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Old 12-14-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
blabmouth02
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Default Coolant Type

Hey does anybody know the coolant I need. My car was getting pretty hot with that snow storm and the fan had to come on multiple times, right as the need was 3/4 the way to the red. Also I was sitting in traffic for about an hour and a half, stop n stop in the storm. Bought my Saturn from a family friend but never got the manual. It's a '97 SL, 5 speed, 4 cyl. Hope the info helps.

Edit: should it be Dexcool?

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Old 12-14-2007, 03:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant Type

It should have an orange or green dot on the center of the cap for the coolant. It should be dexcool on a '97. However, I don't think you're overheating. It's not abnormal for the fan to come on in stop 'n stop traffic. That's what it's there for.

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Coolant Type

I know it's not over heating, but it just seems really close to it. I tried to look inside of the reservoir to see how much is in there. It's really hard to see but looks like it is running out. Is it a big deal if I just put more in for now and not drain it? Or is it "required"?

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Coolant Type

You can just add more, but make sure it's the same type you already have in there.

You can get coolant that claims to be compatible with all cars and all coolant types. I'd use that one since it won't turn to gel or otherwise gunk up like it would if you mixed the two wrong types.

I flushed the cooling system in my 95 SL2, then replaced it with the compatible type so that I wouldn't have to worry about what I had available in case of a breakdown.

Also, the Dexcool that was originally in the car gunked up on me before, so I don't like it any more.

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Old 12-14-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Coolant Type

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Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
I flushed the cooling system in my 95 SL2, then replaced it with the compatible type so that I wouldn't have to worry about what I had available in case of a breakdown.

Also, the Dexcool that was originally in the car gunked up on me before, so I don't like it any more.
If you're talking about the '95, it didn't come with dexcool.

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Old 12-14-2007, 07:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant Type

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Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
If you're talking about the '95, it didn't come with dexcool.
It's the 95, and I don't know if it came with Dexcool or not, but that's what it had in it when I got it (it was pinkish orange), and it was gunked up. When I removed it, I collected it in a bucket and after sitting for a few days it turned to jello. Maybe someone else mixed something in with it, and that's what caused it to turn to jello. Or maybe it turned to jello on it's own. I have no idea. But I figured the stuff that claimed to be compatible with all cars and all other coolants should be OK in my 95 SL2.

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Old 12-14-2007, 08:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant Type

first off that gunk or jello is the right stuff. Its meant to be used in the sealed cooling systems, ie Saturns. When it gets exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns into the clumpy jello stuff.
Anyways I just went over to Walmart to get the universal stuff and also picked a tester. Put the tester in and it said that my range was very good, more than they recommended (good job saturn lol). So I thought every should then be fine, but I noticed on the end of the tube that there was some of that gunk there. So there must be more in there. Thus I probably will need to do a full flush.
I know it isn't that hard but how much would you say it should cost a mechanic to do (not including the antifreeze, that I just got). Thanks guys. ooh and please somebody help me out on my other thread http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...83#post1167283

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Old 12-14-2007, 09:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant Type

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Originally Posted by blabmouth02 View Post
When it gets exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns into the clumpy jello stuff.
That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard. A coolant that turns to jello when exposed to air, why? So that it can clog your entire system making it harder to flush it out? I think they should waterboard the chemical engineer who designed that crap, and all the execs that decided to sell it and all the auto company execs who decided to recommend it for their cars! Because that's just plain retarded!

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Old 12-14-2007, 09:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Ok, maybe that was a bit excessive, but it's still a dumb idea.

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Old 12-15-2007, 04:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coolant Type

You can always get the "all makes/all models" coolant from most major companies (Peak, Prestone, etc)
I usually get it already 50/50 mixed, just to make life easy...

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Old 12-15-2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Quote:
Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
Ok, maybe that was a bit excessive, but it's still a dumb idea.
Actually, I've read something along those lines too. Not sure how it works though. My understanding is that in systems that have an overflow tank Dexcool is bad news. Our plastic tank is part of the pressurized cooling system. So, it's not a problem.

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Old 12-15-2007, 03:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Oseberg, maybe your coolant was gunked up because the previous owner mixed conventional with dex-cool. Maybe.

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Old 12-15-2007, 06:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Coolant Type

My advice: top it off with that "goes with everything" coolant you just got, and keep it topped off until warm weather comes around. Keep an eye on the coolant level, note how much you're losing, and watch to see if you can spot where you're losing it (if you are). If you can figure out what's leaking, then it's best to fix that along with doing the flush & fill. The flush & fill is so easy to do, I recommend for most people to do it themselves. DIY job will cost you about $5 for some flush chemicals, and the coolant (which you already have some of, so just add the cost of another jug probably). If you're going to pay someone else to do it, add $50-100 onto that cost.

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Old 12-17-2007, 09:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Yeah Purdue thats what I ended up doing, topping off all makes/models that is. Will keep an eye on it. I don't think it's leaking or anything but like you said once it gets warmer is when I will do the flush. Thanks for the help everyone, I appreciate it. Have a good, safe and, hopefully for you, warm holiday.

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Old 12-17-2007, 09:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: Coolant Type

I didn't read every word of this thread, but did I miss it, or did nobody mention a manual fan switch? The car was not overheating (well it was close, right?) It got almost to the red before the fan came on. that's how it's designed to work. Kinda stupid, but that's they way they are up until 2000, I think. Some people have put manual fan siwtches in, so that they can turn the fans on earlier if they sit in traffic a lot and don't want to wait until it's almost in the red for the fans to kick in. There is a How-To by wolfman, and it's supposed to work, so that the system will work automatically, or you can over-ride it and turn them on at will.

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Old 12-17-2007, 10:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Quote:
Originally Posted by blabmouth02 View Post
Yeah Purdue thats what I ended up doing, topping off all makes/models that is. Will keep an eye on it. I don't think it's leaking or anything but like you said once it gets warmer is when I will do the flush. Thanks for the help everyone, I appreciate it. Have a good, safe and, hopefully for you, warm holiday.
Add a bottle of Redline Wetter solution. One of the few things in a bottle that I add to an engine that works.

http://www.rvtransmissions.com/water_wetter.htm

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Quote:
Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
Ok, maybe that was a bit excessive, but it's still a dumb idea.
The advantage of Dexcool is that it is much kinder to aluminium than "green stuff". The flip side is that it had unexpected interaction with other stuff, like plastic intake manifold gaskets on GM V-6's that end up causing problems. In an overflow or expansion tank, the relatively small surface area exposed to air doesn't lead to the whole system turning to jell. Other contaminates, however, can catalyze that reaction as happened in that bucket.

I'm not necessarily a fan of Dexcool and am happy my '95 has "green stuff" but it wasn't necessarily just a bean-counter driven choice.

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Old 12-19-2007, 08:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Coolant Type

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurdueGuy View Post
My advice: top it off with that "goes with everything" coolant you just got, and keep it topped off until warm weather comes around. Keep an eye on the coolant level, note how much you're losing, and watch to see if you can spot where you're losing it (if you are). If you can figure out what's leaking, then it's best to fix that along with doing the flush & fill. The flush & fill is so easy to do, I recommend for most people to do it themselves. DIY job will cost you about $5 for some flush chemicals, and the coolant (which you already have some of, so just add the cost of another jug probably). If you're going to pay someone else to do it, add $50-100 onto that cost.
I tested my coolant yesterday with a voltmeter, and it's a little acidic so I'm changing it sometime this week before I go out of town for Christmas.

My car came with green stuff in it, so I'm doing a flush and switching to Dex-Cool.

I wouldn't recommend using the flush chemicals because they're really corrosive... I don't know that from experience but 1) it makes sense and 2) all the more knowledgeable people at work agree.

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