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oil in water?

09-23-2008, 07:07 PM
ok, I know when oil gets into the water it basically leaves some cream colored swirls in the darker oil after the cars been run recently, and after sitting for quite a while, it will seperate. and thats a small amount of water in a large volume of water, I have never personally seen what happens when a small amount of oil gets into a large volume of water and gets churned by the water pump.

ok, so I had some leaking out of the rear valve cover gasket, as well as some out of the seal where the dist. would be if it was on the front head. (2vz-fe 2.5 V6)

so I took it all apart, replaced the gaskets and put some silicone by that seal and while I was there replaced the T-belt and pulleys. (124k) I get it all back together and notice the coolant is orangeish brown, but a consistent color like its something that will mix with water well. so I got the car warmed up, cranked the heat, and then completely removed the drain on the bottom of the radiator and put the hose in the top of the radoiator, water coming out was the orange color and eventually started to come out clear. but then the second I remove the hose it is back coming out orange, flushed to clear, and remove hose and orange again. I mean I was there forever with the hose and it never stayed clear, so it couldnt have been just recontaminating itself once I removed the hose, because I would also remove the hose and let it drain almost all the way before I put the hose on, just in case I was only blowing water through the radiator and not letting any water come back into the radiator through the hoses.

so its torn down again farther than before and headgaskets were fine, cant see any visible cracks in the block or heads, removed radiator and pressure tested the atf cooling and it doesnt bleed off into the radiator.

and when the orange fluid sits somewhere and dries/evaps it leaves a nice orange spot, but it doesnt really smell like oil. could it be that it just takes FOREVER to flush the cooling system? and what does a little oil/lot of water mix like?

09-24-2008, 11:39 AM
You don't mention if your engine was running while you were flushing the radiator, which it should be. This will allow the water pump to circulate the water through the engine passages and the heater core...this is likely where the extra coolant is coming from. Also make sure your heater temp control knob is turned all the way to hot to open the circulating valve for the heater core.

You also don't mention your car's year or even type (you're posting in the Camry forum but your signature doesn't mention you having one...just a curious oddity). I ask because orange coolant is usually DEX-COOL, used in GM vehicles after 1996. Toyota used the classic green stuff, but there is also a "global" type that is yellow-colored.

Orange-tinged and opaque is usually a sign of rust accumulation OR the mixing of two different coolant types. Check your owner's manual or a repair manual for the correct type to use.

Just adding water through the radiator and letting it drain right out doesn't do much to flush. It should be filled, circulated @ temperature (to allow the thermostat to open), and then drained. AS a last resort, a mild flushing agent may be used but be careful that some use organic acids to remove scale deposits which can corrode aluminum radiators. I've used one that then caused coolant to mix with the transmission fluid (dual-core radiator). There are two block drain plugs located on either side of the V6 (one on the firewall side of the I-4)...removing those will also help drainage, but not required unless you REALLY want a complete flush.

Mike Gerber
09-24-2008, 03:24 PM
"I ask because orange coolant is usually DEX-COOL, used in GM vehicles after 1996. Toyota used the classic green stuff, but there is also a "global" type that is yellow-colored."

Toyota actually uses a factory coolant that is red in color. Did you use a green colored coolant? If you were to drain only the radiator of this OEM red colored coolant and not the block, and then refill with green coolant, you may get a brownish colored coolant mixture. Red and green mix to make brown.


09-24-2008, 04:58 PM
I had a thought that Toyota used a red color but wouldn't commit. Strange choice since transmission fluid is also red and the two are flowing through the radiator at the same time...both clear, and both red...I guess it would turn opaque once it got churned up by the water pump.

09-26-2008, 11:52 AM
well, I do have "cranked the heat" in the first post, but yeah, I didnt tell you what model year, its that 90 v6 in my sig, its my moms car now, we traded but then this came up. I got the car a couple years ago and cant remember if i flushed it or not when i got it, i did everything else so I probably did, and I just use the green stuff, and yes the engine was running. I took the heads in and the guy said it was rust but when you look at the head gasket, there is a spot where you can tell fluid could pass from 3 ports into each other, I know 2 were water anyways, and the other one leads to a port to the intake manifold. but for some reason I think thats water also. so hes checking em out closer and might mill them for me.

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