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Old 03-23-2007, 03:43 PM   #1
pedros003
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Question Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

I would like informations how to change engine coolant for a Saturn SL 2002.
I did a surch but could not find the proper procedure.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-23-2007, 09:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

It's pretty easy. Make sure the engine is cool. Take the cap off the coolant reservior. It's easier if the car is up on ramps. Take something big and wide to catch coolant and put it under the thermostat housing. That's where the bottom hose goes into the engine. There's a plug in the housing. Unscrew that and the coolant will start draining. Let it go till it's just dripping. Now find the plug in the bottom of the radiator. Make sure your container is positioned to catch water from there as well and unscrew that plug and let things drain. If you haven't done it, now is a great time to change your thermostat and ECTS. Put the plugs back in. Now take a gallon of distilled water and a gallon of dexcool antifreeze. You're going for a 50/50 mix. There are those that measure this really carefully. Personally, I don't think it needs to be that exact. Pour a slosh of antifreeze in the reservior then a slosh of distilled water. Keep doing that till it fills to the max full line and stays there. Take it for a spin and let it eat up. When it cools check your coolat level again.

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Old 03-23-2007, 09:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Now did all saturns coe with dex-crap? Both my 99s had green in it when I had gotten them. My old 92 had dex-crap in it.
Dex-crap = orange. Green is green. Just in case you didn't know Pedros. Not trying to insult you or anything.

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Old 03-23-2007, 10:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

I'm not %100 sure when the switch to dexcool was. My 2000 has dexcool. My wifes '98 has the green stuff. However, a 2002 will definitely take dexcool.

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Old 03-24-2007, 12:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

The switch to Dex-Cool occurred mid-1996. So a later car with green would either be something like Sierra propylene glycol, or it has the WRONG coolant. With all the noise you hear about Dex-Cool, I still haven't read of a single case of it causing a problem in an S-car 1.9 engine.

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Old 03-24-2007, 10:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

I believe I read in this forum that if you do a good flush you can fill with glycol instead of dex, if thats what you have. Saturn used dex as a cost saving measure (for them). I've never had dex, but I would consider switching to green if I did. (flush is simple, lots of good info in this forum.)

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Old 03-24-2007, 01:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Plain and simple. Dex cool is bad. I see it cause problems all the time at work.

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Old 03-24-2007, 04:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

I've had discussions with my service manager who I have known for 14 years about Dex-Cool.

Saturns do not have any problems with Dex-Cool. On the web there's horror stories of deteriorating gaskets, and clogged water passages. From every story I read they all had a coolant leak, or low coolant condition that aggravated the situation.

Talk to your Saturn service manager he'll tell you the same... A company as large as GM would not support a product that causes harm in their vehicles. They would want what works best.

My 92 SC had an ethylene glycol based antifreeze from the factory, and it went 14 years and 200k miles with no coolant problems. It was flushed around every 50k miles.

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Old 03-24-2007, 08:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

I agree about never reading about any issues with Dexcool in Saturns. There's alot about problems with the GM Vortec engines where you read "deathcool ruined my engine." It appears to be a bad intake gasket design and then people ignore the coolant leak and run the engine on half oil half coolant and then wonder why the bearings seize.

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Old 03-24-2007, 08:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl2clone View Post
Plain and simple. Dex cool is bad. I see it cause problems all the time at work.
I was concerned about Dexcool after reading all the horror stories on the web. But, after coming here, I have not heard of any problems using it in the S-Car. What kind of problems does it cause at work?

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Old 03-24-2007, 09:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

My 99SL2 had Dex-cool - got a completely fresh batch last fall when I had to pull the engine to swap out a broken tranny. Not the reason you want to have to drain your coolant...
As far as horror stories about DexCool, I've heard the opposite - on a couple of VW forums, I saw it recommended as a replacement for the expensive and hard to find (outside of dealers) G11 or G12 coolant - I flushed and used it in my VR6 Passat last year. It's not better than the G12, but it costs about 1/3 or 1/4 as much.

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Old 03-24-2007, 10:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl2clone View Post
Dex-crap = orange.
Guess I have Dex-crap, then.

What about the blue stuff? The stuff in the European cars now. I heard that stuff is supposed to be good -- expensive, but good. (I think the stuff is called Pentosin?)

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Old 03-24-2007, 10:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedros003 View Post
I would like informations how to change engine coolant for a Saturn SL 2002.
I did a surch but could not find the proper procedure.

Thanks in advance.
Cooling System
http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBr...73.jsp#hd1-1-4

DRAIN & REFILL

See Figures 5, 6 and 7

Make sure the engine is cool and that the vehicle is parked on a level surface, then remove the surge tank pressure cap.

Position a large drain pan under the radiator drain plug on the right side of the radiator and engine drain plug under the right front of the block.

Open the radiator drain and remove the engine drain plug, then allow the coolant to drain from the system.

Close the radiator plug and install the engine plug to the cylinder block. Tighten the engine drain plug to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm).

Fill the system through the surge tank using a mixture of water and the recommended type of antifreeze.

Start the engine and check for leaks.

After the engine has run for 2 or 3 minutes, add coolant as necessary to bring the coolant level to the surge tank FULL COLD line.

Install the surge tank pressure cap.

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Old 03-24-2007, 11:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

I will add, run the car long enough to open the thermostat. I thought I did, then about 3/4 mile down the interstate the low coolant light came on. I believe when the t-stat opened, my reservoir emptied. Refilled it, and it has been fine ever since. But, I learned a lesson of what not to do the next time.

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Old 03-24-2007, 11:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Just FYI. On my car the radiator drain cock turns 90 degrees and the had to be pulled out (not all the way though). My Haynes manual said to unscrew it which caused me to waste half an hour of cussing. If you don't have the vehicle raised, it may no be real obvious since you are mostly feeling around.

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Old 03-25-2007, 01:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by cssprophet View Post
Guess I have Dex-crap, then.

What about the blue stuff? The stuff in the European cars now. I heard that stuff is supposed to be good -- expensive, but good. (I think the stuff is called Pentosin?)
The blue stuff is G12, which succeeded G11 (actually purple); Pentosin is the manufacturer, I believe. Like DexCool and regular propylene glycol (green), a thorough flush must be done before using either g11 or G12. In my Passat, it was completely black (it was likely it's original G11), which I don't take to be a good sign, but the DexCool in both the Saturn and now the Passat has remained clear as new (not really a fair comparison in that since the Passat 11 years old when I drained it, and has run Dex for less than a year, but the Saturn was 8, and it's old stufflooked no different than new).
Is it better than DexCool? I doubt it, based on both the fact it seems common amongst enthusiasts for it to be replaced by DexCool, and the fact that like DexCool, it is recommended it be replaced after 5years - up from 2 for the regular green stuff, but as I mentioned, it is a lot more expensive, probably owing to the fact it's not as readily available.

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Old 03-25-2007, 08:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by kthane View Post
Just FYI. On my car the radiator drain cock turns 90 degrees and the had to be pulled out (not all the way though). My Haynes manual said to unscrew it which caused me to waste half an hour of cussing. If you don't have the vehicle raised, it may no be real obvious since you are mostly feeling around.
Mine actually would not turn at all. The o-ring had siezed. I used a plyers to get extra leverage, and thought I was going to break it. Several days later I noticed I was leaking coolant. When I removed the drain cock a second time, I noticed a chunk of the o-ring was gone. A new one for 30 cents from a hardware store worked well. I coated it with plumbers grease. Not that I recommend that, but have had no problems in the past 3 years. The last time I changed coolant, the drain cock turned like butter. Also, I did not realize you could remove that plastic shield to get better access to the drain cock. My problem the first time around was it was hard to get clearance with the plastic shield on (or whatever it is). I believe it just has the plastic clips like the fender well, since I removed one accidently the other day when changing the tensioner.

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Old 03-25-2007, 10:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Quote me on this "Green coolant is perfectly fine". DOn't waste your money on any of that vw juice or dex-crap.
Now I heard it is the dex-crap causing problems with the gaskets and making them fail. ANd it's not just the vortech. It's anything with the old 2.8 base block.
2.8 , 3.1 , 2.4 and 3.5 all have the same block. The change the gasket styles as they have changed intake manifolds and appearently either the geskets are a bad design , dex-crap is a bad design or one leads to the other. I have alos seen dex-crap go bad in chrysler products as well as toylettas.

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Old 03-25-2007, 10:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

When you say "green", specifically what does that mean? If you look on the back of Prestone Universal coolant, the label is almost the same as Dexcool. It looks like they are using the same technology. It is green color. What green coolant do you use that is different?

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Old 03-25-2007, 11:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: Engine coolant change Saturn SL 2002

Woops. I think the Prestone is a yellow color. Another clone is Supertech at Walmart, which I believe is green. Here is a heated discussion on Dexcool and its clones.

http://theoildrop.server101.com/foru...0&fpart=1&vc=1

A Saturn Tech told me to change mine out every 3 years or 36,000 miles, and that is what I have been doing.

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