Should We Be Concerned.................... - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Should We Be Concerned....................

about the consumer class action suit being readied against GM/Havoline Coolant? The Car Doctor (Ron Ananian), who is heard nationally via his Sunday radio show, continues to state that the long term damage being done by this reddish/orange coolant has caused him to recommend that his customers have it totally removed, (by an exchanger machine that gets it all out) and replaced with the green stuff, as soon as possible. According to him, internal seals and parts are having the life sucked out of them because of this stuff, as evident by the upcoming 'class action', which only adds to the overheating problems attributed to this coolant. Those who are concerned with warrantees being voided, are being told to change their radiator caps yearly, since the lava-like crud tends to build up around the inner cap quite quickly and when air infiltrates the system through the cap, higher contamination levels quickly follow. Some people are waiting until their warranty has expired, before changing over, according to him.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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Did your Elise come with a GM 4.3 litre V6? That's the engine that is having all the fits with that particular coolant. And even then it's rare. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too concerned.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stan
Did your Elise come with a GM 4.3 litre V6? That's the engine that is having all the fits with that particular coolant. And even then it's rare. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too concerned.
Do you think this stuff knows the difference between radiators, seals, and other mechanical parts it comes in contact with by engine or car make? All I know is, three years down the road when the Elise is out of warranty and we start having big problems due to this stuff, we are going to be sorry for not having gotten it out of our system early on. P.S. - Toyota also had sludge problems that affected their 4 and 6 cylinder engines. They, like GM, do not want to admit that the problem is in the formulation of the coolant itself. Why? Simply because they don't want to use anyone else's coolant, realizing the enormous profit they realize by supplying their own. They have been unable to stop people like The Car Doctor from knocking their product on the airwaves and if what he is continually saying wasn't true, they would have stopped him legally.

Last edited by Ridgemanron; 12-26-2004 at 05:12 PM.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 05:56 PM
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well toyota admitted to possible oil gelling problems with their V6 (in my Highlander). is this the sludge problem you're referring too, and if so what does the coolant have to do with oil gelling?
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 06:09 PM
 
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Ridge, there are plenty of problems associated with the green coolant too! There are many gazillions of trouble-free miles with both. If you are particularly worried, have it changed ASAP. Note that plenty of green juicers are changing to red juicers so there is some degree of both changeovers occuring. There is nothing like peace of mind. Note that changeovers can have their issues too, and the initial changeover should be done according to the book and followed up by another change maybe a year later. I have converted all of my cars to the red stuff, or else they already use it. Overall I think it is better. One nice thing about it is that it lays down a thinner anticorrosion coating than the green stuff and so aids heat transfer from hot spots. This does not affect bulk temps.

I really don't expect any engine issues related to the coolant fluid in this car, but that is just my opinion.

Last edited by Stan; 12-26-2004 at 06:14 PM.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by raggedy1
well toyota admitted to possible oil gelling problems with their V6 (in my Highlander). is this the sludge problem you're referring too, and if so what does the coolant have to do with oil gelling?
Coolant working its way into your oil is usually due to some form of warping caused by extreme temperature. According to The Car Dr., it stands to reason that if the Haveline coolant is sludging up the radiator, that sludge will also contaminate things like seals and water pumps, losing a lot of its integrity and thereby causing other catastrophic things like infiltrating parts of the engine. GM and Toyota don't address the charge that the formula, when combined with air that may be entering the system through a radiator cap that has been eaten away by the sludgy buildup, mutates into more sludge build-up, more quickly. The Car Doctor claims that the standard green coolant, changed every two years, has proven over his 30 years of running a repair shop to be no contaminator of seals and parts like water pumps, so why fix something that isn't broken? He 'personally' finds new products like Motor Silk to be beneficial, so he isn't coming down on the Haveline coolant to benefit himself in any way. He even
feels that many fluids offered by the manufacturers are such that they perform better than aftermarket ones and should be used, even though the cost is more. The companies using Haveline are not being totally open and forthright with regard to this product's short-comings. The upcoming class-action suit may force them to...hopefully. Providing they haven't used their enormous lobbying power to circumnavigate the proceedings, which I am sure they will try to stall for as long as they can.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Note, one of the suits filed in Illinois: Seek to compensate class members for damage to their vehicles. The most commonly reported damages included corroded, rusted, clogged radiators, eroded aluminum cylinder heads, eroded water pumps and thermostat housings, rotten and leaking radiator hoses, leaky heater cores and freeze plugs, corroded radiator caps, deposits within the cooling system, damaged and leaky cooling system gaskets, damages to the head gaskets, chronic overheating , damage to the engine , oil in engine coolant system, leaking coolant deposits on the overflow tanks and sludge in the engine coolant system. In many of the vehicles , the problems in the engine coolant system do not become apparent to owners until after the warranty has expired. General motors has not agreed to repair vehicles not in warranty, recall vehicles, replace Dexcool with traditional coolants, change the maintenance schedule to include inspection of the engine coolant system, replace the coolant or inform owners. If you have any questions about the litigation you may email your inquiry to F. Jerome Tapley @ [email protected]
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 08:16 PM
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so why would manufacturers continue to use the red coolant if they KNEW it was damaging their engines? You would think that once they learned of this they would change to a safer coolant. I don't see the logic of a major car manufacturer knowingly using a defective product knowing that its use could come back to haunt them later.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 08:16 PM
 
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So what is your decision here? Change from red to green?

Are you saying that our Toyota engines use the same fluid as GM?

And that this may be a problem even though only one older GM issue has some problems with it (see below)?

Here is the sort of thing you can find if you read up on it:

"There has been some controversy regarding the use of OAT coolants because of sludging problems GM experienced in some 4.3L S10 truck engines. GM service bulletin #99-06-02-012 says the sludging problem is caused by air pockets in the cooling system from failing to maintain the coolant level or not getting all the air out the system when refilling the cooling system.

GM's fix for the condition is not to switch back to a conventional coolant (which some people advocate), but to flush the system repeatedly until all the brown sludge has been removed. The system can then be refilled a 50/50 mix of Dex-Cool and clean water.

Despite the problems with the 4.3L truck application, the use of OAT antifreeze is expected to grow. DaimlerChrysler introduced its own extended service OAT hybrid coolant for passenger cars in 1998. Unlike Dex-Cool, the DaimlerChrysler coolant contains silicates for extra aluminum protection. DaimlerChrysler, however, does not recommend using their OAT hybrid in older vehicles.

Ford in North America is still using conventional additives in its antifreeze, with the exception of the 1999 and up Mercury Cougar which now uses an OAT coolant. But Ford of Europe has switched over to OAT antifreeze for many of its vehicles. Truck manufacturers including Navistar, Mack and Caterpillar have also approved OAT."

Also, don't mix or have the service folks mix coolant that is not the same as what you are using. If you add lots of green stuff to a red stuff engine you can get sludge and other issues. Can't really blame that on the fluid. The GM thing seems to be confined to one engine that seems to be prone to air pocket issues and that is an older design.

Last edited by Stan; 12-26-2004 at 09:05 PM.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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This is like car companies telling you that plugs will last 100,000 miles. The Car Dr. agrees they will, but try to get them out at that mileage and you will see that they have degraded to the point where easy removal is an impossibility. Dexcool was initially marketed as a long life universal automotive engine coolant that would last 5 years or 100,000 miles of service. It is now marketed to last to 150,000 miles of service. Manufacturers of traditional antifreeze/coolants generally market that their antifreeze/coolants will provide dependable thermal control and corrosion rust protection for 24 months or 30,000 miles. The major difference in Dexcool over traditional coolants is in the corrosion inhibitor protection. Traditional antifreeze/coolants contain inorganic salts of borate, phosphate, silicate and other chemicals to prevent rust and corrosion, whereas Dexcool's corrosion inhibitor components are based on organic acid technology. Since the suit covers cars going back to 1996, it is clear that the class action is charging that the cancerous-like conditons get worse and worse over time. The product going into our Elises is, as far as I can tell, identical to Dexcool. Note that Dexcool is manufactured, and marketed by Chevron/Texaco, and
Texaco is the offerer of Havoline brand
products, of which the coolant in the Elise is. P.S. - Being the supplier of your own coolant in all the cars produced by car companies means having access to large, continuous profits. Do you think they are going to scrap Dexcool unless they are forced to? I'm sure the 'powers that be' are fully aware of the short-comings in their product but would rather continue to tweak it over whatever time is necessary, hoping to eventually come up with a less volatile coolant. So what if internal parts wear out in half the time they would using traditional coolant. The bean counters would consider that a long-term good thing, since more parts would be sold more quickly. For them it's a win-win.

Last edited by Ridgemanron; 12-27-2004 at 06:47 AM.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 08:51 AM
 
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Ridge, ONE GM engine, an older one, is having troubles of some kind when it's not maintained properly. Mostly the S10 truck application. It's not clear than the problem is the OAT type coolant. Remember that the OAT type coolants have been used in trucking for quite some time.They are not that new or mysterious.

You can always change fluids more often than the max if you'd like.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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As The Car Doctor continues to say: In his 30 years of servicing cars at R.A. Automotive in N.J., the extent of internal corrosion that he continually finds in all types of cars using this Dexcool coolant is massive. He performs the same 'internals' on cars having used the traditional coolants and personally notes how less corrosive they are. You keep talking about 'a engine', whereas he is talking about personal, hands-on knowledge of many cars using the Dexcool type. Why would this man request of all his customers using Dexcool, to clean it all out and 'go green'? He's a specialist who not only has the national radio show, but also appears on programs like DIY, showing the public how to fully restore cars. I believe the last one was a Alpha Romeo Spyder. He lectures around the country and was a speaker at last year's NY Auto Show. If he says that Dexcool is crap, based on first hand experience covering 30 years, I am going to believe him. I'm sure he is going to be one of the expert witnesses appearing once this class action suit comes to fruition.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 09:29 AM
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i'm not at home so i can't check, but i don't recall my toyotas or the elise's manual suggesting anything about not mixing coolants. don't they just recommend an ethylene glycol based coolant?
and to top things off (no pun intended) aren't the dex-cool coolants advertised as being compatible with ethylene glycol based coolants?
and ridge, you haven't shown a connection between toyota profiting from dexcool. you've said that it is wise business to market, use and profit from you're own products, but how does toyota profit from using dexcool?
and just because their (toyota) coolant is red, does this prove that it is dexcool?
has anyone confirmed one way or another?
toyota doesn't suggest a 100K interval for their coolants if i recall.
and i don't recall Lotus suggesting a 100K interval.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ridgemanron
As The Car Doctor continues to say: In his 30 years of servicing cars at R.A. Automotive in N.J., the extent of internal corrosion that he continually finds in all types of cars using this Dexcool coolant is massive. He performs the same 'internals' on cars having used the traditional coolants and personally notes how less corrosive they are. You keep talking about 'a engine', whereas he is talking about personal, hands-on knowledge of many cars using the Dexcool type. Why would this man request of all his customers using Dexcool, to clean it all out and 'go green'? He's a specialist who not only has the national radio show, but also appears on programs like DIY, showing the public how to fully restore cars. I believe the last one was a Alpha Romeo Spyder. He lectures around the country and was a speaker at last year's NY Auto Show. If he says that Dexcool is crap, based on first hand experience covering 30 years, I am going to believe him. I'm sure he is going to be one of the expert witnesses appearing once this class action suit comes to fruition.
ok, so you're convinced. switching to a green coolant should not affect the warranty, right? since both coolants are still considered ethylene glycol based, the switchover should not be of concern to Lotus, right?

perhaps a little off topic, but have you done any research on Redline's coolant additive, WaterWetter?
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 09:59 AM
 
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Some used motors don't do well using synthetic oil...they leak oil. Some old school motors don't like it even from break-in. Should we all stop using synthetic oil because some motors drip?

Last edited by Stan; 12-27-2004 at 10:03 AM.
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stan
Some motors don't do well using synthetic oil...they leak oil. Should we all stop using synthetic oil?
but stan, didn't ron mention that the Car Dr stated that EVERY engine he has torn down that used the dexcool antifreeze had corrosion above and beyond what would be deemed normal?

i'm on the fence here. i just don't buy that a reputable manufacturer like Toyota would knowingly use a defective product. It's not like they're advising long intervals for their coolant which seems to be the major selling point on dexcool, so I just don't get it...

GM on the other hand I wouldn't trust! ha!

what does Honda use? Or how about the major euro makers like bmw, mercedes, and the VW group?
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 12:50 PM
 
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>>>but stan, didn't ron mention that the Car Dr stated that EVERY engine he has torn down that used the dexcool antifreeze had corrosion above and beyond what would be deemed normal? i'm on the fence here. i just don't buy that a reputable manufacturer like Toyota would knowingly use a defective product. It's not like they're advising long intervals for their coolant which seems to be the major selling point on dexcool, so I just don't get it...GM on the other hand I wouldn't trust! ha!what does Honda use? Or how about the major euro makers like bmw, mercedes, and the VW group?<<<

Hey lots of guys still use dino oil...

Time will tell if Lotus, Toyota, GM and many other companies have been selling time bombs for a decade.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by raggedy1
i'm not at home so i can't check, but i don't recall my toyotas or the elise's manual suggesting anything about not mixing coolants. don't they just recommend an ethylene glycol based coolant?
and to top things off (no pun intended) aren't the dex-cool coolants advertised as being compatible with ethylene glycol based coolants?
and ridge, you haven't shown a connection between toyota profiting from dexcool. you've said that it is wise business to market, use and profit from you're own products, but how does toyota profit from using dexcool?
and just because their (toyota) coolant is red, does this prove that it is dexcool?
has anyone confirmed one way or another?
toyota doesn't suggest a 100K interval for their coolants if i recall.
and i don't recall Lotus suggesting a 100K interval.
- I've read that our Elise coolant is Havoline. Based on coolant color and that
Dexcool comes from Chevron Texaco and Texaco is Havoline, tells me it's the same basic stuff. Since traditional coolant has never been found to do excessive internal damage if introduced into the car's system properly, why are we forced by car companies to use theirs? By trying to not allow us the option of using something proven well beyond the stuff they want us to use, tells me that there is a large profit motive involved.
I'm switching to green a.s.a.p..IMPORTANT: The Car Dr. makes it clear that all the Dexcool type coolant has to be removed before switching. He recommends using a service center that has an exchanger machine, for otherwise small traces of the old stuff will remain in the system, no matter how much you try to flush it out.

Last edited by Ridgemanron; 12-27-2004 at 12:58 PM.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 12:59 PM
 
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>>>Since traditional coolant has never been found to do excessive internal damage if introduced into the car's system properly, why are we forced by car companies to use theirs?<<<

This is not quite true. Conventional green stuff has all sorts of issues associated with it! Tons.

>>>By trying to not allow us the option of using something proven well beyond the stuff they want us to use, tells me that there is a large profit motive involved.
I'm switching to green a.s.a.p..<<<

Well whatever works for ya. The main thing is to make sure you're comfortable with whatever you are using.
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stan
>>>Since traditional coolant has never been found to do excessive internal damage if introduced into the car's system properly, why are we forced by car companies to use theirs?<<<

This is not quite true. Conventional green stuff has all sorts of issues associated with it! Tons.

>>>By trying to not allow us the option of using something proven well beyond the stuff they want us to use, tells me that there is a large profit motive involved.
I'm switching to green a.s.a.p..<<<

Well whatever works for ya. The main thing is to make sure you're comfortable with whatever you are using.
Stan: A man who is as experienced in this area as Ron Ananian (The Car Dr.) is fully satisfied that the green stuff comes nowhere near the contamination of Dexcool. He
just purchased a new GM SUV and like all the other cars in his family, one being an old Volvo with about 250,000 miles, they all are fitted with the green stuff. That must tell us something.
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