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Old 11-14-2014, 11:09 PM   #1
sikao
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Default Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Okay, so I found out the coolant light was flashing on my wife's '99 Saturn SL-2. Looked at the coolant reservoir and it was clearly below the line, so I checked the owner's manual and it said to only put Dex-Cool in it. Bought some Prestone Dex Cool from Autozone, and didn't notice until I was topping it off the coolant in the bottle was orange but the coolant in the reservoir was pale green.

I've read lots of conflicting information about this on the net. Some say you should never ever mix dex cool with green coolant, but others say that only applies to the old "regular" green coolant and/or old "red" dex cool, because they changed the formula for both.

Is it really imperative to have all the fluid flushed (not really feasible for me to do it myself at this time), or is it likely the pale green was compatible with the current dex cool? Even if it does cause some of the gel/sludge I heard about, it is likely to cause engine damage in the next few months if she just drives it around town?

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Old 11-14-2014, 11:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Do not mix unless both antifreezes are of a Universal formulation. Drain, flush refill with 1 full gallon of a universal type of 100% antifreeze and top off with distilled water. Not a horrid job to do but it need doing before driving.

Do not rely on color as it is near meaningless.

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

may i ask the consequences to his dilemma, OldNuc?
could it cause possibly...an overcooling event?
because mine had the same but got to temp before... then i put orange and now it dosent get to temp. ive been driving it. and after it warms it holds temp for hours after shut off

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

The Dex gells and you lose adequate engine cooling. As there is no way to identify the actual chemical characteristics of what was originally in the cooling system or its condition all you can do is drain and flush. This can all be done with a garden hose through the radiator drain. It is a drain, fill, run engine until hot with the cap off, allow to cool and drain. Repeat until the water that drains out is clear. Must run engine until thermostat opens but not to the point it all boils over, requires paying attention. The amount required to get an adverse reaction is not documented but it does happen. The coolant turns brown and lumpy.

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Old 11-15-2014, 08:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Quote:
The Dex gells and you lose adequate engine cooling
yup! when I tore down an engine to rebuild, I found this orange jelly in every corner.
OldNuc- I have heard, but never tried, the recommendation of adding some dish soap or something to aid in the clean out?

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Old 11-15-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Automatic Dishwasher soap or TSP. Not a high sudsing dish soap though. The best is a couple of tablespoons of TSP in the first re-fill. TSP can be fund in the paint department of any big box store just make sure it is only Tri Sodium Phosphate and not a bunch of other stuff.

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestesian View Post
may i ask the consequences to his dilemma, OldNuc?
could it cause possibly...an overcooling event?
because mine had the same but got to temp before... then i put orange and now it dosent get to temp. ive been driving it. and after it warms it holds temp for hours after shut off
It could be a gunked up sensor, or gunked up passages, resulting in poor transfer ability of the fluid. You can verify the sensor vs actual coolant temp with a meat thermometer in the return stream of the reservoir.

It's also possible that the old stuff needed flushing and the new stuff is fine, but exposed a thermostat or sensor issue. All common coolant types transfer less heat than water does, so any overcooling event is caused by something external to the fluids used.

If the addition of the new coolant changed the coolant to water ratio by a large amount, you might see changes in gauge temp, but even that would most likely be under loads.

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Delete

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Old 11-15-2014, 01:20 PM   #9
Bob243
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

I have several gallons of pre-diluted Detroit Diesel brand Power Cool. Any reason not to do a thorough flush then fill with it?

I have to do a radiator swap out anyways..

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Old 11-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Should be just fine. Remember the heater core will always hold about 1 quart of whatever was in the system last.

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Old 11-15-2014, 03:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob243 View Post
I have several gallons of pre-diluted Detroit Diesel brand Power Cool. Any reason not to do a thorough flush then fill with it?

I have to do a radiator swap out anyways..
Just make sure you have the right one. The labels on those things changed several times, and some of the inhibitor package only stuff was mixed for 50/50 concentrations with the "regular" 50/50 full blown package coolants. There was also an additives package only label that made it sound like super concentrated regular coolant, when it was only for water only mixes and offered no freeze protection.

Detroit made some of the package changes so confusing that they had tech sheets on what product numbers to mix with what other product numbers.

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Old 11-15-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

If in doubt then google it as that brings up the tech sheets.

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Old 11-15-2014, 03:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

On the bottle I have with me the writing on the front is worn off from riding in the back of my truck which is where the PN is. But the back is still good.



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Old 11-15-2014, 04:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

That is the silicate based package and for the short term is not going to be an issue. Just be sure to do a good complete flush when changing the radiator.

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Old 11-15-2014, 04:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
That is the silicate based package and for the short term is not going to be an issue. Just be sure to do a good complete flush when changing the radiator.
After rad swap and flush, use something else or is this still OK as the permanent coolant ?

91 was originally green, correct?

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Old 11-15-2014, 04:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Whatever was in ther in 91 is seriously out of date coolant technology wise. I would go with any name brand universal coolant and use a full gallon of 100% so you get adequate corrosion protection. The silicate based inhibitors are way out of style now. You can use it but it is not something you can easily add to and as the heater core does not drain you will never get the concentration much over 45% antifreeze unless you do a fill and drain with the coolant mix you plan on using longterm which leaves you with about a 2 year service life for the coolant. If that is acceptable then you can use it up with no problems.

As you will have the system filled with this Power Cool now just drain radiator and replace and then refill system with the same Power Cool and you will be good to go.

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Old 11-15-2014, 05:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

Seems like expensive anti-freeze to be using in a gasser car that doesn't require the anti-cavitation additive. I would save it for use in a diesel engine, or sell it to someone with a diesel.

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Old 11-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

I suspect that it is bought and paid for as well as well aged in the trunk. Might as well use it as it is not fit to drink.

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Old 11-15-2014, 06:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

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I suspect that it is bought and paid for as well as well aged in the trunk. Might as well use it as it is not fit to drink.


We have a Detroit dealer that does service on our generators (both diesel and LP) . Coolant gets changed out every other year, and there is always a case to two left over.. Tech says here, it's already paid for. They have a fit if we keep more than a couple gallons in the storage room, so I give out some to anyone in my dept that wants it ( usually not ) and the rest comes home

I usually end up with a bunch of 15w40 also, I run it in my mower, and usually give a few gallons to my brother for his 6.2L Suburban

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Old 11-15-2014, 06:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Mixed orange DexCool with green?

You bet, 1 big fit incoming. Ethylene glycol is considered a toxic and hazardous material and the plant hazmat squad has to respond if you spill a drop. There are probably storage limits as well and all kinds of regs to keep it out of the drains.

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