Coolant leak

My son has a 2008 Buick, 3.6 V6 and it seems to use a few ounces of coolant every two or three weeks. I know topping it off every six months would be more normal.
He would like to know if adding something like radiator stop-leak would do any harm. The coolant is Dex-Cool not glycol.
Would that cause any problems?
Regards,
Dave C.
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First, Dexcool is still a glycol based coolant. The difference between it and the traditional green formulations is the additive package.
There are some antifreeze formulations based on propylene glycol. It is still a glycol, but is less poisonous than ethylene glycol. It is an inferior coolant when compared with ethylene glycol, but it works well enough.
I would, if it were mine, try to find out if there is really a leak. I dont like to add stop-leak compounds except in case of emergency. They can precipitate in the cooling system, but they probably wont ruin your engine. It is just a poor way to handle the problem if you have an alternative.
In the really hot months of the year, you may lose a bit more coolant than in the cooler months. The hot coolant expands into the catch container, and some small amount of evaporation is inevitable.
You, or a qualified mechanic, can often get under the car and look for rusty streaks to see if there is really a leak. It doesnt take much of a leak to add up to a few ounces every few weeks or months.
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There is always potential to cause harm with additives. If it is going to plug a leak, it may also plug cooling passages over time.
Keep an eye on how much leaks from the reservoir. On my Regal, it never held the fluid full in the reservoir, but it never went below either; never found a leak. I just stopped filling it and it held the lower line for a few years before I finally sold the car.
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Stop leak is BAD in a car that is NOT one step away from the junk yard. Today's way to detect leaks is a UV dye that is added into the system your looking for a leak in. KIts are cheap and very effective, especially in a small leak situation.
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It might have the GM stop leak already in it.
My old van came with the GM stuff already in the Dexcool, some residue from the stuff is in the coolant overflow.
They may have only added it during the time they had so many gasket problems. Anyway, your service department may or may not know if your car came with the stuff.
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He would be well advised to have a pressure check of his vehicle to determine the cause of coolant consumption. For instances a head gasket that is starting to seep coolant into the oil will quickly ruin and engine.

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Might be burning coolant in the engine. I used to add about a pint of coolant per week to my 85 Caprice, for years and years. Engine never had a problem. I did use the stop leak stuff a few times on that engine, and it worked for about 2 years each time. But I think it clogged one of the passages that cool the engine, since it developed a "hot spot" that caused one cylinder to "ping" at low rpm.
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