I have a 1999 Olds bravada which is about to get it’s third set of headgaskets in 8 years. I recently found out about Dex Cool causing this problem and am now suspicious about what kind of antifreeze the shop used. The unpublicized problem has been experienced in 3LT. GM engines so far. Does anyone else have a similar problem with their 4.3LT and Dex Cool anti freeze/coolant?
It’s not likely at all that Dex Cool is behind 3 sets of head gasket failures and the problem is elsewhwere; failure to inspect the cyl. heads for warpage and resurface if needed, distorted block surface, failure to properly torque head bolts or possibly reusing TTY head bolts, etc, etc.
And chronic overheating due to erratic fan operation, faulty thermostat, missing airdam if so equipped, can also be added to the list.
If I wasn’t a recently retired mechanic who is not able to work on cars because of arthritis, and who didn’t know how to find an honest shop I might consider your opinion as more then dealership mechanic money making solutions, and deflection of plain old incompetence originating from the factory and then indoctrinated and manipulated into dealership mechanics. I know which parts can be reused and which can not, I know better then to alter engine components and I know when the cooling fan turns off and on and when it should and shouldn’t.
If you had any credible experience you would know how long a head gasket would last if the block was warped or the heads were cracked. It would be a hell of a lot more then 3 sets in 8 years. Do you have any substantial ideas?
Heck yes, I did and thousands more have. There was a class action suit won against GM a few years ago. Many people were to be reimbursed for part of the cost for repairs. My '99 lasted 7 years so it was not included.
Hey, Beefy, just what did you just say??
Sorry I said anything at all. My bad.
No its is not you at all.I just spent some time on the DexCool settlment sites and the DexCool issue never involved headgaskets,it only went as far as lower intakes,no one is clamining a issue with DexCool and headgaskets.
Now, if we could just get the total number of head gaskets sold for GM vehicles using Dexcool, and compare that to other makes NOT using Dexcool, we could see how many more engines were diagnosed (rightly, or wrongly) with cylinder head gasket problems than the other makes. A ratio of vehicles produced, by each maker, would, of course. be factored into the counting.
ok4450–Please don’t be discouraged by one naysayer who has returned after an absence of several months.
I will say it for you:
Welcome back, Norm!
No, I’m not discouraged or even upset one iota about the comments.
I just tried to throw a bit of info in there to aid in figuring out why this was a chronic problem. Three sets of failed head gaskets means somebody is screwing up; nothing more.
Speaking of arthritis and pain Norm, I work on cars still and have gone through:
2 lower back surgeries
1 major shoulder surgery (right side)
1 major knee surgery
1 very major, near fatal, neck surgery
separated left shoulder twice
separated left elbow twice
have 2 broken feet (20 years of surgery avoidance)
possibly dislocated right hip
Add in half a dozen misc. smallish things and I’ve had 30 years of physical inconvenience. So I understand your pain…
“I recently found out about Dex Ccol” (unquote)
Ah, to h— with it.
1 heart attack
1 gall bladder surgery
1 kidney stone
never broke any (of my own) bones.
I never heard of Dex Cool causing head gasket failures. I have heard of it causing intake manifold failures. Between the gasket material and the Dex Cool…it’s caused MILLIONS of manifold failures.
Man, you guys are making me feel healthy. Probably if I worked more, I could have had surgery too. You production workers should have got more tips. I have tipped mechanics and carpet installers about twice. That would make me the anti-mechanic I guess. All the reports against Dex Cool would make me blame the stuff. Do I have a problem with Dex Cool? Not yet, I hope.
That info was included in the first reply to OK4450 by me last night,I did wonder why hellokit did not notice,but OH well.
Oh and me 3 degenerated discs, 2 hernia surgerys, one disc surgery, another set for next summer,looking at fusion. car work is tough on the body.
None of my problems were even caused by car repair work except for one shoulder separation and that was a fluke.
I’m not so certain that Dex Cool is responsible so much for the gasket failures as the design is faulty. Note the gasket design with the raised rubber ribs.
My opinion is that the failures could be more related to age, heat, and the rubber being compressed over time. It eventually loses its elasticity and the leaks start.
This same thing also occurs with the Ford 4.6 oil filter flange gasket which has the same design. Over time the rubber flattens, hardens, and oil leaks develop along with potential coolant leaks as coolant also flows through this gasket.
This occurs with Ford products which of course do not use Dex Cool at all; but DC is still to be avoided IMO.
On a brighter note, my wife has been hounding me for the last few months to go back to the doc again. Since this could very well lead to another neck surgery I’m stonewalling up to this point.
I’m quite sure that by now you are aware of all the blown gasket symptoms and other info and know Dexcool doesn’t start the problem.
Mismatched materials and poor designs cause the problems.
In short, if the Dexcool does not mix with air, there will be no gasket breaching.
One thing most people don’t do is change the Dexcool often enough. To me, 5 years is too long.
I’ve found that following the manufacturers instructions to the letter is not always the best route.
Besides gasket breaching DexCool is known to degrade into a brown sandy sludge clogging heater cores.
ok4450, I have always appreciated your responses to questions and these responses have always made sense to me. Fortunately, I don’ suffer from any physical problems. However, even though I have all my marbles, they roll pretty slowly at my age, particularly when it comes to modern automotive problems. The need for Dex cool is way beyond me–I do well to understand the difference between Zerone and Zerex antifreeze.
Keep on giving us useful information.
He is saying he has his doubts that the repair was not done properly the first second and third time, and that the dealer is making money on the repairs but not really fixing the problem. Is that you Ron? How is Rose?