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Old 11-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
jayeeyee
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Default '04 STI Oil in Coolant...read more

Sup guys. Was checking under the hood a couple of nights and saw chocolate milk in my coolant reservoir tank. I had the coolant changed maybe not more than a month ago and it's already brown. I'm assuming oil is mixing into the coolant but I can't pinpoint where. I did a leakdown and cylinder pressure test and the numbers came out sound so I'm doubting (for now) that it's a head gasket issue.

My car has 80,xxx miles on it with light mods.

Stock turbo
GrimSpeed Air Oil Separator
APS BOV
Invidia DP
eBay Catback
K&N Intake
Cobb AP Stage 2 tune

I'd like to note that my coolant doesn't have bits of oil floating on top.. it's literally chocolate milk to the color. As for my oil, it doesn't have a sweet smell to it and the color is normal. Right now, going with what I have... I can only conclude oil is mixing into the coolant and not vice versa. The next place I'm going to check is the turbo and hopefully that is the culprit but before I continue, is it even possible to mix oil into coolant from the turbo housing? How are the seals placed inside the VF39 and are these issues common?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

Kudos,
Jay

P.S - Oil was drained and color/smell was normal.
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Last edited by jayeeyee; 11-24-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
Strider327
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Its a head gasket, in its early stages.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
jaxscuby
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head gasket.
this is not good for oil.
the bearings will go.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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^ this. Definitely a HG.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:47 PM   #5
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get it fixed now....do NOT wait
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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I would recommend draining the oil and see what it looks like in the drain pan. Either way, you have an issue that needs to be fixed ASAP.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Going out on a limb here..but from personal experience and lots of time spent freaking out over possible head gasket issues I have concluded that unless you have signs of coolant in your oil,you are most likely ok.

More often then not even after flushing coolant, the oem subaru coolant conditioner will leave a brown oily residue in your coolant overflow bottle and will discolor the bright green subaru coolant rather quickly. Also when you flush coolant you are supposed to clean the overflow reservoir to get any remaining residue from the old coolant and conditioner out.

Best of luck..check turbo seals...check oil for any coolant contamination..make sure the right coolant was put back in when it was flushed..flush it again for piece of mind..I'm not saying head gasket is out..but check the easy stuff first!
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
jayeeyee
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When I saw the chocolate coolant, I did immediately drain my oil to see what color/viscosity it was and everything looked and smelt sound. The oil was clean. As mentioned above, I change the coolant no more than a month ago and it's already chocolate brown to the color. My oil level remains the same. I also cleaned out the reservoir bottle so that shouldn't be the issue why the color is turning. Just remembered the VF39 isn't serviceable so I won't be able to get an in-depth look to see whether or not the internal seals are failing.

Any other ideas out there guys?

Kudos,
Jay
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
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You can get the Oil & coolant analyzed for each other. This will tell you for certain if oil is getting into the coolant ETC.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:47 AM   #10
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where do you get oil analyzed at?
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:33 AM   #11
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:44 AM   #12
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oil pressure-10-60 psi (ish) coolant pressure- 14-16psi max (depending on radiator cap)
Oil in the coolant is MUCH more common than coolant in the oil for this reason.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugeyetex View Post
oil pressure-10-60 psi (ish) coolant pressure- 14-16psi max (depending on radiator cap)
Oil in the coolant is MUCH more common than coolant in the oil for this reason.
Bingo, Tell him what he's won Johnny!

Compression/exhaust gasses leaking over into the coolant can also cause coolant discoloration.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:23 AM   #14
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Are there any chances here that my problems are being caused by a bad turbo seal? I sent my oil in for analysis and waiting for my results.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #15
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Just a thought, I know on the volkswagens, and Audis the oil cooler takes a **** some times and results in oil in the coolant, and not vise versa. Maybe same applies with subarus oil coolers?

-Chris
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:02 PM   #16
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I've noticed my coolant getting a bit discolored for a while, well found out my turbo is blown, stock VF-39 lasted 167K miles, currently getting rebuilt. Might be your problem as well, once i get the trubo back i will be flushing the coolant as well and if it stays clean, we know the turbo did it.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whtscoobplk View Post
I've noticed my coolant getting a bit discolored for a while, well found out my turbo is blown, stock VF-39 lasted 167K miles, currently getting rebuilt. Might be your problem as well, once i get the trubo back i will be flushing the coolant as well and if it stays clean, we know the turbo did it.
Stock IHI VF-39 are serviceable/rebuildable? I read from another forum member that the coolant jacket in the turbo is internally sealed meaning coolant can't leak out unless there was a physical crack in the assembly. Any updates on this because this sounds interesting. I'm almost absolutely sure my oil seal is bad since my intercooler has a load of oil blowby even with my GS AOS installed.

Kudos,
Jay

P.S - Update.. USPS seems to have misplaced my BS Labs oil analysis.. I'm out $25 and need to spend another $25 to have it retested. Updates later on this. =/
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #18
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Ok so here is the update. Had 6starspeed.com rebuild my turbo. Yes you can rebuild these turbos just check them out, good services, good communication, and so far i've put a little over 1K miles on the car after rebuild and no problems. My seals were blown so yes oil leaked everywhere. Everything besides the oil drain tube ans wastegate actuator was replaced with their gasket kit as well.




Now i'm not sure about if oil can get in your coolant in the turbo but it's possible, so far my coolant is clean and no oil loss, my suby ate about 1 - 2 quarts of oil per 3K and the intercooler was always full of oil and i do have an AOS. I'll report back after at least a few more miles are put on the car and next oil change. It's hard to tell with the stock turbos if they may be blown and leaking a small amount of oil untill they pop completely like mine did. Had a crazy amount of white at first then blue smoke from the exhaust and oil poured out of the downpipe when i took it off at first, lucky for me non of the fins or anything else got damaged in the turbo, just seals, clean, rebuild and balance.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:21 AM   #19
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Nice update whtscoob. Good to know but you mentioned, and I quote, "I've noticed my coolant getting a bit discolored for a while". Did you figure out what was causing it and did fixing the turbo remedy your problem?

I have a brand new HTA68 thats just basically a paperweight right now since I haven't got the time to swap it in. If the turbo is serviceable, I might actually consider buying them ebay kits and rebuilding it myself at the shop since all the tools are there.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:24 AM   #20
whtscoobplk
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Hey thanks, i can't confirm the coolant was due to turbo as it's only been about 1200 miles since i got the car running with new coolant and so far it is clean. If it stays clean then yes i would say the turbo had something to do with it.

Now just a word of advice on DYI rebuilds, if you have the tools and all i'm sure anyone is capable of doing it your self, but how will you ballance it? These things spin up to 16,000 rpm (correct me if i'm wrong). If you don't balance it then you run the risk of it getting destroyed in a short ammount of time.

The same money you'll spend on the rebuild kit you can have 6star do it and you get new seals as well as bead blast/polish the whole thing and balance. Just my opinion.




Quote:
Originally Posted by jayeeyee View Post
Nice update whtscoob. Good to know but you mentioned, and I quote, "I've noticed my coolant getting a bit discolored for a while". Did you figure out what was causing it and did fixing the turbo remedy your problem?

I have a brand new HTA68 thats just basically a paperweight right now since I haven't got the time to swap it in. If the turbo is serviceable, I might actually consider buying them ebay kits and rebuilding it myself at the shop since all the tools are there.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:12 PM   #21
whtscoobplk
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Hey OP just wanted to give you another update, put about 4K miles on the car since the rebuilt turbo and so far the coolant is clean and oil consumption has reduced somewhat.

Did you have yours rebuilt?
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