Question about 1996 Honda Odyssey

2 Answers

Radiator coolant is quite black color

Looks like there is oil in radiator coolant

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  • kmnop Jun 02, 2009

    Thankyou guys I alrdy had the head off but gasket looks good so was goint to take head in to get checked out

  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    "History" is important here...First, has the vehicle previously overheated due to a head gasket problem? If so, after repair was made, was system flushed to remove residue? (really difficult to remove all of it) Black residue generally is associated with exhaust gasses entering the cooling system, leaving combustion carbon residue there. Is the engine running correctly or do you have an overheating or coolant loss problem now? Engine oil in the cooling system usually appears as a brown milkshake like substance. Generally, coolant will also be found in the engine oil (oil intrudes into cooling system when running as pressure is higher in oiling system, then reverses with engine off as cooling system remains pressurized till engine cools down)
    If you have no problems currently other than residue, flush cooling system to clean it out. Then monitor closely for any problems.


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The most likely cause is a ruptured wells plug between a water and oil jacket. It can also be a crack in the head or blown head gasket. Because oil is lighter than water it will "float" on top of water and would be noticed when left to stand for a while but if you recently started the motor it would be mixed with the water and you would not be able to tell (Depending on the type and grade of oil you use!!!!) Thanks for using FixYa - a FixYa rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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If it is oil and it sounds like it is, you have a leaking engine cylinder head gasket.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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