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Discussion Starter #1
Long story I will try to make short....

I have just under 40,000 miles on my promaster. Love it!

About 10,000 miles ago I noticed my coolant was low, I thought it was odd, but didn't think much of it (I know... wrong thing to do...). This is also when it was still under bumper to bumper warranty, but I never specifically asked to get it check out. I had multiple passengers tell me they could smell something "sweet" like it was engine coolant burning, but of course I didn't get it checked out till it was too late....

Last Thursday I checked my coolant and it was almost gone. So early Friday I went to Napa and asked to coolant specific for the promaster. I also told them that I had heard that it took a special coolant, emphasizing I wanted to get it right. They looked it up and they gave me a gallon of generic, do it all, mix with any color coolant for $6 on sale.... Didn't think much of it....

Then after that, I went to the dealership to get it check out on a whim. Within 5 minutes, they had an answer for me. The radiator was toast. Of course now I am 3,000 miles just over bumper to bumper warranty. They wanted to charge me $700. $280 for the radiator and the rest for labor. Outrageous I thought. We all know radiators should last longer than 39,000 miles. So I told them I wanted to talk to someone about it. They ended up giving me a number to call at corporate. I was actually able to talk to a person within 2 menu's and they were somewhat helpful. Once he got my info, he asked me to hold. He ended up calling the dealership and talked to them about what they thought they should do. They ended up cutting the labor from $400 to $200 and By a great coincidence I got a $200 coupon off any mopar parts and accessories in the mail the week prior. The pic of the coupon is attached. So I will end up paying $80 for the radiator and 200 for labor. Kicker is the radiator is backordered for 1-2 weeks.

Then my buddy that also has a promaster brought back up the issue of what type of coolant i put in to refill after losing so much. So I went back to the dealership and of course they showed me that they would only use OAT coolant inside of the promaster, not HOAT. I have been told that OAT is much more expensive... 20-50 dollars depending where you get it from. I ended up calling NAPA and basically it came down to them giving me the wrong coolant, and now I needed a $140 flush. They called me back saying they would pay for half, but they claim that it is OAT not HOAT that they gave me, it says no where on the bottle what it is.... I would assume HOAT if it was so cheap?? I called a couple good local auto shops in the area and most of them said not to spend the $140 because it will not hurt the motor that quickly... But I am scared of having so much into my van now, and then having something stupid like this blow up the motor....

So questions and observations:

- What do you think? Should I flush my coolant and put OAT in while I wait for the new radiator to come in? They said it is back ordered 1-2 weeks. Will it hurt running a blend for 2 weeks?

- I hope everyone is seeing these coupons show up in the mail. Don't throw it away!! You can use for anything for your promaster!! Floor mats, arm rest, etc.! They told me that the coupons are for vehicles that had more than 3 recalls in the last 6 months. I guess the promaster falls into this category....

- Check your coolant, even if it looks a bit low, take it to the dealership and have it checked out ESPECIALLY if you are under bumper to bumper warranty still. So many promasters are having radiator problems. The more people we get to show to dealerships, the more likely we can get a recall and get everyone a quality radiator that will last.

-Stephen
 

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Search this board for "Coolant leak FOUND" and you'll see my thread on this.

Will the wrong coolant "hurt" it? Definitely yes in the long run. In the short run probably not but I'm not certain. Aside from all the anti-corrosion stuff, the coolant is the lubricant for the water pump. That's the additive in Hybrid Organic Additive Technology.

If it were me, I'd be inclined to drop the coolant and add the right stuff. I can't remember exactly what I paid, but Mopar branded coolant bought from the dealer with the right MS (materials spec) on it was as cheap or cheaper than parts store stuff. I looked for an MS labeled brand at Autozone - they had nothing at all.

Technically, you'll never be able to get out all the coolant anyway, short of having the bare block on a stand. But you can dilute it with the wrong coolant enough to feel secure. I haven't looked, but if there's an easy way to drain the coolant, even if it involves the radiator hose, I'd do that and refill. The radiator has been on back order for a long time, and no matter WHAT they say at the dealership, there's no reason to believe they know squat, or won't simply lie to you to make you go away. It's possible you'll be waiting a long time for that rad, so having the proper coolant now is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you very much for the reply. I am inclined to change the coolant regardless also. Just to be safe, it will be the best $65 spent in the long run. Not sure where the radiator went bad, they didn't tell me. I hope I see a radiator from these guys soon, although you are probably right, I will be waiting for a while. Hopefully they don't replace it with another faulty radiator????

- Stephen
 

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I doubt there will be much coolant left in the motor after they disconnect the hoses to replace the radiator. You still have balance of powertrain warranty so it seems they would be obligated to fill with approved coolant.
 
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