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Antifreeze

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Czech, Dec 11, 2009.

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  1. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, it got a bit cold up here, doing the usual maint. I ended up putting the Dex Cool orange antifreeze in my CA 2004 Titan reservoir that I just drove home to MN in Sept, looked like there was the green stuff in there. Any concerns? Darn VW that the wife drives always gets me, I'm old school I guess.

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  2. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    This is a big area of contention, the mixing of Dexcool with other antifreeze formulations. The big issue in recent years is the adding of the standard green to Dexcool, which was a suspected cause of dexcool turning to grit and ruining the cooling systems on GM cars/trucks.

    Probably if you didn't add much, not much will happen, though the car's cooling system was not designed around Dexcool, and this might be a good time to flush the coolant, which should be done regularly anyway.

    How much dexcool did you add?
  3. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Burning Hunk

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    Honnestly, don'T take any chance... ask you'Re dealer and go for a anti-frezze flush & wash.
  4. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Added around a cup or two, just topped off the reservoir. The coolant is fairly new so I didn't want to flush if it was ok. Thanks for the replies!
  5. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    A cup or two is pretty small compared to the overall amount in the cooling system.

    You could look in your owners manual for the name of the specific coolant your car was designed to have, then look online to see if Dexcool is compatible. They will probably say it isn't, because they assume you're replacing all the coolant with dexcool, which you certainly don't want to do.

    It's probably fine, but if you're worried, have it flushed and replaced. Great preventive maintenance anyway. If the car is more than four years old, replace the radiator cap as well. Very important.
  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If it were me i'd drain it and replace w/ clean antifreeze. Whether it be rumor or not, truth or wives-tale, I've heard from several mechanics that not only dislike dexcool but speak of the problems they've seen w/ them mixing causing waterpump failure and plugged heater cores.

    Drain and replace for peace of mind.

    pen
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Did you run the engine? If you just added the cup to the res then you would be safe to just remove the res and clean it. I like dexcool, have had great luck with it so long as I flushed it regularly in GM trucks. I would not want to mix ANY antifreeze colors. That's the cardinal rule of antifreeze, don't mix colors. If you ran it and now the res is the same color as the radiator then do the flush. It's not worth ruining a cooling system. Think water pump, thermostat gasket, all hoses rotting out, head gaskets, plugged up coolant passages, etc. Nothing pretty about that.
  8. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Well, I'm not sure there's any definite proof that the different antifreezes react together in any damaging way. The reason there are different colors and makers is because each manufacturer makes their cars differently, and so the cooling systems vary in terms of the types of corrosion protection needed. GM uses dexcool, others use the various other formulations. But the difference is the way in which they protect from corrosion, not in the way they transfer/release heat.

    So worst case scenario, you'd be getting less corrosion protection than you need, by using the wrong coolant. Two cups in a 3-4 gallon system likely won't make any difference.

    Last I reviewed this, the idea that dexcool turned to gunk from being mixed with traditional antifreeze had been dis-proven. I have experience with it, because I was one of the first people to have it happen, and no green antifreeze had ever been added.
  9. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Thanks again all, I'll take a look at the reservoir tonight as I did run it today. I was thinking like dave, figured the volume was not that big of an issue, but again I appreciate all the advice. One other thing, I did pick some green stuff up today, I will pour half and half into a mason jar and see what happens!
  10. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Probably will get a weird-o color, but nothing else. For a fair test, you'd need to heat it to 220F or so anyway.
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