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01Malibu

coolant leaks 1997-2003 Malibus

10 posts in this topic

01Malibu    4

I wished GM had done a better job with the cooling systems in the 1997-2003 Chevy Malibus. Do the 04-07 have the same problems? There has been litigation against GM over the coolant problems but you had to file before October of 2008. Do a search of LITIGATION AGAINST DEXCOOL. Can you use another kind of antifreeze other than Dex Cool?

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Drew Dowdell    4,932

It's not really a Dexcool problem but an intake manifold gasket problem. Dexcool is used in hundreds of thousands of other engines. That three engine types have coolant trouble while a multitude of others do not does not point to a dexcool problem.

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avant1963    38

My 06 just started leaking... but it is coming from passenger-side lower radiator.

I was unable to find the leak (too much $h! crammed into the front end of the car even after taking out the headlight and all the plastic underbody pieces I could, I still couldn't get a good look.

Since my local Chevy dealer closed this month, I have been hesitant to go somewhere else, but I have to soon since my warranty runs out in June.

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SAmadei    224
It's not really a Dexcool problem but an intake manifold gasket problem. Dexcool is used in hundreds of thousands of other engines. That three engine types have coolant trouble while a multitude of others do not does not point to a dexcool problem.

Yes and no on it being purely an intake manifold gasket problem. The LT1 does pretty good with Dexcool... OTOH, the L36 needs periodic LIM/UIM changes... but both engines have design elements that predate Dexcool by quite a margin and worked fine with standard coolant. Quad 4... Dexcool is supposedly good, but I have _8_ rotted water outlets since 2004 that disagree. Also, when I recently flushed the Dex out of the LT1, out came a mountain of sludge from god knows what, so I'm not certain that Dexcool is safe in any engine. I don't want my LT1 rotting out at 250K any more than a 3.4 at 50K.

After reading quite a bit about the differences between the coolants, I have sworn off Dexcool, and I'm using the "Mixes with everything" Prestone in ALL the cars. It's not even that expensive... well, its more expensive than "Sam's Best"... but generally cheaper than Dexcool. It's been about 6 months since the change and things look cleaner.

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SAmadei    224
Not so much the Dexcool, more people not changing it....

Blame GM for thinking it was going to last that long....

GM claimed it was 100K coolant. I figure big deal, as I used standard coolant up to 70K or so.

A lot of people claim that in a improperly burped system with air in it, the coolant goes bad due to a reaction with the air that GM didn't consider.

It is a shame GM can't just come out and tell us exactly what went wrong without the lawyers going nuts.

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daves87rs    314
GM claimed it was 100K coolant. I figure big deal, as I used standard coolant up to 70K or so.

A lot of people claim that in a improperly burped system with air in it, the coolant goes bad due to a reaction with the air that GM didn't consider.

It is a shame GM can't just come out and tell us exactly what went wrong without the lawyers going nuts.

:yes:

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fightingbee    2
Yes and no on it being purely an intake manifold gasket problem. The LT1 does pretty good with Dexcool... OTOH, the L36 needs periodic LIM/UIM changes... but both engines have design elements that predate Dexcool by quite a margin and worked fine with standard coolant.

It is believed that the Dexcool may help speed the breakdown of the Nylon framed LIM gaskets. One of Dexcool's corrosion inhibitors, 2-ethylhexanoic acid, has potential to soften plastics including Nylon.

One major difference between Dexcool and the G-05 spec. extended life coolants used by Ford and Chrysler is that 2-EHA is not used in G-05 and a small amount of silica is added (much like traditional green coolants) in its place.

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