Oil in coolant system

Tiny
JSUPRICK
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SL1
  • 1.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 160,000 MILES
Oil was being pumped into the coolant system.
Ordered a rebuilt and pressure tested head, installed head at a professional repair shop, cleaned and checked block deck, new head gasket, and bolts. Had a heck of a time removing all oil from the coolant even after replacing all hoses and flushing the radiator. Drove for less than 1/4 tank of gas, way more oil in coolant than the original head.
Called the head rebuilder, they sent another head, same problem, only even more oil. Help!
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, October 21st, 2021 AT 6:06 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The idea that oil is in the coolant is (and I don't to say this) a crack in the cylinder head even though they are remanufactured, and pressure tested. I do recall the 1991-1998 SOHCs cylinder heads had a casting defect, which caused them to crack near or on the camshaft journals. That allowed oil to mix with the coolant. Other than that, the engine block could have cracks in tile oil and engine coolant passages in the cylinder liner area. That will need to be inspected if the cylinder head checks good.

The best way to check this is to remove the camshaft and then pressurize the cooling system. While pressurized, check for evidence of coolant at the camshaft journals.

Keep in mind, a remanufactured head was used. Many of these heads had problems that led to them needing replacement. If I had to guess, I suspect there is a crack in one of the journals. Also, I don't believe they pressure test the cooling system passages. That is where the leak would be found.

Let me know if you have questions.

Take care,

Joe

I just found the technical service bulletin. I attached it in the pics below. It describes what I mentioned and how it's fixed. It also provides the procedure for properly flushing the system. Let me know your thoughts or if you have questions.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, October 21st, 2021 AT 8:17 PM
Tiny
JSUPRICK
  • MEMBER
What is tile oil? Where would the block commonly crack? The reman house claims to pressure test after heating the heads.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, October 22nd, 2021 AT 6:59 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The term tile is a reference to the oil passage galleries. Take a look at the attachment and what I underlined. It's confusing because it sounds like there is an oil called tile. LOL

Take care and let me know what I can do to help.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, October 22nd, 2021 AT 7:43 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Sponsored links