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
 

Photo
- - - - -

oil in coolant?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 dklein90

dklein90

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Waterville

Posted 27 October 2005 - 12:20 PM

The coolant in my 98 forester isnt the green that Im used to. Its more of a greeinsh brown. Sort of what I would think oil in coolant would look like. There is also a thick sludge that is the color of burnt oil on the walls of the top of the overflow reservoir.

Is this a sign of the dreaded blown headgasket? If it is how long have I got, Im currently unemployed and stressed about finding a job. All I need is motor problems.
Thanks
-Dave

#2 1 Lucky Texan

1 Lucky Texan

    I read a lot about Subarus

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 4,978 posts
  • Texas

Posted 27 October 2005 - 12:52 PM

The coolant in my 98 forester isnt the green that Im used to. Its more of a greeinsh brown. Sort of what I would think oil in coolant would look like. There is also a thick sludge that is the color of burnt oil on the walls of the top of the overflow reservoir.

Is this a sign of the dreaded blown headgasket? If it is how long have I got, Im currently unemployed and stressed about finding a job. All I need is motor problems.
Thanks
-Dave


Doesn't sound good. Look under the oil fill cap for 'chocolate mousse' too.

#3 tomson1355

tomson1355

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 155 posts
  • Upstate

Posted 27 October 2005 - 01:00 PM

Yes, Dave, it's the head gaskets. Sorry.

You can nurse them along for awhile. I've bought two of them and driven them home a couple hundred miles without difficulty. The coolant gets displaced by the combustion air, but can be replaced when the radiator is cool. On the highway, they were fine, presumably helped along by the 65 MPH breeze. Try to avoid extreme overheating.

Don't get talked into replacing parts that don't need replacing. If you can do it yourself, the job can be done for a few hundred dollars. A local mechanic I talked to recently said he has done enough of them to do them in 6 hrs. We laughed about a local dealership that puts a new engine in rather than do the HG job.

Limp along until you can afford it. Good luck with the job search.

#4 dklein90

dklein90

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Waterville

Posted 27 October 2005 - 01:32 PM

Well thanks for the good news. I suppose I expected so it isnt a big surprise. Just a couple of things however. I just happend to be changing the oil today (long overdue) and found this mess. So I have know idea how long this has been a problem but Im assuming it didnt happen this morning. My point is that Ive been driving around normally for sometime like this. The car hasnt heated up at all, and it dosnt seem to be blowing smoke. It does have a fair amount of piston slap but I understand that is normal.
How long can I drive like this and what sign should I be looking for to help me decide when to stop driving this car.
-Dave

#5 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,623 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:21 PM

I would replace them asap. All it takes is one overheating to strand you somepleace, or one really good overheating to bake the engine. It's always better to do repairs on your time schedual, as opposed to when the car demands it. Its only a matter of time before youdo real damage. As it is now, the more you drive it with oil in the antifreeze, the more likely you will clog the radiator and or heater core.


nipper

#6 AlpineRaven

AlpineRaven

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 187 posts
  • Australia

Posted 27 October 2005 - 03:15 PM

The coolant in my 98 forester isnt the green that Im used to. Its more of a greeinsh brown. Sort of what I would think oil in coolant would look like. There is also a thick sludge that is the color of burnt oil on the walls of the top of the overflow reservoir.

Is this a sign of the dreaded blown headgasket? If it is how long have I got, Im currently unemployed and stressed about finding a job. All I need is motor problems.
Thanks
-Dave


I understand the situation you're in, Keep eye on oil (cooling system is ok bec oil keeps it cool but ensure that its not thicking up) but if you have water in oil, its a death thing! Because water doesn't lube the cams, rockers crank etc therefore it'll seize the engine, I know someone who didn't (Drives Ford) know had blown HG been driving till engine seized up. If the oil cup becomes chocolate whiteish colour, STOP driving! And do the HG. Can't be too expensive to get HH and do it yourself with a mate if you are unsure..

Cheers
AP

#7 tomson1355

tomson1355

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 155 posts
  • Upstate

Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:08 PM

Dave,

Nipper and Raven give good advice. Typically with these 2.5 DOHC HGs, though, the movement is one-way, combustion gasses into the coolant. You probably don't have to worry about water in the oil, unless you noticed some when you changed it. It probably won't blow smoke, either. There isn't a "hole" in the HG. Combustion gasses seep around it, into the coolant.

The BEST thing would be to do as Nipper advises and get it done. But many of these HGs get driven for quite a while before symptoms are noticed, and before overheating gets dramatic. If you keep topping your coolant off, limit your driving, and don't let the engine overheat badly, you can limp along awhile. I've seen it suggested that removing the thermostat helps, too.

Keep an eye on your temperature guage. Keep an eye on the coolant level in the reservoir and the radiator.

Tom

#8 dklein90

dklein90

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Waterville

Posted 28 October 2005 - 07:07 AM

Fortunetly for me my best friend is a Toyota Mechanic, on Saterday we are going to flush the cooling system and maybe presurize the system to see what happens.

Im a little concerned because I have to make a 300 mile trip into the middle on know where on Sunday. (bad place to break down) The underside of the oil cap is fine and the temp needle has never been above halfway. Average outside temp is below 50, I may even encounter snow.

It sounds to me like I have some time still. But plans are in the works for the big repair job.

Thanks for the advise everyone.
-Dave

#9 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,623 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:14 AM

Murphys law .... its one thing to not know about this, its another to tease the gods and go on a trip to no where land with this.

If you do make this trip, pack emergency provisions in the cra just in case.



nipper

#10 dklein90

dklein90

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Waterville

Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:06 AM

I have a old 200,000 mile Toyota Camery that Im begining to think will make the trip rather than the Forester. All I need to do is put it on my insurance.

Your right about Murphys Law and right now it seems to be out to get me.

Its funny, I bought the Forester to replace the Camery about 4 months ago. You gotta love the old reliable.

Wasnt someone on this board just asking about the differance between Subaru and Toyota. Maybe Ive got a Forester I'll sell them for cheap. haHA
-Dave

#11 later, Peter

later, Peter

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 218 posts
  • Pacific North West

Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:17 AM

The coolant in my 98 forester isnt the green that Im used to. Its more of a greeinsh brown. Sort of what I would think oil in coolant would look like. There is also a thick sludge that is the color of burnt oil on the walls of the top of the overflow reservoir.

Is this a sign of the dreaded blown headgasket? If it is how long have I got, Im currently unemployed and stressed about finding a job. All I need is motor problems.
Thanks
-Dave

WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!
Have the mechanic check the trans... the '96 OBW I am looking at purchasing seems to have the "gunk in the overflow tank" syndrome BUT it appears to be a breach of the Trans fluid in the radiator... HG's still intact, NO overheating, power is good, trans just a tad sloppy (another symptom). INVESTIGATE that aspect, too.
Later,
Peter

#12 dklein90

dklein90

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Waterville

Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:38 AM

Hey Peter, thanks for the insight on another potential cause. I wont give up on Subaru just yet. My mechanic friend said something about that being a potential cause. I just thought whatever crazy Toyota mechanic. So now that I hear it from a Suby owner Im a little more open to the idea. We will check it out.

Can anyone tell me more about how that whole system works. Is it basicaly a trans. cooling line running to the radiator? What is causing the problem if that is that case.

Thanks for all the great info
-Dave

#13 1 Lucky Texan

1 Lucky Texan

    I read a lot about Subarus

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 4,978 posts
  • Texas

Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:49 AM

Hey Peter, thanks for the insight on another potential cause. I wont give up on Subaru just yet. My mechanic friend said something about that being a potential cause. I just thought whatever crazy Toyota mechanic. So now that I hear it from a Suby owner Im a little more open to the idea. We will check it out.

Can anyone tell me more about how that whole system works. Is it basicaly a trans. cooling line running to the radiator? What is causing the problem if that is that case.

Thanks for all the great info
-Dave


There's a coil inside the radiator that has tranny fluid pumped through it to help cool the tranny. I suppose if the tubing/whatever had a pinhole leak, you'd get the emulsion in the rad o'flow. It may mean you're trading HG problems for tranny problems though. I dunno how 'tolerant' the tranny would be of coolant mixing in - if it can even flow that way.

Worth investigating.

#14 tomson1355

tomson1355

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 155 posts
  • Upstate

Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:18 PM

Dave,

A warning: People have spent a lot of money needlessly on unnecessary parts while trying to fix their coolant goop/overheating/bubbles in coolant problems on DOHC 2.5L Subarus. Many mechanics simply won't believe that a leaky HG doesn't always result in either low compression or water in the oil or out the tailpipe. Also, the overheating can be subtle and sometimes the first sign is the spewing of coolant out of the reservoir.

If it were the transmission theory, I would espect there to be coolant in the T-fluid.

If it's a DOHC 2.5L with goop in the coolant, bubbles in the coolant, or a high coolant level in the reservoir, It's almost certain to be HGs.

Tom

#15 AlpineRaven

AlpineRaven

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 187 posts
  • Australia

Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:53 PM

These things happen mate. Subaru & Camry are reliable... I sold my SV21 Camry wagon at 360,000 kms on the clock before got my Liberty. - Hopes that Liberty will last as well! heh
Cheers
AP

#16 later, Peter

later, Peter

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 218 posts
  • Pacific North West

Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:20 PM

Hey Peter, thanks for the insight on another potential cause. I wont give up on Subaru just yet. My mechanic friend said something about that being a potential cause. I just thought whatever crazy Toyota mechanic. So now that I hear it from a Suby owner Im a little more open to the idea. We will check it out.

Can anyone tell me more about how that whole system works. Is it basicaly a trans. cooling line running to the radiator? What is causing the problem if that is that case.

Thanks for all the great info
-Dave

The mechanic (trusted) explained:
replace the radiator FLUSH FLUSH the system until it runs clear THEN you must becareful not to leave any air in the cooling system.
& (if the trans isn't slipping or anything) have the trans fluid flushed (Jiffy Lube/ Oil Can Henry's, wherever) two times MINIMALLY!!!
IF THAT IS THE PROBLEM... I assumed it was HG's also, but no overheating, plenty of power...
Later,
Peter




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users