Question about 1997 Saturn SL

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1997 saturn automatic. motor oil in radiator. no coolant in motor just oil.

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I think your head gasket is bad.

Posted on Apr 30, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Has anyone ever had water in the reservoir of an radiator mixed with oil in a 4 cyclinder 1998 saturn engine I had the head gasket changed and everything flushed but now I see water in the radiator.


Oil in the cooling system can come from two places. First is the head gasket or from a crack in the cylinder head. Could be residue from previous failure...If so, cleaning it out should get rid of it.
If your engine oil has any coolant in it or you are overheating or loosing coolant, though the job was just done, head could be cracked or warped. Second place oil can come from is the transmission cooler in the radiator. (automatic trans only) If it fails trans fluid (oil) will get into the cooling system. That oil is red in color and usually easily identified. Only way to fix that is to replace the radiator, but be sure it's that before buying one.

Apr 16, 2011 | 1998 Saturn SL

1 Answer

Does the trans cooler exist inside the radiator on this V6 engine/auto trans combo? I found a brown foam in my 2001 Saturn V6's coolant overflow tank. It was so thick, i could not read the coolant level. ...


hmmm..........there is a OiL COOLER tube for the transmission cooler in ur radiator, that to keep ur tranny fluid to cool down!

As u said, u checked the engine oil, and it has no decrease on oil level!

Ur right about that... better bring that to ur mechanic and evaluate the radiator, the tube inside might have been damage or corroded!

Hope the seals up ur probs!

Dec 04, 2010 | 2004 Saturn L-Series

1 Answer

How do you replace the radiator in a 1997 Ford Escort?


Check this procedure to REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
(1.8L and 1.9L Engines)

CAUTION Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old.
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Place fender covers on the aprons.
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the cooling system.
  4. Remove the right and left-hand front splash shields.
  5. Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator.
  6. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, disconnect the lower oil cooler line from the radiator. Remove the oil cooler line brackets from the bottom of the radiator.
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8. If equipped with an automatic transaxle and air conditioning, remove the seal located between the radiator and the fan shroud.
  9. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, remove the upper oil cooler line from the radiator.
  10. If equipped with the 1.8L engine, remove the resonance duct from the radiator mounts.
  11. Unplug the cooling fan motor electrical connector and the cooling fan thermoswitch electrical connector.
  12. If necessary, remove the cooling fan thermoswitch for clearance.
  13. Remove the three fan shroud attaching bolts and remove the shroud assembly by pulling it straight up.
  14. On some 1.9L engines equipped with A/C, remove the upper radiator air deflector from the radiator and set it aside.
  15. Remove the upper radiator hose and the two upper radiator mounts.
  16. If equipped, remove the fluid cooler tube bracket bolts and coolant overflow hose from the radiator.
  17. Remove the radiator from the engine compartment by lifting it straight up.


2.0L Engine
(1997 MODELS)
  1. Remove the fan motor, blade and shroud assembly.
  2. Raise the car and support it with safety stands.
  3. Unfasten the left-hand splash shield bolts and remove the shield.
CAUTION Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old.
  1. Drain the cooling system into a suitable container.
  2. Disconnect the lower radiator hose and if equipped with an automatic transaxle, the lower oil cooler outlet tube.
  3. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, Unfasten the oil cooler tube bracket bolts.
  4. Lower the car and disconnect the upper radiator hose.
  5. Remove the radiator cap and disconnect the radiator overflow hose.
  6. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, disconnect the upper oil cooler outlet tube.
  7. Unfasten the four radiator bracket bolts and remove the radiator from the engine compartment.
To install:
  1. Install the radiator and tighten the bracket bolts.
  2. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, connect the upper oil cooler outlet tube.
  3. Install the radiator cap and connect the radiator overflow hose.
  4. Connect the upper radiator hose, then raise the car and support it with safety stands.
  5. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, tighten the oil cooler tube bracket bolts.
  6. Connect the lower radiator hose and if equipped with an automatic transaxle, the lower oil cooler outlet tube.
  7. Fill the cooling system with the specified amount and mixture of coolant.
  8. Install the splash shield and tighten the bolts.
  9. Lower the car and install the shroud, blade and fan motor assembly.
  10. Start the car and check for coolant leaks.

Hope helps (remember to rate this asnwer).

Nov 11, 2010 | 1997 Ford Escort

1 Answer

I have a 97 Saturn SL1 with engine oil in the coolant tank. Is the cause of the problem most likely a bad head gasket, cracked head or a cracked block? Please advise.


Could be any of the above, you won't know till you dissassemble it,
Make sure it is engine oil and not trans. oil, if it's trans. oil then you got lucky, replace the radiator

Jul 07, 2010 | 1997 Saturn SL

1 Answer

I hit a deer and ruined the radiator and my saturn is spraying oil all over the front where is it coming from


Sinse you smashed the rad, it COULD be the transmission oil cooler IF it's an automatic.
Look for two lines in the bottom of the radiator. :-)

Jan 21, 2010 | 1997 Saturn SL

2 Answers

I found oil in my water reservoir what happened its a 97 saturn sl 2


Check your radiator, your transmission cooler is built in you radiator and is leaking in your coolant.I hope this helps you?

Oct 03, 2009 | 1997 Saturn SL

2 Answers

There is heavy oil sludge in the coolant but it shows no coolant in the oil. I removed the thermostat and flushed out the cooling system for over an hour to clean it out. In nless than 1500 miles it is...


I have the same problem with a renault kangoo diesel , black thick oil in coolant --nice clean oil in motor , you have an oil cooler leaking oil into the cooling system , replace the oil cooler , I have not been able to get the black sludge out of the coolant internal parts , heater is blocked too , I thought of using kerosene to break down the sludge , but worry it might damage the hoses and they are not cheap, good luck

Jul 21, 2009 | 1997 Saturn SL

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