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G25......thanks for the additional suggestions. I was away on work last week. During that time....the wife used the car. She had to add water to the fluid container twice. I bled the system quite a bit prior to my departure....but as I left the next morning I really did not have a chance to drive and observe the car. I am back home now. The heater is working (per my wife....who would have complained had it not). She says the temp has been good as well.....but she claims to get a whiff of anti-freeze when she exits the car.


I just got back home and have the car on now.....checking for leaks. My wife did not notice any puddles....and I am not seeing anything. I do see a couple of areas where there is still anti-freeze/water from last week, just small pockets away from any tubing that has to do with the cooling system on the car. I really dumped a lot of coolant last week, so my guess is this is leftover smell.


This is what I recall doing. I have never put any tabs or anything into the coolant system, but have used the radiator flush the week prior. This time I used only water. I tried to flush only the radiator, but as the bottom drain was not working, I ended up spraying water into where the radiator cap is, then watching it run out the top hose (disconnected) and let it run until brown stopped and just water came out. Then I took off the thermostat, and started the car and again put water into the radiator....this time the brown crap came out the thermostat hole. Again let that run until I saw water (not that long). I then drained what I could of the water in the radiator by disconnecting the 2 hoses....and after reconnecting the hoses I added Dex. I initially performed the bleed by squeezing the hoses, with the radiator cap off...and kept adding fluid. Then I started to use the drain on the thermostat. At the end, the hoses were no longer collapsing as they had before. But it still did not seem like it was acting normal. But apparently during the week the car ran normally.

I did not know about resetting the coolant temp sensor by unhooking battery, will do today. Also, I think you are correct about the radiator being clogged, and think I will end up replacing that as well.


Thanks again for the suggestions....
 

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Mr. Handy
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Note: Do NOT mix dex with anything else besides water!! This will cause sludging

Also note that these cars come stock with Stop leak tabs. Which overtime without regular flushing and maint can cause the brown sludgy gunk. This is what happened with my impala.

I did not have my radiator replaced as I should have after my nasty coolant issue. But, I had it professionally flushed (with a machine) and then flushed it again at home with thermostat removed and car running, and replaced with prestone. I also put in a 180deg T-stat and have never seen above 200deg since. My heat is lacking a little bit and probably needs a heater core flush though.

After my dexcool experience I am personally staying away from it.
 

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Ah, did not know that tabs were stock. That may explain some things. A year ago, when I replaced those plastic tubes with the aluminum ones....around the radiator cap looked like clay had formed. And the brown sludgy gunk sounds like what I was seeing. And I never flushed the system before last year.....I am the second owner of the car, and has around 90k miles on it.....33k when I bought it.

Yea, I thought this car's temp would be under middle mark on temp dial....but I really do not recall as I do not drive it. Engine is a 3.8l, it is LS model. Temp right now is around mid scale deflection.

Yea, maybe it will be cheaper to get the radiator cleansed....but not sure. Replacement radiator is almost $200 at Advance.....and looks like a little bit of a hassle to replace.


Oh...and I did not mix dex with anything else but water....even the flush was for dex cool systems....this was before I read that it is probably better just to use water to flush.....so that is what I did this last time.
 

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Mr. Handy
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Yes the stop leak tabs did indeed come stock from the factory. Problem is no one ever flushed the system in the proper amount of time and mixed with dex they do some nasty things inside the coolant system.

These cars do run a bit hot even when operating fine. Before I installed the 180deg t-stat I would get up to 220deg max. But usually around 200deg.

Have you reset the computer yet? And do u have heat back now?

And yes I wouldn't doubt that the coolant smell is just leftover leakage burning off.

I would just recommend keeping an eye on that coolant level and color. If the color starts to get muddy brown again then, I would start suspecting a lower intake leak.
 
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