DexCool in GM Engines
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
We have a 2002 Chevy Impala with 42,000 miles and just two weeks ago, a mechanic found this gooey stuff (dex-cool) in our radiator. It was in the oil, the gaskets, and other places costing us $1,110. I called GM and they told me I should have taken it to a GM mechanic which by anti-trust laws this is wrong. I can take it where I want. We are both in our late 80's and now GM will do nothing to repay us for any repair we had done. Is this fair? My husband has cancer and we do not have a lot of money, so every penny counts with us.
I own a 2003 Malibu and the manual states to only add DexCool. Well, this is what I have been doing for 9 years and now for the past two years, I have been experiencing nothing but problem after problem. First, it was the water pump then it was the radiator needing to be flushed, now I need the gasket replaced. At least two times a week, I have to add coolant and this is very annoying.
I found a mechanic who can repair but I’m not sure if I want to spend that much money on a car that is 10 years old. But I also do not want a car payment right now. GM sucks. I will not buy another GM car because they are built to keep people paying with their cheap plastic parts. My next car will be a Toyota or Honda because American-made cars just want to keep ripping off Americans with their high price, plastic parts, faulty electrical systems; cars that begin to break down within 5 years.
I have a 2001 Buick Century with a terrible radiator sludge issue and a leaking Intake Manifold and seals, all due to a manufacturer defect involving faulty design of the Intake Manifold and its interaction with the corroding Dex-Cool coolant which was factory-installed by GM. My manual specifically states owners need to keep Dex-Cool in their radiators. I only just learned of a class action lawsuit against GM which happened in 2008 and a settlement which was named the "Dex-Cool Settlement." I had moved in 2008 and never received notice of the class action lawsuit.
When I called GM Customer Relations two weeks ago (October 2012) to tell them about the problems I was experiencing which were exactly the problems outlined in the 2008 lawsuit, they said they'd try to assist me, and told me to have the car diagnosed by a certified Buick mechanic at our local Buick and GM dealership. I followed their advice and unfortunately, much to my dismay, now after the car was diagnosed, the small radiator leak has become a gushing hole, and my radiator does not hold the fluid! I now have to fill my radiator with one gallon of fluid every time I get into my car, rather than every couple of months as I had to previously.
To make matters worse, GM Customer Relations now says they won't help pay for repairs on what is obviously a manufacturer defect. GM only made the problem worse by making me get it diagnosed at their dealership. Now the service manager tells me that it often happens that during their diagnosis of the Dex-Cool radiator sludge and intact manifold problem, the problem gets worse because they add extra pressure to the system. No one at GM Customer Relations or at the dealership forewarned me that this would happen!
I am livid! I resent now being forced to add a gallon of fluid into my radiator every time I get into the car. GM corporate and the dealership mechanic need to do the right thing and pay for the repairs, which they estimated would be about $1200. Not only is GM continuing to damage their reputation, they are about to lose a whole extended family of long-time customers. Shame on them!
DexCool is a mechanic's best friend. I have a 2002 GMC Sonoma. At the 72,000 mile mark, the head gasket went bad; fixed that only then have the radiator go bad. Then the water pump gasket went bad. It is to the point now, with all the problems this truck has given us, we are afraid to drive it very far. We had two other GM products that were also problems. We replaced those GM products with something other than GM. We used to be a GM loyal customer; not anymore. No more GM's for this family.
I just found out about the GM Dex-Cool problem from my shop. This is totally not right. I can't afford to pay $1k for a new gasket. I was always told to buy American. Now I understand why people are not trusting American made cars. It's because they don't stand behind their products. Thanks, GM.
- 993,168 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
GM's fault. I have a 2000 Buick Century. I bought it new. It has 60,000 miles. The Dex-Cool ate the head gasket and it cost me money to get it repaired. Am I to get reimbursed for this?
I bought an 03 Montana in Florida this past summer in 2011. The van drove great and seemed to be a good safe car for my family, but as I drove the van more, I noticed that the engine was running hotter than normal. So, I took it in and had the thermostat replaced and the radiator replaced and all the hoses and heater cores (front and rear) and spent about $2300 to have it all done. I am really upset for 2 reasons: one, the dealership that did all that work never mentioned the Dex-Cool problems and 2, they never said that the problem was the head gaskets.
I am out $2300 in repairs that never needed to be done and now, I have to have the head gaskets replaced on this 2.3 liter motor. Again, there's no mention of a recall or lawsuit to me from the dealership. This is criminal. They stole money from me to change out parts that didn't need to be changed. GM needs to:1. stand behind their product; 2. offer a recall for repair; 3. offer an apology for hiding the truth about their product.
When Ford had problems with the Firestone tires and under inflation, they both offered a fix. When Toyota had their problems, oh, ya, they fixed it. When Honda had their problems, they recalled and fixed it. When GM has a problem, they say nothing and do nothing. It's pretty sad an American company we bailed out lies and steals from us and keeps on lying because they still are selling the Dex-Cool and have it as a required coolant for their cars.
How can they have a lawsuit and not notify all customers who have purchased the product? I have been a faithful GM customer for over 35 years, and all of the vehicles I have gotten have had major problems that were expensive repairs which I had to pay. The repairs are from engineering design errors that GM should take care of. Ask any mechanic about most of these repairs, and they will tell you they do 2 to 4 of these repairs every week. Wow, that means thousands and thousands of people are in the same boat. I have gotten quotes for the latest intake gasket change because of the Dex-Cool at $1000. I sure have to look hard at my next purchase. Maybe foreign cars are ok after all.
Thanks to Dex-Cool, the gaskets and intake manifold had been replaced 2 years ago now have to be done yet again. I had no knowledge there was a lawsuit going on and would love to know how they can continue to sell this product considering the amount of damage it causes. How can you settle a class action suit without notifying every single person out there driving a car that is using that coolant? I certainly was never notified. I am beyond pissed off. I cannot afford the cost of these repairs yet again. Totally ridiculous. The stuff needs to be pulled off the market.
I have had to change water pump in my 2002 Chevy Venture WB Edition and now the car overheats and the Dex-Cool is caking up in the inside of the rod. I am getting ready to flush out the system and put in the green coolant, because it seems to be all around better than the crap Dex-Cool.
I purchased DexCool antifreeze from the GM dealer this fall and now the vehicle has a seized engine and leaked from several gaskets. This was a very well maintained engine with no problems or no leaks until a couple of months ago. No question, it’s a direct effect from using this product. Also, there was no consumer disclaimer that if you use this product, the damages to your engine are severe. I found online there was a class action suit that affected hundreds of thousands of consumers of this DexCool product, but I guess the case is closed and I will have accept the financial burden myself.
If we don't eat for the next 6 months, our family should be able to afford the repairs. It might make a great diet program for us. I just hope others that are financially strapped won't have to suffer from DexCool and the damages it will cause their vehicles. According to the litigation information, this product has affected hundreds of thousands of consumers. I, however, believe that since General Motors is one of the largest auto manufactures in the world, the more realistic numbers of those affected are more in the millions. Consumers must be warned of this horrible product if is still being sold on the shelves. Thanks.
Dex-Cool has ruined my radiator, water pump and I have a cracked belt. No heat and coolant leaking all over the place. Why is this still on the market and why is GM still getting away with plastering stickers on new cars requiring that they use Dex-Cool? I am absolutely appalled that they continue to get away with this!
There was a class action lawsuit but it is too late as 2008 was the last time you could get in on it. If there is a class action lawsuit and they know about this problem, why are they allowed to continue to do this? I am livid! I cannot afford the repairs to my vehicle and cannot afford to buy a new one. I am caught between a rock and a hard place and cannot begin to explain the rage I am feeling toward this company right now. You wonder why we don't want to buy American. Because of issues like this! It's your own fault that we don't want to buy American and you just guaranteed that I will never do it again. In fact, I did not purchase this car myself. It was my husband's old vehicle. I would never have "chosen" to purchase an American car because resale value sucks due to problems such as this one.
I’m having trouble with the '98 Chevy Malibu. Antifreeze/water in oil. Apparently the Dex-cool is too acidic and disintegrates the gaskets. It seems it also turns into sludge and plugs the heating core, etc. Now, the car is ruined and I am a single disabled parent of two teens who is trying to get/work part time and I have no car.
I had a 1995 Corsica. It needed a head gasket, which the dealership replaced at a cost of over $800.00. I also purchased a 2004 Grand Am that at 80000 miles, needed the head gasket replaced. They replaced it because I had an extended warranty that I purchased. The dealership did not buy the extended warranty so they fixed it because I had my proof that I had purchased the extended warranty. I told them that both sides of the heads were bad, but they said it was only the front. The car stranded me in a snow storm and it was because the head gasket was blown, the one they did not replace. I have only had my car worked on at that dealership. I have paperwork for both cars and all maintenance done at the dealership where I bought the car at.
I paid $800.00 to repair DexCool antifreeze that's leaking into the engine.
I bought my 2001 Buick Le Sabre (custom) from a dealer used in June of 2011 with 65,000 miles on it. I kept up with regular oil changes and even had a complete tune-up on the car shortly after purchasing it as a preventative measure. I got an oil change at Pep Boys and the mechanic told my husband and I that we should be using Dex Cool in our coolant system and that the reserve was a little low, so he filled it with the Dex Cool and recommended a new water pump as it was leaking and told us to buy Dex Cool and keep reserve full until we replace water pump. We went home that evening and my husband installed a new water pump.
The reserve was still declining slowly. So we had a diagnosis done at Pep Boys and they said we had to replace the intake manifold and gaskets. So we did but not by Pep Boys. A week, yes a week, later the car was acting like it was missing! It was in fact missing and it was diagnosed once again and now they said it was the coils, we then replaced the one that was misfiring. 9 days later (today), it was rattling and acting up once again. Took it to the shop once again only to find out the car needs a new engine and it’s not worth fixing the valve that dropped or the possible piston blown. I want justice!
I have 3 Chevy Venture. One of them after regular flashing cause of the mud and sludge inside start with no rear heat. After that I changed the thermostat, heat sensor, cluster, water pump, and thermostat again causes of overheating, it improved to no front heat at all. Also I saw piece of what I believe it is a gasket kit in the reservoir, problems getting worst day after day. I think all this hipping cause of Dexcool thing. I paid $400 for these repairs for no heat and suspected blown head gasket.
Coolant temperature gauge went high but not to the top. Overflow reservoir was filled with heavy brown sludge. Cleaned out reservoir but now coolant is filling reservoir up again and lots of sludge buildup around radiator filler neck. Thermostat appears to be plugged. Will flush the cooling system and replace the thermostat and see if any permanent damage has been done.
In March 2011, my 2008 LaCrosse had no heat. I took it to the dealer where I purchased the car and an extended warranty, only to be told that something was plugging up my heating core and that it would have to be flushed out and coolant replaced for a total cost of $171.00. I agreed under protest, as I felt this should have been covered by my extended warranty. I only had 52,000 miles on my odometer. The warranty book states that Dex Cool (which is the coolant GM uses) is guaranteed for 100,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 years.
In early January 2012, I again noticed no heat; and again, I took the car to the dealer where I purchased it, only to find out again that my heating core is plugged and again needs to be flushed at a cost to me of $171.00. I now have 64,000 miles on my odometer. I asked if the dealer was aware of any problems or if there were any bulletins out regarding this problem, and I was told "no" they are not aware of these problems, only to find out when I went online that GM has been aware of these problems caused by the coolant (Dex Cool) which is GM's coolant.
I want my car repaired so that nothing else happens, because of this defective coolant being used in my car; and I want reimbursement of my original cost of $171.00. I think it's pretty lousy that GM is aware of this problem and turns a blind eye to it.
1999 Camaro V6 with 120k miles was losing water internally (intake gaskets leaking). All coolant hoses were soft, weak and about to burst. Heater barely worked. White sludge was present in the system from the Dexcool breakdown. It was apparent the radiator had been replaced before I purchased the car and it is possible the engine had been replaced as well.
DexCool jelled in the thermostat and it clogged it up! The engine light came on. Only turned over to 59,000 on a 2001 Buick Century. Always had the car in good running order. Consequences are new lower intake gasket set, thermostat and gasket, serpentine belt, labor 5.50 hrs.; new oil filter new oil, coolant flush, new antifreeze, "same Dex-cool". If this coolant jells, it should never be used ever.
I purchased a 2004 Buick LeSabre Limited, and the last three years, have also had the problem with overheating and spending money to try to fix it. Now, we've come to know that it is not fixable. My heat doesn't work. I was told by the dealer I needed a cluster for the heat, but was not told about the radiator, which I am sure they knew about. Last year, I had the radiator completely flushed, and was told about the dex-cool. I am now having to replace the radiator, thermostat, and hoses replaced to the tune of about $600. I am so upset, as I just don't have an extra $600 to spend, but it is my only form of transportation.
I am having to drive a borrowed car while mine is in the repair shop. Something should be done. Can I now get in the class action lawsuit. The federal government likes to get involved in telling us what to do. They should make GM replace every car that has been affected, since they knew what this stuff was doing to autos they were building, and selling them anyway. I am furious beyond words! I wonder if the dealer would like to have it back? The car is now in the shop, awaiting my being able to come up with money to fix it. What is the justification to fix it, if this is going to be an ongoing repair? I can't afford this car.
I bought my Ford from a GM dealership used a few years ago, I have had all my servicing done there as well. When I had a coolant hose crack I had them fix it and look over the coolant system. They flushed and replaced the coolant, within weeks I had no heat, my car was sounding funny, smoking a tiny bit. I looked into my coolant reservoir and it was low, it was also orange and I noticed the reservoir had a symbol on it with an orange liquid bottle and a slash mark through it, meaning don't use orange coolant.
I flushed and replaced it thinking this would fix the problem, I also looked into why the dealership put orange coolant a.k.a. dexcool in my car when the symbol obviously says don't. They gave me the runaround saying that shouldn't make a difference and I stuck to the fact that there's a symbol on my reservoir saying no. I took in today and they haven't told me anything yet and are taking quite awhile to get back to me. After seeing this page, I feel more confident in my actions set forth. Do I need to look into this class action lawsuit and if so how?
All hope is not lost my fellow GM owners. I am the unfortunate owner of a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am with the 3.4 liter V6 engine. It is important to understand that the problems exist mostly on the V6 motors. Now that's not to say that GM is not a schister, but you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustrations. I bought my vehicle used in 2006 with 26,000 miles. I had driven about 10,000 miles before I noticed the same problems as everyone else here: low coolant light, anti-freeze on ground and on block, and a slight hiss after turning car off. Having a basic knowledge of mechanics on cars (my brother has worked on cars his whole life and so has my father-in-law.) I knew what to look for.
On the drivers side or the passenger side you can view the valley of the intake manifold. Where you will look is where the cylinder head meets the intake manifold (there will be 1/16 black strip running down between the two). Where the leak is more prominent is in the middle. It may be a bit harder to see on the passenger side as the power steering pump may block it. If you are trying to replace it yourself make sure that you order the Fel-Pro gasket as the other type is an OEM part (original manufacter part) and will leak again. I first replaced it at 36,000 miles and since I used the OEM part it was leaking again by 50,000 miles. The second time I got the Fel-Pro gasket but this time I replaced the head gaskets as well (ounce of prevention).
It's now at 107,000 miles and guess what... Leaking again... Ugh!! No worries though. Having had it apart twice already, I know how to do it. The problem lies with two things. First, yes, it was the Dex-Cool. But secondly it has to do with the aluminum alloys they use. The cylinder heads use a denser alloy than the intake manifold. What ends up happening is called warping. It happens to the intake manifold because they use a less dense alloy mix. Certainly a shady practice, but fixable. I will say this though, GM's are pretty easy to fix and the parts are usually pretty cheap. I have never owned a foreign car and probably never will. Call me crazy, but I will always drive GM. I do not agree with how they treated you or me but it does not sway me to never buy GM again. Hope this helps ease your disdain for GM.
My 2003 Malibu started overheating so I took it to a service station and had the overflow container replaced and new thermostat installed. Two days later, there was no heat. I brought it back to service station, and was told the gaskets in the engine were covered with rust and sludge, and I would have to have the gasket replaced and they would try to flush the engine. I was told that they do think they can get it all out. This is a very costly repair for me and I do not know if I would ever feel safe driving it for some length of time
My 2002 Chevy Venture's engine blew up February 2009. This happened during a snowstorm. The van had less than 50,000 miles on it (and cost me over $4,500 for a new engine). I was told by my mechanic that the warranty states that, it doesn't need the radiator flush until 100,000 miles. That is so not true. I do all the proper maintenance on the vehicle (oil changes, tune-up, etc.). I didn't flush the radiator, per the suggestion of the mechanic and dealership (per the warranty). That was a big mistake.
The acidity of the DexCool ate away the gaskets, and everything else that the engine was not salvageable (it was smoking on the road, and had to be towed because it was overheating). I called and emailed someone in Texas that was listed as the lawyer for the class action suit, but never got a response. This is not right, and I should get some form of compensation. At least my new mechanic told me he refuses to use DexCool. He said if he gets a new GM vehicle from the dealership, he wants it in writing that if he changes the antifreeze, it will not void his warranty. The producer of DexCool should be held accountable, and this product should be pulled off the market. Shame on GM for allowing this product to be used in the first place.
My wife's Buick Century had the low coolant lights stay on all the time, so we had it replaced. But the problem continued. So we had the dealer flush out the coolant, thinking that would solve this problem. Then the tech advised me to replace the gasket (without mentioning anything about the class action or the known major problems) and it would cost us $1600 additional. Well, this car has only 51000 miles as my wife drives it only on rare occasions; to church, the doctors and the grocery store, as she has health issues and is getting older. We called up the local dealer and explained about the DexCool in this 3.1 engine. But he advised us to deal with GM directly. When we called their 800 number, it was all runaround explanations given. We are scared to drive this car as it could add on to the stress my wife is already under.
My 2002 Impala started leaking antifreeze. I was going through a gallon a week. I used stop leak, but I didn't quite fixed it completely. Now my car is blowing white smoke. I understand that there was a class action lawsuit back in 2008 regarding the use of DexCool that was kept mum from a lot of Chevy owners. Now we are all **. How do you go about starting a new class action lawsuit? I am afraid to take my car to the dealer. I do not trust them anymore nor my local garage. My husband will probably have to miss a day of work to figure out the problems!
I live in Arizona and have had my 2002 Aztec for 10 years. Just recently, my car started over-heating for no apparent reason. When I took it in the mechanic, he told me it was the Dex-cool that was eating away my radiator and manifold. He told me that there was a class action lawsuit, but apparently that is over with. So, now what? There is over 1,000 dollars of damages. I can't afford the repairs and I will be left with out a car if there is no recourse. Why didn't Pontiac make the consumers, or at least the dealerships, aware if this is an issue so that they could contact the customers they sold Aztecs to?
Dex Cool is awful! I have had to replace the intake manifold and some elbow hoses on more than one occasion and the problem persists. The Dex Cool was flushed out before the engine even hit 100,000 miles. It did permanent and costly damage to everything it ran through, costing me about $1,500, and the car still won't run right! I think there needs to be another class action suit because this ** has to be pulled from the shelves before it costs one more of us our hard earned money.
I have sank thousands of dollars into a car I cannot even enjoy and right now I can't drive the car or afford to fix it. ** a lot. I hate Dex Cool!
DexCool in GM Engines Company Information
- Company Name:
- General Motors