99 Saturn - Oil in Coolant.

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  #1  
Old 12-27-09, 05:41 PM
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99 Saturn - Oil in Coolant.

Engine Cooling: 1999 Saturn, SW1, 4 cyl, 1.9L, SOHC, FWD, Auto, 135000 miles.

Persisting problem w/ oil in coolant. No coolant in oil. Changed head gasket set. On head, had machine shop do dye test for cracks, resurface valves, & boil clean. No problems. Did find that all rear head bolts (next to fire wall) were loose. Front bolts torqued to specs. Laid straight edge across top of block & tried to get 10k feeler gage between & couldn't. Seems clean & straight w/o discoloration. Continues to NOT over- heat & to get about 34 mpg city & about 40+ highway. Car ran 4 days (80 mi.) w/o oil loss into coolant. 5th day quart low & reservoir over flowing w/ oil / coolant. Compression test: 157, 167, 172, 170; about same as before head gasket change. - Any ideas? Any history of this engine having this persistent issue? Thanks.
 

Last edited by McWiggle; 12-27-09 at 05:45 PM. Reason: Added info.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-09, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
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Saturn did have a problem with coolant leaking at the castings around the spark plugs putting coolant in the plug wells.This is usually accompanied with misfires and MIL lamp though.It is possible coolant is gettin in the oil this way when the vehical is setting and while running going out the tail pipe.Believe it or not GM reccommended their version of stop leak to repair it.I'll see if I can dig up the TSB and post it
 
  #3  
Old 12-28-09, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
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BULLETIN NO.: 01-T-47

ISSUE DATE: October, 2001

CATEGORY TYPE: Engine - 16

CATEGORY: Cooling

CORPORATION NO.: 01-06-02-010

SUBJECT:
Engine Coolant Leak In or Around Spark Plug Well Area of Cylinder Head (Add One 10 Gram Pellet of Engine Cooling System Sealer)

MODELS AFFECTED:
1998-2001 Saturn S-Series vehicles built up to and including VIN 1Z348617

CONDITION:
Some customers may comment about one or more of the following:

^ loss of engine coolant ^ Glow coolant telltale illuminated

^ low coolant level ^ engine overheating

^ Service Engine Soon Telltale ^engine misfire and/or engine runs illuminated rough

CAUSE:
These conditions may be caused by an engine coolant leak at the spark plug well area due to minor porosity in cylinder head casting.

CORRECTION:
Add one 10 gram pellet of Engine Coolant System Sealer into the Coolant Recovery Reservoir.

For general information on the Engine Coolant System Sealer usage, refer to Technical Information Bulletin 97-T-40A.

IMPORTANT: The Engine Coolant System Sealer and the following procedure is specifically approved for use in correcting only negligible non-structural casting flaws which may occur on normal cylinder head castings at the spark plug well area. Coolant leaks at other locations should be corrected using other approved repair procedures. Never attempt to correct conditions other than the one specifically described in this bulletin with Engine Coolant System Sealer.

PROCEDURE:







CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE THE CAP FROM A HOT SYSTEM. ALLOW THE SYSTEM TO COOL THEN SLOWLY REMOVE CAP.

1. Remove cap from coolant recovery reservoir.

2. Make sure tester and adapter are clean.








3. Install Coolant Tester Adapter SA9141E-2 to coolant recovery reservoir.

IMPORTANT: The cooling system pressure test must be performed on a warm engine. The leak may not be found on a cold engine.

4. Start engine and operate until normal engine operating temperature is reached.

5. Turn engine off.

6. Remove spark plug wires from spark plugs.

CAUTION: WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES.

CAUTION: NEVER PRESSURIZE THE SYSTEM ABOVE 130 KPA (20 PSI).

7. Pump tester until gauge needle reaches 103 kpa (15 psi).

IMPORTANT: Over time, coolant leaks will generally leave a stain. With extended life coolant, this stain will usually be burnt or brownish orange in color.

IMPORTANT: During the pressure test the leak observed may be very slight. Allow sufficient time for the coolant leak to be identified.

8. Inspect cylinder head for coolant leaks at each spark plug well area.

^ If a coolant leak is not observed at any of spark plug well areas, refer to Cooling System Troubleshooting Chart in the Cooling section of the appropriate Engine service manual for assistance in diagnosing and correcting other causes for the condition.

^ If a coolant leak is observed at any of spark plug well areas, proceed to next step.


CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE THE TESTER ADAPTER FROM A HOT SYSTEM. ALLOW THE SYSTEM TO COOL THEN SLOWLY REMOVE TESTER ADAPTER.







9. Remove Coolant Tester Adapter 5A9141E-2 from the coolant recovery reservoir.

10. Add one 10 gram pellet of Engine Cooling System Sealer into coolant recovery reservoir.








11. Install coolant recovery reservoir cap.

12. Install spark plug wires and retainers.

13. Start engine and operate until normal operating temperature is reached.

14. Continue to operate engine for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow sealer to be distributed to leak area.

15. Turn engine Off.

16. Verify that no leak exists.

Sorry it took so long to find and post was busy at the shop today
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-10, 07:37 PM
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Same exact problem

What you are describing happened to my 1995 Saturn this weekend. I was thinking head gasket too, but if that didn't fix your problem I don't want to waste my time...may need to get a new car.
 
  #5  
Old 01-17-10, 09:10 AM
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oil in coolant, but not vice versa?

Originally Posted by christrong View Post
What you are describing happened to my 1995 Saturn this weekend. I was thinking head gasket too, but if that didn't fix your problem I don't want to waste my time...
This has got me seriously scratching my head.
In what other area of an engine is it possible for oil to end up in the coolant, end yet have no coolant in the oil?

Chris, are your cars symptoms exactly the same as the original poster?

I think that MM's recall bulletin about "minor porosity in cylinder head casting" lines up with the fact that Mcwiggles car went 80 miles without this happening, only to have it happen with a vengeance in a short amount of time.
 
  #6  
Old 01-17-10, 10:22 AM
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Is the car manual or automatic? If it is an automatic, is it possible you are seeing transmission fluid in the coolant and not engine oil? Maybe just another way of thinking about it if it is an automatic. How much oil or fluid is getting into the coolant?
 
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