Question about 1996 Geo Prizm

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Oil in coolant

She starts fine, idle is fine, no leaks anywhere, not blowing smoke. 15-20 min later temp guage goes through the roof . I open the radiator cap, oil in the coolant. Is it the head gasket? Can it be something else? I replaced the thermostat about 20,000 miles ago not leaking from waterpump. Is the oil in the coolant hindering the cooling of the engine? I can take the head off and get to the gasget is there anything special I need to know about reassmbly, ie: torque # for head bolts or timing . Thank you for your time. Ben

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  • benperezds Feb 04, 2009

    I checked the oil it looks fine, not dicolored. The radiator is full of oil ????? Could this still be head related.

  • Mark Egan May 11, 2010

    When you check the oil, is it milky?

    If it's a head gasket, water usually get's in the oil before oil get's into the water. Remember, water pressure is at 10 ponds or so pressure after the engine is cut off and no oil pressure exists. The water will seek the path to the oil, just as the oil supposedly seeks the path to the water, through the head gasket.

    How certain are you that it's oil in the water?


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Head gasket or cracked head. Thats the only way oil can get in the coolant.
Do a compression test on each cylinder to test for crack or leaking gasket.

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

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