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Old 18-04-2013, 11:11   #1
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Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

I figured that oil was leaking into my cooling system because the overflow reservoir was stained black. (New boat to me last year.) But after changing all cooling hoses and replacing the coolant I noticed "mucho oil slicko".



Is this something that must be addressed now to prevent more costly repairs at the end of the season?

I have never seen evidence of coolant in the crankcase oil.

The oil pressure relief valve regulates oil pressure at
300-400 kPa (43-57 psi). And the oil pressure at 850rpm should be 50 kPa (7 psi).

The pump pressure test for the cooling system calls for 13 psi (90 kPa). If the cap fails to hold pressure for 30 seconds without dropping under 11
psi (76 kPa), replace it.

So it is probable that coolant is not getting into the oil, at least not at cruising speed.

Please advise.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:23   #2
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

Definitely not good.

What model engine? Appears to be a Yanmar. Is that hte opening where the cap flange bolts on?
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:27   #3
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

It can happen with a blown head gasket or leaking oil cooler. I would suspect those first.

Be sure to check your engine oil for any emulsified oil, which would be indicated by coffee latte colored oil. If this is the case then do not run your engine.

Pull your oil cooler first if it is a cooler that uses engine coolant. If it is a raw water oil cooler then your oil cooler it is not the problem and I would suspect the head gasket.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:29   #4
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

I been mechanic by trade for the last 20 years and to me it looks eighter like a head gasket that is giving up slowly or depending what kind ok engine you have, it could also come from the injectors....(some are cooled by oil or work with oil presure....)

Anyway, it needs to be fixed....the head gasket would be more critical as engine's compression will eventually eat up the block and the head or even blow your radiator....

Good luck with that.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:42   #5
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

These two liquids don't play well together and continued operation of the engine will only make the situation worse. The cause can range from a cracked head or block to a faulty gasket. But if the engine were mine I would hope for a worn out and leaking oil cooler. If your engine has one remove it and check it with air pressure, if you're lucky it's an easy fix.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:47   #6
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

Depending on how your engine is built...the usual suspect for cross-contamination of fluids is either a gasket at a pump (i.e. at the water pump or oil pump) or more often the head gasket itself. Head gaskets are funny, they may leak only when hot, or cold, or only one way or another.

But since this COULD be a sign of a head gasket failure, and head gasket failures can be catastrophic, I wouldn't wait. I'd check it out, or have someone check it out, immediately. Odds are you can live with it for a while, but a blown head gasket can really ruin your day. Better to give up a weekend of sailing, now, and get someone to check that out.

Pretyt much any shop manual for any engine should discuss the ways to check head gasket problems, and they are pretty much all the same. Not always--but enough to give you some ideas.
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Old 18-04-2013, 12:47   #7
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

A quick and dirty test would be to run your engine and while it is still cool, remove the coolant pressure cap. A blown head gasket would likely cause some bubbling/foaming of the coolant and even cause it to overflow.
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Old 18-04-2013, 13:22   #8
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

I had oil in the coolant once, and it was from a cracked head. I hope yours is something easier._____Grant.
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Old 18-04-2013, 13:28   #9
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

good luck. they dont mix well....overhaul engine so all is good then sail away into.....
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Old 18-04-2013, 14:54   #10
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Definitely not good.

What model engine? Appears to be a Yanmar. Is that hte opening where the cap flange bolts on?
Yes, it's a yanmar 2GM20F, and yes the picture is during the fill cap gasket replacement.
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Old 18-04-2013, 14:58   #11
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
It can happen with a blown head gasket or leaking oil cooler. I would suspect those first.

Be sure to check your engine oil for any emulsified oil, which would be indicated by coffee latte colored oil. If this is the case then do not run your engine.

Pull your oil cooler first if it is a cooler that uses engine coolant. If it is a raw water oil cooler then your oil cooler it is not the problem and I would suspect the head gasket.
It is fresh water cooled with a heat exchanger. I changed the oil at the end of last season and it did not show signs of water. I think I could get the gaskets and changed the cooler quickly enough (I want to get on the water!), and if I don't see any oil in the coolant after running, then problem solved.
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Old 18-04-2013, 15:00   #12
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

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Originally Posted by Kinkajou View Post
I been mechanic by trade for the last 20 years and to me it looks eighter like a head gasket that is giving up slowly or depending what kind ok engine you have, it could also come from the injectors....(some are cooled by oil or work with oil presure....)

Anyway, it needs to be fixed....the head gasket would be more critical as engine's compression will eventually eat up the block and the head or even blow your radiator....

Good luck with that.
Doesn't have oil cooled injectors, and does not have an oil cooler.
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Old 18-04-2013, 15:06   #13
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Depending on how your engine is built...the usual suspect for cross-contamination of fluids is either a gasket at a pump (i.e. at the water pump or oil pump) or more often the head gasket itself. Head gaskets are funny, they may leak only when hot, or cold, or only one way or another.

But since this COULD be a sign of a head gasket failure, and head gasket failures can be catastrophic, I wouldn't wait. I'd check it out, or have someone check it out, immediately. Odds are you can live with it for a while, but a blown head gasket can really ruin your day. Better to give up a weekend of sailing, now, and get someone to check that out.

Pretyt much any shop manual for any engine should discuss the ways to check head gasket problems, and they are pretty much all the same. Not always--but enough to give you some ideas.

Yeah, this was my line of thinking, a one way leak in the head gasket. I know it's not a cracked head because the world could not possibly be that cruel.
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Old 19-04-2013, 10:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo View Post

Doesn't have oil cooled injectors, and does not have an oil cooler.
Oil pressure is higher than the pressure in a closed cooling system. But the closed cooling system retains pressure for awhile after engine is shut down. If coolant isn't moving into the lubricant now it will eventually. With no oil cooler it is almost certainly your head gasket. What color is the exhaust when you 1st start it? The coolant may be leaking into a cylinder & being blown out the exhaust on the next start. This will ruin your liners & pistons. Get this fixed before you have to replace a engine. Good luck
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Old 20-04-2013, 17:04   #15
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Re: Oil In Coolant, Critical Condition?

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Oil pressure is higher than the pressure in a closed cooling system. But the closed cooling system retains pressure for awhile after engine is shut down.
Interesting point.

Based on the responses, it is either the head gasket or the freshwater pump gasket. I have to remove the freshwater pump to remove the head anyway, so wish me luck.
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