"97" saturn oil mixed in coolant system

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Hi,i just bought a 1997 satun, automatic,at local auto action for nine hundred.It is a very clean car and runs good.On my way home it started over heating.It only had a little water and the water had oil in it.My friend said it is a very bad sign.What could this mean?I filled it with water and it did not over heat all the way home.The water did not sputter or boil but I only drove it for 20 minutes.Is this minor problem or is it major?Hope I provided enough info.I don't know much about cars so I would appreciate any help.

posted by  jennifhug

I don't know much about cars either but this same thing happened to my 98 saturn. The end result was that I need to replace the head and head gasket. They thought the bad head gasket caused the leak and the head cracked because of the overheating. I would get it looked at asap because I let mine go for a while and ended up with a lot more damage than it should of been. It ended up costing me around $2100.00 to fix it though it would have been much cheaper had I taken care of it earlier. Hope this helps.

posted by  fischnchps

That's a bummer. A small handful of things could be wrong but just hope you are looking at a head gasket problem.

posted by  DodgeRida67

what engine is in it?

1. oil change, asap.
2. after oil change, monitor engine oil and coolant levels.
3. if either fluids changed color, very very good chance blown head gasket, cracked head or cracked block.
4. slight chance could be waterpump shaft or seal is letting coolant into the engine bloc.
5. good luck.
hope this helps :2cents:

posted by  Carcass

If your oil is mixed with your coolant it's definitly your head gasket and that kinda sucks because labor costs so much unless you do it yourself.

posted by  chud298

I agree with everyone else. Oil and coolant mixing is the classic symptoms of a head gasket.

The gasket itself is easy to replace, it's getting to it that's the biatch.

On the bright side, it's a good excuse to go out and buy a torque wrench if you don't already have one. I always use car problems as an excuse to buy new tools. If I show up one day with a new tool the wife gets mad. But If I buy one while in the middle of fixing a problem with the car she doesn't care. :hi:

posted by  DaveB

You said oil in the coolant, not coolant in the oil right? If your engine oil doesn't look like a milkshake, your problem could be the trans oil cooler(which is enclosed in the radiator) leaking. Check the level of the trans fluid if its low fill it up to the proper level then in a few days check it, if the level has dropped and you don't see any external leaks it's probably leaking into your radiator. :2cents:

posted by  carlos

It won't be the head gasket, it will be a cracked head. In the last cam passage they were HORRIBLE for that, we've replaced 3 heads on those cars. So break open your pocket book, head's are work about 600 or 700.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

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