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onewhippedpuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wichita, KS
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Bad Head Gasket?

I'd like confirmation from the braintrust here, haven't had to deal with this before.

2007 Pathfinder V6, teenager car with 155k, owned it for 5k, clean one owner with no maintenance history. No overheating issues, but the coolant is a milkshake with a distinct oily feel to it. Coolant is slightly low in the expansion tank, and definitely bubbles with the radiator cap off, enough so that I can't run one of the testers that checks for exhaust gas because it just contaminates the tester. Oil looks good, slightly off of full on the dipstick but it's been almost 5k since we changed it. No outward signs of an issue, it still runs great.

So, any other options I should consider? I haven't pulled spark plugs and ran compression tests on each cylinder, that's my next step.
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Matt J.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:31 AM
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White smoke out the exhaust.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yel911 View Post
White smoke out the exhaust.
Nope, none obvious.
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Matt J.
'01 Boxster S TPC Supercharged, 10 E63 AMG
Past: 911T, 911SC, Carrera, 951s, 955, 996s, 987s, 986s, 997s, BMW 5x, C36, C63, XJR, S8, Maserati Coupe, GT500, etc
Old 10-07-2019, 04:33 AM
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It may not be the head gasket.
Does the engine have an oil cooler, cooled by the coolant system? ()

The oil coolers can fail leading to oil in the coolant system.

cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled...
cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled...
cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled... cool coolant cooled...
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:37 AM
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Automatic Trans, if cooler is in radiator could be it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:28 AM
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Nissan had an issue with trans coolers... they would also get coolant into the transmission and cause transmissions to fail.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:39 AM
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I have done a handful of head gaskets on that motor . They all showed coolant loss, overheating, and white smoke out the exhaust . My tester also lit up , showing carbon in the coolant .
Im with everybody else, Id be looking at coolers first . I cannot honestly remember if that has an external oil cooler or not . I think it does for some reason. Oil filter mounted like Honda uses ?
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:44 AM
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Part number 1.... If it is that an easy & inexpensive fix.

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Old 10-07-2019, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_rufctr View Post
Part number 1.... If it is that an easy & inexpensive fix.

That is what I had pictured in my mind . I would start there. Hard part is getting the cooling system clean again . Every hose will be softened and eventually fail
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1976 930( peru red usa) ,1980 euro sc, 1974 914. 1997 M3, , 2004 Duramax 3500 quad cab dually . 2004 2500 HD Gas 1989 Yamaha xt 350. 2004 Turbo Pepperwagon, 1976 Chevrolet C 60 Rollback towtruck. 2006 x3 a few old tractors, and tons of tools
Old 10-07-2019, 07:01 AM
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Thanks guys, seems like that might be a culprit. I assume 1 and 7 are the coolant connection?

I was also a little perplexed because it doesn’t seem to match the typical head gasket failure mode. My only pause is the fact that there are bubbles in the coolant system, but I suppose that could be air introduced by the leak to the oil system?
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Matt J.
'01 Boxster S TPC Supercharged, 10 E63 AMG
Past: 911T, 911SC, Carrera, 951s, 955, 996s, 987s, 986s, 997s, BMW 5x, C36, C63, XJR, S8, Maserati Coupe, GT500, etc
Old 10-07-2019, 07:21 AM
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And, while I am sitting thinking. before you shotgun any parts at it, Investigate those bubbles in the rad.
I would drain it down maybe 3-4 inches, so that you can then use your head gasket tester without picking up Nestle's quick milkshake in it. I am assuming you are using one of those testers that draw up the gasses through blue dye used where the cap goes ?
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:19 AM
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Fred that’s exactly it. I was thinking of just using it in the overflow, any reason that won’t work?
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Matt J.
'01 Boxster S TPC Supercharged, 10 E63 AMG
Past: 911T, 911SC, Carrera, 951s, 955, 996s, 987s, 986s, 997s, BMW 5x, C36, C63, XJR, S8, Maserati Coupe, GT500, etc
Old 10-07-2019, 09:33 AM
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Get it to operating temp, with radiator cap off, put a balloon or latex glove sealed around cap opening. IF it inflates and blows off rather quickly, well, there you go.
Old 10-07-2019, 05:27 PM
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Tonight I got it up to operating temp and tested at the overflow, which appears to be pressurized btw, and no sign of hydrocarbons. To be safe I’ll probably drain a good amount more coolant out tomorrow night and try to repeat the test right at the radiator. The oil cooler is about $400 so I don’t want to throw good money after bad. Again I’m having a hard time thinking head gasket, it warmed to a steady temp just under 1/2 on the gauge and didn’t move, didn’t smoke, didn’t stumble, etc.
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Matt J.
'01 Boxster S TPC Supercharged, 10 E63 AMG
Past: 911T, 911SC, Carrera, 951s, 955, 996s, 987s, 986s, 997s, BMW 5x, C36, C63, XJR, S8, Maserati Coupe, GT500, etc
Old 10-07-2019, 05:34 PM
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(aw geez guys, at least the water pump is lubricated)
Old 10-07-2019, 05:47 PM
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"The oil cooler is about $400 so..."
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:05 PM
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