What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?) in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; All I can find in my local car part stores is either Dexcool compatible (Orange) or the new "Universal" (compatible ...
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    peteski is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Exclamation What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    All I can find in my local car part stores is either Dexcool compatible (Orange) or the new "Universal" (compatible with Orange and Green ) coolant!
    The "Universal" stuff is made by Prestone and others.

    Green stuff is nowhere to be found anymore!!

    So, we were always told not to mix Green and Orange coolants. Now this stuff comes out.

    How "good" will it be for my 93 N* engine (now using Green coolant)?

    What makes it compatible with both types?

    If I replace my Green stuff with the universal coolant, will I now have extended draining intervals (like if I used Dexcool)?!

    If someone adds this stuff to their Dexcool engine, will they still have the extended draining interval, or will the have to change coolant sooner?

    This is all too weird!

    Bbob - any comments?

    Peteski

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    I just put some of the prestone universial in my 2000 Eldorado so it better not mess it up


    What I suspect is that they removed the silicates from their green coolant and added in the extended life additives of Dexcool.

    No it won't make your old coolant last 5 years , 100,000 miles.

    According to the bottle, it maintains the dexcool 5 yr life.

    I would still like to know if anyone knows a way to get the silicate "contaminants" out of say a 1995 Fleetwood so i can put dexcool in that engine so that all my newer Caddies will have 1 coolant (heall, I might even do the 1968 too).

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    You CAN use Dex-Cool in that '95 Fleetwood if you want. Dex-Cool already IS basically a "universal" coolant. It CAN be used with the old green coolants, it just won't give you any extension on the service intervals as compared to the original green stuff. I'm guessing that all they REALLY did was make green Dex-Cool.
    The big issue I would have is whether to use Dex-Cool at all. I've heard so many war-stories about it that I'm not sure I endorse it's use.
    Bottom line; IMO, it's more important to do a proper flush and refill at 30K mile intervals or so than anything. I cannot endorse 100K - 150K mile intervals as advertised by both GM and the coolant manufacturer.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    That's just it, I would like to get the Fleetwood to at least 50K b/w flushes. But I read that the silicates are "embedded" in the cylinder walls, radiator passages, etc and they will eat up the long life additives of Dexcool. So question is, can we get rid of them and how? Maybe 2 use / flush cycles of Dexcool will get rid of the silicates???

    Other silicate contamination" There's no difference b/w cooling systems on a 95 and 96 Fleewood, 96 has dexcool and 100,000 mile "life" and 95 does not.

    Also, the Fleetwood Service Manual recommends 2 cooling system supplements (the tablets) on every flush and refill. Do the Fleetwood owners know this ??? Of course I write this in the Eldorado / seville forum

    What is FTS - Fleetwood Touring Sedan ??

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Yes, FTS stands for Fleetwood Touring Sedan.
    The Fleetwood DOES NOT use the coolant tabs, that's only in Cadillac engines. The Fleetwood has a Chevy engine. As for the coolant change interval, ANYTIME you use Dex-Cool in a car that didn't ORIGINALLY come with it, or even on cars that did but have had the regular green coolant used in ANY AMOUNT at ANYTIME, the coolant interval is redused to the standard 30K miles. The extended interval is ONLY allowed on cars that were factory-filled with Dex-Cool and have never had anything else used in them since.
    That siad, I still believe 100K miles is WAY too long for a drain interval, regardless of WHAT coolant you are using.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    I'm still confused!

    We have been always told not to mix Dexcool and the Green Coolant. So, how can we now have coolant compatible with both?!
    :banghead2

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Thhe 1995 Fleetwood service manual clearly states that upon a cooling system flush and refill, to add 2 of the tablets. Does this car have aluminum heads?? Perhaps its due to the aluminum in the radiator.

    Didn't stop my radiator from cracking last year!

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    DexCool is ethyleneglycol coolant that is formulated with an organic acid based corrosion inhibitor package. Texaco developed the proprietary DexCool formulation with GM and patented it....so...DexCool is Texaco. Prestone sells a DexCool compatible coolant in the silver jug that they either source from Texaco or pay royalities on.

    The Prestone "universal" coolant is, I suspect, I dodge to get around the DexCool patents that Texaco has. The Prestone universal coolant also uses an organic acid based corrosion inhibitor package like the DexCool but it is not the same as DexCool and must be different enough to allow Prestone to market it without infringing on Texaco's patents. Look at the jug of universal coolant from Prestone and notice that it doesn't mention DexCool anywhere. Notice also that the universal long life coolant is only "long life" coolant if installed into a system that was originally filled with long life coolant (read the jug fine print...)

    You cannot ever eliminate the silicates that are plated inside the cooling system of an engine/cooling system run on the conventional green silicated coolant. It is fine to empty it and run DexCool....just that neither the DexCool nor the Prestong long life universal coolant would provide super long drain intervals.

    Personally, I always have a problem with anything that is billed as "universal".... I would recommend using a DexCool approved coolant in later model engines and use the universal stuff if necessary in the earlier model engines with the silicated coolants and change it frequently...or use another brand of coolant that still offers silicated coolant....like the conventional Texaco product.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Bbob,
    If green coolant were put into a system that had Dex in it and run for a day or two, would it be "plated"? How long does it take to "plate" the system with silicates?

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Doesn't matter at that point. The cooling system is contaminated and will no longer be able to offer you the extended service (drain intervals). At this point, no matter WHAT you do, you're stuck with standard drain intervals. No biggie, that's better for the system anyway IMO.
    Look at the bright side, at least now you don't have to worry about what coolant you use.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Well....if green silicated coolant were added to a system filled with DexCool and then the system was drained in a few days and refreshed with DexCool alone I would have pretty good confidence in the long life capability of the DexCool. I don't know exactly how long it would take to "plate" the system and permanently contaminate the system with silicates but it takes some time and engine running and this would be longer with a system already running and wetted with DexCool. If a dry system were filled with silicated coolant and run it is rapidly plated and contaminated...even within a few hours.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    anybody care to confirm or dispute the need to add 2 cooling system supplement tabs for Fleetwoods on a cooling system fush?

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillacmike68
    anybody care to confirm or dispute the need to add 2 cooling system supplement tabs for Fleetwoods on a cooling system fush?
    They are NOT needed on the non-Cadillac engines such as the Olds 307 and Chevy 5.7 found in the RWD cars.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    Technically the coolant supplement pellets are not "needed" or "required" in any cooling system....as long as there are no internal coolant leaks or leak paths that could allow coolant to seep into the oil and cause engine failure. In the case of a (potential) internal coolant leak, if the supplement seals the system and prevents the leak then it is mandatory...but how do you know???

    Every engine shipped from GM has the supplement in the system from the factory as insurance against nuisance leaks and to guard against the potential of an internal coolant leak into the oil. While rare, it is cheap insurance.

    Every cooling system can benefit from this insurance...including the Olds 307 and the Chevy 350.....yes, even the vaunted, worshiped small block chevy is shipped with the sealer pellets in the system. And, since it can leak coolant internally, it can benefit from the insurance of the supplement.

    I use the supplement in all of my engines that have liquid cooling systems and I would personally recomend it for the Olds 307 and the Chevy 350 in the Fleetwood. It will not hurt a thing and could save the engine in the event a gasket starts to give up and allow an internal seepage of coolant.

    Will most all of them live fine without it....yes. It is just insurance against internal coolant intrusion that can happen without you knowing it.

    Using and recommending the coolant supplement is a funny situation. If people don't use it and never have a problem they insist that it is unnecessary. If you use and and never needed it then it was "unnecessary". If you use it and it seals up a potential leak then you never knew about it and never knew it was working and figure you didn't need it. Only people, like myself, that have seen the results of a random internal coolant leak and see a LOT of engines torn down can attest to the effectiveness of the coolant supplement and attest to the effectiveness of it. It is just insurance that is very cheap and harmless and there is simply no justification for NOT using it. Unless you just must gamble with your engine.

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    Re: What's up with the new "Universal" coolant? (Bbob?)

    I must admit, I've never heard anyone actually suggest the use of cooling system sealers as a preventive measure to be used in ALL engines. That's a first. I'm no engineer, so I'll admit that I can't tell you what, if anything would be the down-side of using a sealer just for the hell of it other than the obvious. Sealers "can" cause unwanted clogs and restrictions in the cooling system, especially in things like radiators and heater cores. I also find it dangerous to make a blanket statement supporting the general use of sealers due to the lack of ability to control the amount of sealer in the system. In other words, is the owner going to use it only when the system is flushed and refilled? Are they going to add it whenever the system has any amount of coolant added? Is there any control on how much sealer will get used, or what type? There are different types that are designed for different size leaks. I just think that unless there's a real high probability of developing a leak (as there is on the aluminum Cadillac engines), adding sealer is a bad idea. I personally have replaced a number of heater cores and radiators that were partially, or totally clogged with sealer.
    Don't believe me, call a radiator shop and ask them what they think about sealers. Ask THEM whether they think you should use them on everything.

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