Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'01 Pontiac Firebird, Long Life Coolant?
heard horror stories about long life coolant. I bought a 01 Pontiac
Firebird with 35k on it. I checked the coolant level and found some brown
looking rust colored stuff on the cap. Is this normal? How can I tell
if it needs to be changed?
sounds as if your vehicles cooling system needs service, and its
a good thing youre checking under the hood. This long life coolant
that GM has been using in their vehicles has been really odd. In some
vehicles, the stuff works great and stays low in acidity with good clarity.
On other vehicles the stuff doesnt last 2 years without making that
brown stuff youve noted. The problem with the long life antifreeze
is once it gets out of control its is a disaster to deal with. Also,
weve have found that people have been mixing the old style green
anti freeze with the orange long life. That is a big no-no! Never mix
the two coolants together. Have your cooling system flushed and refilled
and dont forget the coolant reservoir, it needs to be drained and
cleaned as well.