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Old 08-05-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
jimmyjamesrusse
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Default Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

My owners manual says that I am to use Dex-Cool. The gallon container of Saturn Dex-Cool says that it could be harmful in Saturns that do not have an orange dot on the coolant reservior cap. The gallon container also suggests that Dex-Cool coolant is made especially for Saturns with Aluminum radiators.

AutoZone makes a replacement coolant for Dex-Cool coolant which features a gallon container with a orange cap. They then also sell brands of coolant that can be used interchangeablely with any color coolant, green or orange.

The guy at the AutoZone counter says that there is no difference between Dex-Cool and any other Ethylene Glycol coolant. I say that the Saturn Dex-Cool coolant container says it is silicate and phosphate free and the other containers do not. The counter man says that GM just wanted to sell a gallon of concentrate for 40 dollars when other people were selling the same chemical mixture for 15 or 20 dollars.

What is the truth here? Is there a difference in the chemical composition between these Ethylene Glycol products?

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Old 08-05-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
OldNuc
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

That is a long answer question. You can not safely mix different antifreeze chemistries. Dex-Cool is the one that GM loves. If all you want to do is top up a system then use Dex-Cool IF the existing coolant is orange. If you are doing a thermostat replacement (STANT 14279 recommended brand and part number) then any of the yellow universal coolants will be fine. Peak Global Lifetime is one that will work well. Use a full gallon of 100% antifreeze and top it off with distilled water. It is a 7 quart system but it has about 1 quart that will not drain out. You want your final concentration slightly over 50% so the corrosion inhibitors will last.

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Old 08-06-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
mr18436572
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

Conventional green coolant works just as well

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Old 08-06-2010, 06:58 AM   #4
Classic97Saturn
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

What about those replacement antifreezes that have "compatable with any coolant" on the label?

Can they be added to existing coolants?

What years did GM start using the Orange Dex-Cool.

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Old 08-06-2010, 07:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr18436572 View Post
Conventional green coolant works just as well
Only if you completely flush out the system. DON'T MIX THEM!!!

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Old 08-06-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

Best NOT to mix the old green stuff and the orange (DexCool) stuff. You can add the yellow universal to either, or use only the yellow if yo are draining the system.

The green has a nominal working life of 2 years. After that the additive package is starting to loose effectiveness and the risk of corrosion and lack of adequate pump lub increases over time. If you have the green stuff, change it every two years.

The DexCool stuff has an additive package said to be good for about 5 years, any may be a bit more environmentally freiendy. Best not to go past 5 years with it.

While the base ethylene glycol maybe the same, the additives differ and are not very compatible.

If switching from green to orange or orange to green, be sure to thoroughly flush your system. You can switch from either to the universal with a simple drain, although several add water/drain cycles or a flush would be better.

50/50 may be convenient, but you end up paying a lot of for water, and a minimal mix. 60% antifreeze is better, but go above 70% and you start to make things worse quickly.

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Old 08-06-2010, 08:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

gm used dex cool starting in 1996. saturn , i believe, used it before that. i wouldnt mix green with it.

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Old 08-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

Saturn went to dex-cool partway into the 1996 model year.

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Old 08-06-2010, 12:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by kg6mvb View Post
Only if you completely flush out the system. DON'T MIX THEM!!!
Correct. What I did with our current SL2. I did not want to keep DexCool in there

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Old 08-06-2010, 09:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

I know the old coolant debate yet again..

Isn't really more of a factor that most people ignore the recommended service interval for any of the brands of coolant?

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Old 08-07-2010, 07:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Antifreeze/Coolant: Orange Dex-Cool

Yes, the published service life for any of those various formulations is based on a 100% clean system and absolutely no mixing of different formulas. These are reduced by about 25% if it is the usual drain, flush, fill scenario. If you do a good flush/fill then refill with a resultant strength of at least 60/40 and no more than 75/25 antifreeze/water you will have no problems.

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