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Old 03-09-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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Default '02 Grand Prix Coolant Question

A friend of mine'* parents have a 2002 Grand Prix SE w/ 85k mi. It'* got the 3.1 V6.

They asked me to take a quick look at it to figure out why the heck it gets NASTY gas mileage. I mean like 4 WOT runs and you see the needle move by 1/8 tank.

When I went to pull the oil out for the oil change, it looked like there was maybe 3 qts max in the oil pan. It was very dark. Threw in some 10w-30 since summer is coming.'

Spark plugs looked like they needed replaced. They were white and had white crusty deposits all over them. Lean?

Didn't get a chance to check the wires.

Recommended fuel filter.

I noticed there was a hose on the front right going from I believe the power steering pump to the intake manifold, and it was spewing coolant out slowly all over the manifold. When I undid the clip, it shot coolant across the engine bay, as if it was under some badass pressure.

I opened the radiator, and found something that somewhat scared me. Perhaps this is a characteristic of Dex, but the cap and rad opening was full of this gummy crappy brown stuff. I stuck my finger in the hole and it just felt slimey and just plain nasty.

My question is... is this normal? The car does sometime take forever to warm up, and before I found the coolant, I suspected a faulty thermostat. Now I think there is much more to it.

I guess what scares me is the fact that the coolant was the color of oil. But if oil had mixed (since it did look like I only got 3 qts out of it, and I've never seen the car burn oil), could it be an intake manifold failure?
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:39 PM   #2
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Well its normal if the system hasn't been properly maintained such as flushes etc. The manifold could be leaking but the color is most likely due to rust. I would flush the heck out of that, change the thermostat, change the oil and do a full tune up, oh and change the manifolds just in case.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:55 AM   #3
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yup, brown is an attribute of dex cool. there have been plenty of convsersations about whether this is truly bad or not. its a good idea to flush it every so often i believe......however i doubt that is the cause of your fuel economy problems. might want to do a tune up and see if that doesnt get it running right.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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The brown is a dex thing. Chances are that the coolant system hasn't been flushed, or it has but they didn't really do a good job. I don't think it'* the source of your problems unless its completely blocking flow. I'd get rid of the gunk with a good flush because it couldn't be doing any good, and its better to nip it in the butt before it does cause a problem. It will just continue to build up. My car had the same stuff, and I took it in to get flushed, but they didn't actually do it. I called them on it, and made them flush it really well, and clean the parts the flush didn't get.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:25 PM   #5
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Default '02 Grand Prix Coolant Question - Fixed, Stuck key question

It'* done. The guy ended up taking it to a shop and getting it flushed and re-dexxed because he won't listen to me. It'* a friend of mine'* dad, and he'* usually very cool and trusting in me when I tell him about what'* going on in his vehicle.

Well he took it to the Mexican repair shop (nothing against legal Mexicans, but this guy isn't, he'* said so lol), they charged him $100 for the coolant flush, and $100 dollars to stop the key from getting stuck in the ignition. I explained to him that if he were to take it to a dealer, it'd probably about $200 - $250 from what I've read on the grand prix forum to have that issue addressed. He doesn't understand that the stealership and some random small repair shop are two completely different worlds. Apparently he went off on his son about 'I ALMOST WOULD HAVE PAID $250 FOR THAT WHEN IT'* REALLY ONLY $100!!!'. He didn't mention my name, but whenever he gets pissed at something I do, he takes it directly out on his son. Interesting guy, and real nice to me, but I'd hate to be his son.

The key would get stuck in the ignition for about a year and a half now, and you used to be able to play with the shift lock until you heard a click, and the key would release itself. Then it got to the point where it would not come out no matter what. I'm told there'* a little trick you can do to bypass this that involves breaking off a little plastic tab (which I think the mechanic did), and it will work from there on after. If you were to take it to a stealership or repair it yourself properly, you would replace some form of an electronic security device that can be pretty pricey. The mechanic said he 'reprogrammed the key'. I'm not sure how the 02 keys work, they aren't like mine, is this possible? I have half the mind to believe he just broke that plastic tab off and charged him a hundred bux.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:43 AM   #6
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www.zillamotorsports.com/dex

I'm taking thousands of hits a month on that page, widely reviewed in a positive manner on several GM sites.

Print it out or give him the link.
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