Oil in coolant

My 1997 Honda Civic LX has oil mixed in with the coolant in the coolant reservoir. It has to be cleaned often. A mechanic said there might be a bad
head gasket; I also learned that it may be caused by a cracked head. Suggestions on how to deal with and resolve this problem would be welcome. The car has 114K miles; it looks like replacing the head gasket would be much $$$.
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Sorry, but this is indeed a cracked head or a failed head gasket.
Keep a sharp eye on the rad cap until you get this fixed. Its seals are /not/ meant for oil, and will swell very quickly in the presence of oil. Eventually the cap will stop working properly and result in low rad level, and possible overheating. Replace the cap when it gets damaged, and replace it once the problem is fixed.
Oil in the coolant is also a sign of an ineptly-performed head gasket replacement. If you've just had the gasket replaced, and oil suddenly appears in the coolant, the mechanic was stupid.
--
Tegger

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There is one mor epossible source of oil in the coolant: The oil cooler. It's between the oil filter and the block. Coolant circulates inside this part. I don't know if it's possible for coolant to leak into the oil from there, but it's worth asking your mechanic to check it out.
--
Tegger

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On 05/01/2010 01:28 PM, John Raser wrote:

head gasket. cracked heads with honda are very rare. oil leakage is a known problem - they had a gasket change on the earlier models because of it.
--
nomina rutrum rutrum

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Thank you for the information, Tegger and jim beam. John
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