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My Radiator water is white and sludgy, what could it b

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Blown head gasket leaking oil into the cooling system,

Posted on May 27, 2010

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Yuo have engine oil into the coolant system.If your engine is diesel you have two opportunity.First is engine oil cooler/top of oil filter/ and second-cylinder head gasket.If petrol engine-only cylinder head gasket.Any way-change them.

Posted on May 27, 2010

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Holden Cruze 2011 auto 1.8l. Have oil in my coolant reservoir. Any idea how it got there


Been a while since I have looked at one of these however If it has an oil cooler under the exhaust manifold (front of engine}ie radiator being front this would be where my suspition would be. I would normally run several checks 1st to confirm cooler being at fault but in the past i have replaced many. depending on how sludgy the coolant is i would also advise several flushes with fresh water through the system as well as using a detergent to brake down the oil on the 1st couple of flushes {only required if heavy sludging exsists). If bad sludging also clean or replace thermostat. Good luck.

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Oil light comes on and Idles very hard when car has heated up.


Change oil and compare how much comes out to how much was put in, shouldnt be off by more than 1/2 quart at the most. Check your coolant overflow tank for brown sludgy residue (like a milkshake). Also check under radiator cap and in thermostat for sludge. This would indicate a pad head gasket.

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Hello mrsfixit85: My name is Roger and I will be glad to help. If the leak is between the radiator and the front of the engine? I would suspect the water pump as the problem. But I would also look at the radiator tanks at either side of the radiator. They are known to crack and leak. Look at the radiator hoses. Make sure that they do not have a hole in them. If the leak is towards the rear or side of the engine I would look at the heater hoses. You did not say what engine was in your truck. But if you have a V-6 in your truck I would check the intake manifold area. Look at the fitting the heater hose connects to. This fitting is known to corrode off at the manifold. Also look at the corners of the intake to cylinder head. Should you see a sludgy trail from the corners in this area then the intake gasket needs replaced.
Should you need further help please just ask. Please rate the answer you received. This way I know it was helpful. Thank You for using Fix Ya. Roger

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2 Answers

1990 300zx non-turbo coupe 5 speed


Garyq1970 is right - white smoke usually indicates burning coolant. How full is your radiator? You should see coolant right up at the top of the fins inside when you remove the cap. Take a look and see if a) you are low, and b) if the coolant looks sludgy or contaminated, brown in color. If it's low, top it off and monitor it over a week's driving and see if you have to refill it again. If it's contaminated and brown, you have a problem.

Usually when you're burning off coolant, it's because of a torn head gasket allowing coolant into the cylinders. If it's not contaminated, that means the tear is between a water galley and the cylinder. If it's browish looking, then it's a tear between a water galley, an oil galley, and the cylinder, and the coolant and oil are mixing as well as being burned off. Either way, it's a very involved repair, as the top of the engine has to be removed to fix the problem. This involves removal of the upper and lower intake manifolds, and the entire timing belt system (which, given the in-depth job that the timing belt is, you might as well replace it, its tensioner, and the water pump and thermostat as well, to save yourself the labor later on). It's not a job for the faint of heart or wallet.

You may not be looking at such a repair but if you can monitor the coolant for a week or so and reply afterward and let me know, I'll take it along from there (just send me a request on here).

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