Oil in Water.... but no smoke.... oil cooler gone?

TheKoolio

Original Audi Bad Boy
Hi

My facelift model was flashing for oil level the other day so i put more oil in. Checked the coolant expansion tank and saw it was full of a brown like oil. Theres no smoke and my temps arent going all over the place. Someone mentioned my oil cooler going but could someone point out where it is so I can see for any visable damage.....

Going on what Ive said does it look like oil cooler? I know headgasket is a possibility but as mentioned I have no smoke or other issues. Oil filler cap is black, no mayo like substance.

If my searching comes to no avail ill get it pressure tested and see what happens

thanks
 

immac

Registered User
My facelift model was flashing for oil level the other day so i put more oil in. Checked the coolant expansion tank and saw it was full of a brown like oil. Theres no smoke and my temps arent going all over the place. Someone mentioned my oil cooler going but could someone point out where it is so I can see for any visable damage.....
I have just suffered the same problem! Annoying because in the rebuild a new oil cooler was fitted "to be on the safe side"; anyway, water bottle filled with brown sludge, lucky that it only failed oil into the water system, not the other way round.
So, couple of questions: is this a noted failure? The part seems very expensive and flimsy, and I am wondering if there is a more robust alternative?

Secondly, how to flush the oil out of water system? We seem to have got most out by flushing with plain water, but searching alternatives suggest adding vinegar or bleach or methanol as a solvent to get rid of the oil. My mechanic is worried about damaging the sensors by using the wrong solvent (can it be any worse than the damage the oil would have done). Any suggestions?

Ian
 

ayfreetee

Registered User
Dishwasher fluid, as it doesn't foam and it de greases the whole system, mix some up with fresh water, run up to full temperature, leave to cool, drain system, you may need to do it a few times, I had to do this on our old Freelander, it turned out to be the dreaded head gasket, for the third time, dam k series engines.
 

westcoast a3

Registered User
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Having same issue I think coolant goes like this after drive, then returns pink when cool, have checked down the spark plug holes and their all dry and not losing coolant except at the pipe where the green temp sensor goes, only done this since I last had engine out four weeks ago and never put much coolant in, mostly water as didn't have any to had was to late to get some, any ideas ?? Cheers
 

nzhorsey

Registered User
Hey guys, this sounds similar to me...

Love to know if anyone else has experienced this. I have just picked up a 2003 a4 Convertible 1.8t and I absolutely love driving it this summer.

I have just recently discovered that there is a thick brown milkshake looking substance in the coolant overflow tank. There is no milky residue under the oil cap, no milky residue on the dipstick, it is not overheating, and is driving perfectly!

The brown milkshake doesn't smell oily but rather has a peculiar fruity smell????

Does ra anyone have a clue at what could be causing this?
I should add it has only done 117km, has been serviced religiously, and we'll taken care of!
 

immac

Registered User
It does sound like the same problem. Getting rid of the oil residue has been problematic, but my mechanic is of the view that it will not do lasting damage in the short term. Temp gauge is not working so assuming it is oiled up.

I am moving to "Evans Waterless Coolant" on Monday, and as part of that transition I have got an oil cooler and thermostatic valve to put in place of the failed part (which was replaced recently after this accident) we are discussing. We will degrease the water system with either vinegar or dishwasher liquid before rinsing with rad flush, blow through with pressure air hose, hot air gun and then Evans Prep fluid to get rid of all water. Benefit of waterless coolant is that the water supply is no longer under pressure, and even after a hot run I can take the rad cap off with no risk: impressive stuff!

Ian
 
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Stuart B

Registered User
I saw this stuff on wheeler dealers triumph stag episode but assumed it was only for old cars without a plastic expansion tank.
 

desertstorm

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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You need to find the issue thats causing the water and oil to mix, not try and get around it by spending a load of money on waterless coolant.
Oil finds will still find it's way into the coolant as the oil pressure is much higher than the pressure in the coolant system.
It could be one of several things causing this. A crack in the cylinder head that is allowing oil and coolant to mix, blown head gasket or as said earlier the oil cooler.
Quite often the oil cooler causes problems because the car has had a coolant leak at some point and has been topped up with water that has diluted the coolant.
This then allows corrosion to start in the coolant system and one of the first things to fail will be the oil cooler. As the oil system is under more pressure than the coolant oil finds it's way into the coolant.
Evans waterless coolant has it's advantages but also has lots of disadvantages.

I have copied the following from a post I made on another thread regarding coolant.

I looked into this a few years ago and came to the conclusion that it's not worth the extra money and that if I changed the G12 every 4-5 years I wouldn't have any issues with corrosion.
A well maintained factory cooling system usually more than does the job. Problems with corrosion usually happen when the inhibitor packages break down because it's not changed or a leak occurs in the system and water is used to replace it diluting the coolant down.
Searching on line for the MSDS sheet for Evans coolant is seems it's main ingredients are around 68% ethylene glycol and 30% propylene glycol and a few % for other corrosion inhibitors etc. So it looks to me like it's pretty much concentrated anti freeze that they are using. They do seem to admit that the engine temperatures will be higher and also the oil temperatures as the specific heat capacity is lower than traditional coolant. I was struggling to see how some of the MPG improvements they claim could happen when it occured to me that with the engine probably getting hotter faster and running hotter with thinner oil this would give you an increase in mpg.
The cost of materials and labor of converting an existing engine if you have to use the prep fluid is quite high compared with some G12 / G13 coolant every 5 years. If you had a coolant leak apart from the fact it would be expensive you couldn't top up with water you would need to carry some spare coolant with you all the while.

Considering what is actually in this the price is really expensive, probably to support all the advertising. If it was so good then I believe manufacturers would be using it, somebody like Ferrari , Aston Martin , Roll Royce etc wouldn't have an issue using it or something similar if it was that good.
 
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JakeOwen

Registered User
Wynns cooling system flush worked well on a car at work that we suspected the customer had topped the coolant up with oil !!! I did however find the coolant hoses had become swollen due to the contamination and the heater wouldn't Function correctly . The oil can cause blockages within the cooling system.
 

immac

Registered User
You need to find the issue thats causing the water and oil to mix, not try and get around it by spending a load of money on waterless coolant.


I looked into this a few years ago and came to the conclusion that it's not worth the extra money and that if I changed the G12 every 4-5 years I wouldn't have any issues with corrosion.
A well maintained factory cooling system usually more than does the job.
The cost of materials and labor of converting an existing engine if you have to use the prep fluid is quite high compared with some G12 / G13 coolant every 5 years. If you had a coolant leak apart from the fact it would be expensive you couldn't top up with water you would need to carry some spare coolant with you all the while.

Considering what is actually in this the price is really expensive, probably to support all the advertising. If it was so good then I believe manufacturers would be using it, somebody like Ferrari , Aston Martin , Roll Royce etc wouldn't have an issue using it or something similar if it was that good.
I know the cause of my leak, and it was solved months ago. What I am doing now is upgrading the cooling system of both oil and water.

Applying the criteria of only doing what is financially sensible probably cancels out 90% of things discussed on this forum as upgrades and tweaks: that ship sailed long ago for me, and I could probably get by (and save loads of cash) with a modern car which requires nothing more than putting petrol in the tank. The fun of trying something new and different is what drives me, if you will excuse the pun; when I solve one problem with by rebuilt A3 money-pit, I start looking for something else to do, which is why this forum has relevance to me.

On Waterless Cooling, I have not considered the MPG factor: I don´t do enough mileage to worry about it. But there are some factors that did stand out for me, especially when I tell you that daytime summer temps here in Turkey can often go up to C40+.

What I will end up with ( we have already done the test fit on my mechanics Golf GTi ) is an unpressured water system. The liquid does not boil, and is stable up to C198. This means that with the engine at its hottest there is no steam = no pressure. The block is cooled more efficiently because the coolant is not vaporised as it passes the cylinders. With the car at its hottest I can open the water fill-cap and there is no pressure difference - it does not even "pop". Yes, if it leaks it will be expensive to replace, but otherwise the fluid will outlast the car, and can be transferred to the next car is I want. But every leak I have had here has been a pipe bursting under pressure; every pipe is now new and top quality, so ı will hope not to repeat that disaster. If it needs emergency coolant I can just add water, but that would create a new problem to get back to full waterless; so I don´t need to carry around a bottle of Evans.

So, yes, I could probably do it all cheaper, or mix my own concoction, or do nothing - but that would take all the fun out of it.

Ian
 

desertstorm

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Staff member
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I didn't realise you were in Turkey.
There isn't one single VAG car that uses waterless coolant and that is includes some pretty potent RS machinery. If it was such a big advantage don't you think more OE vechicles would be using this.
The specific heat capacity of Evans coolant is about 60/70% less than a normal water/ coolant mixture. That means the coolant is less able to carry heat away to the radiator and is less likely to want to give that heat up. If a manufacturer was designing the engine to use this from the outset, they would be using a higher capacity pump and and have a larger radiator, with a higher coolant capacity with the increased weight penalty.
In hot countries where the cooling system may be marginal you won't have the cooling system boiling over but the engine temps will be higher and the oil could be at much higher temperatures.
I would be more inclined to go for a lower concentration of coolant maybe 40% coolant 60% water and use a water wetter product.

http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=74&pcid=10

As you say if you don't try something you may not know of it works, but I have looked into this and it's something I personally wouldn't do and the UK is not a hot country.
There are a lot of people who have tried using this in their cars in hotter countries and had issues with oil temperature being excessive. They have had to make modifications to the stats or remove the stats to try and get more coolant flow through the radiator
 

immac

Registered User
It is easy to switch back.
I am using a larger (than standard) radiator with larger double fans, and fitting a large oil cooler tomorrow as part of the planned transition: we will see.
If it does not work I will post the information on here to warn others.
I like trying things, and sometimes you need to step back and admit it has not worked, but only by trying can you move forward with new ideas. My car is a hobby, a bit of fun, something to play around with.

Ian

PS the importer for Turkey is Parkur Racing. Their web site may not be too useful as it is mostly in Turkish, but it shows the range of stuff they are into. In particular, they use Evans in their Drift Car Team as the only thing that will keep the temp under control ( as little air flow when drifting). They are using it in rally and racetrack driving.
http://parkurracing.com/eng/
 
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immac

Registered User
I have been using Evans Waterless Coolant for 6 months, and I said I would give some feedback. Daytime Turkish temperatures at the moment are 40+C in the shade, with one notable day of 50C on my balcony. I have been hammering the car trying to force an error with the waterless, but without success. Doing hill climbs at full speed in midday temperatures, the gauge does not budge from the normal running temperature. It is a great success from my point of view. I would have no hesitation in pointing it up as a product that works.
And, of course, if you are so inclined, at the end of that hill climb you can immediately remove the rad cap and the fluid does not even belch, never mind drowning you in boiling water.
Ian
 

Jeriho

Insane and i love it
Well basically water is still one of the best coolant out there because its cheap and extremely efficient. When doing my computer water cooling i found some product from M3 that would be better for that application but not for cars. Very expensive and i think the boiling point is round 40 degrees or something. As is for cars nothing comes close to water mixed with antifreeze. There is all saw in computer water cooling some hype about commercial cooling liquids but the fact is distilled water with a bit of antifreeze beats them by far. But they sound cool and have tech bla bla names like nano liquid and sorts :)
 

immac

Registered User
My guess on why the results are variable is this: down to preparation. Because my experiment with this was started because of an oil leak into the water from the oil cooler, the water system had an unusual level of flushing/cleaning before we started. Everything was upgraded anyway because the waterless coolant was just part of a larger plan: larger radiator & fans, all hoses changed, thermostat changed, standard water pump was upgraded a few years ago. Then the prep fluid was used to collect every last drop of water, and we even used a hair drier (saw it on YouTube - perhaps a bit OTT!) so the system was bone dry. It took two hours of mechanics time to do it right and follow the instructions to the letter.
The result, for me, is a cooling system under control for the first time in extreme temperatures. There is absolutely no steam pressure in the system, if that matters, but it does seem an act of kindness for an old car.
There has been some interest from local sea captains who run the tour boats and charter boats from Fethiye Harbour. They see the marine benefit of pressure-less coolant in confined engine bays, and I have been happy to demonstrate (as much as you can show off a waterless system) the product for the local agent who is trying to flog the stuff.

Ian
 
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