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Old 01-09-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
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Coolant in oil

Hey all, got some questions

I had coolant in my oil due to improperly installed intake gasket by mechanic causing bearing failure.

I got a used engine with 71k miles. Here is a little background on it. I had to replace the oil pan with mine because it was different, when i pulled old one, it had water in the oil, they told me they pressure washed the engine and think they could have accidentally gotten oil in it.

I put my completely clean pan on it and clean pickup and ran cheap oil and motor flush, ran it 5 mins, drained and refilled with Mobil1. Ran fine, no weird sounds. Drove for 5 miles parked it for about 30 mins, drove for about 30 miles then parked it for the night. I checked the oil both times and it looked clean. I started it the next morning and when i started it I heard a "tick tick" then it sounded normal. I immediatly shut it off and checked the oil which is dark and appears to be kind of milky.

It appears that coolant is leaking in my engine. Where? Intake or head? They told me they replaced the intake gasket before shipping....not sure why. I am assuming they screwd that up and used a cheap gasket.

Do you think it could be head gasket somehow? Should I replace intake gasket only? Do you think any damage is done to the engine?

Thanks guys.
Old 01-09-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: Coolant in oil

Sounds like you have a bad intake or head gasket man....... Did the used engine have a warranty, if so, make them pay to fix it right......
Old 01-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Re: Coolant in oil

The Engine Oil Cooler in radiator is another source of water in oil....same vehicle, water in oil twice...hmmm...I'd check it out.
Old 01-09-2011, 11:21 PM   #4
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by RaginInferno
The Engine Oil Cooler in radiator is another source of water in oil....same vehicle, water in oil twice...hmmm...I'd check it out.
If so, wouldnt oil be in the cooling system too?
Old 01-09-2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Sounds like you have a bad intake or head gasket man....... Did the used engine have a warranty, if so, make them pay to fix it right......
He is going to pay for parts, yes. but no labor.
Old 01-10-2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: Coolant in oil

just my professional experience.....if the oil cooler in the radiator is cracked, you will usually end up with both coolant in the oil, but even more oil in the coolant. If there is just coolant in the oil, like the man said, head gasket and/or intake. I have seen a lot of boneheads smearing silicone all over the intake gaskets when installing them, and more often than not, you end up with an even bigger problem than you started with. The only place to use silicone is at the valley ends.
Old 01-10-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by voodoo7
just my professional experience.....if the oil cooler in the radiator is cracked, you will usually end up with both coolant in the oil, but even more oil in the coolant. If there is just coolant in the oil, like the man said, head gasket and/or intake. I have seen a lot of boneheads smearing silicone all over the intake gaskets when installing them, and more often than not, you end up with an even bigger problem than you started with. The only place to use silicone is at the valley ends.

I am doing a compression test on each cylinder right now. So far 4/6 stay between 155-162. I havent tested the other 2. One is the bastard cyl 3 and the other just hasnt been done yet. Will this tell me if the headgasket is blown?
Old 01-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #8
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by dnasty88
If so, wouldnt oil be in the cooling system too?
That depends on other factors like how big the leak is.... a very small leak could siphon coolant once the metal warms up and expands. Are you positive their is'nt oil the the radiator?

I only brought this up because both engines exhibited the same/similiar symptoms and the one "constant" is the radiator.
Old 01-10-2011, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by RaginInferno
That depends on other factors like how big the leak is.... a very small leak could siphon coolant once the metal warms up and expands. Are you positive their is'nt oil the the radiator?

I only brought this up because both engines exhibited the same/similiar symptoms and the one "constant" is the radiator.
I agree with your reasoning. The only reason I believe this one is intake gasket, is because they replaced it before shipping. I bet it was some dirt dick that didnt know what they were doing.... This is only a guess.

I did a compression check on the engine and these are my findings. I did the check 3 different times on each cylinder.

Cyl 1 162 162 155
Cyl 5 162 162 160
Cyl 6 155 160 161
Cyl 4 162 162 163
Cyl 2 162 158 172
Cyl 3 154 154 155
Old 01-10-2011, 06:26 PM   #10
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Re: Coolant in oil

Pressure test the radiator and see if it holds..... or where it leaks......
Old 01-10-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Pressure test the radiator and see if it holds..... or where it leaks......
I dont have a pressure tester. Do they rent them at Oreillys or similar stores?
Old 01-10-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
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Re: Coolant in oil

I dont have the money to rent or buy a compression tester, nor do I think that is my issue. I dont wanna say no, cuz I know yall are trying to help. I talked to a mechanic friend and he said that it should bubble if it was sucking antifreeze. He also said since oil is roughly 40psi and the coolant is roughly 14psi, that the oil would more likely leak into the coolant
Old 01-10-2011, 08:56 PM   #13
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Re: Coolant in oil

Renting a tester at the parts store is usually ultimately free. You pay a fee upfront, use the tester, return it, they refund the fee......

If it wont hold pressure you could have an intake gasket leak, wont show oil in the coolant, but could show coolant in the oil. Oil in the lifter valley is under no PSI and is just gravity fed to pan along with coolant......
Old 01-10-2011, 09:16 PM   #14
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Renting a tester at the parts store is usually ultimately free. You pay a fee upfront, use the tester, return it, they refund the fee......

If it wont hold pressure you could have an intake gasket leak, wont show oil in the coolant, but could show coolant in the oil. Oil in the lifter valley is under no PSI and is just gravity fed to pan along with coolant......
Reguardless of the leak, its going to lose pressure, there is coolant in the oil. I dont see how a pressure tester is going to accomplish anything. When I was talking about pressure of oil and coolant I was talking in the radiator and oil cooler
Old 01-10-2011, 09:19 PM   #15
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Re: Coolant in oil

IDK if the oil pressure thru the cooler is 40PSI, but yeah I see whatcha mean....
Old 01-10-2011, 10:03 PM   #16
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
IDK if the oil pressure thru the cooler is 40PSI, but yeah I see whatcha mean....
Yeah I dont know either...

I was kind of thinking when the vehicle is off, the coolant is still under pressure, thus could potentially leak in the oil cooler. BUT i would still think that the oil cooler would leak into the oil this way. I wish it was the oil cooler/radiator, easy fix lol. I dunno how pressure testing would prove that though?
Old 01-10-2011, 10:04 PM   #17
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Re: Coolant in oil

do the compression numbers look good? Is there any potential according to the numbers that the head gasket could be blown?
Old 01-10-2011, 10:28 PM   #18
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Re: Coolant in oil

Pressure test would prove you do indeed have a leak, and seeing where it is leaking is a possibility...... Might see it leak from somewhere you normally would see, might see how fast it leaks down, how long it holds pressure......
Old 01-10-2011, 10:40 PM   #19
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Pressure test would prove you do indeed have a leak, and seeing where it is leaking is a possibility...... Might see it leak from somewhere you normally would see, might see how fast it leaks down, how long it holds pressure......
Well I know theres a leak due to coolant in the oil, and that would be internal and not seen...

Is there any way to test the radiator alone to see if there is a hole between the oil chamber and the coolant chamber?

You're not too far from me it looks like, wanna help use it for target practice?? lol jk
Old 01-11-2011, 09:29 AM   #20
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Re: Coolant in oil

The other thing to look at is the coolant tank(the clear one). Generally if there is an oil cooler problem, this is where you will easily notice the slimy mess a busted oil cooler will make. I agree that a pressure test is the only way to find the leak for sure. I know that money is tight, but if you let it go, you will end up buying another engine. If you have a compressor and a regulator, you can do a leakdown on the cylinders. The compression test is just a quick way to see major damage and nothing more. A leakdown will give you a very accurate read on individual cylinder condition and if there is a problem, you will be able to pinpoint where that problem is. However, if it is a headgasket, and it is not blown into one of the cylinders, a leakdown generally wont tell you anything. And, if it is an intake, same story. Can you see ANY signs of coolant around the intake? If you see ANYTHING, thats where I would start. Also, if the gaskets were just replaced, and some bonehead slopped silicone all over them, you might be able to reuse them.
Old 01-11-2011, 08:54 PM   #21
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by voodoo7
The other thing to look at is the coolant tank(the clear one). Generally if there is an oil cooler problem, this is where you will easily notice the slimy mess a busted oil cooler will make. I agree that a pressure test is the only way to find the leak for sure. I know that money is tight, but if you let it go, you will end up buying another engine. If you have a compressor and a regulator, you can do a leakdown on the cylinders. The compression test is just a quick way to see major damage and nothing more. A leakdown will give you a very accurate read on individual cylinder condition and if there is a problem, you will be able to pinpoint where that problem is. However, if it is a headgasket, and it is not blown into one of the cylinders, a leakdown generally wont tell you anything. And, if it is an intake, same story. Can you see ANY signs of coolant around the intake? If you see ANYTHING, thats where I would start. Also, if the gaskets were just replaced, and some bonehead slopped silicone all over them, you might be able to reuse them.
Ok guys. Got a pressure tester on it right now. Pumped it up to as high as 20psi, no leaks or loss so far...

Letting it sit for an extended period of time. I took an oil line off to see if that let any pressure out, and it did not.

I will say when I got this engine, it had water and oil in the pan. FOR SURE, took pan off and saw oil and water mixture. I am assuming there is water in there because of the "tick tick" and the color of the oil. Oil doesnt look as milky as it did in the pan before, but it looks dark and cloudy. It only has about 37 miles on it or so...

What do I do?
Old 01-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #22
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Re: Coolant in oil

Could the bonehead who did the intake gasket swap have not changed the oil? Did you change the oil when you put it in (should have anyway.)?

Yeah, where you at in KCMO? South Side?

Might have to have the engine run a while to warm up to get it to leak. 20 PSI sounds pretty high without leaking, so run it up to temp and repeat test.
Old 01-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #23
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Re: Coolant in oil

What are you driving BTW?
Old 01-11-2011, 09:41 PM   #24
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Could the bonehead who did the intake gasket swap have not changed the oil? Did you change the oil when you put it in (should have anyway.)?

Yeah, where you at in KCMO? South Side?

Might have to have the engine run a while to warm up to get it to leak. 20 PSI sounds pretty high without leaking, so run it up to temp and repeat test.
Yes I changed the oil. In fact, I ran 4 qts of cheap oil and motor flush, drained and refilled with Mobil 1.

I guess my question is do I run it to normal temperature, and let the pressure die off, then test, or what?

Will it hurt it if i run it? Ive only been starting it to move it 15 ft then killing it right away. I dont want to pull this damn engine cuz I messed the bearings up.

I live actually about 30 mins North of KC. Right between KC and St Joseph
Old 01-11-2011, 09:42 PM   #25
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
What are you driving BTW?
I have an 09 SS Cobalt. It gets around great in this weather . Thats what this truck was supposed to be for.
Old 01-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #26
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Re: Coolant in oil

Actually I meant what is the truck? Year/ BDY STYLE.

I would run it to temperature with the tester on it. You could actually look into the radiator while it is running, a blown head gasket will usually bubble at the neck where you fill it (gas escaping from the fluid).......
Old 01-11-2011, 09:50 PM   #27
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Actually I meant what is the truck? Year/ BDY STYLE.

I would run it to temperature with the tester on it. You could actually look into the radiator while it is running, a blown head gasket will usually bubble at the neck where you fill it (gas escaping from the fluid).......
Ah, I gotcha. Its a 1998 Isuzu Hombre 4.3 4x4 5 speed
Old 01-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #28
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Re: Coolant in oil

Nice ride man, dont shoot it.

Get it warmed up to near op temp to test the leakdown. And like I said if it is a blown HG the coolant will usually bubble in the radiator neck escaping the gas from combustion.

If the plugs look fairly normal except one or two which look spotless (like they have been washed) you could suspect coolant in the combustion chamber on those.

Like I said before dont shoot it, if you feel you must roll it down the hill my way... :-)
Old 01-11-2011, 10:15 PM   #29
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Nice ride man, dont shoot it.

Get it warmed up to near op temp to test the leakdown. And like I said if it is a blown HG the coolant will usually bubble in the radiator neck escaping the gas from combustion.

If the plugs look fairly normal except one or two which look spotless (like they have been washed) you could suspect coolant in the combustion chamber on those.

Like I said before dont shoot it, if you feel you must roll it down the hill my way... :-)
I ran it up to 180 degres just now. What do I look for on the tester? Right now, its 20+ and thats when i shut it off. I pulled all plugs when I tested compression, no weirdness. No bubbling out of the radiator.
Old 01-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #30
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Re: Coolant in oil

Might relieve the pressure, pump it up to 16 or so, see how long it holds.

It may have a cracked cylinder wall or something like that. Intake gasket will leak directly into the oil also no cylinder involved. The teardown of the intake would be my next step to RE- REPLACE the intake if the coolant is still disappearing.

Inspecting the cylinder bores would be more difficult...
Old 01-11-2011, 10:41 PM   #31
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Might relieve the pressure, pump it up to 16 or so, see how long it holds.

It may have a cracked cylinder wall or something like that. Intake gasket will leak directly into the oil also no cylinder involved. The teardown of the intake would be my next step to RE- REPLACE the intake if the coolant is still disappearing.

Inspecting the cylinder bores would be more difficult...
If that were true, wouldnt my compression test be bad?

I pumped it up to 16 -18 and it didnt leak down at all for the 3 mins i watched it.
Old 01-11-2011, 10:47 PM   #32
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Re: Coolant in oil

With a cracked cylinder wall it would hold compression fine.

Shure the "water" isnt gas?
Old 01-11-2011, 10:50 PM   #33
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Re: Coolant in oil

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
With a cracked cylinder wall it would hold compression fine.

Shure the "water" isnt gas?
No, Im not sure. Would it cause the same cloudyness since theyre both petrolium based?
Old 01-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #34
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Re: Coolant in oil

have you tried and bypass the oil cooler lines and pressure test the radiator and see if you get any oil contamination? it would be worth a shot if you still get water in the oil then it would be a gasket on the engine.. if not then it is likely that the oil cooler is allowing water to seep in if this is the case replace the radiator or leave the oil cooler lines bypassed until you can replace it.
Old 01-13-2011, 11:01 PM   #35
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Re: Coolant in oil

No I havent, but I tried to pressure test the radiator and unhooked the oil lines to hear if i could hear air/coolant flowing into the oil chamber, but it held pressure fine...
Old 01-15-2011, 07:11 PM   #36
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Re: Coolant in oil

Ok all, update to the saga.

I decided that I was going to change the oil and drive it and see if it leaked anymore. I was thinking it could be the left over water in the engine mixing with my oil or something, and maybe I just needed to change the oil again.

I also double checked the intake bolts to see how tight they were (without torque wrench) I found one bolt that was loose enough that I think I could have removed it by hand. i tightened it pretty snug and tightened the others a little more.

SO FAR after about 60-75 miles, no coolant or water or anything weird in the oil. BUT I am throwing codes.

One was p0300 multi cyl misfire, p0301 cyl 1 misfire, and one about the MAF low input, and p1351.

I was thinking vacuum leak or something out of the intake.... I dunno. I heard one backfire. It is running just fine though. Cleared the codes, drove 25 miles, didnt come back on. Any ideas?
Old 01-16-2011, 01:43 AM   #37
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Re: Coolant in oil

Codes are probably from before, I would drive it and keep tabs on the oil and codes.....
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