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Oil in Volvo Coolant Diagnosis

I started it 3 days ago and drove it for about 15 minutes and lost 3/4 gallon of coolant. At idle there is no smoke to talk about but under acceleration and when letting off it starts to smoke…

Volvo coolant is a fluid which flows through or around a device to prevent the device from overheating, transferring the heat produced by the device to other devices that either use or dissipate it. An ideal coolant has high thermal capacity, low viscosity, is low-cost, non-toxic, chemically inert, and neither causes nor promotes corrosion of the cooling system. Some applications also require the coolant to be an electrical insulator.

Get help with diagnosing oil in your volvo’s coolant

MVS Forum Member derbydog37 »

After changing the volvo coolant it runs fine with no smoking issues. After 20-25 miles it starts to smoke a bluish grey color and still has no miss. All cylinders check out the same on a compression test. It is a 2.3 with turbo and has 200,000 miles on it. I started it 3 days ago and drove it for about 15 minutes to see if i could see any leaks from a possible head gasket leak and lost 3/4 gallon of volvo coolant. At idle there is no smoke to talk about but under acceleration and when letting off it starts to smoke. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated..Thanks.

MVS Forum Member Ozark Lee »

How does the engine oil look? How does the volvo coolant look? If it is oil is creamy and gunky or if the coolant is oily, chances are you have a bad radiator. If they otherwise look fine, compression test notwithstanding, I think you blew a head gasket.

MVS Forum Member pfeener »

Looking at this from a logical standpoint; if you lost 3/4 of a gallon of antifreeze in 15 minutes; that’s a lot and you should be able to locate it. The options are:

1. leaked out on the ground – not likely you would have seen it.

2. leaked into a cylinder because of a blown head gasket – again not likely; you would have white smoke pouring out the tailpipe and a huge skip in the engine.

3. leaked into the oil either by way of a blown head gasket or a bad radiator – this is the most likely. What does your oil look like. Is it chocolate colored and frothy?

The title in your post talks about oil in the volvo coolant but your actual post talks about loosing excessive amounts of anti-freeze. If you have oil in the coolant the most likely cause is a bad radiator. Could you talk about this some more and clear up this issue?

Oil in Coolant Diagnosis

coolant - Oil in Volvo Coolant Diagnosis

Another Oil in Coolant Example

unmlobo » My daughters 1998 S70 T5 with 145000 miles suddenly has a problem. She heard a noise and reported a tan sludge on the dip stick. Her friend at the volvo dealership said head gasget and around $1000 to fix. Went to her college today and did a compression test. Checked out OK 1-5….175,174,179,178,180. Checked the radiator resavoir and a noted dark cooler to the coolant and a oily texture. Checked the dip stick….no oil showing. Went and got oil and put 2 qts in. The oil fill cap shows no sign of water….just oil. Went for a ride, no nioise, and it runs fine….temp gauge a little higher than usual but didn’t overheat. Checked oil again….still no oil on stick. Put in a 3rd qourt and went for a ride. Does show oil at the add 1 quart line. I noted the resavoir seems to be getting fuller. Any body care to comment….much appreciated!

JDS60R » Sounds like a failed radiator oil cooler or a head gasket. Remove the engine oil cooling lines from radiator and test cooler in radiator for leaks.

If this is the leak then connect the oil cooling lines together temporarily. Chemically flush the cooling system until very clean. Oil will strongly inhibit the ability for the heat to pass to the coolant where it touches in the coolant passages. Oddly enough any good radiator flush or liquid Cascade dishwasher detergent works great.

Then replace radiator,

Flush engine and change oil.

If head gasket then remove head after flushing radiator and engine , replace gasket, check for warp and repalce gasket and head if within spec.

If its a turbo I suggest the Volvo coolant and demineralized or distilled water. it will cost you $10 more than normal but it is a very good coolant.

Let us know if you need detailed instructions for the radiator or head removal and please let us know how it turned out. Pictures are great if possible.

Oil in Coolant

coolant with oil - Oil in Volvo Coolant Diagnosis

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