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white stuff on oil dip stick

01-25-2005, 08:58 PM
i recently noticed some white frothy stuff on my dipstick...not a lot, but enough that I thought that shouldn't be done there! I kept on removing and replacing the dip stick and it kept showing up. It even showed up around 2 inches above the fill line (where the dip stick makes an "s" curve).

Thinking it was possibly water from condensation (I recently purchased the car from a used car lot where the car sat for a few weeks), I drove the car for awhile to see if it would "burn-off". I've checked it since and haven't noticed it again, but have seen mild stratiations of a white substance on the bulb portion of the dip stick (if that makes sense).

I'm concerned that it may be a coolant leak.

Any advice?

01-25-2005, 09:04 PM
If you have a 2.3L (or was it 2.4L... either way its the overhead cam 4cyl) then its normal.... Condensation collects in that long dipstik tube and is unavoidable. If you're really concerned, keep your eyes on the coolant level, make sure it's not going anywhere. You can also drain the oil... if you see the milky stuff in what drains out, then I'd start to worry.

Also, if you have a coolant leaking into the oil.... the oil level will rise, as coolant tends to settle to the bottom of the pan. If your oil level is normal, and no coolant dissapearing. Then its normal.

Did 4yrs at an oil change shop from 91-95... about 90% of those engines that came through had that problem.

01-25-2005, 09:07 PM
thanks a bunch for your insights!

will take heed.

01-25-2005, 11:42 PM
Keep your eye on that coolant level like Madcat455 said, also check for excessive white smoke from the tail pipe if you are loosing coolant and the oil is frothy and you are blowing white smole from the tail pipe get the head gasket checked. Depending on where you live if it is cold out it may be hard to tell if you are blowing excessive white smoke but if it's warm you will be able to tell. Good luck!

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