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Old 05-14-2020, 02:17 PM   #1
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HELP!!! Oil in the Coolant Reservoir

All, I have a 2011 Fleetwood Discovery with the 8.3L (ISC) and I noticed a little
oil in the overflow coolant tank. I feared that I had a blown head gasket but there is No white smoke and it doesn't to be loosing oil. I changed the oil and the oil looked good. Not cloudy like it has water in it. Is there a Transmission or Oil cooler on the coach that uses the same coolant system as the motor?
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:23 PM   #2
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Was the oil color black? If it was engine oil it would be black, transmission a lighter brown or reddish color.



Some radiators do have the transmission oil cooler built into the radiator. You should be able to crawl underneath and trace your transmission lines. If they terminate into the radiator you may have a an internal cooler.
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
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Yes, diesels use oil coolers that sit in the engine water jacket.

Since oil pressure is higher then cooler pressure, the slightest leak in the oil cooler will enter the coolant. Since oil floats on top of water, it moves to the top of the radiator, where it can get pushed out into the overflow tank.
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:44 PM   #4
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You have what could or could not be a major issue. If you are not comfortable with diagnosing it get a professional opinion from someone you can trust. ( that would not be campers world ) ( Just my own opinion )
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:41 AM   #5
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get a pressure test done of the cooling system
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:18 AM   #6
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I agree that a pressure test and inspection would be prudent.

Not sure how much oil you have in there, but usually not a good sign, especially on a diesel engine. You may have caught the problem early on.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:06 AM   #7
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ypu can also take a sample of the coolant and it will tell you a concentration. If its a prob with the oil cooler it good be $$.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:03 AM   #8
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I agree that a pressure test and inspection would be prudent.

Not sure how much oil you have in there, but usually not a good sign, especially on a diesel engine. You may have caught the problem early on.
Ok pressure test what?
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:19 AM   #9
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Ok pressure test what?
they put a special cap on your cooling system and pressurize it, then monitor it for a period of time. if the pressure drops you have a leak somewhere. I would have an analysis of the cooling water done. they should be able to tell you just what the oil is, lube oil or trans oil.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:20 AM   #10
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Yup, sounds like an oil cooler...get your stimulus ready and go see Cummins..
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:13 AM   #11
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Don't pressure test the cooling system.

If the oil cooler is leaking it could push coolant into the oil, a much worse condition then oil in the coolant.

In most cases it won't tell you anything anyway. Oil pressure runs between 30 amp 60 lbs. Coolant is at 16 lbs. The hole in the cooler often only leaks oil out.

Unless it was caused by human error, oil in the coolant is almost always the oil cooler.

Have the cooler removed and pressure tested for a diagnosis.
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:51 PM   #12
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I've always heard that antifreeze in the transmission will kill it dead in short order. I would not do anything that might encourage that situation. Oil (or tx fluid) in the antifreeze is something to get concerned about but not near as bad as anitfreeze in the transmission.
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Don't pressure test the cooling system.

If the oil cooler is leaking it could push coolant into the oil, a much worse condition then oil in the coolant.

In most cases it won't tell you anything anyway. Oil pressure runs between 30 amp 60 lbs. Coolant is at 16 lbs. The hole in the cooler often only leaks oil out.

Unless it was caused by human error, oil in the coolant is almost always the oil cooler.

Have the cooler removed and pressure tested for a diagnosis.

Good Advice here !
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:56 PM   #14
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they put a special cap on your cooling system and pressurize it, then monitor it for a period of time. if the pressure drops you have a leak somewhere. I would have an analysis of the cooling water done. they should be able to tell you just what the oil is, lube oil or trans oil.
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I'm not sure I like this idea. If there is a leak between transmission or engine oil lines inside the engine cooling system radiator, would not a pressure test of the cooling system, with the engine not running and zero pressure in the oil line, drive coolant into the oil line and circulate it into the transmission or crankcase?
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