V6 Tech 1967-2002 V6 Engine Related

brown antifreeze?!?!?!?!?!

Old 09-10-2003, 06:17 PM
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brown antifreeze?!?!?!?!?!

i just bought a 96 camaro v6 with 52000 miles on it . when i was checking the fluids and i took the radiator cap off the fluid was brown could anyone tell me what that could be ? i was thinking that it hasnt been flushed at all. so i had the system flushed anyway. just want some ideas just in case it happens again. thanks
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Old 09-10-2003, 07:14 PM
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It was rust, some one must have had water in there, 52000miles is way to early for coolant to go bad like that.
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Old 09-10-2003, 07:27 PM
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It was brown? There is red antifreeze you know.
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Old 09-11-2003, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by oil pan 4
It was rust, some one must have had water in there, 52000miles is way to early for coolant to go bad like that.
A 96 car will have dex cool, which is an brownish orange colored antifreeze.
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Old 09-11-2003, 01:10 PM
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I recently bought a 96 Camaro w/a 3.8 in it too. The other day I removed the radiator cap just to inspect it and it had brown crud in it that looked like baby poo.

I immediatly took it to a GM Dealership and they told me that is not an uncommon thing to happen. They said that all they would do to rectify it would be flush it out good and refill it with new coolant.

The strange thing about the whole deal is that the GM Tech told me that they highly recommend that people put the Green Antifreeze back in them rather than the DEX because the DEX is highly corrosive???

Did I understand him correctly?

Needless to say, the car is in the Garage awaiting me to fix it cause I am not gonna pay $70 hour for someone else to flush my cooling system. I can do that on my day off.
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Old 09-11-2003, 06:46 PM
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Don't sweat it - my guess is just rust. It probably didn't hurt anything at all. Just give it a good flushing - put some regular old (aluminum safe) Anti-Freeze in there (mixed with the correct amount of H20 of course), and call it a day. As long as it isn't running hot - there's not too much to worry about.

Now if chunks of metal or something fall out when you start changing it...
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:18 PM
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Yep its just dex cool (red antifeeze) like its was said as long as it runs cool your fine. But whatever you do dont mix the green with red. It becomes slimey and could cause your car to run hot.
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:24 AM
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1) A 1996 Camaro would have come factory with Dex-Cool anti-freeze/coolant.

2) Open up a fresh bottle of Dex-Cool. It is orange...not brown, not red. Orange.

3) Someone must have had water in there? I would hope so...

4) While it isn't RECOMMENDED by GM, you CAN use the regular silicate-coolant (Green stuff) in our cars. It won't cause our radiators to blow up or the engine to fail...you just can't mix the two. Look up on Dex-Cool online to find out how it is different from silicate-coolant. You don't HAVE to use Dex-Cool or else they would have to provide it for free

52,000 on coolant too early? Not with Dex-Cool. I am NOT impressed with Dex-Cool. It claims 5 years/100,000 miles service. I don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't run it that far anyways. I do mine at LEAST once a year. But thats just me.
I've read too much on Dex-Cool and its problems. I still use it, but replace it annually.
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Old 09-14-2003, 10:53 AM
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The Saturn I used to have was leaking antifreeze and I put Stop-Leak in it. After a while it turned into a gooey brown substance. That's my guess.
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Old 09-14-2003, 09:43 PM
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yeah, mine has all this brown smudgy stuff all in it, and it smelt a bit on the strong side (and the flush didn't get much of it out), however, i have posted before, and lots of people have this problem of the brown antifreeze, with the brown smudgy stuff... i would kinda like it to go away, mind you...

i also agree with the baby poo analogy... mind you i tend not to hang around anywhere near babies.


Last edited by ianwells100; 09-14-2003 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:30 PM
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I just did a flush on mine a few weeks back. I was having a bad overheating problem (turned out to be a godd chunk of newspaper shoved in the air inlet of the air damn). Anyhow, the dexcool is pretty nasty stuff and the inside of my overflow tank was filthy. so I pulled the tank, flushed the system (dont forget to run the heater/AC) and she runs alot cooler with a 50/50 mix of green and water. When you flush it dont forget the airbleed screw on the waterneck to afoid hot steam spots in the motor.
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Old 09-21-2003, 01:47 AM
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My 3.4l had the same problem... it was very brown and stinky. After a flush and fill it was good for a while, but then it came back over time.
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Old 09-24-2003, 01:30 AM
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I had brown crap in my anti-freeze and brought it to the dealer, they found a leaky intake gasket. It was like brown mud and it stunk. I am not really sure that that was normal.
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Old 09-24-2003, 07:27 AM
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avoid mixing orange and green together as well. Some of the ram jet guys say they daont mix well and can also form the nasty brown sludge everyone is taking about.
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:24 PM
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MrEastSide could you explain more about the intake gasket leak... it seems pretty common for what we are having (predominantly rust...) if you are referring to the head gasket, if that was leaking, your engine oil would be all milky... therefore you'd be screwed....

from all the ppl i've talked to about this (and i'm paranoid about this) everyone says its just a camaro problem, and that its rust... which sucks, but its a lot better than oil in the coolant...

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