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Keeping Dexcool or not?


I am planning to service my 2002 Saturn SL2’s coolant. It has Dexcool right now. I didn’t know people hated the stuff. About 90% of people in Saturn forums seem to have already switched to “the green stuff”.

I already bought the Dexcool but I am debating whether I should return them and make a switch to green too. I have read somewhere that you can’t determine the chemistry of a coolant by just the color, so I don’t really know what do they mean by green exactly.

Some people are telling me to use the “mixable” type of coolant when making the switch. I am assuming this is the universal coolant? HOAT? Some say a tiny bit of Dexcool left is not a problem.

What is the correct procedure to replace the Dexcool with other coolant? I don’t have access to a garden hose.

Save yourself the trouble, and just bring it to a shop and have the coolant exchanged.

Everyone I know who bought a new GM vehicle with Deathcool, had me change out the coolant as soon as the vehicle went out of warranty, and replace it with one of the global antifreeze.

They were avoiding this with the Deathcool.


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Damn… That looks bad. How much should I expect to pay to have a shop exchange the coolant for me?

With the capacity of the cooling system?



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Thanks a lot Tester. Really appreciate it.

Keep using dex-cool

that’s what the vehicle is supposed to use

In my experience, those who have problems with dex-cool are the ones that don’t service it every 5 years, like they’re supposed to

you already bought it, use it

save yourself a trip to the store

Those are only the people you’ve been talking to, not all Saturn owners

And there are countless other GM owners out there that keep using dex-cool


I purchased the Dex-Cool compatible coolant from O’Reilly’s auto parts for my sons old Pontiac when I replaced the coolant. I would not buy green coolant, 5 year coolant is only $2 more.

What you see in that picture was also a problem with the 1970’s and 1980’s vehicles with green coolant, if the engine was operated with a half filled cooling system the oxygen and hot water would react with the cast iron block and pollute the cooling system with rust.


What happens with Deathcool is, if a leak occurs in the cooling system that allows air to be introduced into the cooling system, the air reacts with the Organic Acid Technology of the Deathcool .

If this isn’t caught in time, the OAT of Deathcool turns acidic, which starts corroding the internals of the cooling system.

And looks like that image.


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My shop recommended a global coolant. I was aware of the sludgeing issue , and felt no chance of sludge was better than some chance.

dexcool and saturn. i feel so old. at least its not a dodge neon.

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So because I need to use the vehicle this week. I decided to drain some of the Dexcool and put in back the new Dexcool I already bought. I noticed the recovery tank had some of that muddy and “crystalized bits” on the “walls” of the tank.

It doesn’t look like any of the horror pics you see on the web about Dexcool, at least not just yet? But I have never seen anything like it in recovery tanks with regular coolant. It reminds me of algae on fish tanks, and that stuff clogs the water pumps and filter really bad. So now I am starting to get worried about the Dexcool.

There are no leaks in this vehicle. The coolant itself is clear. I am not sure how well the vehicle was maintained since I bought this vehicle used, but I changed all the fluids and replaced everything that needed to be replaced. It has 164,000 miles.

I have, plenty of times, with vehicles that use generic green coolant

you’ll be just fine using the dex-cool

Deathcool is the only antifreeze that causes corrosion when air is introduced into the cooling system.

The old inorganic green antifreeze didn’t do this unless it wasn’t changed on schedule where the corrosive inhibitors broke down.

The new HOAT antifreeze also doesn’t turn acidic when air is introduced into the cooling system…

You just need to look at the history of DEATHCOOL.


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I’ve used dexcool in many GM and non GM vehicles, never had a problem. Just drain and refill, do not flush. This way you don’t introduce any contaminants. But it won’t hurt to use a universal long life coolant either, just drain the radiator and block, then refill, no flush. A little residual dexcool won’t hurt anything near as much as contaminants from flushing would.

I kept the Dex too but had the shop change it for me. I do watch it pretty close though for any sludge developing. At first I wanted to drain the stuff out but talked to two different dealers and an independent shop and decided to keep it, but had it replaced with fresh on time though. Still scary stuff.

I initially planned on keeping the Dexcool, I needed the car ASAP. So I drained and added Dexcool but I was worried about that muddy stuff in my recovery tank. I am not a mechanic, the idea of my coolant turning into sludge whenever it comes it contact with air is a headache I don’t need. No matter where I ask, who I ask almost everyone seem to hate Dexcool with a pasion.

So I had a shop flush the dexcool for me but when I asked about the coolant he was going to put in, he told me to choose either orange or green. I don’t think he knows much about coolants. Maybe? I don’t know…

He basically told me green and orange is the same to him. He says he do flushes all the time, and use these two coolants without a problem. I asked to see the green coolant he was going to use after flusing the dexcool out.

He showed me a jug of “Prime by Prestone” green low silicate coolant that meets ASTM requirements or something like that. What is this type of coolant?

I just found out there are three types of coolant, IAT, OAT and HOAT and I don’t even know what is this green stuff I got. Say if I have to service the coolant myself can I use universal? Or I should just use green?

I already flushed the Dexcool out =/

You already had bought the dex-cool

You used it, hopefully because it’s what the car is supposed to get

Now you’ve paid money to flush it out and replace it with something else

You’ve wasted your time and money . . . and for nothing, in my opinion

More than that, I believe you’ve wasted our time, as well

Wow really? I did it because Tester suggested it to be flushed out. Did I waste his time then? What kind of forum is this?

I am not a car savy person. Even you guys have conflicting opinions about the coolants. You tell me… Did I destroyed the engine by flushing it? More likely the answer is no. The Dexcool is gone for good. It is not like I have mixed both fluids together or anything. If that was a bad move then I can put the Dexcool back whatever!

I did planned to keep the Dexcool, but then again I am not a mechanic or anything, I decided to flush it because I don’t want my engine to be destroyed in the future. With my limited knowledge, this was what I thought it was the best thing to do.

At least I am trying to do something for my car, and you are making it sound as if it is a bad thing. There are people who don’t give a squat about their cars, do you want me to be like them then?

Don’t mind the differing opinions, remember looking at a car a co-worker was selling, fine condition, 10 years old 86k miles, when I asked when brakes or tires or trans fluid or oil were done, huffy response “I said it was in fine condition we have never had any repairs”. You did fine, sleep better now.

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