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Posted: 8/15/2017 11:15:59 AM EST
Figured the car junkies on here would find this interesting. Put this post up on my blog after repairing the LIM gasket failures common on GM 3800 series motors.

Friends Don't Let Friends Use Dex-Cool
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:22:02 AM EST
Is that the stock upper intake? Did the elbow melt yet?
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:26:38 AM EST
amazing how somthing as simple as coolant can be such a engineering feat.

I think I am just going to run ELC in everything I own when the time comes.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:32:36 AM EST
LOL, just Google "GM Dexcool lawsuit"

Pretty well known. Every Tech/service writer I know who works on GM stuff agree that as soon as you are out of warranty, get that shit out.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:33:55 AM EST
If you're going to plug your blog here at least buy a membership.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:34:58 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By midcap:
amazing how somthing as simple as coolant can be such a engineering feat.

I think I am just going to run ELC in everything I own when the time comes.
View Quote
Coolant for all cast iron engines?  Simple.

Coolant for all cast iron engines that lasts 100k?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys that lasts 100k?  REALLY not so simple.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:35:16 AM EST
Dex-Cool doesn't last for the life of the vehicle.
Change that shit & you won't have any problems...
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:38:01 AM EST
Ask Pontiac Grand Prix folks how DexCool works on the factory intake manifold gaskets....
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:39:03 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By R2point0:
Coolant for all cast iron engines?  Simple.

Coolant for all cast iron engines that lasts 100k?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys that lasts 100k?  REALLY not so simple.
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Originally Posted By R2point0:
Originally Posted By midcap:
amazing how somthing as simple as coolant can be such a engineering feat.

I think I am just going to run ELC in everything I own when the time comes.
Coolant for all cast iron engines?  Simple.

Coolant for all cast iron engines that lasts 100k?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys that lasts 100k?  REALLY not so simple.
You say that like ELC hasn't existed for like the past 20 years.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 11:45:22 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By midcap:


You say that like ELC hasn't existed for like the past 20 years.
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Not at all. But the chemistry that goes into ELC's is pretty advanced.  Hence the "Not so simple" and "Really not so simple" comments.  Not "So difficult that GM can be excused for screwing it up" advanced.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 12:02:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/15/2017 12:02:57 PM EST by midcap]
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Originally Posted By R2point0:
Not at all. But the chemistry that goes into ELC's is pretty advanced.  Hence the "Not so simple" and "Really not so simple" comments.  Not "So difficult that GM can be excused for screwing it up" advanced.
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Originally Posted By R2point0:
Originally Posted By midcap:


You say that like ELC hasn't existed for like the past 20 years.
Not at all. But the chemistry that goes into ELC's is pretty advanced.  Hence the "Not so simple" and "Really not so simple" comments.  Not "So difficult that GM can be excused for screwing it up" advanced.
That was sort of my whole point is that GM and it's chemical engineering whiz bang team can't make an ELC.

It's obvious that GM used dex-cool to save money. Hence forth, why I don't trust anything a auto manufacturer tells me when it comes to fluids and service intervals. I trust but verify.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 12:05:58 PM EST
I thought the majority of dexcool issues came from customers unknowingly mixing regular antifreeze with Dexcool? You can't mix oat/hoat with conventional antifreeze.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 12:08:59 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Deadmeat3344:
I thought the majority of dexcool issues came from customers unknowingly mixing regular antifreeze with Dexcool? You can't mix oat/hoat with conventional antifreeze.
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Also if you don't change it for 228k miles.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 12:11:11 PM EST
Don't like HOAT, either.  The long life, "mix with anything" stuff is my go-to coolant.  Usually walmart brand, mix with distilled water.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 12:12:17 PM EST
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Originally Posted By klinc:

Also if you don't change it for 228k miles.
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But muh lifetime coolant!
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 12:37:46 PM EST
3800 series motors are notorious for this. Has something to downtown how the gaskets seal etc and it's reaction to air/dec-cool.

Sealed engines do not have this issue.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 1:05:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By R2point0:

Coolant for all cast iron engines?  Simple.

Coolant for all cast iron engines that lasts 100k?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys that lasts 100k?  REALLY not so simple.
View Quote
You forgot to include rubber, plastic, silicone, and the other materials that make up gaskets, hoses, and radiators.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 1:11:47 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shocktrp:
Dex-Cool doesn't last for the life of the vehicle.
Change that shit & you won't have any problems...
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This. The problem isn't the coolant.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 1:23:25 PM EST
I use CAT ELC in my cars and trucks and have zero (0) issues.

i do a flush of the system that takes some time but then switch it over to the CAT stuff

its safe for aluminum and so far hasn't wrecked any gaskets in a 3800 engine in a buick, a ecoboost in a ford or a 4.6 in a grand marquis

just need to make sure you clan and flush all the old stuff out first
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 1:56:16 PM EST
I have an 18 year old vehicle, aluminum block engine that has had nothing but Dex-Cool. No issues.

The coolant was changed once when the water pump was changed and again years later when the radiator was changed.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 1:58:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By MILLERLGT82:
I use CAT ELC in my cars and trucks and have zero (0) issues.

i do a flush of the system that takes some time but then switch it over to the CAT stuff

its safe for aluminum and so far hasn't wrecked any gaskets in a 3800 engine in a buick, a ecoboost in a ford or a 4.6 in a grand marquis

just need to make sure you clan and flush all the old stuff out first
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The way the diesel guys do it, is they get a shit load of gallons of distilled water from walmart and flush the system with that then put in the ELC.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:00:51 PM EST
So, I have a couple older GM vehicles, '95,96. What coolent should I use?
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:09:22 PM EST
So the coolant in his Pontiac want changed in 200k+ miles and he is blaming the coolant?
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:10:47 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By strat81:


You forgot to include rubber, plastic, silicone, and the other materials that make up gaskets, hoses, and radiators.
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Lots of those things in old cast iron engines too.

Copper (radiators) and cast iron play pretty well, galvanically speaking.

Adding aluminum into the mix causes problems.  NOT insurmountable problems, but when management tells engineering "2000#, $2000,"* Engineering says "OK."



*Yes, I know that was Iacocca with the Pinto - same logic applies.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:13:08 PM EST
When I worked in a large fleet shop the best changes we made were changing to Shell ELC . The red stuff . The next big improvement was synthetic transmission fluid. Both showed real improvements.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:15:04 PM EST
I'm going to have to call bullshit on the idea that Dex cool is bad. I've maintained a fleet of nearly 20 GM vehicles over the past 25 years and all of them had dex cool and we had minimal problems with it. My 20-year-old GMC Sierra is still on its original radiator and looks spotless inside. The problems are people run it far too long and it goes bad. You need to flush it every few years and do not mix it with other forms of coolant. If you do the above you won't have any problems ever.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:18:50 PM EST
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Originally Posted By BillofRights:
So, I have a couple older GM vehicles, '95,96. What coolent should I use?
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Dexcool, replace it every 5 years or so.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:19:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By midcap:
The way the diesel guys do it, is they get a shit load of gallons of distilled water from walmart and flush the system with that then put in the ELC.
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Originally Posted By midcap:
Originally Posted By MILLERLGT82:
I use CAT ELC in my cars and trucks and have zero (0) issues.

i do a flush of the system that takes some time but then switch it over to the CAT stuff

its safe for aluminum and so far hasn't wrecked any gaskets in a 3800 engine in a buick, a ecoboost in a ford or a 4.6 in a grand marquis

just need to make sure you clan and flush all the old stuff out first
The way the diesel guys do it, is they get a shit load of gallons of distilled water from walmart and flush the system with that then put in the ELC.
I do that as well as use CAT cooling system flush, it takes out tons of nasty gunk and makes it nice and clean
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:19:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shocktrp:
Dex-Cool doesn't last for the life of the vehicle.
Change that shit & you won't have any problems...
View Quote
Exactly! The link in the OP brings you to an article that bitches about ded cool failing and causing problems. The article states the car has a crappy plastic gasket that failed and allowed the coolant to leak. The car also had over 200,000 miles and had never been flushed. There's your fucking problem!
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:22:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By midcap:
amazing how somthing as simple as coolant can be such a engineering feat.

I think I am just going to run ELC in everything I own when the time comes.
View Quote
what is ELC?
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:22:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/15/2017 2:23:27 PM EST by AZ_Sky]
My 2006 Pontiac Solstice requires Dex-Cool.
It kept tearing up the o-ring in the thermostat (had to replace it every year) until GM finally re-designed a new thermostat for it.
I don't know if was the Dex-Cool that was causing the o-ring to deteriorate or if it was just a bad diaphragm design - whatever it was the new thermostat design hasn't failed in three years now.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 2:26:18 PM EST
People actually try to run coolant for 100k or more miles?

After living in Arizona for a few years and having way too many cooling issues I decided that every 3 years (about 35k miles for me) the coolant gets flushed and replaced and all hoses and belts get replaced. Every 6 years I replace the water pump and thermostat when I'm doing belts and hoses.  I haven't had a cooling or overheating problem since starting that.  Having overheating issues when it's 110 out sucks donkey balls.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:14:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By spartacus2002:
what is ELC?
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Originally Posted By spartacus2002:
Originally Posted By midcap:
amazing how somthing as simple as coolant can be such a engineering feat.

I think I am just going to run ELC in everything I own when the time comes.
what is ELC?
It stands for extended life coolant. It's a very well chemically engineered coolant that keeps all the metals from oxidizing and keeps them all playing nice while doing a fine job and lowering the freezing point of the water and keeping the cooling system doing it's job.

CAT makes one that is popular so does SHELL, but any coolant that says ELC, should be good to go.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:27:52 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By R2point0:

Coolant for all cast iron engines?  Simple.

Coolant for all cast iron engines that lasts 100k?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys that lasts 100k?  REALLY not so simple.
View Quote
all starts with maintenance...something most people never do.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:34:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By SwedeJesus:
all starts with maintenance...something most people never do.
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Originally Posted By SwedeJesus:
Originally Posted By R2point0:

Coolant for all cast iron engines?  Simple.

Coolant for all cast iron engines that lasts 100k?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys?  Not so simple.

Coolant for engines with cast iron, aluminum, and other alloys that lasts 100k?  REALLY not so simple.
all starts with maintenance...something most people never do.
ain't that the truth.

people think cars are like blenders or toasters, should just work forever as long as you plug it in (or put gas into it).
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:36:46 PM EST
Toyota super long life coolant for the win!!!!!

Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:38:29 PM EST
Ive worked on a few cars with dex-cool and hate the stuff. 4 were monte carlo SS's. (2x for the g/f, 1x friend and 1x mom). all of them eventually had cooling issues (around 120k-130k miles). usually the water pump went first and thats when i would notice the sludge. i would also change out those pos intake elbows with metal ones, because if i didnt, they would go next. id also clean out as much as i could and replace with the reg green stuff.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:39:32 PM EST
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Originally Posted By azmp5:
Ive worked on a few cars with dex-cool and hate the stuff. 4 were monte carlo SS's. (2x for the g/f, 1x friend and 1x mom). all of them eventually had cooling issues (around 120k-130k miles). usually the water pump went first and thats when i would notice the sludge. i would also change out those pos intake elbows with metal ones, because if i didnt, they would go next. id also clean out as much as i could and replace with the reg green stuff.
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Found the problem
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:47:46 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Deadmeat3344:
Found the problem
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Originally Posted By Deadmeat3344:
Originally Posted By azmp5:
Ive worked on a few cars with dex-cool and hate the stuff. 4 were monte carlo SS's. (2x for the g/f, 1x friend and 1x mom). all of them eventually had cooling issues (around 120k-130k miles). usually the water pump went first and thats when i would notice the sludge. i would also change out those pos intake elbows with metal ones, because if i didnt, they would go next. id also clean out as much as i could and replace with the reg green stuff.
Found the problem
I'd like to thank azmp5 for providing us with an illustration of why things are the way they are.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:55:12 PM EST
That is one of many circa 1997 fuck face lying GM dirty little secrets where they fucked their customers.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 3:58:54 PM EST
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Originally Posted By thecapn2004:
Ask Pontiac Grand Prix folks how DexCool works on the factory intake manifold gaskets....
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ex Lumina driver (company car). Overheated on the way to Birmingham. Had to buy a couple of jugs of water and do 35 back to Huntsville.
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 4:01:15 PM EST
You have to change it, not as often as plain old antifreeze. I'd go five years max. Drain all the old out, find the lowest point and drain it close to that as possible. Refill with new. You really aren't going to flush much out. Sludge and corrosion is in there to stay once it's in there. Prevention is the only way and replacement is the only prevention. 
Link Posted: 8/15/2017 4:05:01 PM EST
I am under the impression that many photos of "plugged" passages is actually the result of leak stop additives (a hail Mary) rather than coolant, even old coolant.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:19:56 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By midcap:
It stands for extended life coolant. It's a very well chemically engineered coolant that keeps all the metals from oxidizing and keeps them all playing nice while doing a fine job and lowering the freezing point of the water and keeping the cooling system doing it's job.

CAT makes one that is popular so does SHELL, but any coolant that says ELC, should be good to go.
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Originally Posted By midcap:
Originally Posted By spartacus2002:
Originally Posted By midcap:
amazing how somthing as simple as coolant can be such a engineering feat.

I think I am just going to run ELC in everything I own when the time comes.
what is ELC?
It stands for extended life coolant. It's a very well chemically engineered coolant that keeps all the metals from oxidizing and keeps them all playing nice while doing a fine job and lowering the freezing point of the water and keeping the cooling system doing it's job.

CAT makes one that is popular so does SHELL, but any coolant that says ELC, should be good to go.
And to add to that:  To make sure you're getting ELC coolant, just look for the "CAT EC-1" spec on the jug.  ELC is good stuff.  The Ultra ELC is supposed to be even better.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:36:34 AM EST
If people would change their power steering fluid and coolant every 3 years or 30,000 miles they would never have any issues. And "changing coolant" means two flushed with a hot cycle each with distilled water. Everything comes out.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:52:20 AM EST
I had a beautiful white and gold '00 S-10 Blazer 4.3 at the highest Trailblazer trim level. No heat, did coolant flush with heat on, no heat afterwards. I hooked the garden hose up and blasted out the heater core. It blew a half pound of what looked like coffee grinds all over the engine and me. What a nasty mess, but I had heat afterwards.

How the hell does a coolant turn into what looks like coffee grinds?
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 8:57:02 AM EST
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Originally Posted By 3rdpig:
People actually try to run coolant for 100k or more miles?

After living in Arizona for a few years and having way too many cooling issues I decided that every 3 years (about 35k miles for me) the coolant gets flushed and replaced and all hoses and belts get replaced. Every 6 years I replace the water pump and thermostat when I'm doing belts and hoses.  I haven't had a cooling or overheating problem since starting that.  Having overheating issues when it's 110 out sucks donkey balls.
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Amen to all of that. I live in AZ as well, and I am super-religious about keeping the cooling system in "as-new" condition. It's cheap insurance.

And I have had overheating at 110 degrees, and it DOES suck donkey balls.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:02:05 AM EST
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Originally Posted By trwoprod:
If people would change their power steering fluid and coolant every 3 years or 30,000 miles they would never have any issues. And "changing coolant" means two flushed with a hot cycle each with distilled water. Everything comes out.
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I need to flush mine, can you explain how to do it in more detail?

Thanks
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:08:18 AM EST
Too many presumptions in that blog.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:24:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2017 9:27:05 AM EST by rfoxtrot]
Here's a knowledge bomb for you guys. There are only two different types of organic acid technology. One is from Chevron, the other is from old world.

Boom.

It's not the coolants fault. It's the inclusion of all kinds of weird system components materials.

GM doesn't make dexcool. Chevron does.

I've seen at least 10 bush-era 6 L GM trucks that have been on with Dexcool its entire life and never changed that disagree with this blogger. One of them just clicked over 300,000 miles.

The real question is is did the system ever get ran low? That's what creates more of the mud than anything. Systems Get Low over time, and then once refilled all the rust and corrosion that is in the upper part of the system washes out and gets deposited everywhere else.

I know facts and all. Ain't nobody got time for dat.

I run delo ELC in everything. It's good shit shit.

Pro tip. By 50/50 pre-mix. Cost is identical, and you have no local water mineral and trash getting into your system issues.
Link Posted: 8/16/2017 9:27:47 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
I'm going to have to call bullshit on the idea that Dex cool is bad. I've maintained a fleet of nearly 20 GM vehicles over the past 25 years and all of them had dex cool and we had minimal problems with it. My 20-year-old GMC Sierra is still on its original radiator and looks spotless inside. The problems are people run it far too long and it goes bad. You need to flush it every few years and do not mix it with other forms of coolant. If you do the above you won't have any problems ever.
View Quote
This has been my experience too.
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