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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well checked my oil today...

I checked my oil today after I got home from school (Lincoln Tech) and noticed it was a little low so I added a bit, went in the house to give oil time to sink down, after I came out and checked it, it was at a good level BUT I noticed this tanish snot like stuff with the oil... It wasn't a LOT but enough to get my attention and my concern.. right away I think the worse, headgaskets.. but the car idles so smoothe, runs so smoothe, no white smoke or ANY other symptoms but this tan colored snot stuff is freakin me out a little.. The first time I checked it and noticed it was low i did not see any on the stick.. just when I added some.. I noticed too that inside my oil cap was the same tan gunk.. What else can it be besides head gaskets?? I was hoping this motor would be good to me until I graduated and got the funds to drop in an MN12 5.0..... Thanks in advance

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:25 PM
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Sounds like water in the oil. While there are many causes of that, it simply could be condensation or so odd reason for water to get in there, I would be getting ready to put some head gaskets on a 3.8.

There are many ways for the head gaskets to fail. I didn't get water/oil mixing I got excess combustion gases in the cooling system and water in a cylinder (but not enough to sit and go past the rings into the crankcase). The car I ALMOST bought had no overheating, no low compression on any cylinders, no steam, but a milkshake in the crankcase.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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The car is not driven all that much, just a 15 minutes ride to and from school monday - friday and sits pretty outside the whole weekend but I always make sure it gets to operating temperature. Can this tan gunk be a fluke like condensation putting water in the oil that an oil change can fix and not be the most dreaded thing every 3.8 thinks?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:37 PM
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Might as well change the oil now, if you've got coolant in there you'll know when you drain the oil.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah she is due for an oil change.. but hearing that the high temperature this weekend is going to be 19 degrees I'm a bit discouraged to do it..

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 04:03 PM
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You don't want to drive it long with water in the oil, the bearing will be toast. If it is just condensation due to weather and driving habits, and all you need to do is change the oil, then you save the engine.

Just because I have had HGs go, and everyone I know that has a 3.8 engined Ford car or van has had HG problems I don't want to say it is a HG problem just because of that, but it is a possibility.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Aww man.. maybe I should drive my dads TBird to school the rest of the week not to make anything worse. Then change the oil this weekend even in that 19 degree cold, I'd do anything for Cougie!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 04:42 PM
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If the oil level was low, then you probably aren't getting coolant into the oil, unless you also have one hellacious oil leak. Probably just condensation. Double check the coolant level to be sure, but usually if the oil is milky, its also overfull. I'd suggest you change the oil and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get milky again. If you don't want to change the oil yourself cause of the cold, just take it to a quick-lube place and have them do it for you. It will only cost a few bucks more than doing it yourself, which is certainly worth it to avoid the discomfort of 19 degrees.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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I changed the coolant a couple months ago and the level is good, as for an oil leak, I haven't had any oil spots where I park at home or at school. I'll do the oil change myself even in the cold if that helps in anyway to save my engine. I prefer to do the oil myself, besides my dad bought all the oil and the filter not long ago to do the change for her. I really appriciate all your help guys, its good to talk to better experienced motorheads(especially MN12 motorheads ) to brainstorm what else it could be then the infamous gangs of "It's definatly the head gaskets, it can't be anything else because its a Ford 3.8!" Thanks again guys!

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 11:41 PM
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In the winter this is very common for any car that doesn't heat up enough to burn the condensation off inside your engine.

It can take up to 20 minutes of driving for the oil itself to start getting hot enough to start burning off the water.

My bet is if you wipe out the gunk in the oil fill cap, and then take it out for say an hour long highway cruise, then park it overnight, when you go out the next morning and spin off the oil fill cap, it'll be nice and clean, no gunk.

Making it a point with short trip cars that are driven in the winter to go for a little cruise once a week is a really good idea during the winter for just this reason.

My ex-g/f's '02 Mustang GT had this same thing when I went to change it's oil the first time in the winter. After that oil change, we made it a point to give it a longish highway ride on the weekend during the winter...never had a problem with that again.

If you want to be sure about coolant in your oil, get an oil analysis kit from someplace like Blackstone and take an oil sample (mid point between when you pull the drain plug and when it stops draining...basically when there's a good stream of oil flowing out of there). Then send it in, it costs $20 plus USPS shipping, and they'll e-mail you a report. If you don't have K or Na in your report, you're good as far as coolant.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2007, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven View Post
I checked my oil today after I got home from school (Lincoln Tech) and noticed it was a little low so I added a bit,
You might want to transfer to Lincoln Tech in Florida. It is quite a bit warmer here than in PA. We are in the process of rebuilding our facility, and when done, it should be pretty cool.

Ron

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