Engine Cooling problem
1999 Ford Escort Front Wheel Drive Automatic 148001 miles
The other day I heard a gurgling under my dashboard, it only lasted for about 3 seconds, and I heard nothing else after that. Today, while driving home, I heard it again - a lot - and as I was idling in traffic, the car started to shake, and overheat really badly. There was really no smell coming from the car, and no smoke either. I happened to be next to an Autozone, so I pulled into their parking lot, to ask for some assistance. Sure enough, when I get out of the car, it's leaking this orangey sludge. One of the assistants came out to look at the car, and told me that it was the Dexcool in the reservoir leaking out, and that it was the worst thing I could have in my car. One, because it's a Ford; two, because it's corrosive. We looked in my coolant tank, and sure enough, it was empty. I will surely see a technician about it, but I don't want to get screwed over, as we have before. My question is - is this a common problem with Dexcool? Would a coolant flush/replacement help at all?
Dexcool is a coolant that was introduced by GM. It is something that can't be mixed with other coolants or it will cause corrosive internal problems. Do you recall adding it to the system? Whould someone else have topped of the system with it?
As far as the noise you heard, my guess is that you were low on coolant and were hearing the heater core getting filled back up under accelleration.
As far as the flush, have the entire system flushed. Hopefully, there is no real damage. When you replace the coolant, use a universal GO-5 coolant. It can be mixed with any coolant.
Let me know if you have other questions.
September, 22, 2010 AT 1:47 AM
Thank you so much, I'll definitely be getting it flushed. The Dexcool was in the car when I bought it (used), but each time I had my car serviced for various small things (oil change, lights fixed, etc.), I was told all of my fluids were checked and absolutely fine. I read some other threads about it being put out by GM, and the guy at Autozone was even baffled that it would be in a Ford Escort. So it made me wonder why someone wouldn't have mentioned until now that Dexcool shouldn't have been in the car to begin with.
September, 22, 2010 AT 8:55 PM
It is a GM coolant; however, if everything was drained from the engine and radiator, and only dexcool was put in, that would have been okay. However, because it wasn't a GM vehicle, chances are if it was low, other types were added which caused the problem.
Why exactly someone would have used it in the first place is beyond my knowledge. It is more expensive.
Let me know if you have other questions or concerns.