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VenomSVT
12-20-2005, 11:46 PM
I recently had been checking the fluid levels and noticed a tan colored liquid in my radiator. Does anyone have any idea what would cause oil to get in the radiator? I have been told that it could be the oil cooler gasket.

dewone
12-21-2005, 05:43 AM
Water can enter the oil pan via the head gasket. Hope it's something else. Do you blow smoke out the exhaust? Blue = oil. white = water. It usually is theres water in the oil check your dip stick? Is the oil milky on the stick? Sounds like you have oil getting into the radiator which is oppsite the norm. Perhaps someone tried to stop a leak in the raditor with barrs, that could cause the browning look. Good luck let us know what you find.

VenomSVT
12-21-2005, 09:27 AM
So far there hasn't been any smoke coming out of the exhaust and the engine seems to run and idle normal. Also, the oil on the dip stick looks normal.

My other thought was that the last quick oil change place mistakenly put some oil in the radiator!:eek: I took it back to them and they told me it was sludge in the radiator. Now the car did sit in the previous owners garage for a couple of years and he didn't drive it much. So, I'm not sure if that's a possiblility or not. Anyway, I had them do a vacuum flush and now the radiator cooling fins I believe are clogged and water will not circulate throughout the engine. I also removed the thermostat to see if that would help and it hasn't. So, needless to say I can't drive for more than about 5 miles before the engine starts getting hot. :(

jsnake
12-22-2005, 12:54 PM
I work at a Caterpillar dealer. When we have a engine that has oil in the cooling system. We put a little liquid Cascade dish washing detergent in the radiator. Run it till it gets hot and flush it. You may have to do this a number of times.

ausie
12-22-2005, 01:39 PM
If you get oil in the coolant, it usually does not turn white. It basically floats on top of the coolant which may be evident in the expansion tank (resivior). It may be black or light colored oil droplets. Also depending on metals the block is made of, iron will usually deposit brown gooy and chunky paste on the radiator cap and if you have an aluminum block it is typically a grey metallic color. Much of this occurs from the breakdown of the coolant and reaction with the metals of the motor. Basically it is formation of oxides along with other contaminants in the water that was mixed in with the coolant. Typically it is called scale or calcium formations which commonly found in tap water. If the coolant was not flushed on a regualr basis, scale build up will reduce the efficiency of the radiator, block passeges in the heads and block, etc. IF you decide to flush the coolant system with the chemical agents, check for compatibility issues first. Some cooling flush chemicals are not recommened for use with aluminum.

IF you are having water circulation issues, chances are there is trapped air in the cooling system, or it could be scale blockage.

The cascade liquid cleaner in the coolant. Sounds like a neat idea. I wonder if CLR or Limeaway would work. Probably not. However, KABOOM does a great job on removing water scale, wonder how that would work in the motor as long as it does not end up with a KABOOM. The chemicals may be too harsh for that sort of useage but may be weaker than the coolant flush chemicals found in automotive stores. I will have to read the contents of the container to make sure it is safe for use.

VenomSVT
12-22-2005, 01:40 PM
Very interesting! I'm going to try the Prestone super flush first and if that doesn't work I will definately give it a try.:thumbsup: Thanks for the advice!

SNAKEYE
12-22-2005, 01:54 PM
So far there hasn't been any smoke coming out of the exhaust and the engine seems to run and idle normal. Also, the oil on the dip stick looks normal.

My other thought was that the last quick oil change place mistakenly put some oil in the radiator!:eek: I took it back to them and they told me it was sludge in the radiator. Now the car did sit in the previous owners garage for a couple of years and he didn't drive it much. So, I'm not sure if that's a possiblility or not. Anyway, I had them do a vacuum flush and now the radiator cooling fins I believe are clogged and water will not circulate throughout the engine. I also removed the thermostat to see if that would help and it hasn't. So, needless to say I can't drive for more than about 5 miles before the engine starts getting hot. :(
This is a rather common malady brought on by those not familiar with the cooling system of our Cobras. Sounds to me like somebody didn't properly "BURP" the cooling system after the flush and fill, and the cooling system is airlocked! Even though the radiator expansion tank is visibly full and there is no coolant level warning light present on the dash, coolant may not be high enough in the system to have filled the crossover tube.

With a cold engine, unscrew the plug from the crossover tube and look inside. Coolant should be visible immediately within. If not top it up with a 50/50 mixture of coolant. It could take as much as a quart or more of coolant to fill the top of the engine and the crossover tube if it was not properly done after the flush and fill. Do not remove the regular radiator cap as long as the crossover tube plug is removed, or the coolant above the cap level will drain into the expansion tank and air will again enter the crossover tube. As long as the crossover tube plug is inplace it is okay to remove the regular radiator cap to top-up the coolant level in the expansion tank should that be required.
Hope this gets you back on the road!

ausie
12-24-2005, 11:08 AM
The cascade liquid cleaner in the coolant. Sounds like a neat idea. I wonder if CLR or Limeaway would work. Probably not. However, KABOOM does a great job on removing water scale, wonder how that would work in the motor as long as it does not end up with a KABOOM. The chemicals may be too harsh for that sort of useage but may be weaker than the coolant flush chemicals found in automotive stores. I will have to read the contents of the container to make sure it is safe for use.
I did some looking into. most household chemicals intended for removal of lime, calcium or rust are acidic. I would not recommend any chemicals unless they were intended for automotive use. Also when it comes to mixing coolant with water you should always use distilled water which has a neutral PH and is lacking any minerals to a certain parts per million. Tap water may be acidic (hard) or basic(soft) along with other minerals and chemicals.

Oh yeah, tip for removing bleed plug, warm up the car first to the point where the U pipe is just warm. Otherwise it will not be easy to remove. I have already broken two extentions trying to open it when cold.

Oil in coolant: it is possible that oil may have been introduced in the water channels during engine assembly which may explain oil floating in the coolant on a new vehicle. Head gasket issues may also force oil into the coolant or exhaust gasses which may contain a small amount of oil. If you had a head gasket issue you would probably notice it. Coolant would also be dark in color from carbon. The oil cooler gasket could be another plausible means, but you would also get coolant in the oil if that were the case since both fluids are flowing at pressure (I believe the oil pressure is much higher though). If there was a gasket leak you would also be loosing oil to some degree. I am assuming that the 98 has an aluminum block so you can rule out rust. If incorrect coolant is mixed with Ethylene Glycol like G-05 (yellow) or OAT (organic acid technology) orange will cause the green coolant to turn brown. Also some additives like the redline "water wetter" or royal purple "purple ice" will also have a color effect on the Ethylene Glycol appearance depending on the concentration used. Also the brown fluid may be from contaminants if tap water was used. Coolant leak pellets will also form a brown goo in the radiator and if you see copper flakes floating in the coolant, chances are that a coolant leak product was used. Most of the "coolant fix-a-leak" products will not work as intended. In my oppinion they should not be used. Some of the environmentally safe coolants like Polyethylene Glycol usually have a different color dye in them to differentiate it from Ethylene Glycol. I once used the AMSOIL coolant which is purple in color and added water wetter to it and it turned brown. Needless to say it did not stay in the cooling system for very long since it just did not look right.