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Old 10-14-2017, 02:52 PM   #1
ytho
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Default Oil in coolant - 2003 L300 v6. Where do I start?

A relative of mine has a 2003 L300 6 cylinder with 130,000~ that has been sitting for 5 or so months because they found oil in the coolant, but no coolant in the oil. Just came here for advice on where to start on identifying the problem. I have never dealt with a Saturn before so what is most likely for this type of car.. Bad head gasket, cracked head, oil cooler?


What do you think the problem could be? I am in no way a mechanic but I have slight experience from working on my own cars, any help would be appreciated.
Thanks

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Old 10-14-2017, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oil in coolant - 2003 L300 v6. Where do I start?

Welcome to SaturnFans, ytho!

Here are some links from within the website containing information that will help to answer your questions. The most likely item to be causing your problem is an engine oil cooler leak.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=195924 The response in post #2 from satlite440 can be trusted. He was then, and is currently, a GM mechanic with deep knowledge on these cars.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=151857

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=103150

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...il+cooler+leak

I used the Google Custom Search to get started with finding what I thought were useful threads. I then used the forum's Advanced Forum Search to find others. While I don't own an L-Series with the V6 I am aware that replacing the engine oil cooler requires much of the same work as replacing the thermostat. You can search the threads to find some posts which discuss how to replace that part since the the two jobs have some basic elements in common and you can gain more insight into the repair you need to make.

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275,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 10-15-2017, 03:24 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Oil in coolant - 2003 L300 v6. Where do I start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ytho View Post
A relative of mine has a 2003 L300 6 cylinder with 130,000~ that has been sitting for 5 or so months because they found oil in the coolant, but no coolant in the oil. Just came here for advice on where to start on identifying the problem. I have never dealt with a Saturn before so what is most likely for this type of car.. Bad head gasket, cracked head, oil cooler?


What do you think the problem could be? I am in no way a mechanic but I have slight experience from working on my own cars, any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
Oil in coolant is a sign of head gasket failure or something else. It's best to take to shop to diagnosis which of the problem is causing oil in the coolant. So is this oil in the reservoir bottle or in the actual radiator itself? But a shop should be the one to take a look before doing anything else if you can tow it to a shop "don't drive it there". That could cause more problem then it fixes.

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Old 10-15-2017, 11:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil in coolant - 2003 L300 v6. Where do I start?

Russet is certainly correct to recommend that you not drive this car in its present condition. There is a potential for serious, if not "fatal" harm to the engine if this vehicle is actually driven.

Towing the car to a trusted mechanic for an accurate diagnosis is good advice. It's not worth the risk of creating new, or greater damage to the engine internally. You can always refer the mechanic to information you aware of about this car, including what you've learned here. A small minority of non-dealership mechanics have actually come in contact with this engine and are perhaps less familiar with its peculiarities than are members here in SaturnFans.

Remember, if you decide to repair this vehicle on your own then you accept all responsibility for it (hat tip, fdryer). Manufacturer parts warranties are typically limited to replacing the defective product or reimbursing its cost. Your labor is not warranteed in the event of a genuine failure of a part purchased and installed by you. On the other hand, a mechanical repair shop will provide a warranty for the part and their labor. If a shop will not provide a warranty for their repair work then find a different one which will.

...
275,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 10-15-2017 at 11:33 PM..

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