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I have a 08 GXP with high mile (147,000) and the low coolant light has been coming on and off yesterday. I treat this car very good as its my dream car and my wife and I were just cruising around Fayetteville, NC after our recent move. Is this something I should let my warranty deal with or something I should do myself?
 

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Unless you have an extended warranty, I don't believe it's covered. Check around the passenger side front of the engine for any pinkish / orange residue. Anybody wanna take bets on a failing water pump?
 

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If you are over 100k miles then the standard factory warranty has expired. If you have an extended warranty on the power train then that should cover this. It is highly likely that you are having a water pump failure. They frequently exhibit leaking when hot prior to failing.

I recommend you read the water pump woes thread

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f11/waterpump-woes-58947/

Should the failure turn out to be your water pump, you need to be aware of important information:

1) its covered under the PT warranty
2) if not done properly you can have issues with the cam chain tension that will be a big problem and require rework
3) there is a GM standard that defines how many hours are allocated to this job that a good dealer will use in their estimate. You should know it ahead of time.
4) the price for a Delco "generic" water pump is significantly less than the price for a "Pontiac" part number.
5) many dealers do not have the necessary experience to do this job correctly. Spending a bit of time finding a good dealer with the proper skills is worth the effort.
6) Verify that the dealer knows how to properly refill the coolant as many have experienced trapped air in the system after maintenance.

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f59/attention-no-heat-over-heat-issues-54741/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do have a extended warranty I purchased when I financed the car. I haven't seen pinkish/orange fluid. However a few nights ago I cam home and after I turned off the car and went in the fan was still running and did so for about 15 to 20 minutes.
 

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Keep an eye on your engine temp - that may have been why your fan ran so much longer than "usual".

As for seeing the coolant, mine was just a traaaaace of it - hardly detectable. Appear that it was a very slight leak coming out of the weep hole and apparently the road wind would blow it up/out/off. Never a puddle under the car and the leak was gradual enough that I too would get intermittent low coolant light - usually while cornering or coming to a stop. You can top it off with pre-mix dexcool to keep it on the road. Just be advised that some have reported a catastrophic failure on the road.

You don't want to let this ride for long.

As per usual, Rob has posted links with excellent "recommended reading" above. Take the time to read through them - you'll be thankful you did.
 

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FYI mine did the same thing a years ago. I thought it was a leak. Turned out to be a bad sensor in the coolant reservoir tank. I change the tank and no further problems. The sensor is molded in the tank.
 

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Anybody wanna take bets on a failing water pump?

NOPE!!! I will bet your right! LOL....

You might not even see a leak at all! I didn't see my waterpump leak. Mine all evaporated or turned to an orange goo on the engine. Look for an orange syrup in front of and below the turbo. The waterpump sits directly in front of the turbo. Chances are if you loosing coolant, it's a waterpump. Unless you have internal engine issues, which I highly doubt. Then do a search on waterpump in the upper left corner on the main page of the forums. Just be sure if you have it replaced, they know what they're doing, or it will lead to bigger issues! Look at this thread.... http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f59/leaky-coolant-75107/
 

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My light came on last summer during our regional meet. Very hot weather and lots of twisty roads. Checked the reservoir and it was low, so I picked up some dex-cool, topped it off and have never had the issue since. Probably slow evaporation over time that finally took it below the sensor line.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow !! thank you all for the great advice. I have another question though, where can I pick up dex-cool? I did a search for it on google and it pulled up some different results but I want to see you more experienced owners have to say.
 

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Any auto parts store or big box store will have it. You can get it "full strength" or "pre-mixed" but be sure you buy "dex-cool" and not anything saying it's "compatible" with everything.

Pre-mixed means you can pour straight from the jug into your coolant bottle.
 

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My light came on last summer during our regional meet. Very hot weather and lots of twisty roads. Checked the reservoir and it was low, so I picked up some dex-cool, topped it off and have never had the issue since. Probably slow evaporation over time that finally took it below the sensor line.
Make sure you look at the posting here on the forum "what makes a waterpump fail".... I think we got to the bottom of it in that post. Apparently Dexcool starts to "gum" up as it ages. This forms on the seal against the bearing.... When the car cools, this "gum" expands creating a leak. If the gum is bad enough, it will happen when the car is warm as well. The reason you probably didn't see a leak again is because you got the car hot enough ( I think it was 235+ degrees) to losen this gum off the seal, thus not allowing the waterpump to leak anymore. This is the answer someone got from a GM engineer.
 

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Actually, the "compatible" ones are basically the same stuff. Did some research here... So, changing coolant and don't want Dex-Cool? Read on, you may be surprised...
Soup - I appreciate the input, have read that thread and understand what it's saying. But I always come back to this. If regular glycol based coolants foul up dexcool, what makes a "compatible" coolant not foul up a glycol based coolant? I'm no Chem-E but my logic gets hung up on that question. (Just anal retentive, obviously!) :lol:
 

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Soup - I appreciate the input, have read that thread and understand what it's saying. But I always come back to this. If regular glycol based coolants foul up dexcool, what makes a "compatible" coolant not foul up a glycol based coolant? I'm no Chem-E but my logic gets hung up on that question. (Just anal retentive, obviously!) :lol:
But that's it, they ARE glycol-based, as is Dexcool.

Again, Advanced Auto (pre-mixed) 'compatible coolant' contains:

Ethylene Glycol (107-21-1) 40-60%
Diethylene Glycol (111-46-6) 0-5%
2-Ethyl Hexanoic Acid, Sodium Salt (19766-89-3) 1-5%
[Water 40-60%]


AC Delco (Canada) Dexcool concentrate (no water) is:

ETHYLENE GLYCOL (107-21-1) 80-95 %Wt
DIETHYLENE GLYCOL (111-46-6) 0 - 5 %Wt
HEXANOIC ACID, 2-ETHYL-,SODIUM SALT (19766-89-3) 1-5 %Wt


See? Exactly the same!

Then, contrast this with Chevron Dexcool, which contains a slightly different Potassium-based OHA inhibitor:

Ethylene Glycol (107-21-1) 80 - 97 %weight
Diethylene glycol (111-46-6) 1 - 5 %weight
Potassium 2-ethylhexanoate (3164-85-0) 1 - 5 %weight


So the Chevron Dexcool is actually more different than the shop-brand compatible!
 

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Okay - I give! lol. By "glycol" I meant "traditional".
OK, but "traditional" coolants are NOT labelled as "compatible" (or "AMAM" - all makes all models).

So no, you can't use ones that are not labelled as compatible (i.e. traditional) but you CAN use the AMAM/compatible ones.
 

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I was going to post the "dead horse" smilie but I really need the "dead chicken" smilie.
 

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Solstice is one of my absolute favorite cars and Fayettville is definitely my favorite city. Anyway, I just wanted to ask you to please keep me posted regarding the low coolant light and feel free to send me a private message if you need my assistance.

Jackie
GM Customer Care
 
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