Servicing a Dex-Cool system

1996 Chevy S-10, 2.2L I4, 60K miles

Having bought this truck only three months ago, I was going through and seeing what sort of maintenance it needed. Popped the radiator cap off, and from the amount of brown crud collecting near the cap, it’s obvious that the cooling system has NEVER been flushed out.

Pretty soon, I’ll be going through and thoroughly flushing out all hoses, removing and backflushing the radiator, replacing the water pump and thermostat, and all of that. What I’m curious about is what to refill the system with.

I know that bad things can happen when Dex-Cool and standard ethylene glycol are mixed together, so should I purchase Dex-Cool compatible antifreeze, or will glycol work since they engine and passages will have been thoroughly rinsed out? I’m really in no mood to deal with the dreaded GM intake gasket problem that Dex-Cool contributed to.

I’m not positive, but I think it’s only the V6 and V8 engines that suffer the dreaded intake manifold malady.

With the system completely flushed, you can use the antifreeze of your choice. But you might be better off with one of the newer, extended life types. WalMart has a version that’s about $8 per gallon.

Also, don’t forget about the block drain before calling it drained. These engines will hold a good deal of coolant even with the radiator empty and the lower hose removed. Once all the ‘Death-Cool’ has been removed, you can use any antifreeze of your choice.

You’re right NYBo, mostly V6s.

budd, like NYBo said. Only Dexcool or the old standard green coolant. When Dexcool is mixed with another type it breaks down much more quickly.

I stuck with Dexcool in my 3.4L V6 (2000 Olds Silhouette van) after changing the intake manifold gasket with no further problems.



Prestone has an anti-freeze that mixes with anything. You don’t have any dexcool in the system that won’t be rinsed out anyway.

THAT IS UNPROVEN they call it GLOBAL,time will tell,

do not belive everything you hear.

Based on what I’ve heard, I’ll probably refill it with some sort of extended-life coolant. Not Dex-Cool exactly, but something that’s a modern-day equivalent (like Prestone or Peak Extended Life). I’d rather not take my chances with glycol in a cooling system that has never held it.

If you use Prestone or Peak Extended Life, your using a gycol-based coolant. It is the anti-rust additives that are re-designed to last 5 years. You can mix most store brand types of green coolant without a problem.

Just refill it with standard green coolant.