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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Dirty Coolant??


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Soup

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 12:15 PM

I've got a 2000 OBW with some light brown deposits (goo) in the rad overflow bottle. My subaru dealer claims it is dirty coolant, not a blown head gasket. Has anyone heard of this explanation? The coolant is new, as I installed a block heater this fall. The coolant brand is Prestone 70/30 mix with demineralized water. The dealer claims when a head gasket goes on the phase 2 engines they leak externally.

One other thing, Has anyone had trouble with their rad leaking at the lower tank to core connection, in two spots where the crimps don't bend over, and if so is it repairable.

Dan

#2 Commuter

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 01:34 PM

Did you install the block heater yourself?

What type of Prestone coolant did you use?

Did you flush the system at all? I mean, even run water thru it a few times.

By any chance did you put in some long life stuff? I don't believe Subaru uses the long life coolant. If you switch, you can get a 'sludge' from mixing between the two types. All it takes is 10% of the old stuff left to contaminate the new.

Commuter

#3 Atomic Robot

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 02:27 PM

Originally posted by Commuter
I don't believe Subaru uses the long life coolant. If you switch, you can get a 'sludge' from mixing between the two types. All it takes is 10% of the old stuff left to contaminate the new.



Wow, that's a new one on me- I never knew that mixing different coolants could cause potential problems.

A while back, I added some antifreeze to get the overflow tank up to the fill line. I wonder if a thorough flush & fill might be in order or if this may have something to do with the coolant smell I've been experiencing lately...

#4 99obw

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 02:41 PM

The long life stuff is orange, Dex-cool, AKA death-cool. Use only the green in the subes and change it every 30k and you probably won't have any problems.

The dealer is correct AFAIK about the Phase II head gasket failures.

#5 Atomic Robot

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 03:36 PM

Thanks 99obw-

I've only ever used the GREEN STUFF so I should be OK.

#6 frag

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 04:11 PM

I've been using the orange stuff for three years and no problem.:cool:

#7 Soup

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 04:22 PM

Commuter,
'Yes I installed the Block heater myself, The coolant I used was the Plain Jane Prestone in the Yellow Jug, & no I did not flush the system.
I've never heard of getting a sludge from mixing coolants.
I'll get the rad fixed, then I'll flush the system & put in new fluid.
Any type of fluid which is your prefered??

Dan

#8 Commuter

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 05:11 PM

I'm no chemist, but the additive packages are radically different between the "regular" green stuff and the red or orange long life stuff. I know that I've seen several posts where people "slam" the long life stuff because they find sludge in their rad later on. It really is crucial to get ALL the old coolant out if you are making this switch. One needs to flush the block 2 or 3 times. It's even harder with the Sube's flat engine. I believe for my car about 1/3 of the coolant stays in the engine (as opposed to the rad).

I've been running the long life stuff for roughly 3 years in my 97 OB and I've had no issues. I'm told that they are NOT all created equal. The Dex-Cool hardly meets GM's own specs. Personally, I would not run it for 5 years. They use the least additive that gets them by since it is expensive. Other brands have apparently been found to not even meet GM's specs! Texaco's Havoline is what was recommended to me. Even if you still change it every couple of years, I think it is worth it since it is not as abrasive to the water pump, seals etc. If you want to start discussing materials compatibility etc, you are over my head.

You say that you just used regular coolant. I don't know why you'd be getting some sludge. It just might be a bit of the old stuff, I don't know. Perhaps the fresh coolant has loosened up some grunge. If you want peace of mind, give your system a good flushing and new coolant. If you do it yourself, run distilled water thru the system 2 or 3 or 4 times or whatever it takes until it comes out clean. Then add the 50% of your systems volume of full strength coolant. You will probably find that you won't have to add much more water to top up, since there will be considerable water left in the engine from the flushing.

Good luck.

Commuter

#9 99obw

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 05:26 PM

Google "dex cool" and you will find a bunch of class action lawsuit and complaint web sites.

I am glad you folks aren't having any troubles with it.

A guy at work is currently having his intake gaskets and head gaskets changed thanks to dex cool. Another guy just lost a heater core. Both gm vehicles with dex cool. Not in my cars.




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