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Old 07-16-2022, 01:07 AM   #1
Trexer
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Default Oil in coolant bottle

Hello, been a member of many auto forums in the past, but new to Saturn's. As the the title says, I've discovered oil in my coolant bottle. A fair bit of it at that, the top inch is solid milky oil floating in there. Car doesn't overheat, no coolant in the oil, no tell-tale signs of a blown head gasket like smokey steamy exhaust, plugs are clean, not losing coolant or oil. Performed coolant pressure test and compression test, both solid.

Frankly I'm kind of stumped here and I would like to head off the problem and not cause any damage to this engine. This is an excellent little car that I'd like to keep for a long time yet so I'm hoping someone here can steer me in the right direction. I've spent many hours scouring this forum and several others and haven't come up with much. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
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Old 07-16-2022, 09:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trexer View Post
Hello, been a member of many auto forums in the past, but new to Saturn's. As the the title says, I've discovered oil in my coolant bottle. A fair bit of it at that, the top inch is solid milky oil floating in there. Car doesn't overheat, no coolant in the oil, no tell-tale signs of a blown head gasket like smokey steamy exhaust, plugs are clean, not losing coolant or oil. Performed coolant pressure test and compression test, both solid.

Frankly I'm kind of stumped here and I would like to head off the problem and not cause any damage to this engine. This is an excellent little car that I'd like to keep for a long time yet so I'm hoping someone here can steer me in the right direction. I've spent many hours scouring this forum and several others and haven't come up with much. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Is it an automatic ? Could be transmission cooler leaking into radiator
...
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Old 07-16-2022, 12:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

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Originally Posted by lrbraner View Post
Is it an automatic ? Could be transmission cooler leaking into radiator
Sorry, should have posted that info. 2007 2.2 5 speed manual.

If I can't find any possible causes I'm strongly considering spending a weekend changing the head gasket and seeing what I see in the process. Hoping that solves the problem. If that didn't fix it, I'd be scared that I have a cracked block. Although I'm yet to see any instances of that searching these forums.

Last edited by Trexer; 07-16-2022 at 12:28 PM. Reason: ETA information
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Old 07-16-2022, 07:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

This is the only place where I'm leaking oil that I can find, and right on top of the upper hose neck. Anyone know if oil could be intruding here somehow?

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Old 07-17-2022, 08:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

Your tests indicate it's in good shape.
Any chance somebody inadvertently put some oil in the coolant reservoir?
Before I started taking the motor apart I'd clean that out first, top up the coolant, and run some more miles.
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Old 07-17-2022, 11:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

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Originally Posted by Bill Murray View Post
Your tests indicate it's in good shape.
Any chance somebody inadvertently put some oil in the coolant reservoir?
Before I started taking the motor apart I'd clean that out first, top up the coolant, and run some more miles.
I wondered the same thing. I just bought the car a few days ago and had messaged the seller asking just that. Still haven't heard back.

I spent the afternoon running dishwasher detergent through the system and flushed it half a dozen times. The rwfilled with new universal coolant instead of dex cool. Other than in the coolant bottle, the coolant looked perfectly good to me. However the thermostat was toast, all the rubber was completely eaten away which would indicateto me that there has been oil in the systemfor some time. A tiny bit seems to have remained, I doubt I could ever get 100% of it out I drove a couple hundred miles and see no evidence of a return quite yet.

Now I'm quite paranoid about the condition of my water pump and hoses. I plan to change the hoses and coolant bottle out if the problem doesn't return, but I understand the waterpump is no walk in the park.

Still hoping for some ideas of where I could look for the source of this problem if it does come back. Which unless someone somehow did pour oil into the coolant bottle I'm sure will happen eventually.
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Old 07-19-2022, 10:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

head gasket or trans cooler
doesn't need to overheat or blow smoke for it to be a head gasket
there is only one way you get engine oil in the coolant which is ....... drumroll plz

head gasket

throw some K-seal in it and call it a day

transmission cooler either replace the rad or install a external transmission cooler and flush the system several times( fun on ours because we don't have dip sticks and the fluid check process is a *****)

You need to get a fluid sample of the transmission fluid if there is water in there and you been driving it you will be putting a transmission in it very soon
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Old 07-19-2022, 11:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil in coolant bottle

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc862003 View Post
head gasket or trans cooler
doesn't need to overheat or blow smoke for it to be a head gasket
there is only one way you get engine oil in the coolant which is ....... drumroll plz

head gasket

throw some K-seal in it and call it a day

transmission cooler either replace the rad or install a external transmission cooler and flush the system several times( fun on ours because we don't have dip sticks and the fluid check process is a *****)

You need to get a fluid sample of the transmission fluid if there is water in there and you been driving it you will be putting a transmission in it very soon
Not aware of a transmission cooler, and I'm certain it's not ATF anyhow.

Could very likely be athe head gasket, it's what I lean towards, but could be other thing's as well.

What is K seal? One of those "head gasket repair" gimmicks? If so, hard pass on that.
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