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'04 CTS
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129 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Two days after getting my oil changed at a dealer I drove 300 miles to go home. About 150 miles in and stuck in traffic, I started smelling coolant bad. After a few minutes of getting worse I passed a disabled car with no signs of body damage. I thought Phew! glad it wasn't me. Was surprised by a low coolant warning this morning and attached a picture of the reservoir way below the cool line.

Which coolant should I use to refill? Dexcool? Or should I flush the whole system and switch back to green? The temp never goes above halfway and I don't see any white smoke or smell any coolant anymore. I obviously can't leave it that low.

Thoughts? Thank you!

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The mobile app keeps crashing when attaching but you can just envision an overflow tank less than half full with orange coolant in it.
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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Don't ever let your car go low on coolant. Ever.


Yes, use GM's Dexcool coolant for aluminum engines as it says in the manual. If I recall its like an orange color...
Either buy the 100% coolant and make a 50/50 mixture with distilled water, or buy the pre-mixed coolant.

And don't wait. If your cars super low on coolant, don't procrastinate, even if everything seems fine. Fill it back up before you drive another mile...and check for a coolant leak. You shouldn't just randomly run out of coolant.
 

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'04 CTS
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much for the quick reply. Taking my wife's car to Pep Boys to pick up the 50/50 mix right now. I still don't know what could have happened to trigger blowing some off for a few minutes and then being fine for the rest of the trip.

Thanks again I really appreciate it.
 

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2003 CTS 3.2L, Luxury Sport, Diamond White
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EasternPA said:
Thanks very much for the quick reply. Taking my wife's car to Pep Boys to pick up the 50/50 mix right now. I still don't know what could have happened to trigger blowing some off for a few minutes and then being fine for the rest of the trip.

Thanks again I really appreciate it.
No problem! And hmm...I have no idea why that would happen. If there's no leak at all but it just randomly lost a lot, then there's not much explanation. Maybe the guys who did the oil change drained the coolant and refilled it improperly? I don't know, just keep an eye on it.
 

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'04 CTS
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Discussion Starter #5
I will. After refilling, I ran it for a little bit and moved the car to look for drips or leaks. Nothing. With my work and personal lives the way they are, I need to be able to get into my weekday car or my weekend car and drive up to 3,000 miles with zero notice, so blowing coolant about 150-170 miles after a dealer oil change was a little disconcerting.
 

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'04 CTS
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you, Sarah. It is very nice to see you participating in these forums! I haven't been around here in a while and your frequent participation is a nice new surprise!
 
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