Oil in the coolant

Tiny
ESARGE
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  • 2003 SATURN L300

Six cylinder front wheel drive automatic 90,000 miles.

I took it in for an oil change and found oil in the cooling system. What could cause this?

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Friday, July 24th, 2009 AT 8:07 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
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Possibly a blown head gasket.

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Sunday, July 26th, 2009 AT 7:25 PM
Tiny
KDOGLADY
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Not so fast! It may not be a cracked block or cylinder head or any of those other really nasty things.
I have got the same problem and have been reading about problems with the oil cooler sealant. (Google the TSB # below) They have no gasket; the sealant degrades and oil flows into the coolant. No coolant into the oil, the oil is under much more pressure.
There is a service bulletin out about it: TSB: #00-T-66
My car is at the dealer right now awaiting diagnosis and repairs.

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Friday, July 31st, 2009 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
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Crazy water oil coolers.

They put those on diesel big rigs too, and they have tons of problems.

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Friday, July 31st, 2009 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
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Very interesting. The guy at the dealership said he had only encountered oil mixed with coolant twice before, both were diesels. But he said he had not been at Saturn long.

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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 10:59 AM
Tiny
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I have oil in my coolant too. The Saturn dealer called me a day or so ago to say the infamous oil cooler is the culprit. The good news was the cost: $1,900.00, instead of $4,000.00 or $5000.00.

The bad news is the cost: $1900.00.
I am not inclined to pay for it since it had been a known problem for at least two years before my car was built. I cannot afford it either, having retired early on a disability.

I contacted Saturn Customer Assistance and they are now investigating. They may tell me something by the end of the week. If I am not happy, then let the negotiations begin!

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 AT 10:55 PM
Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
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Good luck fighting the machine.

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 AT 11:00 PM
Tiny
KDOGLADY
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Well, "the machine" spoke and I lost. They claim it is not a defect, but due to age and mileage of the vehicle. I pointed out that it only has 60,000 miles on it. They say it does not matter. The TSB does not help either.
Now what? Any ideas would be appreciated very much.

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Friday, August 7th, 2009 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
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If you suspect that it is the oil cooler, then take it off the car and test it.

If you have an air compressor that gets to around 100 psi.
And if you are not married, then you can fill up the bath tub and use the compressed air to see if any bubble leak out.

You will have to figure out your own way of capping off the lines.

If you cannot do this, most radiator repair shops should be able to do it for about $45.00.

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Friday, August 7th, 2009 AT 6:22 PM

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