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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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GM Owners Steaming Over Dex-Cool

Have you guys seen this, is this old or fake news?
"GM car and truck owners continue to complain that the coolant corrodes and clogs radiators and radiator caps, erodes water pumps"

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news...m_dexcool.html


GM Owners Still Steaming Over Dex-Cool
Corrosion, Engine Damage Blamed on Coolant


By Joe Benton

Ten years after General Motors began using Dex-Cool as an antifreeze in most of its cars and light trucks, GM car and truck owners continue to complain that the coolant corrodes and clogs radiators and radiator caps, erodes water pumps, rots radiator hoses, causes chronic overheating and engine damage while leading to leaky engine gaskets.

Patricia in Barberton, Ohio, feels cheated by the automaker. "I have had 2 intake gaskets replaced on my 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. The gaskets cost me close to $1,000 and they told me there is no guarantee it won't happen again," she wrote in a complaint to ConsumerAffairs.com.

"I just recently saw about the Dex-Cool problems and that is what I have been using in my vehicle since that is the kind that is required from the automakers," Patricia said.

Dex-Cool is now used in almost 40 million vehicles sold by GM since 1996. On its website, GM claims Dex-Cool will last 5 years or 150,000 miles but a steady stream of consumers insist the product is defective and has damaged their vehicles.

GM is quick to clarify its confidence in the antifreeze by stating that the GM owner's manual recommended 150,000-mile service interval is not a warranty guarantee. On its website, the company now also warns owners to consult their vehicle "owner's manual for the type of coolant right for your vehicle" and never "mix one type of coolant with the other."

Lawsuits Pending
At last count there were 14 lawsuits filed in state and federal courts throughout the country by GM vehicle owners angered over their experience with Dex-Cool.

A Missouri judge may soon grant class-action status to suits in his state -- and that would mean that millions of GM customers could become involved in the lawsuit. The Missouri Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from GM challenging class-action certification.

The Missouri suit was filed in April 2003 alleging GM vehicles with Dex-Cool in their cooling systems developed a rusty sludge.

The plaintiffs claim that GM refused to repair their vehicles or pay for the repairs and the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for breach of warranty under the federal Magnuson-Moss Act and the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

Samuel in Bellville, Ohio experienced a similar problem with sludge in the cooling system of his car.

"I have sludge in my coolant caused by Dex-Cool,' he wrote. "GM demands that the coolant be used. So far it's just the gasket that has to be replaced. I will see if further damage was caused," he told ConsumerAffairs.com.

GM Is Mum
GM will not comment on the pending lawsuits but continues to claim that Dex-Cool represents an improvement over traditional coolants. Nevertheless, the automaker has alerted mechanics that vehicles operated for 15,000 to 20,000 miles with low coolant levels "may be susceptible to the formation of a rust like material in the cooling system."

Deborah in Hornell, New York faced similar news from her mechanic when she took her 2002 Buick Century in for a maintenance check. Deborah was told the Dex-Cool needed to be flushed and refilled even though the owner's manual stated the coolant ought to be good for 100,000 miles.

"My car has only 48,000 miles," she wrote. "The Dex-Cool had corroded the engine and the mechanic also advised that the plastic manifold would need to be replaced since the Dex-Cool had literally eaten through it."

Deborah blames the costly repairs on GM because in her view the automaker "installed what they knew as faulty equipment, namely a plastic item in an engine unit and Dex-Cool antifreeze that does not work."

In Madison County, Illinois, a lawsuit claims Dex-Cool "began to turn into sludge which then accumulated in the vehicle's engine cooling system and radiator."

Clear As Mud
The bright orange coolant often changes into a muddy colored liquid and when the change occurs automobile mechanics blame Dex-Cool for expensive cooling system flushes, gasket replacements, and even new radiators and heater cores.

"You'll see heater cores leaking. You'll see frost plugs leaking. You'll see water pump failures. You'll see overheating problems. You'll see air conditioners not cooling very good. You'll see transmissions burning up at 100,000 miles if the coolant systems are not working right," said one mechanic who works on GM cars and trucks.

Ronald in Downey, California told ConsumerAffairs.com the Dex-Cool has almost destroyed the engine in his car. "The product in vehicles coolant systems deteriorates aluminum parts in the engine," Ronald said. "The intake manifold, cylinder heads and timing chain cover are all made out of aluminum. My vehicle needs all these parts replaced."

His problems worsened. "The motor has coolant in the oil and oil in coolant," indicating that the head gasket is leaking. "This is the second time this problem has occurred."

The repairs to his damaged engine have now cost Ronald more than $4,000 "because all the aluminum parts have to be replaced."

What To Do
As lawyers continue to collect names for potential class action lawsuits from people claiming Dex-Cool damaged their car or truck, automobile mechanics are advising that if you have Dex-Cool as a coolant in your vehicle, you should not replace it with another form of antifreeze.

If your car or truck came from the factory with Dex-Cool, you should continue to use that coolant both as replacement and to top off the radiator, the mechanics say.

Last but not least, if your car came from the factory with standard "green" antifreeze, don't switch to Dex-Cool.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:29 PM
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This is old news but was very true of that era.

Quote:
The Missouri suit was filed in April 2003 alleging GM vehicles with Dex-Cool in their cooling systems developed a rusty sludge.
Quote:
In Madison County, Illinois, a lawsuit claims Dex-Cool "began to turn into sludge which then accumulated in the vehicle's engine cooling system and radiator."
Quote:
The bright orange coolant often changes into a muddy colored liquid and when the change occurs automobile mechanics blame Dex-Cool for expensive cooling system flushes, gasket replacements, and even new radiators and heater cores.

This "sludge" was mainly caused by excessive air in the coolant system. I had a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix with the Supercharged 3800 V6 and was very active in the national club...ClubGP...and our local chapter SoCal CubGP. It was VERY common (as in every car in our club) to develop this sludge with DexCool since our coolant systems were not a closed system like we have in our Skys and Solstices. The overflow tank did not have a nifty air tight lid like the Kappas do. This allowed air to get into the system quite easily.

Also, just before the Kappas went into production, GM changed the formula of DexCool. Whether it was the coolant system redesign or the formula change, these kinds of DexCool horror stories have gone away and I've never seen the sludge in any DexCool equipped Kappa. When they say muddy colored liquid...no...it had the consistency of thin mud too. Sludge is a great term for it but it was like red mud in color.

In the Grand Prix world, we switched over to Peak Global antifreeze. It worked with DexCool (in case you had some lingering in the block after you drained your system. Mixing green and red was always bad) but was formulated different and wouldn't sludge. I believe today it's called Peak Global Lifetime. I still use this in my GM cars today even though it's probably fine to use regular DexCool. I've been happy with it, it works, and I have multiple engines that have gone over 150k miles on it without cooling issues that can be attributed to the coolant.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:38 PM
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That article is from 2006, so as news goes, it's ancient.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:39 AM
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10 years later.... old story, old news. BUT... while were on the subject here let's review...
just for the sake of any new owners/members here, that
might worry some with their new toy & seeing temps rise in the DIC.

The water pump... enuff said. Old pump design from the factory to the new and some what improved factory part replacement.
Aluminum motor parts plus their gaskets over time will fail at some point, maybe. All wear and tear items on any internal combustion
engine.

However... there is more to the story here.
* almost 40 million vehicles sold by GM.... that's a lot of Dex-Cool & gaskets, WP.. service visits that require the owner to fork over
large amounts of their hard earned money...

* GM claims Dex-Cool will last 5 years or 150,000 miles …
key word here.. claims.

* owner's manual recommended 150,000-mile service interval is not a warranty guarantee.
Not covered under your warranty...

* So far it's just the gasket that has to be replaced... WE know the costs for water pump replacement.
Nevertheless, the automaker has alerted mechanics that vehicles operated for 15,000 to 20,000 miles with low coolant levels "
Again here key word focus... low coolant levels. Trust your eyes when checking this level every week.

* automobile mechanics are advising that if you have Dex-Cool as a coolant in your vehicle, you should not replace it with another form of antifreeze.
Mixing drinks is ok... but not with your coolant for your car.

Robo has it right here..


* DexCool since our coolant systems were not a closed system like we have in our Skys and Solstices.
An open or shut case... as Humans we need air to breath. Air in the coolant systems in our cars could be.. death to the WP maybe.
Rise in temps forth coming your results will vary maybe.

* The overflow tank did not have a nifty air tight lid like the Kappas do. This allowed air to get into the system quite easily. Easy peasy.

* Also, just before the Kappas went into production, GM changed the formula of DexCool.
I know.. let's change the formula, that will fix it.

* In the Grand Prix world, we switched over to Peak Global antifreeze.
You can switch over to something other than Dex-Cool. Flush the system completely, then make the change. Never mix the two formulas.

Consumable products... shop supplies & disposal fee.. fluids or lack there of, gaskets, hose & belts, brake pads, tires... yada yada.
Not covered under your factory warranty. SO... I break out my folder on service performed to my Kappa at the local dealership...

* Last visit Nov. 2018. Shop supplies " customer pay shop charge for repair order " $12.80
* Service rear differential Lubricant (2) @ $36.68. Additive (1) $18.84. Labor $60.00. Total $ 152.20. Cost for a new rear diff? More than $152.20?

* Oct. 2015 Mileage: 28289 2008 Model second owner, Bought car in July 2013, with 17,360 on the odo. 7 years later not 5 as recommended.
Flush coolant system refill with fresh coolant. Coolant flush: $ 29.95. Coolant: $ 20.00. Labor: $ 75.00. Total: $124.95.
Cost for WP replacement?... Cost for replacing a head gasket? New radiator? More than $124.95 I'll bet...

Now here we are again, almost 5 years later... 2019 with 43,670 on the odo. Almost that time again maybe here.
5 years is 5 years.. regardless of your average mileage driven yearly. For the price this is cheap insurance for our cars.
It's your money, spend it wisely. I will do this again late next year, after the brake overall with fluid flush/refill this summer,
then the Power steering flush and refill fluid this fall, with oil filter/fluid change before the winter.

I know what has to be done on my car, and the cost associated with it more or less. The cost to you, not doing this fluid
change flush & fill on a schedule... 5 years or sooner.. left arm, right leg $$$.. and maybe a cooling system, or engine
replacement too.
Hellva a lot more cost to you the owner/operator than... $ 124.95 in my book.

LAC

Last edited by LAC Sky; 06-06-2019 at 11:12 AM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAC Sky View Post
* In the Grand Prix world, we switched over to Peak Global antifreeze.
You can switch over to something other than Dex-Cool. Flush the system completely, then make the change. Never mix the two formulas. LAC
With Peak Global, you didn't need to flush the whole system. Peak Global was (and to my knowledge still is) the only coolant that was compatible with DexCool but was not a DexCool clone. Other DexCool compliant or "works with all colors of coolant" coolants were extraordinarily similar to DexCool and...the club believed...were not as safe to use as Peak Global.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I'm flushing the system and putting this stuff in.
https://www.amazon.com/Prestone-AF88...677a9f58c55156


Thoughts!?

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Last edited by Need4Speed2; 06-07-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Got it here https://procarreviews.com/best-antifreeze/

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Originally Posted by Need4Speed2 View Post
I'm flushing the system and putting this stuff in.
https://www.amazon.com/Prestone-AF88...677a9f58c55156


Thoughts!?
Prestone is a good name, so why not?
Need4Speed2 likes this.

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Dexcool works for a while. I usually let it run its course, but after 80-100k miles, I flush thoroughly with water (IE open up the coolant system and flush with a hose for a few minutes), then refill with the green stuff.

Last truck went 272k miles and got the green stuff at 135k miles. Replaced 1 water pump in that period of time, and that's acceptable to me.
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1 water pump on almost 300,000 miles is amazing nowadays.

I think your system works.

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Never had a problem with Dexcool in vehicles with pressurized recovery tank cooling systems. It was only ever an issue when the transition to Dexcool happened and GM switched cars without pressurized recovery tanks over to the new formula. As above, when exposed to air it turns into sludge. Keep the system closed and it works fine.

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Hi, I have a 2007 Sky Red Line. The signal COOLANT on the dashboard after driving 4 miles, starts to rise and reaches 250, the temp sign comes and starts to beep. I have to pull over until it goes down. There's enough coolant. Can someone help me understand what is going on, please.
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The most common cause of overheating is air trapped in the system. There is a procedure here somewhere for purging it.
A loose hose or fitting, or opening the expansion tank when the engine is hot are two common ways to get air in system.
There was also a TSB issued to install check valves in two of the hoses to prevent ingestion of air during normal operation.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyredline View Post
Hi, I have a 2007 Sky Red Line. The signal COOLANT on the dashboard after driving 4 miles, starts to rise and reaches 250, the temp sign comes and starts to beep. I have to pull over until it goes down. There's enough coolant. Can someone help me understand what is going on, please.
Those kinds of temps I would be looking at bleeding the system or...and this was the culprit when mine got that high...a stuck thermostat. If it gets that high, you pull over and let it come down, then you can drive at normal operating temps I would especially say stuck thermostat. Mine did the same thing when the thermostat failed.


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