Milky goo seen on oil cap and bubbles in the radiator

Tiny
SHISHIR
  • MEMBER
  • 2011 VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 92,000 MILES
It all began when temperature light on the dash started glowing after travelling just 5 kms. Only a week earlier I had checked coolant and it was showing within limits. I took it straight to mechanic who carried out a pressure test on coolant and in a haste declared that water pump has leaked.

I was there in the garage and there was no oozing coolant from anywhere except for a two to three droplets along with some oil under the engine. I could see as the car was mounted up on the lift.

Hesitantly I bought a new water pump and took it to a different mechanic as the previous one was too busy. The new mechanic opened the oil cap and showed me the milky goo on the gap. He also carried pressure test on the coolant. New diagnosis was that the head gasket has leakage and instead of coolant leaking externally it is entering the engine via head gasket. So the mechanic said the best solution is to sell the car as early as possible as the head gasket repair will cost $3,000.00 or more. I left the garage with a mind to sell the car as soon as possible.

I did observation on the coolant reservoir and found tiny bubbles and frothy layer when engine was revved up. I also found a lot of oil traces near the engine head (see pictures).

After driving about 100 km over the weekend I saw that coolant levels have gone down marginally. Both readings taken on cold engine.

Can someone help me ascertain if it’s the leaking water pump or the leaking head gasket or is it both that is dropping the coolant levels? What is the way out of my situation.
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Saturday, April 20th, 2019 AT 5:48 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
SCWICKEDSTANG
  • EXPERT
Hello,

I am in agreement with the second mechanic. Coffee creamer oil or goo on the oil fill cap is a pretty good indication of a bad head gasket, as well as bubbles in the radiator. When there is an overheating incident, a lot of times this is what happens. It's because the engine block is cast iron and the cylinder heads are usually aluminum and they cool at different rates that causes the cylinder heads to warp and the head gasket to fail. I ave included a few links for you to go to below:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/coolantantifreeze-in-the-engine-oil
https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression
https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

Please go through these guides and get back to us with what you are able to find out, please.

Thanks,
Alex
2CarPros
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Saturday, April 20th, 2019 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome to 2CarPros.

First, if you see coolant drops on the exterior of the engine, there must be a leak unless someone opened the system. Now, the substance you saw on the oil cap can be the result of condensation in the engine and not a head gasket. Usually, you will see the same type of substance on the oil dipstick when checking the oil.

With that in mind, I have two suggestions. First, you need to pressurize the cooling system to see if you can locate a leak near the water pump. And second, you need to test to see if the head gasket is leaking. Now you did mention that you saw bubbles in the coolant which usually indicates the gasket, but not always.

Here are a few links I need you to follow. The first is related to the head gasket and what to look for.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

Next, here are a few links related to locating a coolant leak. The one link explains how to pressure test the system. Note that you will need a special tool to do that. However, most parts stores will lend it to you.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-is-leaking-coolant

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/radiator-pressure-test

If you could perform those two things and let me know what you find, I would be better able to direct you. Again, the creamy substance only on the oil cap can be the result of a plugged PCV valve, so lets not jump to conclusions.

Take care and I will watch for your reply.

Joe
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Saturday, April 20th, 2019 AT 9:04 PM
Tiny
SHISHIR
  • MEMBER
I just don t understand how to deal with these mechanics and whom to trust. I am also reading about head gasket sealers like blue devil. Is it only a temporary fix or permanent one?
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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 AT 5:29 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

I understand your concern. Keep in mind, I am here only to help. There is no worry about me taking advantage of the situation. Have you tried the head gasket tests I suggested?

I have never personally used the product you mentioned. However, I have heard a lot of success with it. I have a feeling it may be a temporary fix, but if you confirm it is a head gasket, you may want to try it. I also heard it is very important to follow the manufacturer's directions for use.

Let me know if I can help.

Joe
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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 AT 7:14 PM

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