At this point, i'm trying to diagnose what the problem most likely is, so that I can make a decision about whether to fix the vehicle or get another. The engine is consuming oil at a quick rate. Roughly a quart every couple of days. I found oil on the underside of the frame rail, concentrated mostly at the point where you would pick up the front end of the car. There is a large rubber donut there and it looks like a place where either the tranny or the engine is mounted to. This is on the drivers side, and the frame rail is coated in oil as well. I found oil in the cooling system and reservoir tank. There is no coolant found in the oil. When the engine is warm and running, and the radiator cap off, bubbles are found coming to the top of the radiator. The intake manifold and head gaskets were replaced within the last 3-4 years. The engine runs well, does not overheat and the interior heat is ok. A friend has said that he thinks I have a cracked cylinder head. Others think it is a head gasket. Well, unfortunately, the difference in price for each of these repairs is enough to scrap the car if its a cracked head. I need some guidance here on what to do next. Are there any tests that can be performed to determine where the problem is?
If you are seeing air bubbles in the coolant, chances are you have a bad head gasket. Could it be cracked? Yes, it could. It would need checked. As far as the oil in the coolant, that could be from a bad radiator cooler. However, coolant usually gets in with the trans fluid, so check to see if that is the case. For the oil leak, you need to get a can of engine cleaner, clean the engine off and then look for the leak after you drive it a little. If you are going through a quart of oil every couple days, you have a bad leak. It could be an oil pan gasket, valve cover, cylinder head.
January, 21, 2013 AT 7:22 PM
The oil leak is definitely not the oil pan gasket, as the pan is very clean and the location of the drippage doesn't match up. I was thinking it could be the valve cover gasket or part of the head gasket/crack problem. Thanks for the response. How likely is it that the cylinder head is cracked?
January, 21, 2013 AT 7:27 PM
They usually don't crack. The gasket is usually the problem.