Coolant in Oil - What Now?

Discussion in 'Engine & Drivetrain' started by Justinj360, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Justinj360

    Justinj360 Senior Member Supporting Member

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    Started the truck this morning (2004 GMC Yukon 5.3L Flex 206k miles) and immediately noticed a knocking sound (with doors closed and windows rolled up). That was unusual so I shut it off, got out of the truck, opened the hood, and looked for anything obvious. I noticed the coolant reservoir was low but it has been lately. I've been planning on changing the intake manifold gasket because I couldn't find any other coolant leaks... Did my time run out?
    I checked the oil and saw that it had a few bubbles in the oil towards the top of the stick. When I went to wipe the dipstick it was noticeably sticky, not how oil should feel.
    I've never had this issue before but I know it's bad news. It happened to my dad's 98 Suburban. So what are my options?
     
  2. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    Well, you'll want to confirm that coolant is in fact in your oil and how it got there. Could be a headgasket or something worse, but often, you won't know until you open it up.
     
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  3. Justinj360

    Justinj360 Senior Member Supporting Member

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    Alright. So is the engine salvageable then?
     
  4. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    Well, let's say you have no rod knock and it just needs new head gaskets, yeah, put it back together and run it. If the coolant takes out the bearings, then you have to decide whether to rebuild that engine or swap in another. Hard to know from this side of the keyboard you know? hehe

    There are some tools you can rent or buy that can help find the source of the leak. One is a radiator tester, the other is s compression tester and the other was mentioned on this forum farily recently. It was something I'd not heard of and unfortunately its name escapes me. Others will chime in, probably with better advice!
     
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  5. SnowDrifter

    SnowDrifter Full Access Member

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    If you have a blown head gasket at 206k miles, I'd do a proper rebuild. Especially if you noticed a knock. It doesn't take much coolant in the oil to absolutely ruin its lubricity.

    Drain it, send in for an oil analasys to check for coolant.

    Go the auto parts store, look for a block tester. It goes on the radiator cap and will check for the presence of combustion gas via a color change

    What heads do you have? There's a cracking issue on some that'll leak coolant into the oil

    Check all other sources for leak. Heater core, water pump, radiator, hoses, tstat housing, heater core connectors, rear heater hoses, oil cooler in radiator
     
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  6. Justinj360

    Justinj360 Senior Member Supporting Member

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    I ordered an oil analysis kit and I'll let you know the results. It'll probably take awhile. I guess that's about all I can do at this point. There's a million things running through my mind right now...

    I do not know what kind of heads I have. They're the originals as far as I know.
     
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  7. Doubeleive

    Doubeleive Elite Member Supporting Member

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    you can pull off your oil filler cap flip it upside down and see what it looks like, if it's milky it's probably bad news unless you only drive very short distances then it could be normal moisture
     
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  8. Justinj360

    Justinj360 Senior Member Supporting Member

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    I had time to drain the oil at lunch but didn't have time for anything else. I sent the pics to my dad and he said without a doubt there's antifreeze in there. Judging by pictues online, it could've been a lot worse. I will check the underside of the filler cap. I do drive short distances to work.

    20180824_183847833_iOS.jpg 20180824_183901892_iOS.jpg
     
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  9. mattbta

    mattbta Full Access Member

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    Google castech heads. You might have them.
     
  10. Tonyrodz

    Tonyrodz Full Access Member

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    Easiest way--On the driver side, look all the way to the lower right(rear of the head) , you'll see a 3 digit # stamped on the head, that'll tell you what head casting you have--on the pass side that number is all the way to the right(front of the head) IMAG0962.jpg
     
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