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Oil In Coolant Reservoir


lsrxlex
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Hi all,

a couple of months ago my coolant started acting. Coolant level went all the way up. I drained some out of valve at bottom of radiator hoping to get coolant down to normal level in reservoir. But about a week later level went down to bottom and sensor lite came on on dashboard but coolant temperature did not show overheated. I fill reservoir twice to get to normal level in 2 days in a row. Now 2 weeks later level rises to max. But this time coolant seems darker. So used turkey baster to draw excess coolant onto a clear plastic cup and I could see oil on top of coolant that stained the side of the cup.

Is that head gasket problem? (Engine oil level went down about half quart each 1k)

What should I do?

my car has 344k on odometer. 1990 ls400. Involved in accident in april and in salvaged title.

Please help.

thanks.

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With 344k miles, she is tired. I would be too. Perhaps a leaking head gasket as curious mentions. Other "typical" (although not for a Lexus) sources for oil leaking into the coolant are cracked block/head or leaky intake manifold gasket. There is also a slight chance that transmission fluid is getting into the coolant via the radiator exchange. But slight.

Now, is there any sign of coolant in the oil, either the engine oil or transmission? Pull the dispsticks (or drain) and check. Could be a hint there.

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I just checked, twice, transmission and oil dipsticks and oil cap, and all looked good. Also the coolant level stayed the same, (at high level mark on reservoir when engine is cold), for 2 days in a row, so far.

Is there anything else I should check?

Thanks.

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After visiting that Utube site, I took out some coolant from the top of the reservoir (using turkey baster)and put it in a clear plastic cup. There was much less of oil on top of coolant, this time, after 1k miles. Oil was almost gone.

I don't know what happened. HG "healed" by itself?

Please help.

Thanks

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  • 2 years later...

After 2 years I still have excellent coolant condition, no trace of oil. I think someone put dirty oil in the recovery tank when I brought the car in for oil change. When I got the car back, the guy told me I got a blown head gasket by showing me the blackened recovery tank , and said he can fix it!

Now I will not go to Abbott Auto (Milpitas, CA) again.

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I think you have it figured out. That guy doped the coolant expansion tank. For sure he could "fix" it. And cheaply, then charge for a head gasket.

Head gaskets are a rare occurrence on these engines. I know the tech at the local Lexus dealer quite well and he told me he has never had the heads off the V-8's, only the V-6's.

Glad you dodged that bullet!

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