "Propylene" type of antifreeze, come down?

You see I think, I'm responsible for accidentally poisoning one of my own cats, because I had a leak from my coolant system on one of vehicles.

I took the cat to the vet, but the vet said it was too late the cat's kidneys had already begun to shut down, and putting it to sleep was all they could do at that point.

I hate to sound wimpy about a cat dying, but he was a pretty good cat, and watching him basically dehydrate to death was sad.

The vet told me a cat, or dog doesn't have to drink much of the stuff, like a 1/2 oz. for a cat, and maybe just a little more for a large dog.

I also read somewhere, that if it's not too late for a poisoned animal, they(vet) give it a controlled amount of alcohol, and fliuds to flush the toxic antifreeze, through the animals kidneys.

Doctors discovered this procedure by accident, when a bunch of college kids were brought to the hospital,sick from drinking antifreeze, because they ran out of booze!

Doctors were amazed the drunken students, survived without any kidney damage. The doctors also determined the toxic antifreeze was not repsonsible for the brain damage, in this case!/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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What I've heard is if you mix the two, it makes a grit like sand - it grinds away the water pump bearing and seals, and can plug the radiator like cement.

Never heard of it eating manifold gaskets though. I wonder if it's acidic? Wondering if the gasket problem is only on aluminum heads on iron blocks? Electrolysis between the dissimilar metals?


I have heard of it eating heater cores when the heater core is not well grounded - most are mounted in rubber. Bulletin said to make sure there is a ground wire to the heater core!??
Anybody else heard that?
 

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One at a time . . . First, Timber

[ QUOTE ]
I do have a question(s)? Why is the "Ethylene Glycol" SO much cheaper than the "Propylene Glycol?"

[/ QUOTE ]

Because the PG manufacturing cost is about 4 times as much as EG. ~ $0.60 a pound for PG vs $0.15 a pound for EG

[ QUOTE ]
I once heard rotten fruits, are used in the process of making anti-freeze, and if the fruit crops didn't produce well for the year. The cost of antifreeze usually shot up! Is this true?

[/ QUOTE ]

This is probably bogus since both EG and PG are petrochemical based.

[ QUOTE ]
Do you think? If the "Ethylene" type of antifreeze was banned,(due to it being toxic to animals) and we were only left with the "Propylene" type of antifreeze...would the price of the "Propylene" type of antifreeze, come down?

[/ QUOTE ]

Maybe . . . But, due to manufacturing complexities, PG will probably never be as cheap as EG.

[ QUOTE ]
You see I think, I'm responsible for accidentally poisoning one of my own cats, because I had a leak from my coolant system on one of vehicles.

I took the cat to the vet, but the vet said it was too late the cat's kidneys had already begun to shut down, and putting it to sleep was all they could do at that point.

I hate to sound wimpy about a cat dying, but he was a pretty good cat, and watching him basically dehydrate to death was sad.

The vet told me a cat, or dog doesn't have to drink much of the stuff, like a 1/2 oz. for a cat, and maybe just a little more for a large dog.

I also read somewhere, that if it's not too late for a poisoned animal, they(vet) give it a controlled amount of alcohol, and fliuds to flush the toxic antifreeze, through the animals kidneys.

Doctors discovered this procedure by accident, when a bunch of college kids were brought to the hospital,sick from drinking antifreeze, because they ran out of booze!

Doctors were amazed the drunken students, survived without any kidney damage. The doctors also determined the toxic antifreeze was not repsonsible for the brain damage, in this case!

[/ QUOTE ]

EG is metabolised very quickly into the body and turns into oxalate in the kidneys which, in turn, produces crystalline calcium oxalate. This is what causes renal failure. Interestingly, ethanol (booze) inhibites the metabolism of EG which is probably why the drunken student didn't suffer lasting kidney damage. BTW, one of the early symptoms of EG poisoning is apparent intoxication. As for brain damage, sounds to me like the kids already had it.

Now for RRich

[ QUOTE ]
What I've heard is if you mix the two, it makes a grit like sand - it grinds away the water pump bearing and seals, and can plug the radiator like cement.

Never heard of it eating manifold gaskets though. I wonder if it's acidic? Wondering if the gasket problem is only on aluminum heads on iron blocks? Electrolysis between the dissimilar metals?

I have heard of it eating heater cores when the heater core is not well grounded - most are mounted in rubber. Bulletin said to make sure there is a ground wire to the heater core!??
Anybody else heard that?

[/ QUOTE ]

I can't say about a mixture of DexCool and anything else turning to grit but if someone wants to step up and experiment, go for it. Corrosion caused by coolant doesn't sound plausible to me simply because virtually all automotive coolants contain corrosion inhibitors. I run PG based coolant in all of my vehicles and have never had a problem. Even in the 4.0 Ford which has Aluminum heads and an iron block.

Finally, even though PG based coolant is non-toxic, I wouldn't drink it. Mainly because the additives may do bad things to the body if taken internally. Be advised, though, pure PG is an ingredient in a lot of stuff including mouthwash and KY Jelly.

Bored now?
 

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Bored ? Not hardly, been reading this with some interest lately just to hear if any of the usual rumors have any truth . As usual, they do not.

I have noticed some interesting things in my years concerning antifreeze and electrolysis. One, cheapo head gaskets will not last unless the stuff is changed yearly and the system flushed out well. All aluminum engines are really susceptible to old antifreeze losing it's corrosion protection, or as a lot of folks call "changing to acid" . I've seen intakes with holes, thermostat necks with holes and radiators with so much corrosion they just fall apart. I'd bet that almost any brand/type of antifreeze would work fine if it was just maintained like anything else in the system. Most folks just put gas in 'em and live with the consequences I guess.

One question though-
Does external grounding really help at all? In my case it's an all-aluminum engine , these things produce electrolysis like it's a career...
Sarge
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just to add to the confusion....... I picked up a gallon of Prestone antifreeze tonight. I couldn't find any "DEX-COOL" type antifreeze at Autozone. But the Prestone I bought brags about being able be mixed with ANY "color" of antifreeze. It also boasts about being suitable for any make or model of automobile. That sounded good to me, and seemed to make my choice EASY.

What the TRUTH is??.... I'm not sure....

But my new (used) engine poured out green antifreeze, and I'm not wanting to risk mixing them to find out what happens.

Thanks as always.....

Drew
 
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