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Old 06-14-2009, 04:43 PM   #1
oups59
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Default Another bad day - Coolant in engine oil !!

When for a ride today and after 100 miles my coolant warning light went on. I stopped and 2 liters was missing. Drove back home and another 1,5 liters was needed.

I tried to find the leak but the visible leak. The car was not overheating, in fact the temp needle was at 1/3 like always.

Then I found this Looks like the coolant is in the engine oil.

Head gasket ??
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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Maybe it is a head gasket, maybe not.

I have seen more than a few cars look like that when the problem was a lot of short drives or the engine never getting hot enough.

Good luck.

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Old 06-14-2009, 05:02 PM   #3
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I'd think that a 200 mile round trip would have gotten the oil hot enough long enough to boil off H2O condensate.

Time to get out the compression tester. ;-(

Good Luck X 2.

ww
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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A bit more info.

1. No white smoke on start up
2. No oil in the expansion tank
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fogey1 View Post
I'd think that a 200 mile round trip would have gotten the oil hot enough long enough to boil off H2O condensate.

Time to get out the compression tester. ;-(

Good Luck X 2.

ww
Not in the oil filler neck, once it is there, it normally stays there on most cars.

How does the oil look on the stick?
That is a go-no go test?

As far as a compression test, it would have to be a really bad head gasket leak to find it with a compression gauge.

See if you can find a shop that has a chemical called Block Test and a tool to use it in, that will show if any chamber gasses are getting into the cooling system.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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....
How does the oil look on the stick?
...
Looks normal. No white deposit on the stick.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
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A bit more info.

1. No white smoke on start up
2. No oil in the expansion tank
HG leaks can be one way- coolant to oil or oil to coolant

with all that coolant loss with no visible signs.....

you really do need to check the dipstick tho. It is also possible there is no smoke because it is going to the oil and none-a little is going into the chamber. But with all that coolant loss you should be able to see the deal on the dipstick.

let us know
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #8
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Looks normal. No white deposit on the stick.
so the oil on the dipstick doesn't look like 'milk chocolate'?
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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The vast majority of cars we see with blown head gaskets have no coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant.
most times it goes out the tail pipe.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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so the oil on the dipstick doesn't look like 'milk chocolate'?
Looks good !!
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:09 PM   #11
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With that much loss of coolant that fast, no white cloud and and no external leak, I would have expected chocolate milk. A leak in the radiator sidetank oil cooler is another possibility but that usually leaks the other direction as coolant pressure is about 15psi and oil usually much higher except when the engine is turned off. In that case I would expect chocolate milk and oil in the coolant. The one time I actually saw this type of leak, it was almost all oil in the coolant.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
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With that much loss of coolant that fast, no white cloud and and no external leak, I would have expected chocolate milk. A leak in the radiator sidetank oil cooler is another possibility but that usually leaks the other direction as coolant pressure is about 15psi and oil usually much higher except when the engine is turned off. In that case I would expect chocolate milk and oil in the coolant. The one time I actually saw this type of leak, it was almost all oil in the coolant.
I am betting that the external leak has not been found yet.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:44 PM   #13
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I am betting that the external leak has not been found yet.
I will put the car on jack stand tonight and take a closer look.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:47 PM   #14
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If you can do a leakdown test, you may be able to spot the leak if it's in the head gasket. Pull the plugs, remove the dipstick, airbox, and coolant expansion tank cap, and move the cylinders to TDC one at a time, and while at TDC, use the gauge (which hooks up to an air compressor) to pressurize the cylinder. You will hear some hissing from the dipstick, though not a lot, and this is normal, because no piston-to-cylinder seal is perfect, but if you hear it hissing through any of the other cylinders, or if you see/hear bubbles in the expansion tank or excessive noise from the dipstick, then it's probably a head gasket (unless the head or block is cracked, which we all hope it isn't). Good luck!

BTW you can get a leakdown tester from Harbor Freight. I used it on mine and it worked fine, and it hasn't broken yet, despite two or three uses. If you don't have an air compressor, then see if you can find someone who does. Although they are useful, I wouldn't buy one just for the test.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:50 PM   #15
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Just another info. I am using a 35% anti-freeze and 65% water. Would that change anything?
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:50 PM
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