Mixed dex-cool with green stuff in Ford Ranger

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Jul 17, 2019
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New Hampshire
I'm looking for a Ford Ranger and I found a 2000 with low miles and very little rust (near impossible to find for this age in New England). Everything looked great on the engine, it has a minor oil leak somewhere (looks like the valve cover?) When I opened the radiator cap I noticed some gunk on it and it had an orange/reddish color which was odd because I was pretty pretty sure Ford uses green or yellow. He's owned the car for 8 months and put a few thousand miles on it. I took it for a 10 minute drive and it got up to temp and didn't start to overheat at all so it doesn't seem like it's having the typical overheating issues. I left to go look at another truck and the first guy sent me a picture of the other stuff he's giving me with the truck and in the picture there's a bottle of Prestone Dex Cool so I'm almost positive he's the one that added it. I haven't called him back yet and I have a few questions before I call him back. There's a lemon law in Massachusetts where I'm buying it so if it's a massive problem I can return it to him for a full refund. 1. How much/what kind of damage can 8 months of dex-cool mixed with green do to the system? I didn't see any coolant leaks anywhere and it doesn't look like there was any K-Seal or any sort of leak stop used. 2. Would it be any different if he flushed the system at the radiator before adding the dex cool rather than just topping off with green? I doubt if he flushed he flushed at the block I'll ask after I call 3. If I do a complete flush of the system from the block, radiator, and water pump and refill with distilled and Ford green, will I be able to mitigate the damage? Thanks for the help.
 
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I would do like you are saying.... Total flush with distilled water and use appropriate Ford approved full strength antifreeze... Also I would go ahead and replace thermostat and radiator hoses.... and possibly replace water pump too whole your at it...
 
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Just do a few plain distilled water flushes first and make sure you have the temp to max hot. After 3 flushes and run ups to normal operating temp, replace with whatever Ford calls for. If it's me, I'd then run the Ford Coolant for a while and then replace with fresh and be done. I'm assuming you mix this coolant so on the first mix of Ford Coolant, I'd mix it 70% coolant and 30% distilled water. On the last mix I would go a little heavier on the coolant Say 60/40 coolant and water. And I would make sure I drained the block if possible. Leave the heat on max hot.
 
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I highly doubt that 8 months or less of having Dex-cool in there is going to have caused any significant issues. If I were buying this car, I'd probably do a citric acid cleaning with full back flush followed by a couple of distilled water flushes to get most of the tap water out, then add half the capacity of the cooling system of conventional green coolant and top off with water. After that, a biannual drain and fill with will likely keep it happy.
 
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Yeah, what's with the "full strength" statement? No engine that I know of ever called for full strength (100% Glycol) coolant. 50% mixture is your target. Dexcool does not have silicates, so it does not prevent corrosion of internals. It was designed for aluminum heads and block, hence the OAT additive package on top of the glycol. Dexcool, not having silicates, will offer longer life water pump seals, among other benefits such as 5 year life. Once silicates (green stuff) is introduced into any engine, even those designed for dexcool, you can't get rid of them. That means a two year service life forever after that. No exceptions. Flush it however you want, refill it with Ford Green stuff @ a 50% mixture, and change it every two years or so. Simple.
 
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Originally Posted by csandste
Question-- 'cause I don't know. Doesn't the universal "fits everything" kind of coolant resemble Dex-Cool? If it does, and "everything" means the green stuff, what's the problem?
More of a Yellowish-Neon Green tint to the universals. Delco Dex-Cool is almost Red-Darker Orange, Prestone Dex-Cool is more Orange. Dex-Cool is a very good coolant when used by itself with distilled water!! I even run it in both my Toyota's!
 
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Originally Posted by JohnG
Dexcool does not have silicates, so it does not prevent corrosion of internals. It was designed for aluminum heads and block, hence the OAT additive package on top of the glycol. Dexcool, not having silicates, will offer longer life water pump seals, among other benefits such as 5 year life. Once silicates (green stuff) is introduced into any engine, even those designed for dexcool, you can't get rid of them. That means a two year service life forever after that. No exceptions. Flush it however you want, refill it with Ford Green stuff @ a 50% mixture, and change it every two years or so. Simple.
Dexcool not having silicates = it does not offer corrosion protection of internals is a 100 % wrong statement. Dexcool was among the first OAT coolant formulas used by a OEM, and the Organic Acid Technology means it has additives that are carbon based (unlike silicate and phosphate) which handle corrosion protection. When GM introduced Dexcool in 1997 their entire engine lineup was almost entirely all iron block and heads, so to say it was developed for aluminum block and head engines is flat wrong. In 1997 common GM engines like the gen 1 SBC V8, the Buick 3800 V6, the 60 degree V6, the GM122/Vortec 2200, the Quad Four, etc where all iron or iron block with aluminum heads, and all aluminum engines where rare birds like the Corvette only gen 2 LT5 V8. There's nothing inherently wrong with mixing silicate and a pure OAT coolant like Dexcool, in fact most European cars come with silicated OAT (Si-OAT) coolants from the factory. The OP's coolant issues are not related to Dexcool or mixing Dexcool with a green IAT coolant, it's most likely the classic lack of maintenance (ie didn't change the coolant in 20 years) or the all too common "it had a coolant leak so I kept topping up with tap water" and then the coolant was mostly water with little to none corrosion protection + time + iron block engine = rusty coloured gunk.
 

jac962

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Thanks for all the help. I ended up buying the truck. He said he flushed the system and refilled with orange and didn't know the difference. I'l be doing a complete flush of all the components and the block tomorrow followed by a few refils and flushes with distilled water until I feel like she's sufficiently clean. The guy tossed in a water pump and timing kit so I'll just replace those while I'm in there along with a thermostat and new rad hoses. I swear there should be a law against the way they advertise coolants. People that don't know about cars walk in and see the green stuff and right next to it they see the "100,000 mile long life coolant" stickers on the jug and they go "oh that one must be better I'll buy that". I don't even want to think about how many engines have probably been bricked because of people mixing orange and green and not knowing the difference.
 
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Jake_J and clinebarger are spot on correct. Nothing wrong at all using DEXCOOL. We use it at my work where it's required and have for the 14 years I've been there. This misinformation and hatred towards DEXCOOL has to stop already.
 
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Originally Posted by 53' Stude
Jake_J and clinebarger are spot on correct. Nothing wrong at all using DEXCOOL. We use it at my work where it's required and have for the 14 years I've been there. This misinformation and hatred towards DEXCOOL has to stop already.
I think the legend began in the advertisement department . That word "LIFETIME" got way out of control and people actually ( never reading that fine print) took literally. What could possibly go wrong...¬. Take a look at the new automatics. Many have that wonderful lifetime 🤥magic synthetic and just let it go and go........and so does the next owner with bad result. it's too bad manufacturers use hyperbole to sell more stuff. Owners really need to read that fine print and micro printed disclaimer.
 
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Originally Posted by jac962
If I do a complete flush of the system from the block, radiator, and water pump and refill with distilled and Ford green, will I be able to mitigate the damage?
If you buy it, flush it several times and refill it with either G-05 or John Deere Cool-Gard II (not both) and sleep well.
 
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Originally Posted by Driz
Originally Posted by 53' Stude
Jake_J and clinebarger are spot on correct. Nothing wrong at all using DEXCOOL. We use it at my work where it's required and have for the 14 years I've been there. This misinformation and hatred towards DEXCOOL has to stop already.
I think the legend began in the advertisement department . That word "LIFETIME" got way out of control and people actually ( never reading that fine print) took literally. What could possibly go wrong...¬. Take a look at the new automatics. Many have that wonderful lifetime 🤥magic synthetic and just let it go and go........and so does the next owner with bad result. it's too bad manufacturers use hyperbole to sell more stuff. Owners really need to read that fine print and micro printed disclaimer.
I've never seen any literature stating lifetime & Dex-Cool in the same sentence? It's Longlife Coolant. But have heard salesmen make stuff up before! When the Northstar came out....Salesmen would tell customers that the engine would run with NO coolant! While it did have a strategy for such occurrences....It was more to get the vehicle to a safe location for a tow, NOT drive it around with no coolant!
 
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