Oil in Coolant?

I was looking at my coolant resevoir, and I noticed it was filled nearly to the brim with coolant. I thought that was strange because it normally isn't filled to the brim with coolant. I looked at the
bottom of it, and noticed that there was oil or black sludge at the bottom. I pulled the dipstick out, and looked very closely to see if any coolant seeped through. I was wondering if there may have been a leak of some type? I don't know what this means. Can anyone shed some light on this?
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Anthony Martinez wrote:

1. check coolant level inside the radiator - when cold. 2. check hoses for traces of leakage. if so, coolant can expand into the bottle, but on cooling, suck air, so the bottle remains full. 3. if no hose leakage, have a head gasket test done.
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This is one of several posts we've seen about this recently. I wonder what's going on? However, check the coolant level in the radiator. If it is low, replace the radiator cap. A leaky outer seal will cause the coolant to be pumped into the reservoir and replaced by air in the radiator. If the air gets trapped, the process will repeat.
The stuff isn't oil, though - that would be on top of the coolant.
Mike
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 21:34:02 -0800, Anthony Martinez

It's a 97 Honda Civic. 4 cylinder.
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wrote:

If the engine's been overheated much, that makes it more likely a leaky head gasket.
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I checked the radiator this morning, and it was full. I could see the coolant.
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This happens because coolant is being blown into the reservoir but not sucked back in again on cooldown.
Often this is a sign of a failed head gasket.
Check the coolant level in the rad. If it's low, you almost certainly have a bad head gasket. Try replacing the rad cap first WITH OEM!
If a new rad cap doesn't fix it, have a garage perform a "pressure test" (NOT a "compression test") on the cooling system.
You should take care of this _immediately_. A failed head gasket is relatively inexpensive to fix as long as there is no collateral damage. Keep driving and you _will_ cause that collateral damage.
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Although it certainly does a good job of cleaning the carbon etc. off the valves and piston in the cylinder that's getting the coolant injected....
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Oh, yeah... That piston will get squeaky, shiny, new-looking.
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You should definitely get that checked out asap. My friends 2003 Accord one day suddenly stalled - she took it to the shop, only to find that her coolant was mixed with oil or something. Since she found out when it was too late, she ended up paying a lot more than if she had found out about it sooner ..
She ended up fixing that and trading in her Accord for the new CRV.
"Anthony Martinez" wrote: > I was looking at my coolant resevoir, and I noticed it was > filled > nearly to the brim with coolant. I thought that was strange > because it > normally isn't filled to the brim with coolant. I looked at > the > bottom of it, and noticed that there was oil or black sludge > at the > bottom. I pulled the dipstick out, and looked very closely to > see if > any coolant seeped through. I was wondering if there may have > been a > leak of some type? I don't know what this means. Can anyone > shed some > light on this?
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 21:34:02 -0800, Anthony Martinez

I once had a drunken mechanic pour a quart of oil into my radiator, discovered months later when I happened to ask to have the radiator flushed.
J.
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