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I need some advice I'm broke and I need the car (like it's not an option) it hasn't overheated yet .

This just happened about a week ago, I'm driving way slower like 50/60kmh and 70/90kmh when in downhill but in neutral.

I'm doing my very best to only use the car for the utmost necessary, dropping picking daughter to school then daycare then back home.

It's rainy season in my country and the little one just came out from a bronquitis episode so yeah exposure to water is not an option.

I know pouring my life drama won't fix the car, but I really need someone to break it down cold to me, like I'm really ucked up, or there could be a silver lining that would allow me to still use it a little, while I whre around or do something to get the money to fix it.

Update prior posting: my wife just called saying she feels a burning scent (no smoke or anything visible, no over heating visible through the gauge)

Please see below the way the tank looks. FYI after the picture was taken I "squeezed" one ioff the hoases attached to the radiator and coolant went back over the coolant reservoir and "cleaned" whatever polish fecal looking matter there was, so it's a really thin layer.

I refilled the coolant to compensate the overflowned coolant.

enter image description hereenter image description here

  • Looks like oil in your coolant. I would check the oil level and make sure it hasn't gone down, but there could easily be coolant in your oil too. Possible head gasket leak or crack in the head. I would get it properly diagnosed sooner than later. – raydowe Jul 7 '17 at 7:45
  • There is no image(s). – CharlieRB Jul 7 '17 at 14:12
  • Head gasket was Ok. Block is off on the left side 2mm, no visible cracks or anything and about 135k km, no overheated driving on my end, the oil looks burned (was about time to do oil change anyways) so yeah looks dark but not mushy, the mechanic opened it and the gasket seemed ok, they did a level thing where the cylinders are located and it seems like on the left side is off 2mm causing the internal leakage (oil to coolant) mechanic does mentions I need to do some additional fixes to the block or failure may or may not happen in the future, comments recommendations? – Cmurcia Jul 9 '17 at 4:38
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    Just as some friendly advice about transportation in a pinch; I'm not sure where you live but there's a good amount of car sharing solutions out there such as ZipCar. I used to zip around with them a lot and paid a one time yearly subscription fee and then an hourly per vehicle rate of something like $8-$13/hr. I canceled once I got a car but then they offered me a free indefinite membership that I can only use on weekdays (weekends are in high demand). I think standard car rental places began this hourly rental gig too, so check your options. – jxramos Oct 5 '17 at 19:42
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Not good. The proverbial "milk shake".

But... from the color I'd sooner suspect the transmission cooler is what is leaking, not engine oil from a blown headgasket.

Check the transmission dipstick (if you have one) and see if has this same frothy opaque appearance. It should be red, amber, or even a dark red approaching black - but should have none of the milky appearance in your reservoir. If it does, it's a failed transmission cooler, which shares part of the radiator. This is a far more common failure than a head gasket leak.

You can also check the engine oil on the dipstick as well. If this is milky, than the culprit is engine oil -- most likely from head gasket failure.

If it's just the transmission cooler section of the radiator, you might get by with a radiator replacement and a full transmission flush and filter change. This needs to be done soon, as coolant will eventually ruin clutch packs and internal transmission components. A new transmission is likely more money than a head gasket.

I understand your hardship, but driving the vehicle will continue to cause damage until this situation is fixed.

I'm assuming this vehicle has an automatic transmission. If not, then the ATF in coolant failure I'm describing does not apply.

Good luck. Check the transmission fluid and engine oil,and report back to us.

  • It's standard transmission ... Checked the oil and no funky looking substance – Cmurcia Jul 7 '17 at 2:29
  • Head gasket was Ok. Block is off on the left side 2mm, no visible cracks or anything and about 135k km, no overheated driving on my end, the oil looks burned (was about time to do oil change anyways) so yeah looks dark but not mushy, the mechanic opened it and the gasket seemed ok, they did a level thing where the cylinders are located and it seems like on the left side is off 2mm causing the internal leakage (oil to coolant) mechanic does mentions I need to do some additional fixes to the block or failure may or may not happen in the future, comments recommendations? – Cmurcia Jul 9 '17 at 4:38
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You can drive it, but engine cooling will be sub-par

This means you will have to monitor engine temperature fastidiously.

It also means that the more you drive, the more you will damage the cooling system which you'll end up having to refresh/repair/replace.

Based on a rudimentary internet search it looks like your engine oil cooler is air-cooled, not coolant-cooled.

The good news is that this eliminates the oil cooer as a possible location where oil and coolant can mix to form the cholocate milkshake.

The bad news is that the other likely location where this can occur is the interface between the engine block and cylinder head, so it looks like you'll need a new head gasket to fix the problem.

Once that is installed, you will also have to take care of undoing the damage to the cooling system. You'll have to have the following items evaluated for flushing/replacement:

  • clogged coolant hoses

    Basically the gunk needs to be flushed out. No need to replace them IMO.

  • clogged radiator

    It's possible to reverse-flush them, but time-consuming. Most mechanics will just recommend replacing the radiator

  • clogged water pump

    Flush out the milkshake. Some might suggest replacing it for peace of mind.

  • coolant flush

    From experience, it can take several flushing iterations to get all of the milkshake out.

All the best.

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    @cmurcia Has this vehicle ever been run in a grossly overheated condition? My guess is cracked block (or head). In my entire career I have never seen head gasket failure (except where someone didn't torque head bolts correctly. ) what does the oil look like on the dip stick? How many miles/kms on the odometer? How many miles/kms do you really expect to get on this vehicle? – zipzit Jul 7 '17 at 18:18
  • Head gasket was Ok. Block is off on the left side 2mm, no visible cracks or anything – Cmurcia Jul 9 '17 at 4:30
  • Head gasket was Ok. Block is off on the left side 2mm, no visible cracks or anything and about 135k km, no overheated driving on my end, the oil looks burned (was about time to do oil change anyways) so yeah looks dark but not mushy, the mechanic opened it and the gasket seemed ok, they did a level thing where the cylinders are located and it seems like on the left side is off 2mm causing the internal leakage (oil to coolant) mechanic does mentions I need to do some additional fixes to the block or failure may or may not happen in the future, comments recommendations? – Cmurcia Jul 9 '17 at 4:38
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It could be the wrong kinds of coolants mixed together. Color looks off to be oil. GM’s Red/Orange (colorblind here) DexCool when mixed with Ethylene Glycol coolant would cause a chemical reaction and build up a nasty thick slug just like this. I would absolutely not drive it. The stuff in your cooling system is no longer coolant, it is plugging up hoses and passageways. It may not show on the gauge that it’s overheating because at the temp sender it good but you could be frying the rest of it. It will cost you less to fix it now if you ruin the motor. Humanity survived for 10s of thousands of years without cars. You and your daughter can do it for a few weeks. I’ve done it for months when my sons where little. I got to where I preferred public transportation over driving to and from work and school.

protected by Community May 31 at 8:13

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