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Head gasket or oil cooler?
#1
Hoping for some help here, we have a 2003 Berlingo 1.9D which has done over 210k miles, owned by us from new. Just over a couple of years ago it got oil in the coolant system which was diagnosed as an oil cooler problem, I replaced the cooler and it cleared up for a while, but I was getting small amounts of oil in the water for ages presumably as it was flushing it out. Winter of 2012/13 it got a little worse again, but not to any great extent, and I had never seen a completely clear expansion tank. In April last year I flushed it many times and got it pretty clear, tried running it with the cooler bypassed and connected and it stayed pretty clear either way so I refilled it with anti-freeze and it was OK for a while but the oil gradually came back. Over the last couple of months the oil in the coolant got really bad so last weekend I replaced the oil cooler again, quite a lot of oil came out with the water when I drained it (the drive still has some pretty obvious stains from where it ran away). I flushed it as best I could, filling it with water, running it until thoroughly warm, running the hose through it etc.

On Friday it got the first proper use, a couple of 50 mile journeys. Before that there was a little oil in the coolant tank as I would expect from it flushing itself but I checked this morning and dipping a piece of kitchen towel in the expansion tank it has come out with neat black oil, no water. I didn't have time to investigate further as I am working today but obviously this isn't right, and it look like more oil than I would expect from flushing so I am thinking it could be the head gasket. At no time though has there ever been any sign of water in the oil, the oil filler cap is perfectly clean and the oil level barely changes between services.

Any suggestions? Could it still be flushing or is it likely to be the gasket, or worse a crack in the block or head?

And if it is the gasket anyone know how much it might cost to get fixed, can't work out from the Haynes manual how long it might take. If I get a free weekend I would have a go myself but not sure when that would be and it probably needs attention sooner rather than later.
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#2
Oil pressure is higher than water pressure,so it could be a one way flow.If you have a helpful garage,they may test it with a combustion tester.This is a big hydrometer type thing filled with blue fluid (well,mine is),it's put over the top of the exp tank filler & if it turns yellow the head gasket is suspect. Don't go looking for the expensive answer,check everything.Confusedalut:Confusedalut: PS,if it's the head gasket change the cambelt & w/pump & do the valve clearances as well.
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
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#3
I'd bet on it still being the oil cooler residue.
The same happened to my van and I still have residual oil in the header tank.

Did you remove the thermostat when flushing?
Do you have any other symptoms of head gasket failure? (white smoke/ overheating)

As I said mine has been fine mechanically after replacing the oil cooler and flushing through and changing the coolant.
There is still oil in the header tank 3 years on but no major loss of coolant or oil and no other symptoms??

Am now on 220.000 miles...
Adam..2003..1.9D..LX..Silver Crew Cab Van.....
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
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#4
Thanks for the responses, I'm hoping to get it to my friendly mechanic tomorrow to see if he can check the compression and anything else, but don't want to distract him too much from sorting out my car which I had taken there on a recovery truck last week with a possible fuel pump failure (not easy or cheap to fix on a Jag XK8 ;( )

There are no symptoms other than the oil in the water, temperatures are fine, no white smoke etc. and as I said, not sign of water in the oil or excessive disappearance of oil/consumption.

I'm really hoping it isn't head gasket as the Jag is going to cost me too much to fix without having to pay for another repair. Hope I can match you on mileage soon Adam!
[+] 1 user says Thank You to andyps for this post
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#5
(09-02-2014, 08:16 PM)andyps Wrote:  Thanks for the responses, I'm hoping to get it to my friendly mechanic tomorrow to see if he can check the compression and anything else, but don't want to distract him too much from sorting out my car which I had taken there on a recovery truck last week with a possible fuel pump failure (not easy or cheap to fix on a Jag XK8 ;( )

There are no symptoms other than the oil in the water, temperatures are fine, no white smoke etc. and as I said, not sign of water in the oil or excessive disappearance of oil/consumption.

I'm really hoping it isn't head gasket as the Jag is going to cost me too much to fix without having to pay for another repair. Hope I can match you on mileage soon Adam!

Good luck!
Adam..2003..1.9D..LX..Silver Crew Cab Van.....
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
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#6
Fortunately this is looking more like it is just oil residue. The garage don't think it is the head gasket and, having cleaned all the oil I could out of the header tank on Monday there was less today when I cleaned it out again.

Time will tell I guess!
[+] 1 user says Thank You to andyps for this post
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#7
Good stuff. Mine still brings up oil from somewhere every now and then!
Hasn't broken yet....... Smile
Adam..2003..1.9D..LX..Silver Crew Cab Van.....
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
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#8
I'll keep my fingers crossed.:thumbsup::thumbsup:
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
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#9
To give an update on this, we went over to Brittany in the Berlingo a couple of weeks ago, it is still getting oil in the header tank, the only way I can measure it is how many pieces of kitchen towel it takes to get it clean and it is about 3 now! Ran faultlessly all the way (about 700 miles each direction) with a pretty constant temperature of just over 80 so fingers crossed it is going to be OK.
[+] 1 user says Thank You to andyps for this post
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#10
Good stuff... Am buying some degreaser from a company called dae. Will report on its coolant system cleaning effect.

Sent from my HTC Desire C using Tapatalk
Adam..2003..1.9D..LX..Silver Crew Cab Van.....
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
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