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Oil in coolant


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I've recently taken on a 1.0 Lupo which has oil getting into the coolant tank. There doesn't seem to be any coolant mixing with the oil and the car hasn't been overheating and seems to run fine. The head gasket was replaced around 2 years ago so was hoping it wouldn't be that but it doesn't sound too promising. 

Has anyone had this issue before or know what it could be? 


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Yeah usually a leaky head gasket. But. It could be that everything is just fine and they simply didn't flush the cooling system properly after reassembly.

Depending on how much oil there is, bung in a dishwasher tablet and drive around like that for a few days. That should dissolve away the oil. Once cooled down, check if there's any oil still floating in the header tank. If there is, bung in another tablet and repeat...

Once there's not a trace of oil on the surface (when cold), drain the system completely- when the thermostat is open. So loosen off the lowest hose in the system, so it's easy to just pull it off. Warm up the engine without the coolant filler cap on. Then when the fan comes on, carefully, without burning yourself, pull off the hose and dump the coolant and gunge that comes out with it. Turn off engine. Allow to cool down, refill with fresh water and repeat until the water that comes out is clear.

Then seal the bottom hose, add fresh antifreeze (purple or pink) and top up with deionised water. Good to go for another 5 years :)

But if oil reappears after a few days, then you have a leaky headgasket. You could try retorquing the head, as the seal that fails is the pressure feed to the valve assembly. Usually made of copper or a soft metal if it's a quality gasket. Crush it down a bit more.

And welcome to club lupo 👍🏻

Edited by mk2
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