Dex-Cool

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Where is the best place to purchase Dex-Cool?
---Bob Gross---

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Rob,
Your local auto parts store will have an equivalent in stock. Ask for it, and you shall receive.
GMdude
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GMdude wrote:

I guess I'll just ask for "Dex-Cool Equivalent".
Or maybe I could just use some Kool-Aid.
---Bob Gross---
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Or just wait another 50k miles and ask for mud.

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Robert,
Perhaps you think kool-aid is the same as Dex-cool, but auto parts stores have a Dex-Cool equivalent that is licensed by GM. Read the bottle and be informed, dude.
GM is not the only supplier of Dex-Cool. I know,.... I'm a GM tech.
GMdude
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GMdude wrote:

Yes, I picked up some Prestone equivalent that says it is compatible with GM Dex-Cool. Of course, $8.99 per gallon seems like a bit of a rip-off. As long as I have the engine cooled off, I may do an inspection around the intake manifold, just to make sure that there isn't anything suspicious going on.
---Bob Gross---
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Rob,
Of course it's a rip-off. Were you expecting anything else? :-)
I'm a former GM tech. Nothing is surprise to me.
GMdude
P.S. Shop around. I picked this stuff up at $6 per gallon on sale.
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GMdude wrote:

Sure. If I thought I was going to be needing a bunch, then that is a good idea. But if I am only needing a little bit, then I don't intend to burn up gas driving all over the county looking for sales.
Prevailing wisdom says to keep Dex-Cool in the car until it is out of warranty. Then completely flush it clean and replace it with the good old-fashioned green stuff. I don't have any problem with that.
---Bob Gross---
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are you mr. goodwrench? or are you a Gay Masculine dude?
troll post....
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Robertwgross wrote:

Better than dealer prices. I couldn't find a place around here that stocked DEX, so i had to go to the dealer. $16.00 a gallon, and they mentioned that prices are going up.
Fortunately, a few NAPAs have popped up nearby, and they stock DEX-COOL equivalents.
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Due to the class action lawsuit????

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Are the reports true regarding Dex-Cool actually gumming up engines/cooling systems? I recall reading something about a class action lawsuit over Dex-Cool.
Brad
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Brad wrote:

I am not an expert, but I can tell you what I think. I think there have been some suits, but I don't know which of the engines (3.1, 3.4, 3.8) were involved. I've got the 3.8, so that is all I am interested in. Apparently, when they switched over to the Series II engine in the mid-1990's, they changed the intake manifold to be composite instead of metal, but the gasket had a problem. So, at least in the first year or two, there were lots of failures, and some of those caused major internal engine damage. Some users felt like the problem was purely a gasket problem. Some others felt like the problem was made worse by Dex-Cool. Apparently if you let the reservoir level get too low, and if air gets into the cooling system, then the air and Dex-Cool mixture goes bad and the stuff starts to gum up. At this point, it becomes harder to distinguish between a gasket problem and a coolant maintenance problem. Anyway, after several years, apparently GM used some better gasket material, so most of the intake problem went away. Apparently it did not go completely away. Just a month or two ago I got a GM recall notice that they want to inspect and replace the intake manifold fasteners. Well, I'll bet you a quarter that they want to inspect for coolant leaks in the same area, so that they can head off any major engine damage. So, if I had to bet on it, I would think that there is some lawsuit somewhere in this matter. Gaskets, coolant, etc. I prefer to follow electrons myself.
I just checked mine, and the coolant was still a clear pink color, and there are no visible leaks on the rear of the engine (the side closest to the air cleaner).
---Bob Gross---
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"Robertwgross" wrote
I've got the 3.8, so that is all I am interested in. Apparently, when

the
problem.
some of

problem was

by
You haven't been reading carefully, it's been posted many times that the problem is not with the gasket, or even really with the composite upper plenum. The problem stems from the EGR tube that protrudes from the lower aluminum manifold up through the plastic upper plenum. The tube is heated by the exhaust gases going through it and it in turn either melts a hole in the upper plenum or simply warps the plastic bad enough that coolant starts to leak both internally or externally.

and
This is more of a problem with the 4.3 v-6 in the S-trucks. You see a bit of it on the 3800, but not as much.

the
No, it has nothing to do with a "better gasket material". They redesigned the lower intake manifold with a smaller diameter EGR tube sticking up through the upper plenum. Here is a comparison of the two:
http://www3.telus.net/public/ianrmac/Images/3800/3800intake.JPG
> month or two ago I got a GM recall notice that they want to inspect and replace

to
major
You would lose your bet. I do these recalls all the time, and there is no interest in inspecting for coolant leaks. They simply want the throttle body retaining nuts replaced with an updated nut that won't lose it's torque over time. And they have us install GM's form of Bar's leak.....which by the way....they have been installing in their engines for years right from the factory.
Ian
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Ian wrote:

So, you are suggesting that the material of the intake is deforming?

Are you saying that GM did not change the gasket material?

For that reason alone, I think I will skip the recall procedure. I think Bar's Leak is a good product, if you need a temporary fix to a coolant leak. I would never dream of putting it into an otherwise-good cooling system.
---Bob Gross---
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"Robertwgross" wrote

No, I'm not "suggesting" anything, I'm telling you that the plastic upper plenum either distorts from the heat of the EGR tube, or it actually will melt a hole right through the plenum adjacent to the EGR tube.

redesigned
Not on the 3800 engine. You may be confusing this intake problem with the 3100/3400 engine intake gasket problem. On those engines, yes, the intake gasket has been re-designed.

Bar's
would
I don't think that you need to skip the recall procedure. Simply ask that they don't install the two pellets of sealer that are called for in the recall. The re-designed nuts are probably better at maintaining the torque at the throttle body.
There isn't anything wrong with these cooling system sealers. Contrary to popular usenet belief, they don't "clog" anything up. Obviously, they were never designed to fix something drastic like a head gasket leak, and I wouldn't recommend using this type of sealer to fix any leaks other then minor seepage...that's all it was really intended for. GM specifies that it must be used on their all aluminum Northstar engines, though I have noticed that lately they have dropped that requirement. I suspect they are doing a "field" test on whether its really necessary anymore with Dexcool.
Ian
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Ian wrote:

Yes, that sounds right. I knew that they had re-done some gasket, but I did not remember whether it was on all of the engines. A friend of mine just had his Century done (1999, 3.1L) and he had to pay for it all. $$$

That's not the way that the GM shop here works. If they have a procedure, then they follow the procedure despite whatever special instruction the customer gives. In fact, that is exactly why I quit taking my car to that GM shop some years ago. On an unrelated matter, they insist upon applying fuel injector cleaner to the tank, even when there is no engine performance issue.

Yes, I just kind of hate to have my car being the field test subject. Of course, if they do use sealer against my wishes, then I will just flush the system and put in fresh Dex-Cool, but that costs me money.
Ian, we do value your experience!
---Bob Gross---
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"Robertwgross" wrote

then
customer
some
And there is good reason to follow the procedures to the "t". Gm can get nasty if they discover you haven't followed their procedures...(you...meaning the dealership folk). I had a customer in the other day (one that insists on looking over your shoulder for every part of the repair) and he was a little leery of the sealer, so I offered to simply not put it in. Then all of a sudden he was worried about coolant leaks, so in they went.
He is a bit of nutcase though. Unfortunately, my service manager has saddled me with the responsibility of working on his vehicle whenever he comes in. We shall see....as I'm not really that excited about customers standing over my shoulder while I'm working on their vehicle. This customer has bought something like 40 new vehicles from our dealership, so they somehow believe that he is exempt from the normal rules within the shop area.

the
Try another dealership maybe? It's only three nuts, its hard to imagine how anyone could screw up installing them.
Ian
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Ian wrote:

Absolutely. I've had responsibility for writing procedures for another industry, and once the procedure is cast in concrete, trying to alter the procedure can get very odd results.

I am surprised that a customer would be allowed in the shop area. Around here in California, a customer would never be permitted into the shop area except by special dispensation from the Pope.

He probably thinks it is part of his job.

That is because you are such a diplomat.

Yes, that is a good idea. I've had a bit of a grudge against the GM shop closest to me, but I could drive ten miles more and find another one.
I had written a business letter to the Service Manager at the GM dealership, and they did not even respond in any way, not even a phone call. My followup letter was ignored similarly. That is why they lost my service business.
---Bob Gross---
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"Robertwgross" wrote

Right, then you understand completely. I'm more willing to be flexible about such things...but our lead shop foreman is one of the most anal people I've ever met when it comes to GM and warranty issues. This is actually good, as we never have any problems with GM and our warranty practices. I have worked at dealerships where great liberties where taken in regards to warranty and there were some severe repercussions when GM found out. Like very nasty audits that involved hundreds of thousand of warranty repair dollars being denied to the dealership.

here
except by

Well, we are in Canada, a much kinder and gentler nation and all that (grin). I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about it in Alberta, but we will often use the old "insurance regulations don't permit customers in the shop" line when faced with a customer that insists on watching everything.
I don't really mind a customer watching me work, but what usually happens is that (because I'm a bit of a pushover) I end up spending way too much time talking to them, and showing them this, that or the other thing on their vehicle. Many of them don't appear to realize that I'm paid on a flat rate basis and by spending time with them, I lose money.
Case in point: the customer who was over my shoulder.....I spent 45 minutes doing what should have been a 15 minute job. So instead of making.... let's say.....35 dollars an hour, I was reduced to 15 dollars an hour for that particular period of time. On the one hand, it's a great boost to the ego to have your service manager have great faith in your ability to perform the job right and be (as you say) diplomatic with the customer. On the other hand, it costs me money, and I learned long ago that food on the table for my family is far more important the a boost for the old ego.
I did jokingly mention to my boss after the ordeal was over that I would require 'straight time plus 50%' to work on that customers vehicle again. He might not think I'm serious, but I am. That ought to bring me back up to my normal productivity level.

We have customers that seem to jump from dealership to dealership around here. Often what one customer dislikes in a dealership just wont bother another one. And when ever one comes in bitching about another dealership....I take it with a grain of salt, as I'm sure there are an equal amount of other folks driving in to other dealerships making sure that everyone knows what a bunch of crooks we are over at our dealership. It's always that way.
> I had written a business letter to the Service Manager at the GM dealership,

followup
Was this a dealership that you had spent a lot of time at? Did you do both warranty and off-warranty work at this dealership? Had you established any kind of relationship with any of the advisors or even the service manager? What was the concern about?
Ian
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