Which coolant and why?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Upkeep' started by Jeremy09LTZCrew, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Simple enough question: What coolant do you use and why?

    I'm about to change all my fluids and this is one I haven't yet determined which coolant I want to go with. I've found negative information about Dex-cool, found that Amsoil is pretty much overpriced for typical driving, etc..

    As always, thanks for the input.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  2. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I use the same stuff that came in the truck originally. That orange DEX Cool stuff. Not exactly sure why GM changed the coolant from the other stuff. Apparently DEX cool is non toxic, but I would avoid drinking it.

    I never read up on DEX cool, but that is interesting. Do you have links to the information on it?
  3. Blazer454

    Blazer454 Member

    Dex Cool was origonally supposed to be a lifetime coolant. Well its not. GM now recommends that if the coolant be completely flushed with new coolant (Dex Cool) at 150k. Dex Cool can cause problems only if it just sits there in your engine. Vehicles that arent driven much should have the coolant replaced more often. If your truck is still under warranty changing the coolant to the normal green stuff will void your warranty. And the green coolant should be replaced every 20 to 30k. Dex Cool is fine as long as you at least drain and fill your radiator with new Dex Cool every 50 to 60k
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    • Dex-cool is what comes in our vehicles.
    • You'll void your warranty if you switch from the red stuff to the green stuff.
    • To change from the red stuff to the green stuff you need to completely flush the existing coolant from the system ... and do the same if you ever want to go back.
    • Never mix the two... the resulting chemical apparently solidifies a bit ... into a sludge.
    • Most people stick with the red stuff because the required complete/thorough coolant flush is a pain and it's just easier to stick with what the vehicle had from the factory.
    • Dex-cool is actually good stuff. Read: http://www.getahelmet.com/jeeps/maint/dexcool/
    • Obviously buy the unmixed red stuff and distilled water and do your own mixing. I saved nearly 20 bucks for a whopping 3 mins of my time spent mixing my own solution rather than buying pre-mixed 50/50 solution when I changed out my radiator. :)
  5. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I have changed away from Dex Cool at every opportunity I have had. It eats seals and caused the intake gaskets to need replaced on hundreds of thousands of GM vehicles since 1996.

    Flush it out really good and buy coolant that is safe to mix with either kind. (Yes, they DO actually make it. I have it in all of my vehicles!) the front of the bottle is marked with a statement like "Safe to mix with any color of anti-freeze". Advance has it in their house brand and I am sure there are other brands out there as well.

    I flush my cooling system every fall, which is probably more than it needs given the miles I drive, but I like to go into the winter months knowing that I am good to go!
  6. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    GM claims there is nothing wrong with Dexcool, as long as the owner keeps the system filled.

    If the coolant level gets low, the exposed engine surfaces produce a chemical reaction with the Dexcool, which in turn, produces an acid that eats intake gaskets.
  7. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Of course they do! Otherwise they would be on the hook for a pot full of intake gasket re-installs! Everyone I know who has changed their coolant away from the long life coolant have had NO intake gasket problems.
  8. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    That's the same thing I read about Dex-Cool, though I'm having trouble finding the articles now. I don't remember what I searched.

    There seem to be rather polarizing views regarding coolant. Now I'm even more glad I asked the question.

    This is the one fluid I've not made a decision on and it's something I've honestly never given a lot of thought to, but it seems much more thought is warranted than I thought.
  9. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah... Car makers try to make everything as maintenance free as they can. the reason being is that most people who buy new cars and trucks trade them back in a few years later and they don't want to give owners the time to neglect them and drag the resale value down.
  10. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah, you know, it occured to me recently... I'm 32 and this is the first vehicle I've gone through this level of maintenance with. I've always taken care of my vehicles with regard to cleaning, general fluid top-off, oil changes, etc. However, every car I've had since I was 16 was either really old when I got it and died (1985 4 cylinder Mustang my parents bought new in 85 and I inherited in 96 with 200k+ miles) got totaled (1993 Lumina I was trying to sell anyway and insurance gave me more than I had been asking, got rid of (1996 Silverado ext cab SB I took with me to Germany in the Army and left there) or was on a short lease. This was my first brand new vehicle and it's coming up on 60k. Therefore, it's kind of uncharted territory in regard to long term maintenance as I have every intention of handing this down to my kids in 8-10 more years.

    I just want to make the best decisions I can including the coolant. I'll be getting the transmission fluid and filter changes, diff fluid changed, transfer case, air filter, oil filter and change and coolant system flushed. Hopefully That'll keep it healthy and happy into the 100s...

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