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Thread: Oil in coolant - Head gasket?

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    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Oil in coolant - Head gasket?

    I've had a few cooling issues recently:

    History:
    • Fitted a big radiator with 1.3 bar cap (secondhand) around 10k miles ago - Haven't changed fluid since.
    • Topped up due to getting hot - Put it down to not having much water.
    • I've just got back from a 500 mile round trip (Including a track session), 400 miles in car got hot again so topped up. Was fine the rest of the trip.

    Symptoms:
    • Dirty coolant - Oil residue in bucket but no oil separation in water.
    • Crystallised/ hard bits in pipe work
    • Oil residue on cap and thermostat
    • Using oil - I assume this is because its going into the cooling system!

    For the record, there's no white smoke or mayo in the head or breathers.

    I assume this is head gasket related? Or is there anything else it could be?
    Last edited by Davus200; 10-07-2019 at 20:16.

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    Guest jon200's Avatar
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    Do you still have the oil/water cooler/heater on the filter housing. Could he that but could he HG too


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    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon200 View Post
    Do you still have the oil/water cooler/heater on the filter housing. Could he that but could he HG too


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    Yes I still have it, thats a good shout Jon!

    Is there anyway to check it could be leaking? Or is it a case of swapping out for a known working one? Cheers!

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    Guest jon200's Avatar
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    You could blank the hoses off but its going to take a while before you would know id have thought. How much water are you using?


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    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon200 View Post
    You could blank the hoses off but its going to take a while before you would know id have thought. How much water are you using?


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    I filled the rad up, before doing a 500 mile round trip, about 400 miles in I had to stop as temps got pretty high and need to refill. Also its using oil (Never had to top up in between services before).
    Last edited by Davus200; 08-07-2019 at 06:03.

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    Guest jon200's Avatar
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    That doesnt sound too good


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    Guest ANDY black s13's Avatar
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    EDIT: NEW INFO this post maybe useless it loosing coolant/or oil? or it was just the stuff you found made one suspect HG,
    so far I think its just old coolant deposits you found or it's had some coolant leak and a leak stopper dropped in the rad like the old Barr turd
    I think run it for a bit with clean coolant and see if you get a colour change or more signs of oil
    could test the engine oil cooler on the car with one coolant line clamped or blocked and apply some pressure to other line
    the oil side of the cooler can take over 100 psi, you only need 15 or 30 psi and see if it drops,
    rig up a car tyre shraeder valve to the open coolant line (so it holds pressure) and a mountain bike track pump with gauge preferably
    Last edited by ANDY black s13; 07-07-2019 at 21:52.

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    Guest ANDY black s13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davus200 View Post
    I filled the rad up, before doing a 500 mile round trip, about 400 miles in I had to stop as temps got pretty high and need to refill. Also its using a fair amount of oil (Never had to top up in between services before).
    chance it is still the cooler,would be a pain and a bit of a faff to rig up hoses to test it but worth a go,
    could try remove it to inspect for signs its leaking internally not sure how well that would go as it will leak stuff everywhere as it's removed
    or swap it for a known goodun, pressure test the whole cooling system and might hear it leaking or see pressure drops
    too easy to say Head gasket and then we find it's something else, why I like to test it first

  9. #9
    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon200 View Post
    That doesnt sound too good


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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDY black s13 View Post
    EDIT: NEW INFO this post maybe useless it loosing coolant/or oil? or it was just the stuff you found made one suspect HG,
    so far I think its just old coolant deposits you found or it's had some coolant leak and a leak stopper dropped in the rad like the old Barr turd
    I think run it for a bit with clean coolant and see if you get a colour change or more signs of oil
    could test the engine oil cooler on the car with one coolant line clamped or blocked and apply some pressure to other line
    the oil side of the cooler can take over 100 psi, you only need 15 or 30 psi and see if it drops,
    rig up a car tyre shraeder valve to the open coolant line (so it holds pressure) and a mountain bike track pump with gauge preferably
    Cheers guys for your thoughts, some useful stuff there to try

    I think the plan is to flush the coolant system, and do a compression test to see where I stand and go from there. Might try and get of a cooler too for what they cost.

    I want to rule out a few things first before ripping off the head.

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    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Update: So I've done a bit more pulling apart of the sx.... I found a split water pipe (Hole made my a jubilee) under the intake mani next to the oil cooler, which would explain the water loss! The more I look at the cooling system, it looks like corrosion/ dirt entering via the expansion (I don't have a standard one) rather than oil.

    There's oil on the turbo side of the block, which I believe is coming out the turbo oil feed so will refresh the washers.

    Going to give it all a good clean and flush, along with a compression check and general refresh, so fingers crossed an 'easier' fix.
    Last edited by Davus200; 10-07-2019 at 20:29.

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    You do know that the engine is all aluminium so there shouldn't be any rust in the cooling system... Well the rotor of the water pump is steel so if you are running only water it might rust...
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    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bahis View Post
    You do know that the engine is all aluminium so there shouldn't be any rust in the cooling system... Well the rotor of the water pump is steel so if you are running only water it might rust...
    Water pump is next on the list of things to check

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    Guest jamesd's Avatar
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    Did you do the exhaust gas check from the expansion tank?you can get home kits for a few quid thatll check for exhaust gases coming out through the coolant system. should rule out the head as an issue.

  14. #14
    Graphics Guru Davus200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesd View Post
    Did you do the exhaust gas check from the expansion tank?you can get home kits for a few quid thatll check for exhaust gases coming out through the coolant system. should rule out the head as an issue.
    No I haven't, thanks for the suggestion buddy, I'll have a look into them

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