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Old 09-04-2000, 06:02 PM   #1
rogerk
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Default coolant pellets.

It has been brought to my attention that Saturn no longer recommends adding coolant pellets to the coolant. The Saturn dealer of Baldwin Park no longer adds them. I am getting ready to change the coolant in my 95. (It uses the regular green stuff). I have noticed that there is some of the soft pellet material in the recovery tank. Should I just drain and rinse the cooling system, or should I also use a cooling system cleaner to try to clean out the pellet material (is it ginger?)? If I use a cleaner which brand should I use? As for the coolant , I am going to use a propylene glycol coolant that is is less toxic to the enviornment, unless some one talks me out of it for some reason. I will use either the Prestone Low Tox, or the Sierra brand. Would appreciate some of your opinions and experiences.
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Old 09-04-2000, 09:09 PM   #2
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I looked into that Propylene Glycol (non-toxic) antifreeze awhile back, but Saturn specifies ONLY Ethylene Glycol; if you use the other type, you'll void any warranty you might have (if you purchased an extended warranty) or possibly cause problems you'll have to repair yourself anyway if you don't have the warranty issue to concern yourself with.

My advice is to investigate the issue THOROUGHLY before using anything other than the stock-type antifreeze!
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Old 09-04-2000, 09:46 PM   #3
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I used a Prestone flush product (can't remember which) to flush my 95 - I used the flush because things looked pretty grungy in the tank and the coolant looked marginal. No problems with the flushing, just follow the instructions. I didn't add the pellets - same story as you got. I used a small brush to scrub out the tank.

There are two drains - a petcock on the bottom of the radiator and a drain plug underneath the thermostat. The thermostat housing has 2 - 10mm bolts, which can be a struggle to get off. Beware of burning yourself on the exhaust manifold. Flushing with a cleaner product generally requires you to temporarily remove the thermostat. In my case, the radiator petcock was frozen and I didn't want to risk breaking it - it's plastic, so I removed the lower hose to drain the system.

Don't know how much experience you've had with changing coolant, so here's a very important tip - figure out how much antifreeze is needed (typically 50/50), add the antifreeze first, then top off with water.
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Old 09-04-2000, 10:03 PM   #4
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Stay from the pellets.

Change the coolant every one or two years. It is easy. I do it every autumn.

The engine block coolant plug is right by the thermostat. Guess what? It is also a 10mm bolt. When replacing it, just tighten it enough to make it snug - its not like we are securing the wings on an airplane!
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Old 09-06-2000, 07:23 AM   #5
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I meant to type:

Stay AWAY from the pellets.

Somehow I dropped the word "away" from my sentence!
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Old 09-06-2000, 12:18 PM   #6
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Interesting. When my car was new in 1993 my coolant light went on because I was losing coolant due to some internal leak caused by an imperfection in the lost foam casting of the aluminum block. I was VERY concerned at the time, but they put those pellets in and I have never had another problem in the past 95K hard driven miles. I had forgotten all about it until just now.
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