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Discussion Starter #1
I took my 96 STS to the dealership in May to get the coolant flushed (it had 94500 miles on it). About a month ago and 700 miles since getting it flushed my water pump started to leak...green coolant. I took it to a repair shop (not the dealership) and the said that the switching could have been the reason for the water pump seal to go out and they flushed the system and added Dexcool back to it.

I went to the dealership to ask them about it and they said as long as they flushed all the "pink" out of it before going with green there should be any problems and that most problems they see with cooling systems is from the dexcool.

What are your thoughts on this? Will I have future problems b/c of this (ie headgasket issues) or should it be alright?

BTW I took it to the dealership specifically b/c I thought they would go back with what their factory recommends. Thanks for any help
 

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OK, you'll find a lot of info here on coolant, so I'll just try to sift it down to the most salient points, as recommended by past and current on-premises experts:

1) NEVER FLUSH the system - DRAIN only. Given the right circumstances, a flush will either break loose, or introduce, system deposits, gunk, and other bad stuff. Coolant and transmission FLUSHES are great money-makers for dealers and repair shops, yet often do more harm than good.

2) If the dealer put in green coolant, then it has deposited (or eaten away, I forget which) stuff which negates the ability to go 5 years without a change as you can do with DexCool. You can merrily alternate between the 'regular' anti-freeze and DexCool as much as you want, but you should NOT go any longer than 2 years between changes now. That's the only difference - using the green removes the ability to go 5 years with Dexcool.

You should ask the dealer if they installed the recommended coolant pellets - right on the radiator shroud of your car is the factory recommendation to add the "coolant supplement" - it is Bars Leak Golden Seal stuff, on the N* used to seal very small porosity and "nuisance" leaks. It goes in the lower rad hose, NOT the surge tank. They should have done it, according to factory recommendations.

I don't know if the switch could have caused the W/P to start leaking, but it's possible that the FLUSH might have dislodged something and caused it.

Try the Bar's Leak golden seal (avail. from your local Walmart) and see if that helps at all. In the end, a W/P R&R is pretty easy, from what I've read.
 

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JimHare said:
2) If the dealer put in green coolant, then it has deposited (or eaten away, I forget which) stuff which negates the ability to go 5 years without a change as you can do with DexCool. You can merrily alternate between the 'regular' anti-freeze and DexCool as much as you want, but you should NOT go any longer than 2 years between changes now. That's the only difference - using the green removes the ability to go 5 years with Dexcool.
Jim,
The words you are looking for are "The coolings system gets plated with silicates".

Before I new any better I changed coolant on my wifes '96 Bonneville and since I still had several gallons of green coolant lying around I used it. After all, coolant is coolant, right? Well, it had to go to the dealer the next day and they informed me otherwise, so I came home, drained, flushed and refilled it with Dex. Some time later I discovered this site, caddyinfo and "Rob". I recounted this situation to him and asked how long it takes to plate the system. I don't recall being given an exact time but I do recall him saying it would take longer than a day or two. My only point is that it is apparently not instantaneous.
 

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turboost said:
I took my 96 STS to the dealership in May to get the coolant flushed (it had 94500 miles on it). About a month ago and 700 miles since getting it flushed my water pump started to leak...green coolant. I took it to a repair shop (not the dealership) and the said that the switching could have been the reason for the water pump seal to go out and they flushed the system and added Dexcool back to it.

I went to the dealership to ask them about it and they said as long as they flushed all the "pink" out of it before going with green there should be any problems and that most problems they see with cooling systems is from the dexcool.

What are your thoughts on this? Will I have future problems b/c of this (ie headgasket issues) or should it be alright?

BTW I took it to the dealership specifically b/c I thought they would go back with what their factory recommends. Thanks for any help
It sounds like the dealership where you took the car is staffed with morons. Coolant doesn't cause water pump seals to go out. I have heard lots of cases of water pump seals leaking, and I've had the same problem myself. The coolant has nothing to do with it. I wouldn't go back to that dealership, or I would demand a second opinion from an experienced technician rather than the oil change kid. If s/he says the same thing, don't go back there. Service writers are not your friends. They are just salesmen who sell service, and they don't care what happens to your car, only to their commission checks.

Whether or not they got all the green stuff out of it, and you can rest assured that they did NOT get it all out of there, you just need to change the coolant every 2 years or 30,000 miles from now on. Once the green stuff is in there, as Jim mentioned, the cooling system becomes plated with silicates which reduce the long life properties of DexCool. It is perfectly safe to mix coolants, but you have to change them following the recommendations for the lowest common denominator, which in the case of orange/green mix is the green stuff. It has to be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles.

Now for the next important question: Did they use the cooling system supplement? (Bar's Leaks tablets or powder)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I gave them 2 packs of gold Bars Seal to put in it. No one said the coolant was the reason the WP went but that it may be a contributing factor. Has this raised the possibility of HG problems or am I just worried about nothing? I am really pissed since now I must change the coolant every 2 years now instead of 5 b/c of their mistake. Is there any way I can be compensated for this:hmm:
 

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Doubtful you can get any compensation but you never know til you ask. Likewise it is doubtful that it will cause any head gasket problems.

It is amazing that a Caddy dealer (if that is where you took it) would say "that most problems they see with cooling systems is from the dexcool". I think they where just covering their asses and trying to make you feel better about their mistake.
 

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What?? I cant understand why a dealership would drain dex cool and replace with green unless told to do so by the owner. That just doesnt make any sense at all.

I would go back to the dealer and tell them you want the three $100 bills that it will cost to flush every year or so now or at least tell them they are doing it for free once a year for 5 years. Remember, maximum time with the green stuff is 2 years, so you really want to change it before then.

What kind of dealer would do that?????????
 

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Some people believe that Dex-cool is just pure evil. They are sadly mistaken.
There is nothing wrong with Dex and they shouldn't have changed it, especially without consulting with you FIRST!
Next, changing from Green to Dex doesn't hurt anything, yes it decreases your interval for service and you'll have to pay more in maintenance costs.
(technically)

Changing the coolant doesn't create leaks, but it can magnify leaks that have already begun. It's purely coincidental, and unfortunate. Mixing Green and Dex is not a problem either, they are both Ethylene Glycol based chemicals, they just have a different addtive package. The worst thing that can happen is that now you'll have to flush it every 2 years instead of every 5. They are not chemically reactive or harmful if mixed together... unless you drink them. But either will kill you by itself anyway. :D

I would give the dealership a chance to rectify any problems that you may have with what they have done in servicing your car.
 

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Hey, ewill3rd, I have always heard that mixing green and Dex could cause coagulation. Check out '96 STS OverHeating in the Northstar section. Correct me if I am wrong but, he appears to have confirmed it.
 

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I'll take a look at that thread.
Based on what I know and what I have seen, mixing them doesn't create problems but running systems low with dex cool in them can create a gel-type buildup. Also to be considered is the water with which they are mixed. Some municipal water supplies have strange things in them that add to chemical reactions in cars sometimes.

In fact years ago I heard someone say that Dex has a sodium additive and when mixed with tap water with high content of Chlorine will cause the sodium to bind with the chlorine and create sodium chloride... or SALT.
I am sure it doesn't take much of an imagination to realize what salt would do to the innards of a cooling system on a metal engine.

Thanks for pointing me towards that other thread.
 

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Ranger said:
Hey, ewill3rd, I have always heard that mixing green and Dex could cause coagulation. Check out '96 STS OverHeating in the Northstar section. Correct me if I am wrong but, he appears to have confirmed it.
Ranger, silicated coolants will coagulate on their own if left in the system for too long. Essentially the silicates start to precipitate out of solution and it can eventually lead to a sand-like substance building up in the low flow areas of the cooling system and circulating through everything, abrading surfaces as it moves. DexCool by itself will never do that because it doesn't have the silicates. It's possible that the additive packages between Dex and the green stuff could be incompatible in such a way that it would accelerate the precipitation, but I've seen two other cooling systems that had mixed coolants for at least 6 months and there was no evidence of such precipitation or coagulation. It's surely possible, but it seems like there must be some other factor in there besides the essential additive differences that makes it happen. What it is remains to be told, but perhaps something to do with non-distilled water. It's possible the coagulation from the other thread is caused by some other problem, too. We rarely get the whole story on things like this, and that's unfortunately because sometimes people don't even know the whole story. Since I've seen evidence to the contrary, and both Dex and green coolant manufacturers say it's ok to mix them, I'd rather stick with the "some other factor" theory for the time being and remind everyone to use distilled water. Of course, I'm always open to new information.
 

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I would be pissed if I were you, Cadillac recomends Dex-cool in Northstars and since they built them, they would know best. What would they say if it was a 2005 under warranty and the motor had a major failure and the Caddy rep said to bad you didn't use Dex cool therefore your warranty is void. Would the dealership fix it for free and take on the rest of your warranty? I would think not! If the manufacture says Dex cool coolant then the dealer should be using Dexcool only.A independent car mechanic I could understand doing differently because coolant is coolant, but the dealer knows the car requires Dexcool
 

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I may have missed it, but what color is Dexcool and would it have been original factory fill in a '92 Deville? I'm a newbie, so bear with me! Just got the car last night.

If the water pump was replaced by the Caddy dealer within the past year, I would imagine they replaced the coolant, right? Also, what would happen if the coolant wasn't changed regularly? Would the engine just melt after the coolant and oil mixed?!?!? Would the engine have to overheat first before coolant entered the engine oil?
 

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quikag said:
I may have missed it, but what color is Dexcool and would it have been original factory fill in a '92 Deville? I'm a newbie, so bear with me! Just got the car last night.

If the water pump was replaced by the Caddy dealer within the past year, I would imagine they replaced the coolant, right? Also, what would happen if the coolant wasn't changed regularly? Would the engine just melt after the coolant and oil mixed?!?!? Would the engine have to overheat first before coolant entered the engine oil?
Dexcool is orange, and it was used as factory fill starting in 1996 model year cars if I remember right. If your water pump was replaced, they had to at least drain the system down to below the level of the pump and refill the system with some kind of coolant/water mix. To what extent that constitutes a proper drain and refill procedure I don't know. Only the mechanic knows for sure exactly what was done.

When green coolant is not changed, it can start to coagulate and turn into a gel-like substance. After a while of that, the silicates start to harden and turn into sand-like gritty stuff. Imagine circulating sand through your cooling system. It can damage everything it touches. Once it gets to that point, the protective properties of the coolant are gone, so things like rust, corrosion, and freezing become real possibilities. Green coolant must be changed every 2 years or 30k miles. It's the silicates in green coolant that cause the gelling and grit. Dexcool doesn't contain silicates, and therefore is immune to the gelling problems, but the additives in Dexcool that protect cooling system components from its organic acid-based additive package wear out over time and use, leaving the system susceptible to a different kind of damage. It takes longer for that to happen with Dexcool than for the green coolant, so Dexcool requires less maintenance than regular coolant. Proper operation of the air purge system is critical for a Dexcool-based cooling system.

Because the cooling system is pressurized while at full temperature, it doesn't take an overheat to force coolant into the lubricating oil system when a head gasket breach is present. That doesn't really happen on the 4.6 Northstars because of the head and block design, but it can happen on the 4.9. Coolant is a lousy lubricant. If it gets into the oil, multiple things can start wearing, seizing, and breaking in short order. The moral of the story is this: Maintain the cooling system properly no matter what kind of car or engine you have.

Hope that answers your questions, but ask away if you have more. Someone will probably be able to help you.
 

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Dexcool is orange. I don't think it was standard or available in 92.
 

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hmm,, my dexcool in my truck is red or pink. Never seen any orange stuff before.

Ive seen green, orange, and other colors that are 5 year and can be mixed with any coolant, but it doesnt say dexcool on it.
 

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McCowden, is this coagulation theory also a factor with Dexcool say after 5 plus years or more? I ask because when I purchased my car(96Eldo) it had 38K on it and I'm pretty sure its the same coolant from when the car was brought new. Now its 11years later, could there be alot of coagulation?
 

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ALBUNDY said:
McCowden, is this coagulation theory also a factor with Dexcool say after 5 plus years or more? I ask because when I purchased my car(96Eldo) it had 38K on it and I'm pretty sure its the same coolant from when the car was brought new. Now its 11years later, could there be alot of coagulation?
That kind of coagulation doesn't happen with Dexcool. I have heard before that allowing air to remain in a Dexcool system can cause it to coagulate, but I have never seen it myself. I do know that it's very important the vapor vent line is functioning normally and that there is no air in the system.

If it's 11 years later and you have the same coolant, you need to get that stuff changed soon. By now, the protective elements of the additive package have stopped protecting the cooling system from the other, acidic parts of the additive package and electrolytic activity could have corroded essential engine components such as head gaskets. Change it ASAP. Dexcool must be changed at 5 years or 100k miles. Green coolant can only go 2 years or 30k miles.

Here's an interesting article about coolant chemistries and what can happen to each of them, why they're used, what they're good for, etc.:

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:Ax4PHXMRxOIJ:www.venturers.org/NextGenTech/2ndGen/pages/Coolant.html+silicate+coolant+dexcool&hl=en&lr=lang_en
 

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The coolant temp runs at 198F constantly, but I understand from what your saying is that damage is being done to the system regardless of the temp and for my sake I pray that after I change it you won't get a blown HG thread from me. Thanks.
 

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