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Any other way for water to get in oil besides head gasket??

Volvo 850 Made from 1993 to 1997, this Volvo line was available in both a wagon and a sedan, both with were graced with several trim levels.

Any other way for water to get in oil besides head gasket??

  #1  
Old 02-13-2014, 09:27 PM
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Default Any other way for water to get in oil besides head gasket??

Water just showed up in my oil maybe two weeks ago. I've been meaning to look into it more, but I started going to a welding class and just have too much other stuff going on now too.

My question is.... is it possible for water to get in the oil any other way than the head gasket? I did a compression test a few months back, and I was getting like 210+ psi on a 220 psi stock cylinders. Was really banking on that not being the problem.

I'm guessing I'll just need to take this into a shop and have them take care of this, because I really don't have any other choice.

Was thinking that water could possibly get in thru the throttle body, but coolant doesn't run thru the idle air control like on other cars (Honda, Nissan, etc.).... so I really don't think it could be anything but the head gasket.
 
  #2  
Old 02-13-2014, 09:47 PM
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Cracked block or a bad oil cooler
 
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:24 PM
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How do you know water is in your oil?
 
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rspi View Post
How do you know water is in your oil?
Ummm.... by looking at the "oil" on the dipstick.

EDIT: Also, I guess I forgot to mention in the OP that in the past few days that there is quite a bit of white smoke coming out of the exhaust.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:25 AM
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These cars have a problem with getting condensation in the block, mine had some white gunk on the dipstick but I know 100% that I'm not leaking any coolant internally. If it looks bad enough on the dipstick, you can change the oil and look at how much water is actually in the oil and see if it does it again with the new oil. I get lots of steam and smoke from my car as well, particularly on a cold day when the car hasn't warmed up. Doesn't necessarily mean anything catastrophic.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:14 AM
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Yeah, you may be okay. I had a car just like that, and it foamed up in the winter time, but it was okay. Apparently all the 850 turbos do that, so they say. Not sure about the NA 850. The two I have don't do it.

In my case the foam was limited to the dipstick only. Look down through the fill hole with the engine running. If you have a milkshake in there, then yeah, you've had it. But if you just have oil, then you're probably okay.

White smoke in really cold weather is unavoidable, as mentioned. The only solution is to monitor coolant consumption.
 

Last edited by firebirdparts; 02-14-2014 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:24 AM
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Our 95 850 Turbo has had the issue of foamy looking stuff on the dipstick each winter for the last 75,000 miles we have had it. Wipe the dipstick off and re-insert it. Do this at least 6 times and you should get clean looking oil. We get condensation in the block and a bit of it in the dipstick tube in the winter. Usually a good run (an hour or so) to heat the car up takes care of it for awhile. After it is nice and warm, check the dipstick again. If you still have the foamy stuff you may have an issue.

Glenn
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:50 AM
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I agree, probably condensation in the dipstick tube.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:28 AM
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:33 AM
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So according to that video, or at least the first minute which is all I watched, a head gasket only fails if the head is installed wrong or the car is overheated? Not true.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:47 AM
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Well, the video has it's theories that can be strained through some rare situations and proven to be wrong (which I seen after watching it again recently), but overall, in 95+% of the situations, it's correct.

A cracked block can cause coolant transfer, but that is not a bad head gasket.

What else will cause a head gasket to fail?
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:13 AM
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The head gasket is exposed to extreme heat and pressure. In time, that alone can be enough. I've seen plenty of failed head gaskets without the car overheating.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:15 AM
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So, what do you think the ratio is?
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:26 AM
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Of the dozens I have done or diagnosed, most had no signs of overheating actually.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:46 AM
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Interesting.

Most that I have seen have been from coolant loss and failed thermostats.

The one that we had was a minor leak, combustion chamber to coolant passage. When I pulled the head it was evident that the had had been off recently. My guess is that they either did not clean the surfaces well, failed to properly torque it or did not have it trued.
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:47 PM
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Regardless of the percentage, they fail either way. It varies climate to climate, by driver, by vehicle, by the day it was built, etc. You can always tell head problems from the rest. Take a rubber glove with the cold motor and cover the coolant overflow tank opening and hold it tight. If the glove inflates then you have a compression leak into the cooling system(sorta like checking the crankcase breather sys.). Check the oil for water, that means drain the warm motor and look for the white goo in the bottom of the oil once it cools. That's for the coolant jacket leaking into the oil(Captain Obvious!). Don't really have to do anything else
 
  #17  
Old 02-14-2014, 08:37 PM
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Bad oil cooler!
 
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrispy_T View Post
Regardless of the percentage, they fail either way. It varies climate to climate, by driver, by vehicle, by the day it was built, etc. You can always tell head problems from the rest. Take a rubber glove with the cold motor and cover the coolant overflow tank opening and hold it tight. If the glove inflates then you have a compression leak into the cooling system(sorta like checking the crankcase breather sys.). Check the oil for water, that means drain the warm motor and look for the white goo in the bottom of the oil once it cools. That's for the coolant jacket leaking into the oil(Captain Obvious!). Don't really have to do anything else
That's actually pretty brilliant. I'll have to do that in the morning.

It could be a SLOW leak, tho, no?? How long would I have to wait. I'm expecting this thing to be very slow, so that the coolant might heat up and overflow before any extra air [or fuel, oil, etc.] would be pushing itself thru...

Originally Posted by RGuy View Post
Bad oil cooler!
I thought that oil coolers were only for turbos?? Never really had to mess with one before. Guess I'll have to find my book somewhere...
 
  #19  
Old 02-15-2014, 03:55 PM
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Get a combustion leak test kit. That is the only way to be 100% sure there is combustion gas in the coolant reservoir. Unless you have an emissions sniffer.

All of them have at least one oil cooler, some have an auxiliary one as well.
 
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