Thank you very much--I appreciate your input, and have added the Dex-Cool. As a point of interest, I subsequently ran across an article that seems to suggest a different view:
"7. Mixing a “green” coolant with DEX-COOL reduces the batch’s change interval to 2 years or 30,000 miles, but will otherwise cause no damage to the engine. In order to change back to DEX-COOL however, the cooling system must first be thoroughly drained and flushed."
They seem to say that the only negative result of mixing a non-Dex-Cool with the Dex-Cool is that the "change interval" is reduced from 150,000 miles to 30,000 miles--otherwise no damage results. Any additional/other thoughts on this? Thanks again.
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Re: Re: Dex-Cool in 1999 Lumina
The major reason for using dex-cool is that antifreeze is often neglected as a service item. If neglected, it becomes acidic over time which is particularly important with the use of aluminium in most major components which are served by antifreeze. Acid causes etching and premature failure of gaskets and permanent damage to blocks, heads and especially the radiator and heater core, which are not vert thick to begin with. Since "normal" antifreeze acidifies faster than does dex-cool, mixing both together causes a change in breakdown rate...the more "normal" coolant added, the faster it breaks down. Both coolants do not react chemically with each other and therefore retain the same ability to prevent boil over and freezing. In reality, normal coolant can be used with little or no effect on components, provided that you change it every year. (that's where the EPA gets involved) They do not want people dumping this stuff into the ground, so they push for extended service intervals. Since dex cool has a longer service life, that's what they want you to use. As far as how you chasnge the coolant, it is always a good idea to flush system during a change, regardless of antifreeze type. This removes solid particles which can plug radiator core. Radiators are much smaller than their older counterparts. Loss of even a small portion of cooling area can cause overheating. Engine running temps are also higher than older vehicles (heat=power output). Therefore most systems have a much smaller margin of error than before. What I find though is that regular flushing can also be bad for the system as the chems eat away at metal components in order to clean. I recommend regualr or dex cool antifreeze systems be flushed with water only, once a year, but retaining what you removed and filtering it through a coffee filter, using it during the year to "top off" the system. To retain effectiveness of coolant, use a hydrometer to check concentration, adding new coolant to bring reading to proper protection level.Then, every three years, do a complete chem flush and change entire batch. This keeps your system clean and the epa happy!
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Notice: Do not add cold water to the cooling system with the engine at or above operating temperature. Adding cold water causes rapid cooling, resulting in possible engine damage.
NOTICE: When adding coolant, it is important that you use GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL® or HAVOLINE® DEX-COOL® coolant. If Coolant other than DEX-COOL® or HAVOLINE® DEX-COOL® is added to the system the engine coolant will require change sooner; at 50 000 km (30,000 mi) or 24 months.
Notice: Do not use a solution stronger than 70 percent antifreeze. Pure antifreeze can freeze at -22°C (-8°F).
Important: This engine is not equipped with block drains, 2.5 L (2 qt) of residual coolant remains in the engine block.
Refill the cooling system. In order to ensure sufficient engine cooling, freezing and corrosion protection, maintain the protection level at -37°C (-34°F) or lower.
Start the engine.
Place the heater and A/C control in any A/C mode except Max and the temperature in the highest setting.
Allow the engine to continue idling until the lower radiator to water pump hose is hot.
Turn OFF the engine.
Allow the engine to cool to outside temperature. Ensure the coolant level in the surge tank is at the proper level (1).
Well, a 50-50 solution of any good green AF is okay, unless you have the dex-cool, orange colored, GM brand type of AF... If you have that, you want to use orange again. You cannot mix dex-cool with regular green AF (like Prestone or any brand AF that is green colored). A lot of people don't like using dex-cool so they change to regular AF. But to do so, you need to flush out every trace of the dex-cool. If they get mixed, problems like sludge in the coolant may result.
Notice: When adding coolant, it is important that you use GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL?"¢ coolant. If coolant other than DEX-COOL?"¢ is added to the system, the engine coolant will require change sooner: at 50 000 km (30,000 miles) or 24 months.
Close the radiator drain cock.
If previously removed, install the engine block drain plugs.
When installing the drain plugs, use pipe sealer GM P/N 12346004.
Important: On vehicles equipped with the 3.4L engine, open the coolant air bleed valve. The coolant air bleed valve is located on the top of the thermostat bypass pipe/heater pipe assembly. Close the valve once a continuous stream of coolant is expelled from the valve.
Fill the surge tank to the base of the filler neck.
Start the engine with the pressure cap off. Run the engine until the upper radiator hose starts to get hot.
If the coolant level in the surge tank is low, add the proper mix of coolant until the level reaches the full cold line.
Important: After servicing the cooling system, and if the vehicle is equipped with an intermittent low coolant light, an occasional low coolant light may be encountered during some extreme driving maneuvers. This complaint should be eliminated by removing the surge tank cap and adding coolant to a level just at or above the full cold line when the system is cold.
Install the cap onto the tank with hand tight pressure.
Important: Dispose of used coolant in a proper fashion, such as in a used coolant holding tank. Never pour used coolant down the drain. Ethylene glycol antifreeze is a very toxic chemical. Disposing of ethylene glycol antifreeze into the sewer system is both illegal and ecologically unsound.
There is currently no approved method for recycling used DEX-COOL?"¢ coolant into new DEX-COOL?"¢ coolant. DEX-COOL?"¢ coolant can be recycled into new conventional coolant. Consult local listings for coolant recycling facilities in your area.
the engine block is the same but their are some changes such as sensors ---computer software -and in 1999 chevys been using dex cool the red coolant verses the green they are not compatible would need to do a flush before using engine but since you have a donor car should be able to do a swap just make sure you grab all and correct electronics with it
Was the water added to the coolant reservoir or into the radiator? If the coolant reservoir it's a simple matter to unbolt it, drain it, reinstall and refill to proper level. If water was added to the radiator, it's best to drain the coolingg system and refill with the proper 50/50 mix of Dexcool. Water in the radiator will not hurt anything in the short term, but will not provide adequate protection.
If it has dex-cool in it now then yes add dex-cool to it. So if the antifreeze is orange add dex-cool and if its green add the green antifreeze. It won't hurt it to switch the antifreeze but if you are topping it off, add what is already in it.
There are two kinds of coolant that can be found in this car. Look to see what color it is, either pink or green. It came stock with Dexcool antifreeze. This is a pink colored antifreeze made for aluminum engines. If it is green DO NOT put pink in there. NEVER mix pink and green coolants together. There is no differences among the green coolants. All will work but some are better than others. Also there are 50/50 ready-to-use coolant gal. containers. This has water already added in the coolant. If you get one that does not have water added you will need to add water. These are usually better for your buck.
If your car is supposed to take Dex-Cool, it should say somewhere in the front of the car under the hood, usually near the radiator or on it.
IF it does take Dex-Cool, do not use anything but that in your cooling system. Mixing any other antifreeze with Dex-Cool causes them to react with each other and corrode your radiator and hoses with a rust-like material.