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Old 08-02-2007, 12:32 PM   #1
Sky King
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Default Good article about Dex-Cool

After reading a few threads posted recently about cooling issues and the mixing of different types of coolants, I started poking around and found this.

http://www.imcool.com/articles/antif...l-macs2001.php

It is pretty good, anwers several questions and has an offer to purchase a GM training video. But since the article is 6 years old, I don't know if the video is still available or if the offer is still good.

One of the main things I got from it is verification of what I had been saying about the mixing of the two types of coolants, it doesn't hurt, it only shortens the change interval of Dex-Cool.

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Old 08-02-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Very informative, however I thought it was universal knowledge after either draining or flushing your system to always use the 50/50 rule. That's how I have been doing it for 15 years, and I have never had a problem yet with a cooling system, so long as you "burp" it and check it with a hydrometer, although to be honest I have never flushed any coolant system yet(no need if changed as scheduled) and usually I add a bit more coolant than water for that added cushion for the "just in case" factor.

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Old 08-02-2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

That article was one of the first things I found while "poking around". If you Google Dex-Cool, you will find a LOT of stuff about it. I have found so much stuff it will take a long time to read it all and try to figure out which stuff is pertenant and what is not. One thing I did find, and I found a LOT of links to several web sites about it, is there is an ongoing investigation by several law firms for class action law suits against GM concerning cooling system damage related to Dex-Cool.

While I still maintain that the fears about mixing Dex-Cool with the "green stuff" are unfounded, mainly the stories about it causing the coolant to gel, is not true. Because of the controversy surrounding Dex-Cool I will consider flushing it all out of my vehicles and replacing it with the "green stuff". The old saying, where there is smoke there is fire comes to mind.

In general, in a lot of the information I have found, GM maintains that if the cooling system coolant level is maintained actually above the "HOT" level, (which is contrary to the instructions in the owners manuals), there is not a problem. It is when the coolant level is allowed to fall and not refilled that contamination issues arise with Dex-Cool. The pending suits contend that points to a problem with Dex-Cool. The vast majority of vehicle owners pretty much stay on top of their coolant level the same way, they don't and it is only the ones with Dex-Cool that are experiencing the problems.

So I will take the "better safe than sorry" route and give replacing the Dex-Cool with a traditional coolant some serious consideration.

An additional note: More good info, but again just confirms that there are probably as may arguments for Dex-Cool as there is against it.

http://www.getahelmet.com/jeeps/maint/dexcool/

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Last edited by Sky King; 08-02-2007 at 01:18 PM..

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Old 08-02-2007, 02:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

dexcool is NOT your cars friend. My friends learned this the hard way.... I use a 50/50 mix of "ice peak" (i think thats what its called...)

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Old 08-03-2007, 01:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Right now I'm using
%25 Dex-cool at a 50/50 mix
%75 Peak at a 50/50 mix
one half bottle of Red line water wetter
I do have a aux. suck-in cooling fan in front of the radiator and a oversized air dam made out of a moon roof wind deflector I found in some ones garbage. Even in 95+ degree heat has yet to cross the 1/2 mark even in stop and go traffic. Its my own blend

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Old 08-03-2007, 08:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

I have NEVER had any problems with Dexi since it came out years ago and I do not change it regularly or flush it but I do not use 50/50 either. I use a minimum of 60/40 and usually around 70/30 and I can show you vehicles that have not been changed for 8 years and the overflow tank is as clean as new and the radiator core is clean too. People hang on to 50/50 like they do 87 octane from what I have seen because it is like the owners manual is the bible and never wrong as it is always right.

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Old 08-03-2007, 08:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaviation View Post
and usually I add a bit more coolant than water for that added cushion for the "just in case" factor.
Just in case what? Did you know that coolant has a lower heat capacity than water does? Meaning that pure water would actually cool an engine faster and more efficiently than any other mixture that contained coolant. But, coolant is used as an anti-icing agent and a lubricant in some engines.

While taking my SC to the road course and beating it relentlessly, the temp would creep up around the 3/4 mark with a 50/50 mix with water wetter. And this was in the cooler spring months. In early summer, I switched the cooling system to about 15% coolant and 85% water with water wetter and the temp never went over 1/2- even though the ambient air temp was about 20 degrees hotter.

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Old 08-03-2007, 08:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
Just in case what? Did you know that coolant has a lower heat capacity than water does? Meaning that pure water would actually cool an engine faster and more efficiently than any other mixture that contained coolant. But, coolant is used as an anti-icing agent and a lubricant in some engines.

While taking my SC to the road course and beating it relentlessly, the temp would creep up around the 3/4 mark with a 50/50 mix with water wetter. And this was in the cooler spring months. In early summer, I switched the cooling system to about 15% coolant and 85% water with water wetter and the temp never went over 1/2- even though the ambient air temp was about 20 degrees hotter.

The "just in case" is meant for winter weather, It has gotten below -15 Deg F here before, so that's just how I have been doing it for the last 15 years. I have no garage, so my vehicles stay in the elements.

If you run 85% water while you are racing, how does it not boil off?????

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaviation View Post
If you run 85% water while you are racing, how does it not boil off?????
A properly operating cooling system is a closed system- no place for any vapors to escape. The Saturn coolant cap is pressure rated for 15 psi (I think) and that helps to raise the boiling point of the coolant solution. If there was a leak in the system, the pressure would drop and the boiling point would go down.

And surprisingly enough, about 5% coolant will provide freezing protection down to about 10 degrees F.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
A properly operating cooling system is a closed system- no place for any vapors to escape. The Saturn coolant cap is pressure rated for 15 psi (I think) and that helps to raise the boiling point of the coolant solution. If there was a leak in the system, the pressure would drop and the boiling point would go down.

And surprisingly enough, about 5% coolant will provide freezing protection down to about 10 degrees F.
There is some misconceptions about water verses coolant. Glycol is more dense and take more heat per degree of temp rise than water. The reason some say water cools better is that it take twice the energy to boil it off not to raise its temperature in a liquid state (it actually takes less). The reason some cars appear to run warmer on higher coolant mixture is because it removes heat from block better and temp sensor read coolant temp not block temp. It has to do with water surface tension and a gas/steam bubble barrier forming over parts with water retarding heat transfer and coolant (glycol) with a much higher boiling temperature and much lower surface tension removes heat better. When I used to drag race years ago I used pure antifreeze and a low pressure cap and never had boil over or heating problems. (pure antifreeze boils at about 340 degrees at atmospheric pressure)

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Old 08-03-2007, 10:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Fm > Tom
In early summer, I switched the cooling system to about 15% coolant and 85% water with water wetter and the temp never went over 1/2- even though the ambient air temp was about 20 degrees hotter.
Ditto, and I am very comfortable driving through Mojave, CA at two in the afternoon --- in the summer.
Quote:
Fm > 97 Coupe
The reason some cars appear to run warmer on higher coolant mixture is because it removes heat from block better and temp sensor read coolant temp not block temp. It has to do with water surface tension and a gas/steam bubble barrier forming over parts with water retarding heat transfer and coolant (glycol) with a much higher boiling temperature and much lower surface tension removes heat better.
Well commented rebuttal. Very good & Thank you.

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Old 08-03-2007, 11:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97coupe View Post
When I used to drag race years ago I used pure antifreeze and a low pressure cap and never had boil over or heating problems. (pure antifreeze boils at about 340 degrees at atmospheric pressure)
You would have been everyone's favorite person at the track if you leaked coolant on track! I've actually heard of certain clubs/schools requiring you to run an aggressive water/coolant mixture just in case you do spill on track- water quickly evaporates while gycol coolant does not and remains very slippery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97coupe View Post
The reason some cars appear to run warmer on higher coolant mixture is because it removes heat from block better and temp sensor read coolant temp not block temp.
Actually, that's not right either. Cars "appear" to run warmer on higher coolant mixtures is because they do in fact run warmer. Here's a snippet from some people who know a thing or two about cooling systems: Red Line Oils.

Quote:
COOLANT EFFECTS ON PERFORMANCE
Under moderate load conditions, each percent glycol
raises cylinder head temperatures by 1F. 50% glycol
raises head temperatures by 45F. This increase in
temperature will raise the octane required for trace
knock levels by typically 3.5 octane numbers. A car
equipped with a knock sensor will retard the timing to
compensate for the increase in octane requirement
by approximately 5, which will reduce the maximum
brake torque by about 2.1%. Racing vehicles not
equipped with knock sensors can advance timing for
increased torque.
The rest of the article can be found HERE

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Old 08-03-2007, 11:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Both the specific heat (energy required to raise the temp) and the thermal conductivity of water are higher than that of Ethylene Glycol. If someone can prove to me otherwise, I might think it will do something for cooling that water doesn't.

In a modern car, antifreeze is primarily for that issue, freezing. As long as you run enough to prevent corrosion, lubricate, and prevent freezing it's enough.



It will take higher temps to boil the higher antifreeze content, but in reality it's not a wise thing unless you would rather cook your internals before you boil over and are forced to stop. Straight water under two atmospheres is more than most people would want to endure, especially since that water is wicking off more heat.

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
You would have been everyone's favorite person at the track if you leaked coolant on track! I've actually heard of certain clubs/schools requiring you to run an aggressive water/coolant mixture just in case you do spill on track- water quickly evaporates while gycol coolant does not and remains very slippery.
It is not hard to clean up with proper compound and it is a lot less slick than oil of fuel on asphalt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
Actually, that's not right either. Cars "appear" to run warmer on higher coolant mixtures is because they do in fact run warmer. Here's a snippet from some people who know a thing or two about cooling systems: Red Line Oils.
From someone that wants to sell you something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
The rest of the article can be found HERE
Again they want to sell you something. I have used high levels of coolant concentrations for over 30 years with great results. I have one large SUV with 70/30 and it NEVER gets warm no matter what and I do not even use a 15 PSI cap either. BTW, if you use Propylene Glycol (non toxic) iy reaches it highest boil point and lowest freeze point at 100% concentrations and it is used in arctic exploration

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

I find the "one degree F per percent" claim to be, well, over the top. That would mean, between pure water and pure anti-freeze, a difference of 100 F. Not likely.

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97coupe View Post
I have used high levels of coolant concentrations for over 30 years with great results. I have one large SUV with 70/30 and it NEVER gets warm no matter what and I do not even use a 15 PSI cap either. BTW, if you use Propylene Glycol (non toxic) iy reaches it highest boil point and lowest freeze point at 100% concentrations and it is used in arctic exploration
Well, that's probably because most large SUVs come equiped with grossly oversized radiators to handle their high tow ratings.

And I've never disputed the fact that glycol has a higher boiling point and lower freezing point- that's obvious. That's kind of the point of using coolant. But what I've been trying to say, is that glycol will cause an engine to run hotter. PERIOD. 100% coolant will most likely never boil over, but because the engine has been running hotter, oil break down and other high heat related problems will occur. Produce a credible link to dispute that. Or heck, publish your own webpage saying otherwise and send us all the link.

All this coming from a guy who drag raced a car with 100% glycol in his cooling system. Did you also use 90 weight oil in the crankcase and leave the parking brake on while making your runs? 100% glycol is pretty viscous and hard to pump. I know people who have electric water pumps on their drag cars so the pump doesn't rob crankshaft horsepower. And here you are pumping the basic equivalent of maple syrup through your motor. AWESOME!

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
I find the "one degree F per percent" claim to be, well, over the top. That would mean, between pure water and pure anti-freeze, a difference of 100 F. Not likely.

I was thinking the same thing.


by the way guys, what benefit would you get by running higher water ratio than using a 50/50 mix. I could see using a cooler thermostat, but other than that, does it really make a noticable difference Tom92scm??

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaviation View Post
but other than that, does it really make a noticable difference Tom92scm??
'

On a street driven vehicle- NO. Just make sure the coolant system is maintained and mixed with enough coolant to avoid freezing. The owner's manual probably lists a mixture range for the expected environment the vehicle will be operated in. Go with that- it works.

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Old 08-03-2007, 02:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

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Originally Posted by Signmaster View Post
Both the specific heat (energy required to raise the temp) and the thermal conductivity of water are higher than that of Ethylene Glycol. If someone can prove to me otherwise, I might think it will do something for cooling that water doesn't.
This is correct. See my post in this thread http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64183 for details and references. The density of ethylene glycol is about 10% higher than water, so the volumetric heat capacity is correspondingly higher than the specific heat capacity, but still much lower than water.

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Old 08-04-2007, 10:11 PM   #20
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Roll Eyes Re: Good article about Dex-Cool

If you look up specs on Water Wetter, the manufacturer has a very nice article that shows that water is a far better conductor/carrier of heat than any antifreeze compound and that their product cools "best" when mixed with pure water only.

Naturally for street use that is not the sole consideration and would not be practical. Cold temperatures, long term metal corrosion issues, and other things are the trump cards that force the use of one "antifreeze" or another along with water.

As for DexCool, I recently posted that I have personally experienced problems with it. The problem in my case was that I cheerfully put it into a vehicle that has an "open" cooling system. Within a year or so my radiator was full of brownish sludge and goo. I had to rod out the radiator core to remove the sludge. Even a caustic flush couldn't clean it. Now I know better and no one will be able to tell me otherwise.

DexCool works just fine in two other vehicles we own with "sealed" systems (the filler cap and expansion tank are pressurized). This includes my Saturn. It did NOT work with an open system (radiator cap allows expansion into an expansion tank that is open to the atmosphere more or less).

Bottom line- don't put it in a vehicle that was not designed to use it. Use the green stuff instead. However if your car manual specifically says to use it, go ahead- go for it. As for mixing the two, I really don't know.

Check out this more current article on the subject-
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...m_dexcool.html

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