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Discussion Starter #1
As I've been messing around with the HVAC system, I had to disconnect the coolant pipes. I managed to recover some of the coolant, but it seems to me that there where a lot of white "particles" in the coolant that doesn't seem to belong there:eek:

Anyone got any idea what’s causing these "white particles"?
What should I do, flush the system?
 

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Chances are the "gunk" is left over particles from the casting process when the engine was made. It's common on most all cars. The stuff doesn't come loose until some heat cycles and time has passed. Draining and replacing the coolant should clean out the system and it shouldn't re-occur. You can flush it out if you want to, but I wouldn't worry about it if you aren't having any other problems. I'd wait until it's time to replace the coolant according to the maintenance schedule. I haven't even bothered checking it on mine...
 

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Thanks a lot Tim. I'll buy that explanation.

As for the renewal of the coolant, my car is manufactured during summer 04 (according to the parts around the car) so if I am to follow the maintenance schedule, it's about time to replace it either way;)
 

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Coolant replacement is supposed to be after 24 months. I was just thinking about replacing mine. The procedure seems a little painful.

Any firsthand accounts?
 

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Coolant replacement is supposed to be after 24 months. I was just thinking about replacing mine.
Actually, it's "five year" coolant. That's why there has not been much talk about it, as it hasn't really need to be changed out. My car is also an early one (got it August '04), so it's coming due. I'll probably flush out the coolant toward the end of summer. Then I'll find out how hard it is to do it... :huh:
 

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I have found that the DexCool 5 year coolant in every GM vehicle I have owned or worked on has severely degraded and broken down by the 5 year mark. The stuff that came out of my pickup truck after 4 years didn't even resemble the new DexCool I replaced it with. It came out with a yellowish color instead of orange, smelled horrible, and there was a lot of sediment and goo that had to be flushed out of the radiator and engine block. It was so bad, I was afraid to look inside the radiator. The same thing happened on a Chevy van (not mine) and my old Saturn. I just don't believe these 5 year coolants last that long and my past experience would indicate you should to replace your coolant every 2 years no matter what--I know I will from now on.

Just my opinion and YMMV.
 

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I don't think the stuff in our Elise is exactly Dex-Cool, but something else instead.

I do know that GM had lots of trouble with Dex-Cool, but much of it was traced to people topping off their systems with tap water (not that this is necessarily what you experienced). Dex-Cool didn't mix well with the minerals in tap water (depending on the conditions of your water). It is strongly recommended that you use distilled (or at least de-ionized/purified) water mixed with the coolant. I always buy a few jugs of distilled water at WalMart for use with my coolant.
 

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I don't think the stuff in our Elise is exactly Dex-Cool, but something else instead.

I do know that GM had lots of trouble with Dex-Cool, but much of it was traced to people topping off their systems with tap water (not that this is necessarily what you experienced). Dex-Cool didn't mix well with the minerals in tap water (depending on the conditions of your water). It is strongly recommended that you use distilled (or at least de-ionized/purified) water mixed with the coolant. I always buy a few jugs of distilled water at WalMart for use with my coolant.
You are right about tap water causing all sorts of mineral deposits--I stopped using that years ago and I only use distilled water now. In the case of my GM cars, none of them were ever topped off with anything (coolant or water), but I was just doing regular maintenance work when I decided to check the expansion tanks and found the goo. I then drained the cooling systems and found the rest of the sludge. I can't vouch for the van or the other cars that weren't mine as far as if they were ever topped off, but they looked even worse than mine at 5 years. The corrosion was so bad in the van that the drain plug came out in pieces and the radiator tank around the drain plug looked like it was about to let loose as well. The van was sold shortly after that so I don't know what ever happened to it down the road. Like I said it is just my observation that the coolant was breaking down well before the 5 year mark and whether the coolant in our cars will last that long, who knows? :shrug:
 

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Is the orange Dex cool coolant OK to use in our cars. I cant find the Havoline anywhere. Even the local Texaco dealer didnt have it.
 

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Is the orange Dex cool coolant OK to use in our cars. I cant find the Havoline anywhere. Even the local Texaco dealer didnt have it.
As far as I know and as Tim mentioned above, Dex-Cool is not the same product and is most likely incompatible with your coolant, so I would not use it in the Elise. It would be best to do some more searching for the Havoline product or ask your Lotus dealer what they are using.
 

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Actually, it's "five year" coolant. That's why there has not been much talk about it, as it hasn't really need to be changed out. My car is also an early one (got it August '04), so it's coming due. I'll probably flush out the coolant toward the end of summer. Then I'll find out how hard it is to do it... :huh:
Maybe someone who has done Tonyw's heater bypass mod can clue us in. I was thinking about installing mine tomorrow.
 

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I don't think the stuff in our Elise is exactly Dex-Cool, but something else instead.
Or it could simply be a labelling difference between the continents.

The local dealer orders what Lotus spec.s and guess what it says on the front of the one gallon jugs? "Dex-cool."
Ask the other folks who've had to have their cooling systems taken apart under warranty - in my case, it was a sticking thermostat.
 

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