: Coolant supplement paradox (yeah this again :-)



powerglide
05-04-05, 06:59 PM
I was just browsing my OEM Service Manual and in the section regarding coolant change (page 6-204) it specifically mentions to use 3 engine cooling supplelements P/N 3634621.

Cool, no surprise there.

HOWEVER, on page 0-39 in the Maintenance and Lubrication page, it says:

Engine Coolant Supplement Sealer
NOTICE: The use of sealing pellets (or similar compound) in the coolant system is NOT recommended. The use of sealing pellets may restrict the flow of coolant through the throttle body or other engine cooling system components"

What gives?

(I will go ahead and use the bar's leak pellets or the GM pellets when I finally do my coolant change next week)....but whats the deal with this inconsistency??

JimD
05-05-05, 05:42 AM
Terminology?

The cooling system "supplement" with a GM part# is recommended. My '98 has a sticker under the hood with the same information. Product HDC or G12BP from this page is the same material. http://www.barsproducts.com/origin.html

"Sealing pellets" are not recommended.

Anthony Cipriano
05-05-05, 01:06 PM
The instructions to use the GM Coolant Supplement in the system are correct. General maintenace and service instructions are typically worded to say that no additives, in general, are required. There are many different sealants and additives on the market and new ones show up all the time. The admonition in the service requirements is to not use them as they are not required. Many of the sealant products on the market are inappropriate - so rather then list and differentiate among them the instructions say to not use them.

The specific service instruction to use the GM Coolant Supplement would override the general admonition as it specifies a GM approved product and specifically states to use it. It does not say to add a sealant in general or to add any sealant on the market. It doesn't even say to add a sealant at all, in fact. It says to use the GM Coolant Supplement.

The only way you know that the GM Coolant Supplement is a sealant is from reading this forum. The only way you know that the BarsLeaks product mentioned is the same thing as the GM product is because of me posting that on this forum. So, there's no paradox in the service literature at all. It says to use the correct GM product and to not use sealants in general because there is no way to control which sealant a customer might add if the instructions were to add a sealant.

The GM Coolant Supplement pellets are tested and validated for use in the system. Nothing else is. So, to avoid confusion with all the other "sealants" on the market (many of which will wreck the system and cause problems) the word sealant is mentioned. Face it, many people will see the word "sealant" and go to Walmart and buy the first sealant they see and put it in and then blame GM for the problem it causes. If you follow the instructions correctly, you will put the correct GM product in (it just happens to be a sealant but you don't need to know that) and you wont be mislead into using the incorrect substance.

Make sense? You have to realize that the manual is meant to be as unambigous as possible. It doesn't try to explain sealants and the different types and the whys and wherefores. It just says to not use them - and to use the correct GM product. That way no one can use the wrong thing if they follow the instructions. Besides, the BarsLeaks product may change one day and be the wrong thing. The GM Coolant Supplement pellets will always be the correct stuff. BarsLeaks bought out Solder Seal not too long ago and started marketing Solder Seal's powdered aluminum sealing products. Not what you want to use. So it isn't even correct to imply that BarsLeaks products are equivalent anymore. Only the specific BarsLeaks products mentioned. And you only know that because of me.

Further proof that this is the correct approach for the general populace is demonstrated on this forum. As much as it's been repeated about which specific BarsLeaks products to use, occasionally a post will show up with something to the effect of "I sent my wife to Walmart to get the BarsLeaks and she got that aluminum colored stuff and I put it in." Even the "enthusiates" that read this forum can't keep it straight.

cadillacmike68
05-05-05, 02:33 PM
What the manual is telling you is to not use any of the junk aluma seal, whatever, that you find on a parts store shelf.

Interestingly the GM tabs are almost never availab e at these stores either, you have to go to a wholesales or an AC/DELCO specialty shop to get them.

And what about GMs dopping from 6 to 5 tabs in the pack. The 4.x engines all say to add 6 tabs, but you only get 5 in a pack now ?? :hmm:

Fleetwoods are supposed to get 2 tabs by the way! Northstar 3 so 3 + 2 = 5 ok for me!;)

powerglide
05-05-05, 04:42 PM
I knew this would be cleared up right here.....it makes sense now.

Thanks!

Ranger
05-05-05, 07:00 PM
And what about GMs dopping from 6 to 5 tabs in the pack. The 4.x engines all say to add 6 tabs, but you only get 5 in a pack now ?? :hmm:


That's so you will buy 2 packs. Every penny adds up.

turbojimmy
06-10-05, 08:03 AM
Terminology?

The cooling system "supplement" with a GM part# is recommended. My '98 has a sticker under the hood with the same information. Product HDC or G12BP from this page is the same material. http://www.barsproducts.com/origin.html

"Sealing pellets" are not recommended.

I know this thread is a little old, but....

I need to replace my water pump seal (and perhaps the water pump) and want to make sure I put the correct amount of 'supplement' back in it. The HDC product is a 2.1 oz. blister pack (looks like 6 'tabs') while the G12BP is a .75 oz. blister pack (don't look like the same 'tabs' as the HDC).

Which should I get and how many do I put in.

Sorry for being so anal, but I don't want to over or under do it.

Jim

Ranger
06-10-05, 10:54 AM
One is just a powdered version of the other. Anthony Cipriano says 2 tubes of the powdered or 6 tabs. FWIW my manual says 3 tabs. I went with 4. Anthony also has said that it would take like 20 to overdo it.

powerglide
06-10-05, 12:12 PM
.........oh no..........I only used 1 tube of the powdered stuff when I did the coolant change.....I managed to change out a little under two gallons.

OK, let me have it......am I screwed here?

Any way to add some more without having to drain the system again....maybe popping off the top radiator hose and dropping in a few tabs?

Ranger
06-10-05, 08:19 PM
Don't panic. You'd probably be fine if you didn't add any. It is just there to prevent niusance leaks from porous castings and such. No damage will be done. If you want to add another tube or a few tabs, go through the upper radiator hose. You will spill a minimal amout of coolant from that location.

powerglide
06-10-05, 08:31 PM
phew!

what a relief....

STS 310
06-12-05, 09:05 PM
Carry on....

tttjump
06-13-05, 11:16 PM
I had to replace my water pump on my 2000 STS. I purchased some of the silver stuff by mistake and had added it before I realized that it was not the right type of supplement. Should I drain the antifreeze and start with fresh antifreeze and supplements or just add the right supplement tablets?

Thanks

Ranger
06-14-05, 10:31 AM
I'd drain and flush it really good.

Aurora40
08-09-05, 11:34 AM
What the manual is telling you is to not use any of the junk aluma seal, whatever, that you find on a parts store shelf.

Interestingly the GM tabs are almost never availab e at these stores either, you have to go to a wholesales or an AC/DELCO specialty shop to get them.

And what about GMs dopping from 6 to 5 tabs in the pack. The 4.x engines all say to add 6 tabs, but you only get 5 in a pack now ?? :hmm:

Fleetwoods are supposed to get 2 tabs by the way! Northstar 3 so 3 + 2 = 5 ok for me!;)

Just FYI, but there are two different packs from GM. They sell a 6-pack of 10g tablets (P/N 3634621) and a 5-pack of 4g tablets (P/N 12378254).

mumblypeg
08-12-05, 01:13 PM
All of this discussion reminded me that my pops 2001 N* has never had the coolant changed. I just called him up and gently reminded him that he should get it serviced. His response nearly made me fall on the floor laughing. He told me that "we all leak when we get old and I am not worried about it, you think too much" . He said he "might" get it done before winter. Of course, he would be fuming if were stranded due a leak or anything else.

Sort of put this whole coolant debate in a different light for me. lol

chevyorange
08-12-05, 02:13 PM
I'd almost guarantee you'll be walking if you don't get it done! I do appreciate the "simple" life, it is the one I yearn for and had with my old Chevys... but with a Northstar, there is nothing simple about it!

powerglide
08-12-05, 04:39 PM
Well....its a good idea to change it but the coolant is supposed to be good till 100K miles.

Mark Bunds
08-12-05, 07:15 PM
All of this discussion reminded me that my pops 2001 N* has never had the coolant changed. I just called him up and gently reminded him that he should get it serviced. His response nearly made me fall on the floor laughing. He told me that "we all leak when we get old and I am not worried about it, you think too much" . He said he "might" get it done before winter. Of course, he would be fuming if were stranded due a leak or anything else.

Sort of put this whole coolant debate in a different light for me. lol

The Northstar won't leave you stranded. It can run up to 50 miles without coolant before taking a break to cool off, and then another 50, etc., without engine damage. Do a search for "Camel Mode."

powerglide
08-12-05, 07:33 PM
The Northstar won't leave you stranded. It can run up to 50 miles without coolant before taking a break to cool off, and then another 50, etc., without engine damage. Do a search for "Camel Mode."


I've never had to use it, but from what I hear it doesn't work quite like that.....do a search about it on this forum and you will find the limp-home mode really only works for driving to a safe spot and waiting till the tow truck arrives.

I would defintely not reccomend driving for 50 miles in that mode.

Ranger
08-12-05, 09:10 PM
Both statements are true. Personally, I would only drive it without coolant if I was under fire.

Mark Bunds
08-12-05, 10:59 PM
Hey, those are just the specs. My instinct for financial survival won't let me drive the car 3 feet without coolant.

mumblypeg
08-12-05, 11:35 PM
I can't see myself driving a vehicle that has overheated more than a few feet. Enough to get safely off the road. The salesman told me I could drive with a/c on up to 50 miles in camel mode. Yea...sure. You know the heat has to hurt the piston rings. A engineer friend of mine told me in the early '90s that "The typical Cadillac drivers aren't going to stop just because the car is overheating, this camel mode just keeps GM from replacing engines".

chevyorange
08-13-05, 10:22 PM
In my experience, A/C shuts down when you're in "Camel Mode". In fact, if I recall correctly, the A/C compressor shuts down before CM.

chgobr
08-31-05, 10:50 AM
This is incredibly helpful! Thank you!

chgobr
08-31-05, 10:52 AM
This is incredibly helpful! Thank you!