Antifreeze and Oil in Engine


Old 02-10-12, 07:56 AM
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Antifreeze and Oil in Engine

My car is a Silver '03 Hyndai Elantra. I do not know the engine size.

I took my car to pep boys because I saw goopy orange liquid leaking from my car. Google told me it was coolant, I said "Oh that makes sense! My car over heated last week right after i filled it with Antifreeze." So i took it in this morning and they took look at it and said they can not fix it. They said that my antifreeze had leaked into my engine and mixed with my oil. They said it looks like mud. I called the engine place they recommended and their assessment fee is 99 dollars. I can not afford the assessment fee, let alone what I know will be a thousand maybe two thousand dollar repair. I work in an Elementary School for three hours a day.

What I am asking is, can I flush the engine and buy a new head gasket, or should I bite the bullet and get money from my parents (who are more than willing to help - I still live with them but I bought my car, pay for school etc.) and take it to a repair shop?

NOTE: my engine has 200+k miles on it. The shop recommended that I simply buy a refurbished engine. Guesstimates on how much the engine + labor would cost will be most appreciated, because the guy on the phone couldn't give me a solid answer.
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Old 02-10-12, 10:56 AM
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3 grand would probably be a starting point for cost for a replacement engine. Less if you can find a good one used.

Why, I wonder, would it have overheated right after you topped off the coolant? Hate to ask...but are you sure you did it right? Was it showing signs of overheating before you added coolant?

At a minimum, you need to have a pressure test done of the cooling system to see if there is an actual leak. $99 spent now could save you $3000.
Old 02-10-12, 02:07 PM
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Hate to ask...but are you sure you did it right?
Me, too, Vic. I don't mean to offend you, but you did put the antifreeze in the radiator holding tank and not in the oil fill tube, right? How much coolant did you have to add to bring it to proper level. It could have been damaged for some time.
Old 02-10-12, 02:41 PM
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I would guess the order of things went:

head gasket blew (or block cracked) was antifreeze too weak? Is that why you added more, or was it low?
coolant leaked into engine oil
coolant appeared low
added more coolant

But checking the pressure of the coolant system would be step one. That's a simple operation. If the head gasket is repairable, it might be something you could DIY. On a car w/ that many miles, I'd drain and flush the engine oil, then replace the oil and filter. and see how much longer you can drive it. A 9 yr old car is probably not even worth a new engine unless you were going to DIY too.
Old 02-11-12, 09:43 AM
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Probably not worth the money for a reman, but a used motor might be an option. Used engine prices run the range from very reasonable to "ouch!"; just depends on the make & model. I did a quick check at Jasper's website for a reman price and they don't even have one available. Sleeper's take on the problem is about as good as anything. The other option - which I neither recommend nor discount - would be to try one of the high-end sealers that are on the market. I've heard and seen some glowing reports as to the effectiveness, but it's really a last-ditch effort before you scrap the vehicle or replace the engine. I think they run about 80 bucks a quart, but in the case where you might be going to toss the car or the engine anyway might be worth trying as long as you go into the process assuming it won't work.
Old 03-02-12, 01:19 PM
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if your engine is running ok, just replace the headgasket and call it a day. It's a lot of work, but does not cost a lot of money.

Make sure you get an OEM head gasket, and make sure you torque down the head bolts to spec. There is usually and order you have to tighten them as well.

If you end up disconnecting the exhaust manifold, and/or intake manifold, make sure you replace those gaskets while you have them apart. Be delicate with your vacuum and coolant hoses. The rubber is probably not in good shape, if you stretch them they will probably crack soon after.

After you get it replaced, change the oil and the coolant, run the car for 30 minutes, and change them again.

Sometimes your coolant and oil can mix from popped freeze plugs as well. If you let your car sit in extremely cold weather with just water and no coolant, there are expansion plugs so your block doesn't crack. Probably not the issue, but just making you aware.

If you want to verify whether your engine is worth saving, do a compression check on your motor first, you can google this. Takes 10 minutes and costs $10
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