Any products for cleaning oil sludge from coolant system?

Tiny
VALLEY_MAN0505
  • MEMBER
  • SATURN
My 99 Saturn SL1 (145,000 miles) has been having problems with oil getting into the coolant for over a year now (no coolant in oil). Recently, I ran into overheating problems and replaced the water pump, thermostat, and radiator and still had problems. It turns out that some of the oil that was in the coolant has formed a gel-like sludge that was plugging up the area around the thermostat and wouldn't allow anything through the thermostat. Runs fine now without the thermostat in place. Now, I can't figure out how to get all this sludge out of the system. Most coolant cleaners are only designed for "typical" coolant contaminants (scale, rust, etc.), But are there any that will clean this sludge out? Seems like it would need to be some type of solvent but don't want to run anything that will create additional damage.
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Saturday, October 27th, 2007 AT 11:10 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
All of this is abnormal! If your tranny cooler lines attach to the radiator, the cooling tank for the tranny oil is cracked internally, and the radiator must be replaced, After that take it to a radiator shop for flushing, explain the oil problem. If thr tranny lines don't attach to the radiator, you have a more serious problem, bad head gasket, or cracked block.
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Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 8:00 AM
Tiny
VALLEY_MAN0505
  • MEMBER
I am very well aware that there is a more serious problem. I am pretty sure it is either a warped or cracked cylinder head. My question is whether there is anything that will work to get the sludge out of the coolant systemm. FYI.I have already replaced the water pump, radiator, and thermostat (although it won't run with the thermostat in place due to all the gel-like sludge in the thermostat area that I can't get completely cleared out. I will be fixing the cause of the oil to coolant leak soon, but even if I do that, I still need to get the sludge out of the coolant system. Oh, another FYI. The car is a manual, not an automatic, so tranny fluid is not a contributor to the gunk in the coolant.
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Sunday, October 28th, 2007 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
There are radiator flushes available on the market as you know and might want to stick with. But continual flushing with the thermostat out will be needed after the real problem is fixed. I would stay away from using any solvents due to the rubber in the system as well as sensors that may be affected.
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Monday, October 29th, 2007 AT 3:42 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Once you pull the head, you can open the drain, or punch out a few freez plugs and use mild detergent on the block, as for the radiator, remove it and take it to the radiator shop, maybe they can boil it out. The heater core will probably need to be replaced. Or try the radiator shop for a pressure blast!
As for the hoses, change them all! They have been weakened already!
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Monday, October 29th, 2007 AT 6:24 PM

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