Jump to content

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse

- - - - -

Oil in Coolant; No Coolant in Oil

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 kansas


    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • portland

Posted 07 April 2004 - 08:51 PM


Legacy Wagon 1995. I had my head surfaces resurfaced, my head gaskets and o-rings, cam seals, rear separator plate and oil filter replaced last fall. The symptom at the time was oil in my coolant.

Currently I have driven my car long and short distances, and you would not be able to tell anything is wrong with it. It does not overheat and drives like a charm. But I still have substantial oil in my coolant resevoir and radiator. I do not have coolant in my oil. I have had the coolant system flushed three times.

Now I have to decide whether or not to let the dealer brake down the motor again to see if the head gasket work was not done properly. If the work or parts were shotty - they pay. If it is not the head gaskets - I pay, big.

I want my parts warranty if it is the head gaskets, just not sure if I can gamble with the big bill if is not the head gaskets. So far I have had two separate dealers do pressure test and hyrdocarbon tests and both tests come back negative.

Help, why else could there be oil in my coolant.

#2 Commuter


    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 1,857 posts
  • Niagara area, Ont Canada

Posted 07 April 2004 - 09:01 PM

Sorry to hear your pain.

When the head gaskets went on my 97 OB, I was sure there was oil in the coolant. In hindsight though, I believe it was just a byproduct of the combustion gases pushing out thru the cooling system. The sludge came from that, not from engine oil.

Are you getting any bubbling in the coolant expansion bottle? After hiway runs, or towing? Something that puts a load on the engine for a period of time.


#3 kansas


    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • portland

Posted 07 April 2004 - 09:09 PM

No, I don't think I have any bubbling in the coolant resevoir. I've checked the container after driving 20+ miles. The substance does look and feel like oil to me in the coolant.

Is there another problem I should suspect other than head gasket?

#4 Tiny Clark

Tiny Clark

    Certified Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 807 posts
  • Germany

Posted 08 April 2004 - 01:02 AM

A compression test will find a leaking head gasket.

USUALLY, there isn't any coolant in the oil because it's pull into the combustion chamber and burned.

#5 subyroo


    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 1,893 posts
  • Caloundra - Australia

Posted 08 April 2004 - 05:16 AM

Did you have your radiator AND the engine flushed out when you had the overhaul done??

If not then more than likely there was oil residue left lying inside the water jacket of the engine and the radiator and it is coming away when the engine get's hot.

Another way to check if your head gasket is possibly blown is to check the under side of your oil filler cap first thing in the morning or after the engine has gone totally cold, when the water that evaporates from hot oil it will rise and form on the bottom of the oil filler cap :cool:

#6 The Dude

The Dude

    Certified Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 824 posts
  • South Carolina

Posted 08 April 2004 - 06:20 AM

You may wish to consider the following:
1. Given a negative hydrocarbon test, it very possible that the oil you see is residue from BEFORE the head gasket replacement. How was the cooling system flushed? Was it flushed with an agent DESIGNED to remove oil contamination? Oil is pretty tenacious stuff. Have it flushed again, and personally verify that an appropriate cleaning, in the proper concentration is being used. Use the car a week, and see if the amount of oil in the coolant has been eliminated or reduced. There may be a good deal of residual oil in the cooling system, and you may need to flush with proper agent more than once.
2. If you have an AT, your car may have an engine oil cooler. Another possible source for an oil/coolant leak.
3. If you have an AT, the cooler for the AT fluid (oil) runs through the radiator. Another source for an oil/coolant leak.

Frankly, given your description, my money would be residual oil contamination.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users