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Old 11-20-2002, 08:31 PM   #1
coolgreany
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2002 SL2
2002 VUE 3.0L
Dizzy Antifreeze Answers from Prestone

Based on some of the answers provided here to the various threads on coolant and also based on some statements made on Saturn's website I decided to ask Prestone their opinion. Following are the questions I asked and the answers they provided.

Dear Prestone,

Could you please help dispell some myths re Antifreeze usage (older Green
coolant versus Dexcool) in Saturn vehicles? (True or False and why?)

1. Saturns must use phosphate free only coolants (The Prestone website
states this is not necessary in the USA. In fact it implies that phosphates
are a benefit)
1). Prestone does not consider phosphates (a buffering ingredient) to be harmful to a vehicles cooling system.

2. Green coolant will eat through the hoses on newer (1995-2002) engines.
(from Saturn web site)
2). Prestone has not determined any hose incompatibility with the conventional (green/yellow) coolant and newer
(1995-2002) Saturn hoses.

3. Dexcool will eat through the hoses on older (1991-1994) engines.
3). The results from our hose compatibility testing has not indicated that Prestone Extended Life Antifreeze (Dex-Cool
approved) will cause any harm to newer or older hose material.

4. Dexcool is not chemically compatible with Green coolant. Therefore, if
replacing Green coolant with Dexcool then the system must be flushed
thoroughly. (in other words, is it really bad to mix these two?)
4). It is preferred to use one type of coolant and to avoid mixing different types together. In general, mixing
different types together will not create a better formula then either one of the separate formulas. If you mix a
conventional coolant with an extended life one, you should not consider that you still have an extended change interval.
To be safe, the change interval should be shortened not to exceed the conventional one (typically 2-years).


5. Finally a question. I recently changed flushed my coolant (Green
Prestone was old coolant) in my 1991 Saturn. Before I changed it my temp
guage was reading about 1/4 in city driving. I also changed out the
thermostat and installed new hoses then began the flushing cycle with
Prestone Flush Cleaner and then water. During those two cycles the guage
read about 1/2 during city driving (op temp). I refilled with Dexcool and
the op temp remains at 1/2 during ccity driving. So my question is - What
is most likely the cause for the change (increase) in the temp indication?
The new (fresh) coolant? The newer)Dexcool) coolant? The new thermostat?
5). Regarding your vehicle running warmer then it did prior to your antifreeze change, the cause is most likely related
to something other then the coolant itself (providing that you have maintained the recommended ratio of 50/50 and have
not over-concentrated it). Here are some possible explanations to the rise in temperature:


Radiator tubes partially clogged
Defective radiator cap
Trapped air in cooling system
Thermostat stuck closed or partially closed
Loose radiator fins
Fan belt broken or slipping
Exhaust gas leakage
Malfunctioning coolant pump

...
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02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 11-20-2002, 09:08 PM   #2
sattech
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Interesting information.
Just to let you know. The increased temp on your car is due to the thermostat replacement. A Saturn thermostat is rated at 190F. From past experience (the last 10 yrs working on these things) The center mark on the gauge is about 190-205F. The 1/4 mark is in the 155-170F range.

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Old 11-20-2002, 10:00 PM   #3
coolgreany
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Thanks Sattech,

I did replace with A SAturn Thermostata so the old one was probably on the way out. The heat seems much hotter now as well (although it's been very warm here).

...
02 VUE Auto AWD-63k-Florida
02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 11-21-2002, 09:24 AM   #4
David 93 SL2m
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Post

I'm sure that everyone knows this but I thought I'd correct Prestone's advice on the last question. The Saturn S-Series radiator cooling fan is an electric motor. It is not driven by a belt. So pretty much the radiator cooling fan either works or doesn't work. (In statistics we would call the fan a binomial random variable and the tests for success/failure a Bernoulli trial...)

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Old 11-21-2002, 11:52 AM   #5
Tony
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Last week I replaced a radiator, in talking with the mechanic I asked about mixing the two types of coolant. He said never do this. They will cause the mixture to go jelly like and clog a radiator ansd heater core.

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Old 11-21-2002, 10:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tony
They will cause the mixture to go jelly like and clog a radiator and heater core.
Hmmmm I doubt this very much. This is the sort of claim I was trying to clear up and verify.

...
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02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 11-22-2002, 07:53 PM   #7
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Won't happen. The only thing that happens when the two are mixed is that The protection drops to the lower time (like Prestone says).

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Old 11-22-2002, 09:05 PM   #8
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Wait, hold on, who should we listen to? Saturn Corporation (aka General Motors) or Penzoil? I am pretty sure that I would listen to the car manufacturer. Shouldn't be much of a discussion point there, one would think.

When you have a problem with your vehicle make sure you call the aftermarket supplier and ask them for assistance with the repair. Then make sure you post here the results. Stick with OEM recommended maintenance and parts and you have a pretty big Company that goes above and beyond in the customer assistance aspect of business.

What did you expect Preston to say?

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Old 11-22-2002, 11:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ARECCE
What did you expect Prestone to say?
I'd expect them to give me the facts. I've mixed the two formulae and it's just liquid - no "jelly-like" chemical reaction even when heated. The only outcome is you will lose the extended protection of the Dexcool if significant quantities are mixed. After a few flushes and draining the amount of "old" coolant left would be negligible compared to the fresh Dexcool.

On the flip side what would you expect the dealer (who has the phosphate-free product sitting on his shelf) to say? Prestone has put their position in writing. Botom line - I believe Dexcool is a suitable substitute for the early 1990s Saturns.

...
02 VUE Auto AWD-63k-Florida
02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 11-24-2002, 02:32 AM   #10
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Some info to think about.In 91-92 saturn had a recall where you returned the car and they would give you a new car,thats because the coolant supplier gave them the wrong coolant.Non phosphate free coolant will eat aluminum.Block,head and radiator are alum. on a saturn.
From what I have seen and have been told the new coolant doesnt do well in old saturns.What Ive seen is all the hoses start oozing orange stuff out the end of all the hoses,tech assistance told us to replace all the rubber parts in the cooling system because the new orange coolant isnt compatible in old systems.

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Old 11-24-2002, 12:11 PM   #11
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Well just to add a little bit of personal experience to the mix:

I've switched to the Orange dex-cool coolant about 6 months ago. Never have I noticed any problems resulting from the switch.

My temp guage never falls short of 3/8 when the car is at operating temp, and never rises above 1/2, unless idling for extended periods of time (10 mins or more). No messed up hoses, no eating of aluminum, etc etc etc. All I can say is great things about the stuff. And the extended life eliminates a big headeache that would come two years from now.

And for the record, I have just changed the fluid in the past 2 weeks (when I had to replace thermostat). The fluid was still bright orange just like when I had put it in. No floating gobs of aluminum, no gelly like substance, and of course no eaten rubber hose in the mix.

Also: read those labels carefully. You will notice that the majority of the generic "DexCool" coolants are actually phosphate free. (although i happened to pick mine up from saturn, which i believe contains phosphate). Perhaps those who are opposed to Dexcool in early saturns, could suggest what has been changed on the Saturn cooling system in the 1995 year (when Saturn first put the stuff in Saturns) to allow the use of this. Please provide a source for the information.

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Old 11-24-2002, 12:23 PM   #12
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This is interesting. Now we have a claim that the Dexcool will "cause the hoses to start oozing orange stuff out the end of all the hoses and the new orange coolant isnt compatible in old systems."

Saturn makes no mention of this (Dexcool in older engines) on the web site. They only mention why you shouldn't use the old green coolant in newer engines

"It will eat through your hoses and may cause other concerns as a result of the coolant hoses decaying."

So if everyone is correct thre green will eat newer hoses and the Dexcoll will eat older hoses.

I don't think we'll ever get to the bottom of this. Does anyone have any of the TSB's on coolant to see what else is out there in print? I looked on the Federal recall site but no mention on antifreeze recall (I do remember this incident and thought it was for contaminated antifreeze?)

...
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02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 11-24-2002, 09:06 PM   #13
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I don't have the recall in front of me, but the campaign number was 91-C-02
It was in reference to improperly formulated coolant. If I have time tomorrow I'll look it up

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Old 12-19-2002, 03:07 PM   #14
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I believe these were early production cars that had coolant laced with some sort of acid. Saturn realized that the destructive effects were not limited to the engine, but also to the heater core and auto transmission cooler. For this reason, they reportedly took back 1900 cars.

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Old 12-19-2002, 03:45 PM   #15
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I like reading about what old and new coolant mixed together will do .....like making jelly LOL wow who makes up these fabrications !!
Pick your reaction and start a rumor

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Old 12-19-2002, 07:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by BWhite
I like reading about what old and new coolant mixed together will do .....like making jelly LOL wow who makes up these fabrications !!
I've seen the "turn to jelly" story said about mixing brands of oil, trans fluid, power steering fluid, etc. Never seen it actually happen.

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