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Old 11-10-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
08UltraRider
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Dex-cool and gaskets don't play together

Hello all,

If it isn't one thing it's another.... First my monty is in for repairs that the dealer isn't sure about how to fix... but that another thread...

Anyways.... I wanted to pass on something that I found out just yesterday that I wasn't aware of but wished I was...

The DW was in our daily driver a 2002 GMC Jimmy 4X4 where she just about home when it started spewing coolant... After much crawling under it without success finding the leak I took off the air intake to expose some of the top of the engine.... That's when I found a puddle of coolant on top of the intake manifold...

Trusty google this and it came back with a huge number of hits with many people with the same problem... Turns out the coolant GM has been using since the 1990's.... Dex-cool simply put.... is too strong where it will attack gaskets and seals. (water pump) And if you're a procrastinator like I am that I don't change it every couple of years the older dex-cool will become even more acidic....

I also learned there was a class action lawsuit that was quietly settled without recall but to get into that you would had to have been signed up before June 2008....

I took the intake manifold off today and sure enough the smoking gun was a disintegrated gasket at one of the coolant passages....

When it's back together... total flush of the dex-cool and hello green stuff... gotta flush it out completely... dex-cool and the green don't play well together either....

I'm doing the work myself where the parts are $300.00 with gaskets, new hoses, clamps, thermostat and might as well change the rotor and cap too... I was told if I had a shop do the repairs it would be in the $1500.00 + range!

I feel like I should have known this already and the guy who sold me the parts was well aware of it.... I thought I'd pass this info on so hopefully no one else will get stung by this too... If you change it often you should be fine but................ It's Prestone for me from now on!

Thanks
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:07 AM   #2
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Had the same experience on a 98 Buick. I did participate in the class action but the settlement came no where close to covering the repair bill. Jim
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:19 AM   #3
8.1al
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Thanks for the headsup on this. It explains some of the things I have seen with Dex cooled cars. There's a lot on interesting reading on this
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:21 AM   #4
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Sorry for your woes. Glad you have the moxie to fix it and save a wad of dough with sweat equity.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:18 AM   #5
08UltraRider
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jimcol

Had the same experience on a 98 Buick. I did participate in the class action but the settlement came no where close to covering the repair bill. Jim
I was thinking that if I knew about it back then... the ink spent signing my name would have been worth more!

So the question of the day is.... If this was an issue since the mid 1990's why is GM still using it today? I belong to a Duramax forum where there are some people who changed out their water pump at 100,000 miles and the attitude was that this was normal??? Correct me if I'm wrong but this sounded like 100,000 was was too soon and maybe the dex-cool had something to do with it????
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by stiles watson

Sorry for your woes. Glad you have the moxie to fix it and save a wad of dough with sweat equity.
My first thought was when I looked down on the maze of wires, sensors and pipes was..... I sure miss the days of the carbureted small block chevy when you could have that intake off in a half hour with 9/16 wrench and a pair of pliers....
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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This is a BIG problem with GM all products except the diesels. If you have a GM product get the Dexcool out if you don't wont problems.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mlh

This is a BIG problem with GM all products except the diesels. If you have a GM product get the Dexcool out if you don't wont problems.
Lynwood
Lynnwood, I agree with you but according to my dealer if you take it out while still under warranty it will void it. I have also read where they have changed some of the gasket material. Supposedly makes then less vulnerable to the effects of the dex-cool. My mechanic has read the same thing but says by the time we know if it is true or not it could be too late. Since I have about 70k miles left on the car warranty I going to leave it in. Jim
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
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I don't know, had a 2001 Monte Carlo, was my daily driver of 100 miles a day. Finally traded it in 2009, at that time it had over 220,000 miles on it. Only problems we the front wheel bearings, replaced every 100,000 miles, and both the computers. Other than that no other problems, changed oil and filter every 10,000 miles and didn't use a drop of oil between changes, and the original anti-freeze was still in it.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:16 AM   #10
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Although some coolants says it's okay to mix colors of coolants, I had an engine tech tell me it might be "okay" but he said it's not a good idea.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:37 AM   #11
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Jim they can't deny warranty unless what you did caused the problem, its the law. The problem with that is GM has more money and better lawyers than we have.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mlh

Jim they can't deny warranty unless what you did caused the problem, its the law. The problem with that is GM has more money and better lawyers than we have.
Lynwood
Lynwood is correct... It's the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act and GM's lawyers also know you're protected by the act too. The onus is on them to prove the defect was caused by the modification. I changed the exhaust on my 2010 eliminating the DPF and have no problems with warranty.

Changing the coolant in the TV under warranty is no different than changing the oil from dino to synthetic.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mlh

Jim they can't deny warranty unless what you did caused the problem, its the law. The problem with that is GM has more money and better lawyers than we have.
Lynwood
Lynnwood, I know your statement is 100% correct. I know they have to prove my modification caused the problem. I also know, as you so astutly pointed out, they have more lawyers then me. What I don't know, nor do most mechanics, do the new gaskets not have the problems with the dex cool. I also don't think GM would keep using something that cost them a hugh class action settlement and tons of negative public opinion. Based on all this I'm leaving things alone and hoping for the best. Jim
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:24 PM   #14
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2002 GMC Sierra 75,000 miles changed Dexcool as recommended no problems
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:40 PM   #15
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They used that stuff for years. GM had to know there was a problem, everybody else knew. If you didn't have a problem you were one of the lucky ones, count your blessings. If I had a GM product the first thing I would do is change coolant, Just like I took the DPF off of my tuck and now I will take my chances because I know it is better off after the warranty has run out.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #16
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In the last twenty years I have owned at least 10 GM cars driven a min of 40,000
miles per year for business never a problem. First i have herd of problems with Dexcool
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:50 PM   #17
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I am not qualified in any way to give any type of expert opinion and there are millions of GM's out there that have never had a problem..... However....

I got the Jimmy back on the road today after about 15 hours of labor and when I saw the left intake gasket was disintegrated at one of the coolant passages plus failing at the others.... I made up my mind it was Prestone going back in.... This was after I researched the subject and got a large number of hits back of people with 4.3 V-6's that have had to replace their intake gaskets along with learning about the class action lawsuit.

Ask a GM mechanic and he'll swear by the stuff... Ask any of the others where some will say put what the manufacturer recommends and many others say get rid of the Dex-cool as fast as you can! Even the experts have different opinions!

One other opinion was the NAPA parts guy when I bought the parts.... He said you'll never get a GM mechanic to admit it but I see a lot of this.
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