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Discussion Starter #1
2009 93 2.0t 240000 Miles

OK wife said car started to sputter while driving. No CEL, so I test drove it and noticed rough running.

Pulled plugs and noticed a loose broken plug so I replaced all the plugs.

Tested it and problem reoccurred. Noticed weird color and stains on Coolant resevoir. Opened cap and saw VERY dirty coolant.
So I probably have a blown head gasket?

What should I do first
Drain coolant? Drain oil?

I recently changed oil with 0w Sa20. I think the oil may be so thin it is leaking through old gaskets?

Any advice would be most appreciated thx
 

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Other things to check:
White smoke from exhaust on warm engine (coolant in cylinder heads)
Air bubbles in coolant reservoir with engine running. (exhaust gases getting into coolant loop). $20 combustion test from Amazon.
Temp gauge running high.

Above would signal a head gasket.
 

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Other things to check:
White smoke from exhaust on warm engine (coolant in cylinder heads)
Air bubbles in coolant reservoir with engine running. (exhaust gases getting into coolant loop). $20 combustion test from Amazon.
Temp gauge running high.

Above would signal a head gasket.
Agreed. Could also be a cracked or warped head as well (less likely than head gasket).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Yeah air bubbles in coolant reservoir. Exhaust did seem whiter than usual. Engine was cold at the time.

Very cold on cape cod, today. temp gauge running low not hot.

  1. If I drain coolant and flush it a few times with water and replace oil with thicker oil, then see if it improves or if it’s a head gasket would that be useless?
 

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You can do a cooling system pressure test and compression test to get a better idea of what’s up mechanically. I’d do that before doing any flushes, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, got to get the system Psi . maybe I can get a loaner tool for that.

How do you do a compression test?
Special tool?

Do you think I may have worn valves or something?


Thx
 

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Ok, got to get the system Psi . maybe I can get a loaner tool for that.

How do you do a compression test?
Special tool?

Do you think I may have worn valves or something?


Thx
You generally replace a spark plug with an adapter that connects to a pressure gauge. Then pull the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine. A bad head gasket or cracked head will show different pressure reading vs the other cylinders. Nothing to do with worn valves since that would not result in oil in your coolant... ;)
 

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The very first thing to do is the combustion leak test. Scotty Kilmer has a good video on YouTube if unfamiliar
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You generally replace a spark plug with an adapter that connects to a pressure gauge. Then pull the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine. A bad head gasket or cracked head will show different pressure reading vs the other cylinders. Nothing to do with worn valves since that would not result in oil in your coolant... ;)
OK, did the compression test
I think it passed with flying colors. All cylinders checked cold came in at 210 PSI.
So, at least it’s good on that.
Tried the combustion test but the test kit required a hookup to the cars vacuum.

So I am looking for a place to hookup, any suggestions would be great help.
Otherwise the kit said to use “a vacuum source”? YouTube videos showed one guy using some kind of “ball valve” or one guy had a auxiliary device?
So My test kit didn’t work yet.

During test car was blowing white smoke after 10 min warmup, coolant reservoirs looks like black coffee, but the test fluid stayed blue because no vacuum was available. So it’s not looking good on that score
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Think I found a vacuum hose for the vacuum pump on a YouTube.

Looks like it’s near the coolant resevoir so I’ll try there.
 

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If it passes the combustion test I would look at the oil cooler next.
Also if traditional coolant was mixed with dexcool it will make a mess of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, been topping off with 50/50 for a long time.
So, I can’t possibly pass the combustion test with black coffee coolant? Can I?

Will still try to get the kit to work but I think i’ll Drain the black coffee first?

Try it with second flush or something like that?

I will research the oil cooler thanks for the suggestion.
 

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If your compression test is good then highly likely a seal on the main oil cooler has let go.
We have had this problem on one of our own 9-3's....at first every place said it was head gasket.
After changing the oil cooler you need to do plenty of coolant flushes with soapy water and watch out for any swelling coolant pipes.
Even a year later we still have a bit of scum build up on the expansion tank walls but the good news is the engine will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If your compression test is good then highly likely a seal on the main oil cooler has let go.
We have had this problem on one of our own 9-3's....at first every place said it was head gasket.
After changing the oil cooler you need to do plenty of coolant flushes with soapy water and watch out for any swelling coolant pipes.
Even a year later we still have a bit of scum build up on the expansion tank walls but the good news is the engine will be fine.
Thanks, I think /hope you’re right along with llsaab I think who also mentioned that.
Just finished the combustion test by using the vacuum pumps stem.
So the test tube started working as soon as I connected the vacuum you know bubbling

No change to fluid, so I guess I passed 😁

Now I’m going to drain black coffee stuff and flush it a couple of times and I’ll get that oil cooler? Or oil cooler gasket?
 

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Pressure test oil cooler through the coolant hoses going to it, u can use cooling system pressure tester with some adapters (1 bar/15psi only)
 
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