2003 Pontiac Grand Am Coolant Flush


Hi, I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am, that is due for a coolant flush on the next oil change. I am wondering can I request that the dealership (Murray GM) use a different coolant OTHER than the Dex-Cool? I’ve read the horror stories on dex-cool and do not want problems. Or would I be better off to get coolant, that is for GM vehicles from an Autoparts store and have them use it?

I’m just curious, any opinions would be appreciated!



The dealership is most unlikely to allow you to provide your own coolant. You must check with them first and expect to be refused.

Two other suggestions: First, consider doing a drain and refill yourself, as many of us do. It is one of the simpler maintenance jobs. You can use the antifreeze of your choice.

Second, why are you having the work done at a dealership? There is no reason to take your car to a GM dealership for anything but warranty work. For issues as simple as an oil change and cooling system service, find yourself a reputable independent mechanic. Sae yourself a bit of money.


Some people have this fantastic ability to turn gold into LEAD. I’m reminded of this when someone, who seems to have that ability, has a problem with ANYTHING that few others have a problem with. Whichever coolant you decide to use, you COULD take two gallons of distilled, or demineralized, water to the people actually changing the coolant. AND, tell them, precisely, what it’s for. Ordinary tap water DOES contain minerals and other chemicals. Do you think THESE are good for your cooling system?


Steve is correct about the dealer. While there are some very good dealer service departments, it appears there are a lot more bad ones. You do NOT need to have maintenance work done at a dealer to maintain warranty but you do need to keep good records.

Yes you can use other coolant and most people seem to recommend it, but the dealer may not want to put it in, so you likely will need to go elsewhere.

hellokit does have a good point. Some shops do use the proper water and in some areas you really don’t need it, but it is a good idea. (BTW soft water is not the same.)