I just bought an '03 Chevy Venture that was meticulously maintained. My question is about the antifreeze. It’s that “Agent Orange” stuff that I heard is rough on minor things like, oh, head gaskets. Should I flush out the orange and “go green,” or am I wasting my time and should just “let sleeping Ventures lie?”
Is the vehicle covered by any kind of warranty? If so, stick with the manufacturer’s recommended coolant.
There are some people here who think the head gasket problem with Dexcool antifreeze is a myth. If it were my vehicle, I would have the system thoroughly flushed and switch to a normal antifreeze. Then I would change it every two years.
At very least, I would change the Dexcool collant more often than GM recommends. I don’t believe in “long life” coolant.
At the six year mark, I would exchange the coolant. Your choice on Dexcool vs “regular green”. If you are truly risk averse, pay extra and get G-05 coolant. Harder to find, except at Ford dealers, but seems to not compound any other issues.
For the record, my son in law has been running Dexcool for at least five years with no issues, changing it out about every 30K miles. Many of the mechanics on this website have reported good results and no issues with the All Models, All Makes coolant that is available.
I’m not sure which part of the “death-cool” thing is supposed to be a myth. Maybe its the gasket eating properties.
I can tell you that the brown, sandy sludge problem is very real.
I have an '00 Sihouette that spent its life on DexCool and even had itself flushed at least once in its first 100K and drained a couple of other times to do the intake manifold gaskets (yes, that’s twice).
One of the first things I did was have it machine flushed w/ a global coolant now installed. Even that didn’t get rid of the sandy sludge. So I’ve drained & filled once again and will be doing it a few more times in quick succession.
I say - get that crap out.
And, in agreement with Whitey - I also don’t believe the “long-life” thing - just have the system done every 2yr/24K
Thanks for all the quick responses. I guess I’ll go with the “when it doubt, take it out,” message I think I’m getting here. And I’ll give it a good flush at that. It’s got 59k miles so I’ll get it done soon.
G05 (Zerex) can be had at NAPA. I understand that PEAK makes G05 as well, but I have not seen any.