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  #1  
Old 09-03-2010, 12:38 AM
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Oil in Coolant?

My coolant appears to have oil in it. But how? There is no coolant on the dipstick, I don't seem to loose oil, no steam/white smoke from tailpipe. I am thinking I will do a flush and see what happens. Any ideas?

BTW: 1990 300E 2.6

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  #2  
Old 09-03-2010, 01:14 AM
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Well, do a flush to ensure the leak is present, but your are looking at the least disheartening of two possibilities of a blown head gasket.

Depending on the present condition of your rubber cooling hoses, they will eventually begin to rot from the inside out and eventually burst. A hot coolant and oil mix is seemingly not good for hoses.

At least with this kind of head gasket problem you can plan your next moves carefully. You can pick a good indy or collect the resources, tools, reputable machine shop to get the work done yourself.

Alternatively, if the leak of the oil into the coolant is extremely slow, you may just be able to keep driving so long as you keep a close eye on contamination of the oil with coolant and that the rate is not increasing drastically. You could also decide to replace the coolant more often than usual. Just suggestions to a pricey alternative.

At least, that is my opinion/suspicion...
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2010, 06:05 AM
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Colorado220, recommend having a reputable indie evaluate the existing condition ASAP. If the tech confirms a blown head gasket then have it replaced immediately. The issue will not go away or fix itself, and it doesn't make sense to foul the cooling system components.
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2010, 01:11 PM
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Head Gasket was a though I had also, however the PO just had a shop check it for what was needed before I bought it, while there is a to do list that was not on there. Also wouldn't a blown head gasket give you steam or some for of excess water out of the tailpipe?
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2010, 01:23 PM
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How long have you owned the car? I just washed out what looked to be oil from the radiator header tank. The goo was actually residue from "Water Wetter" that had been added by the PO. Ive owned the car for 6 years and never used WW.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2010, 01:23 PM
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NO not on a 103 engine, a blown headgasket means oil in the coolant.
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2010, 04:45 PM
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I second that oil in the coolant. It just happens, lets go, even when the job is done if not done right can happen again quick.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado220 View Post
Head Gasket was a though I had also, however the PO just had a shop check it for what was needed before I bought it, while there is a to do list that was not on there. Also wouldn't a blown head gasket give you steam or some for of excess water out of the tailpipe?
Symptoms are not always the same.

M103 and M104 are notorious for headgasket leaks, and that's your problem.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2010, 01:35 PM
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103... oil in coolant

104... oil leaks at head...
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2010, 01:55 PM
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ditto
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2010, 09:04 AM
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I accept the knowledge possessed by these guys. They are absolutely tip-top. I do have one question and it is for my curiosity.

Where on the head or gasket does the oil get into the coolant? Between the cam oil feed ports and the cooling passages? I honestly want to know and I'm not trying to cast doubts.

I ask because I dont know of any place above the crank journals where oil pressure exceeds the coolant pressure. The cam feed ports are the only place I can imagine the difference but I am not savvy enough to know what the actual pressure at the ports is.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2010, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas H View Post
How long have you owned the car? I just washed out what looked to be oil from the radiator header tank. The goo was actually residue from "Water Wetter" that had been added by the PO. Ive owned the car for 6 years and never used WW.
That or something similar could possibly also be my issue. The goo I have looks and feels more like soft gel or wax than oil. (M104 engine with leaky timing cover and dry everywhere else.)
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2010, 05:37 PM
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The head gasket starts to go and oil from cylinder or oil channels that drain back down get blown into the coolant channels. Thats why the top of the block and the head should be "trued" when a gasket is changed. But thats true of any head work really.
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2010, 05:37 PM
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Never thought much about it, Mike. I believe you probably have it nailed, the galleys to the cam bearings, or maybe the timing chain tensioner, that also is high pressure off one of the main galleys. (or is is gallery? whatever.)
Gilly
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2010, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
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That or something similar could possibly also be my issue. The goo I have looks and feels more like soft gel or wax than oil. (M104 engine with leaky timing cover and dry everywhere else.)
Scratch that. Just went through all of my and the previous owners' service records. Last coolant flush was in mid-2003. He sold the car to me in '06, around the time the next one was due. Seven years.....

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