Coolant Flush - GM Engine Coolant Supplement ??

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by ;-}, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. ;-}

    ;-} Guest

    97 SW1 177,000 miles, 284,853 kilometers.

    This car was due for a coolant flush. According to the owners manual, DEX-
    COOL radiator fluid only needs to be serviced once every 5 years or
    100,000 miles. The last coolant flush service was done by Saturn 5 or 6
    years ago. This time I went to an independent shop, but I brought my
    Owners Manual along. While I was in the shop waiting room, I read in the
    Owners Manual on page 283, "Use GM Engine Coolant Supplement (sealer) (GM
    Part No. 3634621 with any complete coolant change".

    I never heard of this before. The independent shop guys never heard of it
    either. I had the coolant flush performed at the independent shop. I got
    home and checked the Chilton Manual and the Chilton Manual doesn't make
    any reference to special "Engine Coolant Supplement (sealer)" in the
    coolant flush procedure.

    The Saturn dealer wanted USD $135.00 + to perform the coolant flush
    procedure. The independent shop wanted a little over half of the amount
    Saturn wanted for the same procedure. Do y'all think the "GM Engine
    Coolant Supplement (sealer)" is really worth the extra $50 to $60.

    Thanks for the help,
    ;-}, Dec 28, 2007
  2. ;-}

    Bob Shuman Guest

    The coolant supplemental sealer are two tablets that need to be crushed into
    a fine powder and then added to the coolant after a flush and change. They
    can be purchased at a local Saturn dealer. If I recall they are between $5
    and $10 for the two required.

    As to using Dex Cool coolant, I stay away from this coolant and continue to
    use the old ethylene glycol stuff that is sold at the Saturn dealer. This
    requires changing every two years, but does less damage to the radiator,
    water pump, etc.

    Good luck!

    Bob Shuman, Dec 28, 2007
  3. ;-}

    ;-} Guest

    Thanks for the information on the supplemental sealer. I'll
    get those tablets next week. I hadn't heard of DEX COOL damaging
    the radiator, water pump, etc. Another independent shop advised
    me to use the green ethylene glycol fluid because they were seeing
    damage to gaskets and seals from the DEX COOL. In ten years time,
    I haven't had any issues with gaskets or seals or radiator or
    water pump. Do you think I'm pressing my luck?

    Thanks for the help,
    ;-}, Dec 30, 2007
  4. ;-}

    Shark Guest

    I didn't know about these tablets or else I forgot about them. I
    changed my coolant a couple of months ago. Can I still add these
    tablets(crushed)after this amount of time?
    Shark, Dec 30, 2007
  5. ;-}

    BläBlä Guest

    A pack of 5 should be about $6 bucks and the entire pack is 'supposed'
    to be added. Also note that 3634621 are a 6 pack of the larger tablets
    for cast Iron engines and 12378254 are a 5 pack of smaller tablets for
    aluminum engines though either would work. They're not necessary, just a
    piece of mind...
    Also you dont crush them up and add them to the Overflow Bottle or
    Coolant Surge Tank. On Saturns you'll have to put them in the upper
    radiator hose to get them correctly flowing into the system.
    No STICK with Dexcool. The old 'green' slop is NOT for aluminum engines
    or cooling systems. I've seen it eat away aluminum parts among other bad
    things. It has no business in a modern cooling system...

    You dont need a 'flush' if you drain and refill the cooling system with
    shorter service interval. (like 4 years/80k miles) The main thing you
    want to do is keep fresh corrosion inhibitors in circulation and keep
    the pH levels in check. They make inexpensive test strips to to check pH

    I can't believe anyone working in the Auto Service and Repair field has
    not heard of GM Sealing Tablets. Hell even BMW Techs know of them and
    use them.

    Chilton wont make mention of jack squat.

    Thats not why they charge 50-60 bucks more.
    BläBlä, Dec 30, 2007
  6. ;-}

    Bob Shuman Guest

    I disagree with much of what you posted, but do agree with you that
    Chilton's and Hayne's manuals are of very limited value. GM's decision to
    go with the chemistry in Dex-Cool when there were other alternatives was a
    poor one. The need for any "supplemental sealing tablets" also indicts the
    design and/or the head gasket materials used.

    If you are expending the energy to drain and re-fill the coolant, and you
    are only doing it once every 4 or 5 years, then going the extra step and
    flushing the system takes just a small amount of additional time. Take a
    good look at the color of the flush and then tell me with a straight face
    that you'd leave that crap in there and just re-fill it.

    Bob Shuman, Dec 30, 2007
  7. ;-}

    BläBlä Guest

    Not sure what head gaskets have to do with this discussion. Head gaskets
    and dexcool are two different things. Did head gaskets not fail before
    dexcool??? Wet manifolds have always been problematic but that's also
    well before dexcool was introduced...
    I guess Saturn shouldn't have put Ginger Root in the cooling system from
    the factory by your logic. Btw thats back when they were still using
    GREEN coolant... Unfortionatly the ginger root wasn't able to seal the
    severely eroded heater core pipe of a 94 SL2 that I recollect.
    Depends on your definition of 'flush'. Garden hose or an expensive flush
    machine. Both are more time consuming and one leaves behind unfiltered
    water. Me, I just open the petcock and drain as much as I can into a
    container. Then I come back and blow compressed air though the Upper
    hose and neck to draw out most of the remainder.
    Please discribe to me what 'color' you are refering to. The clear orange
    gatorade like fluid that comes out of my cars? Shucks I thought that was
    normal... I only flush cars that were poorly maintained or contaminated.
    If there is no indication of that then one is wasting time and the
    customers money.
    BläBlä, Dec 30, 2007
  8. ;-}

    ;-} Guest

    Appreciate the tips on DEX COOL -> aluminum engines, and
    coolant supplemental sealer -> upper radiator hose, and
    shorter service interval -> fresh corrosion inhibitors/ph levels.

    I probably need to look at another independent shop, one that's
    heard of GM Sealing Tablets. Difficult to evaluate these shops
    until you get burned, and then you know it's time to find
    another independent shop that hopefully won't be worse than the
    one you got burned at. I sure could use some kind of litmus
    test to judge a shop. At 177,000 miles, even with regular 3,000
    mile oil changes, my engine is a big question mark. Don't know
    if it will last 250,000 miles.
    ;-}, Dec 31, 2007
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