Automotive, Chevrolet - 1996 Blazer at 75,000 miles cooling system formed sludge

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2001 at 11:53am CDT by a66de67a

Company: Automotive, Chevrolet - 1996 Blazer at 75,000 miles cooling system formed sludge

Category: Other

2 for April 30, 2001

Dexcool mess in '96 Blazer Radiator


From: H E

Date: Sunday, April 29, 2001 11:53 AM Dear Chevrolet: a consumer posted the following e-message at At approximately 75,000 miles, the heater in my 1996 Blazer stopped working and I started hearing odd "gurgling" sounds from the engine compartment. It didn't take long to figure out what was wrong once I opened the radiator cap - a picture of that view is attached: the Dexcool coolant in the cooling system had started to form sludge, which obviously plugged up the heater core (and who knows what else, we'll see in the summer I guess). So much for "your engine coolant does not require maintenance for 100,000 miles of five years ...,” as stated right on the radiator.

I did have the system flushed at a GM dealership, who assured me that this would solve the problem. It did, temporarily, and I myself had to take off and clean the completely plugged up the hose connecting the reservoir to the radiator AFTER the flush; however, after two weeks or so, I again got no hot air whatsoever from the heater. Obviously, I still have sludge remnants in the system that a system flush did and will not remove and that continue to plug up parts of the system. The dealer now won’t do anything unless, of course, I pay for that and gives me excuses about “could be that the thermostat doesn’t work” and other excuses.

Research on the internet reveals that several other GM/Chevrolet owner had similar problems with Dexcool, and the remedies appear to be quite costly (6-hour flushes costing many 100s of Dollars that are not guaranteed to fix the problem). That was confirmed by a different dealership as well.

I am not willing to pay a lot of money to a dealership as I view this problem as:

1) a manufacturer's defect that would justify action on Chevrolet's part;

2) a breach of a stated warranty - it says right on the radiator that no maintenance is required for 100,000 miles/5 years. As my cooling system level was checked regularly and never got low on fluid nor ever overheated, so there is no excuse for that statement to not be still valid.

I have send this to Chevrolet via their online customer service site (since I can’t find a mail address) and received a canned response with the advice to get send it a different email address – from which I received the same canned response and nothing else in three weeks. So I’ll make do publicly now …

I would like to know what actions Chevrolet proposes to repair the problem I now have with an otherwise very reliable and well functioning truck (which happens to be the 8th or 9th CM/Chevy vehicle in my immediate family)


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