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Buick has trace of oil in coolant

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Feb 28, 2013, 12:33 PM

Post #1 of 2 (920 views)
Buick has trace of oil in coolant Sign In

The car in question is a 1995 Buick LeSabre with mileage of 106,230 on a v-6 motor. The problem is that I'm seeing small amounts of oil residue right below the radiator cap when I check the coolant. The ugly truth is that this has been going on for a year. I realize I'm opening myself up to a world of criticism by admitting this, but it's the truth. I check the coolant and the oil constantly, and there has been no change. In other words, it doesn't appear that it's getting "worse". The car runs fine, and is driven every day. It also recently passed the smog test easily here in California. Even for someone with limitted mechanical skills, like myself, the first thing that comes to mind is a head gasket issue. Is there any other concievable way that petroleum residue can get into the coolant? There is not the slightest sign of coolant in the engine oil or transmission fluid. Any advice on this problem and what to do about it would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Feb 28, 2013, 12:50 PM

Post #2 of 2 (910 views)
Re: Buick has trace of oil in coolant Sign In

If it was an overhead cam engine or it had an oil cooler that coolant circulates into, it would be possible for engine oil to get into the coolant. It being an OHV engine, it would be unusual for that to happen because the oil that drains back down through the heads isn't under pressure and the pressurized oil comes up through the push rods.

If the transmission cooler inside the radiator is leaking, you could end up with transmission fluid in the radiator.

Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the radiator or have the cooler inside the radiator pressure tested for leak and then flush the coolant system out.

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