I'm afraid of my coolant now

Joined
Jul 14, 2009
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NY Capital District
I was just watching Bobby Likis and reading through the coolant section and google searches. I'm afraid for my cooling system in my cavalier now. Three years ago my grandfather had the cooling system drained (Its I believe 10y/150 coolant) so it was the first time ever. I don't know what was in it before, but now it has Red Dex-Cool coolant in it, and I am afraid one of these times I'm going to pop the hood and find it sludged up inside. Should I be worried? Should I change to a non Dex-Cool coolant? Or am I just going with the Sheeple and getting worried about nothing?
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
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Saskatchewan
Dex-Cool only seems to contribute to problems in certain vehicles. I'm not sure if yours is one, but the Dex-Cool in my mother's '99 Sunfire has always looked good. I drain and replace the radiator every 30k miles.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
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Canada
Never had a problem with my 2002 Cavalier. I'm pretty sure the 2.2 OHV used in these cars doesn't have any coolant-related problems. I really wouldn't worry about it.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
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Georgia/Retired
I don't believe that Dex-Cool is the devil in liquid form either. Some vehicles have problems but I believe that much of that is due to GM not doing thorough research and compatibility studies with materials in every engine. The six cylinder engines that had problems also had design problems that contributed to a environment conducive to aeration and sludge formation. I don't think you have anything to worry about on the Cavalier. However, please note that there really isn't such a animal as the "10 year coolant". Set your sights on 5 years/150000 miles and keep a eye on the reservoir tank to ensure you don't run low or that you're not getting any deposit formation (brown sludge). My personal experience with Dex-Cool was a horribly sludged Chevrolet Lumina with a 3.1 liter engine. The reservoir tank was full of brown pudding and ultimately lead to a overheated engine. My other experience was a simple test that I did myself. I put Dex-Cool in a Ford Escort (1995) just to see how it would react. The car developed a leak at the thermostat housing. I removed the Dex-Cool and reinstalled the normal green coolant and the leak stopped and the car never showed any problems afterward. If your car was factory filled with Dex-Cool then I think you have nothing to worry about. Drive it and give it the attention that it deserves and it should treat you well for many years. If you want to play it safe and use a very highly regarded long-life coolant other than Dex-Cool then I recommend the Zerex G-05 which is factory coolant for Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes, etc. It will deliver 5/150,000 performance and keep things shiny inside.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
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kansastan
Based on years of bitter experience, I DO believe that Dexcool is tha devil. And if you've cruised the BITOG coolant threads, then you've already read WHY I think that. If that was my vehicle, I would promptly flush the cooling system and replace with G05. Your vehicle is less prone to DexSludge than certain other GM vehicles- but by no means immune.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
313
Location
Lugoff, SC
 Originally Posted By: rpn453
Dex-Cool only seems to contribute to problems in certain vehicles. I'm not sure if yours is one, but the Dex-Cool in my mother's '99 Sunfire has always looked good. I drain and replace the radiator every 30k miles.
Holy [censored], how much does a radiator cost for that car? Hopefully not much if you're replacing it every 30K miles. I have only had one experience with Dexcool. It was not a good one. Of course, someone put it into a car that it wasn't designed to be in. Now that car has a new radiator, water pump and heater core.
 
Joined
May 4, 2003
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southeast US
I clicked on this as I was concerned of the OP being "afraid of" coolant. Now I'm relieved that he/she is only "afraid for" his/her cooling system.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
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2,512
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America's Dairyland
 Originally Posted By: Cutehumor
I'm on the 2nd dexcool change in my 96 Sunfire. never a problem.
I too have done 2 Dexcool changes on my 00' Saturn and haven't had any problems at all. Cooling system works great and the car runs like a top at 103,000 miles. No gelling, sludging, etc.
 
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