Question about 2002 Chevrolet Impala

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Brown sludge in water reservoir

The radiator was supposedly flushed this past year now I am seeing a brown think sludge in the reservoir and some is now appearing on the radiator cap.
Can you tell me what could be causing this and what needs done to fix the problem

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  • len_olszewsk Jan 07, 2009

    Thanks Phil,

    That is what I suspected

  • email4mcrowl Jun 04, 2014

    Saturn adds conditioning pellets to the cooling system which is a Ginger Root derivative as I understand it. It causes the light brown "peanut butter" sludge in an effort to keep the water pump lubricated. The sludge first appears on the radiator cap. The sludge can also be caused by a coolant called DexCool. WAtch your temperature for overheating and you can have your pressures checked to see if you have a gasket issue but it is more than likely the normal Saturn sludge we all see and freak out over at first glance:)

  • email4mcrowl Jun 04, 2014

    Before you go to extremes consider this: Saturn adds a conditioner to the coolant made of Ginger Root and it creates the "peanut butter" sludge at the radiator cap. It is used to lubricate the water pump. There is also a coolant called DexCool that creates a similar sludge. Watch for overheating and if still concerned have your pressure checked. The "peanut butter" sludge is a Saturn thing.



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  • 52 Answers

I would guess that it's your head gasket, are you getting any creamy residue on the bottom of your oil cap too, may be worth having a compression test done on your engine first

Posted on Jan 07, 2009


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