2011 Toyota Camry got an oil change and friend added coolant (dont think it was the right one). For a couple days when i would drive car would make loud noise. Drove it for couple days when one day the check engine light came on and car turned off, smoke came out of the hood, oil and coolant leaked not sure from where.now car wont turn on

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Adding the wrong coolant should not have caused you any issues in and of itself. There was something else going on and from your description, it started with the oil change (or about that time). Aug 31, 2022 at 21:28
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    He didn't put coolant in the oil tank did he..? Sep 1, 2022 at 9:19
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    Coolant in oil normally emulsifies (even in small quantities like from a minor cylinder head gasket leak), and condenses at the top of the engine just under the oil filler cap. It shows up there as a milk-chocolate-coloured sludge. When you say "Now won't turn on", do you mean (a) no instrument warning lights, (b) no cranking over of engine, or (c) cranks but will not start up. Sep 1, 2022 at 13:03
  • The "wrong coolant" would be adding a "standard" coolant to a vehicle with an aluminum block, head or radiator that requires an aluminum compatible coolant. As noted, this will manifest as a long-term problem, not a short-term within a couple of days problem. You mention that there were oil & coolant leaks. Have you checked the oil level to see if there's any still in the engine? Have you checked the coolant level to see if there is any/enough?
    – FreeMan
    Sep 1, 2022 at 14:00
  • As @Paul_Pedant said, we'd need more details on what is/isn't happening. If I had to hazard a guess based on the information presented, I'd say the oil was drained and not refilled or the drain plug fell out. It'd about line up with my expected timeline of the engine burning off the little oil that's left over from the change while making unhappy noises the entire time. However, I'd also expect a low oil light in the interim and that's not mentioned.
    – user36139
    Sep 1, 2022 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


I'm not a believer in coincidence, so I am 99.9% sure there is a relationship between the oil change and the problems you are having.

It sounds like there has been a catastrophic failure of some sort, possibly a blown engine due to lack of oil or incorrectly changed oil somehow.

I also agree with Paulster2 that it seems like a very remote possibility that using the wrong type of coolant (whatever that means exactly) is the cause here. That's a long-term issue that can cause problems years down the road, not within a few days.

My recommendation is to have the car towed to a reputable mechanic and have them assess the damage.

  • The reason I stated about the coolant is, most coolants are mixable without issue. It usually just means you won't get the longevity out of some of them you'd get otherwise. Not the best thing to mix coolants, but not catastrophic, either. Sep 1, 2022 at 0:08
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 My VWs take Pink fluid, don't mix with green; it will create solid (gelled) artifacts that you don't want in your engine. And there are other distinct colors (great article here). In short, don't mix unless you know the two fluids mix well. To quote, "Important to remember is that conventional and OAT coolant types don’t go together. Never mix them together in your radiator unless specifically designed to be mixes with other types, because in the long run it can end up destroying your system.
    – gowenfawr
    Sep 1, 2022 at 14:31
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    @gowenfawr Huh, never knew that. But the article seems to suggest that it's a rare unfortunate side-effect under certain circumstances rather than a sure thing "Also it is believed by some that mixing coolants in a radiator might lead to coolant gelling in the right unfortunate circumstances". Outside of that, I'm in Paulster's camp in that I highly doubt coolant caused the issue.
    – user36139
    Sep 1, 2022 at 14:54

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