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Old 03-15-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
59Apachegail
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Default Oil in the coolant

Hello All,

I have oil in my coolant and its black like coffee . I suspect that the previous owner may have used oil instead of coolant... I hope. I think that because the oil in my engine is gold like honey and I haven't changed it yet. I'd like to drain it and refill with fresh coolant but I'm afraid that if there is a problem I might make it worse. Does anyone have a suggestion? If I do have a problem with my gasket is there anyting I can use to band-aid it for now?
I don't use her much just take her out for an hour or so on weekends. I have it a year and have less that 100 miles on her.

Thank you
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
william.ali.kay
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Head gasket. Or cracked block, or warped head.
No band-aid.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
landseaandair
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

I'd drain it and fill with straight water at least once to flush it out before putting fresh coolant in it. If the oil isn't contaminated you should be good.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
landseaandair
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Does it run rough or blow steam out the tailpipe?
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
BISHOP
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

It wont taste like coffee.

I had an off topic Caddy that had oil in the coolant. I drained the coolant, filled with fresh water and dish soap. Let her run for a while with the radiator cap off, then flushed it again with straight water, then put in new coolant. Never saw the oil again.
Put around 40k miles on that car. Bitches loved that car.

Last edited by BISHOP; 03-15-2012 at 09:55 PM. Reason: the devil
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
59Apachegail
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

She runs really smooth but smokes a little when I first start up, no steam. Holds coolant level and oil level. I will try to flush it out and see what happens. Hope its a fluke
Thanks all!
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

It's worth trying to clean it out and see what happens.

And if it does have a problem with the engine, you can probably nurse it along for several years, at the rate you drive it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

It could be just some leak sealant that was added to the coolant system at some point. Oil mixed with coolant/water isn't usually black. It looks more like beige slimy goo.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:05 PM   #9
Scotts Enterprises
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

^ what he said^
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Yep, Barrs leak or something like it. Drain it, flush the sysytem and refill. I would use straight water the first time. If its sealant, it may leak after the flush. Easier to deal with straight water vs antifreeze. If no leaks after some time, drain and fill with 50/50 water and antifreeze.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

What the last two guys said.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:53 AM   #12
deuce354
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Does your car have automatic transmission?, I have seen many times that the radiator goes bad and lets the transmission fluid go into the coolant.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce354 View Post
Does your car have automatic transmission?, I have seen many times that the radiator goes bad and lets the transmission fluid go into the coolant.
That's what I first thought. Whatever it is, it would have to be a lot of contamination to make the coolant go to that frothy "milk shake gone bad" consistency. This doesn't sound that bad, go with a flush 'n fill as others suggest.

Bob
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

I see you are in New York.

Using water is a good recommendation, but beware of freezing.

or is summer here to stay?
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Often black coolant is a result of the black rubber hoses deteriorating. Time to flush and refill, but check every rubber line in the system before adding antifreeze. Rubber that has started to slough it's carbon components will feel soft, all most mushy. Oil in coolant will look more like an elephant snot milk shake gone bad.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #16
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

coolant could of been topped off with a dirty funnel that had some left over oil in it..not that I have ever done that!
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:11 AM   #17
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

My guess is Bar's Leaks (or similar) as mentioned earlier.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:24 AM   #18
Waddayacare
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce354 View Post
Does your car have automatic transmission?, I have seen many times that the radiator goes bad and lets the transmission fluid go into the coolant.
This is what I was just going to say.

This is also why I never run tranny lines through my radiator. It's like a double wammy! The tranny cooler in the radiator goes bad and take out a perfectly good tranny. I always run an external tranny cooler ONLY.

The BarsLeak idea also make sence. It's like pouring molasses or Kayro syrup into your radiator.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #19
59Apachegail
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Hello All,
She is a stick thankfully
She lives in a heated garage makes the new car jealous!
Yeah feels more like Florida here...
The lines to radiator and heater are extremely soft. I just replaced all the electrical wiring and the rubber hoses to the gas tank because it was dry rotted from sitting in the desert.

Also last weekend was the first time I ran her for a long time.

I hope its barrs or the hoses!

Will flush her out and change hoses and let you guys know what happened.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:24 AM   #20
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Default Re: Oil in the coolant

Quick update, no black goo in anyplace other than the radiator. Still waiting on new hoses from lmc.
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