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Does it look like I have coolant in my oil? Please help!

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Old 11-11-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Does it look like I have coolant in my oil? Please help!

I just bought this 86 4runner 22RE it has about 170K miles on it and runs very good. I drove it home about 40 miles when I bought it and it easily cruised the freeway going 75 mph and did not over heat at all (actually the needle stayed just below the halfway mark). Anyway I just got around to checking out the mechanics of it and noticed that the oil was super filthy and I'm not sure but might have coolant in it. It doesn't really looks as milky as some of the pics I've seen on here although I've never seen this in person just in the pics. The radiator is low on coolant but the reservoir is above the full mark. I know if the oil does have coolant then it's likely the head gasket. Anyway please take a look at the pics below and tell me what you all think. For now I'm going to change the oil and coolant and take it from there. If I notice the coolant start to disappear and the new oil looking weird then I'll know that somethings wrong.



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Old 11-11-2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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BTW those are just reflections in the pics of the oil
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:15 AM   #4
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looks like a trace amount of water to me. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the headgasket either. It could be a hole in the timing cover that was worn from the timing chain with a busted guide, which is actually a little more common on these then headgaskets.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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I don't think so... but I'm no expert. I would think that if you had a head gasket issue then it would over heat and you wouldn't have much coolant left in your rad or reservoir. You would also have white smoke coming from your exhaust too.

Change your fluids and keep an eye on it.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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Coolant doesn't always get into a combustion chamber if the headgasket is bad. As the headgasket seals more then just combustion chamber to water, it also seals oil to water and oil to combustion chamber as well as all three from atmosphere.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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How long has it been sitting. The oil should separate from the water.

Not looking good...

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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I flushed the old coolant and burped the system. I took it for a drive and it began to over heat now on a very short trip. When I got back I checked the dipstick and it looks a little cloudy so I'm thinking it is coolant. I'll post pics of the dipstick. I'm just confused since it runs good.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:31 PM   #9
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:34 PM   #10
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yeah it sure looks like coolant in the oil. it might be the timing chain cover, the guides on these are plastic. i would check that first if i were you.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:26 PM   #11
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Definitely looks like you got some coolant in your oil. Doesnt look too too bad since it is still pretty dark.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:30 PM   #12
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MMmmm remember: When your oil looks like chocolate milk, there is a coolant leak. Even if it is a small leak, any amount of water in your engine with oil is bad. Start pulling spark plugs and turning engine over. Have someone watch to see if water comes out of cylinder. If any water comes out, you have a blown head gasket.

Last edited by bassbro1; 11-11-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:38 AM   #13
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pull the valve cover off and see what's what. see if indeed, you have eroded the wall of thee timing cover./ water pump with the chain. my guess is yes you did. my oil looked like chocolate milk and never had a bit of steam out the tailpipe...because it was not a headgasket failure. could always pull the plugs and see if (with a bright flashlight) the tops of the pistons are shiney clean from being steam-cleaned by a failed headgasket.

so that's 2 things to do....pull the plugs and look with a flashlight and pull the valve cover and see if the chain has eroded. next would be a compression test.
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