Main IndexAuto Repair Home Search Posts SEARCH
POSTS
Who's Online WHO'S
ONLINE
Log in LOG
IN









Search Auto Parts

Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant


  Email This Post



zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:01 PM

Post #1 of 15 (1288 views)
  post locked   Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

OK. I am new here.
I just bought a 1998 Saturn SL 1. It's a 1.9 litre, 4 cylinder.
Anyways, I was looking it over and was astonished when I took the cap off the coolant reservoir: It was like sludge in there! A dark browny/ blackish tar-like goop....
*Now, there's a sticker under the hood stating that the last radiator flush, and fill, was done approximately 5 1/2 years ago.*
This morning, I took the car for an oil change (well deserved) and a radiator flush (also well deserved). I drove around town for about an hour and when I got home I lifted the hood, took the cap off the coolant reservoir and noticed a swarm of tiny black bubbles, almost like a foam formation.
Now what's bothered me most of all are two things:
First, I am fearful that the tiny black bubbles will eventually, over time, turn the coolant sludgy and tarry again....
Second, from what I've read, this could be a head gasket issue, or a series of other mechanical problems....

I have joined this forum to ask all out there if you, or someone you know, has ever experienced this; and/ or what you suspect this issue is.
I think I would literally cry if it was a head gasket issue :-[

Thank you all for giving me the time of day,
I appreciate all input,
Zach
Crazy


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 7, 2013, 3:11 PM

Post #2 of 15 (1279 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

I'm afraid this may be very serious. What you are seeing is engine oil in the coolant. This engine is very notorious for cracking heads and causing this issue so you need to get it looked into very thoroughly to determine if this is the case.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:13 PM

Post #3 of 15 (1274 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Cracking heads?!? sounds frightening!

Is that as pricey as a head gasket replacement?
I have absolutely no experience with the mechanics of a car. but I am willing to buy a manual and do it myself to save hundreds of bucks!

In Reply To


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 7, 2013, 3:16 PM

Post #4 of 15 (1272 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  


Quote
Is that as pricey as a head gasket replacement?


Much worse...........

The head itself would not be able to be re-used and would have to be replaced.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:21 PM

Post #5 of 15 (1267 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Frick!!

Ok... so hypothetically, I would be looking at having to replace a cracked head, singular? Since my car is SOHC does that effect anything here?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 7, 2013, 3:24 PM

Post #6 of 15 (1264 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Yes, you car only has one head because it is a 4 cylinder and that would be a SOHC type.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:27 PM

Post #7 of 15 (1262 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Wow...
Would I have to replace the entire head ?
Do you recommend repairing it, if possible?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 7, 2013, 3:30 PM

Post #8 of 15 (1260 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Yes, the entire head. It's one large piece of aluminum.

It depends on where the crack is but i don't believe repair (welding) is an option.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:45 PM

Post #9 of 15 (1256 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Awwwwe :(

I know this will be a pricey replacement.....

In your estimate what do you think a Head goes for these days, after market, whatever.

Also, in your estimate, what do you think labor would cost to replace this.

Totalling = ?


zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:50 PM

Post #10 of 15 (1252 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

OK so I found a website in my part of Canada that sells used engines for about $300 ....

NOW, I'm wondering what labor cost would be to put something like that in my car......

Any idea ?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 7, 2013, 3:50 PM

Post #11 of 15 (1252 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Look, you're getting way ahead of yourself. The only advice I'm giving you is to get the car diagnosed correctly. They can give you estimates for repair.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



zachbilous
Novice

Aug 7, 2013, 3:52 PM

Post #12 of 15 (1250 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

I know this is all speculation right now, but Im preparing for the worst, in case is is in fact a cracked head.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 8, 2013, 6:29 AM

Post #13 of 15 (1240 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Quick search showed this for entire cyl head............ Surefire/Cylinder Head
(0 reviews) Part Number: 2S22 Warranty: 1 YR
Notes: In-Line head cast #21007136, 21006649. Complete head including camshaft. Intake ports have eyebrows for injectors


******
That one was $579 + $75 core deposit which you wouldn't get if really cracked. Diagnose first, choose a plan after that,

T



jokerpetrone
New User

Sep 27, 2013, 6:40 PM

Post #14 of 15 (1188 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

You can get the head welded,would be much cheaper than a new head.just make sure its at a reputable place.have it pressure checked first you might be lucky and just have a gasket leak.also get the head milled/plainer/resurfaced as well.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 28, 2013, 12:35 AM

Post #15 of 15 (1183 views)
  post locked   Re: Tiny Black Bubbles on Surface of Coolant  

Sport - thread is close to 2 months old. No - you don't know if a head can be fixed if that at all yet on this. Pressure test doesn't conclude where the flaw is.

Please leave older threads alone and I'll lock this one up unless original poster wants it reopened,

T







  Email This Post
 
 


Feed Button




Search for (options) Privacy Sitemap