Question about 1999 Volvo S70

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Engine oil dipstick shows water and rust mixed in with oil

98 s70 at 115,000 miles, all syn oil from day one, fully serviced thru life of vehicle. Where is water and rust coming from? Last Oil change and filter at 111,000 showed no signs of this condition.

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Everyone always jumps to head gaskets. There are plenty of MINOR things that can be looked at first.
The Volvo 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 Inline 5 Cylinder dipstick tube is known to develop a large amount of condensationin winter months and stop and go driving. What you see on your dip stick is possibly just condensation. Take off your oil cap and look under the cap and inside the valve cover. Is there any thick foamy oatmeal like substance or noticeable amounts of water? If your oil was saturated with coolant, you would be able to see it up there too. Check your coolant for oil. Volvo coolant is typically brown to orange, however make sure there is no sludge. Start the car with the cap off and keep an eye out for alot of bubbles. A large amount of bubbles is a sign of a bad head gasket. A couple here and there is just air in your cooling system.
Coolant, Transmission fluid, and Oil have several places they can mix. If you have a turbocharged Volvo, the seals in the turbo can go bad and cause a mix of oil and coolant. Your transmission cooler is also in your radiator, and if it cracks your transmission fluid and coolant can mix. I believe turbo models have an oil cooler built into the radiator as well.
Overall if your car sounds fine, you dont see oatmeal, your not using coolant and oil in excessive amounts, dont have white smoke, and your turbo isnt whining you probably just have condensation in your dip stick. If you are overly concerned you can send a sample of your oil to a lab and have it tested for traces of coolant. Headgaskets rarely fail on Volvo's, even the old ones....I have seen many that have gone to replace them have not found a failed gasket and end up finding a bad transmission cooler or a bad turbo.

Posted on Mar 16, 2010

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Check you radiator fluid, see if there is any mixing in there too. If there is no indication of a Head Gasket problem, your Oil cooler could have a leak in it and that is a part of the radiator too.
You need to get that repaired soon and change the oil soon as possible too. Radiator fluid is corrosive to the Engine bearings.
Good luck and hope this helps.

Posted on May 09, 2009

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The source of the water in the oil is most likely a blown head gasket. Needs immediate service or engine will be damaged.

Posted on May 09, 2009

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It could be head gasket should as soon as you can

Posted on Mar 19, 2015

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