Coolant is coolant... right?

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  • while driving the SS a few weeks back on a really hot day, i started to hear an off sound, pulled over and realized the coolant was leaking and the tank was empty.


    Obviously i need to replace the tank/hose, but when filling the tank up on the passenger side, can you put any coolant in the tank?

  • while driving the SS a few weeks back on a really hot day, i started to hear an off sound, pulled over and realized the coolant was leaking and the tank was empty.


    Obviously i need to replace the tank/hose, but when filling the tank up on the passenger side, can you put any coolant in the tank?

    When the system is empty or you do not know how low the coolant level is, you would need to pull the top radiator hose at the engine and fill from there. If you are filling at the overflow tank you will need to check the tank level each time the engine is cool and refill the tank each time the fluid level is low. You will have to keep doing this until there is very little difference in the hot and cold levels. When the level stays consistant every time you check the level when cold the system is full. I have friends that have done mechanic work all their lives that still think you are supposed to pull the radiator cap to fill the system. The so called overflow tank is there to remove all of the air from the cooling system. Sure it is an overflow tank but that is not it's true purpose. In the old systems before we used the pressurized tank the cooling system always had air in it and the system did not cool as good. That is why in today's cooling systems we can run smaller radiators and there is very little air in the system. I hope that I have explained this good enough for everyone to understand. If ANYONE can explain this better please do. THIS SHOULD BE IN THE DIY SECTION if anyone can move this please do.

  • When the system is empty or you do not know how low the coolant level is, you would need to pull the top radiator hose at the engine and fill from there. If you are filling at the overflow tank you will need to check the tank level each time the engine is cool and refill the tank each time the fluid level is low. You will have to keep doing this until there is very little difference in the hot and cold levels. When the level stays consistant every time you check the level when cold the system is full. I have friends that have done mechanic work all their lives that still think you are supposed to pull the radiator cap to fill the system. The so called overflow tank is there to remove all of the air from the cooling system. Sure it is an overflow tank but that is not it's true purpose. In the old systems before we used the pressurized tank the cooling system always had air in it and the system did not cool as good. That is why in today's cooling systems we can run smaller radiators and there is very little air in the system. I hope that I have explained this good enough for everyone to understand. If ANYONE can explain this better please do. THIS SHOULD BE IN THE DIY SECTION if anyone can move this please do.

    Thank you FunCycle


    Could you possibly provide a picture of where/ location i need to start the fill process?


    Do i fill the overflow tank as well?

  • Right in front of the driver, left side of the engine, BIG radiator hose that goes up into the Engine block - Pull that off from the top side and fill coolant right into that hose. Top it as much as you can. Put the hose back onto the engine. FILL the coolant tank all the way to the top level mark. Squeeze that radiator hose a few times until you feel coolant in the hose.


    Run the engine for a couple mins. Refilt overflow tank to top level. Repeat.


  • Right in front of the driver, left side of the engine, BIG radiator hose that goes up into the Engine block - Pull that off from the top side and fill coolant right into that hose. Top it as much as you can. Put the hose back onto the engine. FILL the coolant tank all the way to the top level mark. Squeeze that radiator hose a few times until you feel coolant in the hose.


    Run the engine for a couple mins. Refilt overflow tank to top level. Repeat.


    Thanks chavey2 you remembered that I do not do pictures

  • Lets talk about antifreeze ....


    https://itstillruns.com/preven…eeze-gm-cars-7650783.html


    https://www.consumeraffairs.co…4/2006/08/gm_dexcool.html


    https://itstillruns.com/differ…lar-coolant-12196331.html


    The biggest problem is the middle word....acid....it eats the GM gaskets.....vehicles with 35,000 have experienced gasket failures. This is the reason I’ve had 3 vans that needed the lower intake gaskets changed..a very common problem with GM vehicles...


    It’s eating the welded seams of our plastic over flow tanks.....that’s why I bought a metal tank from DDM....


    These tanks have been the subject of warranty replacements by Polaris...

  • So Bigdog I'm curious, what are you using now. I assume you've changed based on these reports and your personal experience. You couldn't possibly repair three vehicles and still be doing the same thing, right? So help us out here. Don't just warn us about potential catastrophic failures - tell us what does work.

    Remember folks - this isn't a rehearsal, it's The Show!8)

  • Well, from other things I’ve read over the past 6 years of dealing/researching these gasket failures......


    You never heard of a large amount of gasket failures with the green antifreeze. The main issue is when they started using dissimilar metals in the motor and radiators. This causes galvanic action (slight electrical charges that produce corrosion) which produces way more corrosion in the cooling system. So they decided to use this organic acid mixture to reduce the rust. Sounds like the rust was building up causing clogs and hot spots. Which meant they had to replace too much stuff. Motors, radiators, water pumps, heater cores.....


    1. NOTHING WORKS...... GM will void your warranty if you don’t use the orange antifreeze. We do have a GM motor. Feel better now? The problem started when they added it at the factory.


    2. Switching over to the green antifreeze is actually worse because of the reaction between the two. This could cause even faster gasket and o-ring failure. You would have to do a very complete system flush which would be practically impossible. And you’ll still have the corrosion issue to deal with.


    3. It is my belief that our plastic tank leaking issue is a direct result of the orange antifreeze (organic ACID) eating/dissolving the welded seam. I don’t know how the two halves are put together whether it’s glue or heat welding. Polaris knows there is an antifreeze problem that’s why they have been changing our tanks under warranty. If the only problem we ever experience is the tank failures, then consider yourself very lucky.


    Since GM introduced their orange antifreeze there has been a steady increase in gasket failures, head gasket and intake. GM fully knows there is an issue. Some failures have been covered. Most not. GM is basically choosing to ignore the problem. If we ignore it, it’s not our problem.


    The bottom line is we’re screwed. There is no fix. Looking on the internet for GM gasket failure videos....vehicles with as low as 35,000 miles have experienced gasket failures......it’s going to come down to how lucky you are. But expect to have an issue somewhere down the road. I don’t know if, at some point GM started to use a better gasket to cure the problem. That costs money.


    If you smell antifreeze (that’s what alerted me to a problem) and can’t find the leak you need to do a pressure test on the system. That’s how my leaks were found. If you’re looking at a used GM vehicle to buy smell for antifreeze....RED FLAG.


    That said at different times I have smelled tiny whiffs of antifreeze while driving my SS. So I did buy a DDM aluminum tank. I haven’t replaced it yet but I’m ready.


    Changing my lower intake gasket in a full size GM van is about $1000.....that’s why I did my last one myself. The entire motor is directly under the dash board. You have to do most of the job kneeling on the van floor and reaching in across the radiator. Plus my mechanic told me when he did the first one....he could make more money doing 10 complete brake jobs. It comes down to the time involved.


    If you do need a gasket job....you need to get good FELPRO gaskets with metal in them. GM uses cheap gaskets with plastic and that’s what the antifreeze eats away. Remember our tanks are plastic....



    I’ve also read about many 2.4 timing chain/tensioner failures. And heavy oil consumption. Bad Design. This is unrelated to the antifreeze issue. But something to look for. There is a fix for the oil consumption but GM doesn’t have it. And they won’t fix it. It’s related to the intake.


    They have stopped producing our engines. They do consider it a very successful engine over all.

  • EjFord Mr Mileage - do you or have you had any gasket failures??

    Not @EJ but I have never had any gasket problems, I am at a little over 88,000 miles right now and EJ has not got there yet he has a few thousand miles to go to catch up. The only problems that I have had was the master cylinder switches, 3 times and the power steering locking up causing me to wreck, and of course the axle bearings. The brake pedal magnetic switch which I changed over to the mechanical switch.

  • When did we quit calling "de-gas bottles"? That is the function they preform, they get the gasses out of the water/anti-freeze so that it can better transfer heat. Sorry to disagree with the anti- freeze eating gaskets, it's the acid in the water anti-freeze solution that does the damage. Anybody look at the maintenance schedule, is there a coolant change period? Book says 5 years or 100000 miles, I would halve that to be on the safe side, kinda like changing oil earlier than required.


    LC

  • When did we quit calling "de-gas bottles"? That is the function they preform, they get the gasses out of the water/anti-freeze so that it can better transfer heat. Sorry to disagree with the anti- freeze eating gaskets, it's the acid in the water anti-freeze solution that does the damage. Anybody look at the maintenance schedule, is there a coolant change period? Book says 5 years or 100000 miles, I would halve that to be on the safe side, kinda like changing oil earlier than required.


    LC

    I never use anything but distilled water when mixing 50/50

  • I never use anything but distilled water when mixing 50/50

    That is what is recommended because chemicals in the drinking water can react with the antifreeze causing more corrosion.

    Imagine what those chemicals do to our insides...



    When did we quit calling "de-gas bottles"? That is the function they preform, they get the gasses out of the water/anti-freeze so that it can better transfer heat. Sorry to disagree with the anti- freeze eating gaskets, it's the acid in the water anti-freeze solution that does the damage. Anybody look at the maintenance schedule, is there a coolant change period? Book says 5 years or 100000 miles, I would halve that to be on the safe side, kinda like changing oil earlier than required.


    LC

    DEX-COOL is a specific type of antifreeze, found in select brands of coolants, created using organic acid technology. The manufacturers as well as General Motors have claimed that DEX-COOL can extend the service life and function of your vehicle. Despite this, DEX-COOL has been linked to manifold gasket failures in certain General Motors engines.



    The orange antifreeze is the acid.... OAT organic acid technology


    It should also say intake gasket failures...

  • Agree so far every car I owned with aluminum intakes, the dexcool degraded the intake and gaskets. Big discussions on the issue on my forums. So from now on, I flush out the dexcool and run the old green stuff. My 3000gt, Impala, eclipse all had aluminum intakes and the orange crap ate them up.

    By the time I save up for mods, I have to buy another rear tire :cursing: