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Thread: Dark Sludge in Rad Overflow Container

  1. #1
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    Dark Sludge in Rad Overflow Container

    Hi,

    I was just checking under the hood of my friends car (2001 Malibu) today and I noticed some darker coloured sludge in the rad overflow container...
    Any idea's what that could be from?

    Thanks

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    check the oil dipstick and see if it looks like choco milk
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    Did you buy the car used? Is there a chance someone in the past put a leak stop fluid in it in the past? (Bar's Leak Stop, etc.?) Those things will make it look like mud.

    But also check what Mayhem suggested as it is very likely to be the culprit as well.

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    yeah, I'm thinking head gasket too.
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    odds are it is the intake gaskets that are leaking or was in the past.those engines are bad 3.1L and all te chev v6.
    if it has never been done then do it before it takes the engine out.

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    I thought it was the head gasket... but i checked the oil at the same time but no milkie mix... there is a aslight tick in the engine...

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    Any way you look at it, there is something wrong enuff for him to let a mechanic take a boo at it, as much as we would all love to help online diagnosis is a bit of a bear with this kinda stuff.


    Get him to drive strait to a mech and have him check out the odd substance.

    ..and then let us know heh

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    Quote Originally Posted by MayhemInc View Post
    Any way you look at it, there is something wrong enuff for him to let a mechanic take a boo at it, as much as we would all love to help online diagnosis is a bit of a bear with this kinda stuff.


    Get him to drive strait to a mech and have him check out the odd substance.

    ..and then let us know heh

    LOL... he is actually getting posted and is leaving Thurs, im debating on buying it since he needs it gone. He actually got a mechanic to look at it, he was told that the head gasket was gone and that there was a need for connecting rod bearing maybe..... There is no outer leaks... Im not too sure how on the ball the mech was that he took it too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impact View Post
    He actually got a mechanic to look at it, he was told that the head gasket was gone
    There's your oil sludge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Impact View Post
    there was a need for connecting rod bearing maybe.....
    There's your engine tick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impact View Post
    LOL... he is actually getting posted and is leaving Thurs, im debating on buying it since he needs it gone. He actually got a mechanic to look at it, he was told that the head gasket was gone and that there was a need for connecting rod bearing maybe..... There is no outer leaks... Im not too sure how on the ball the mech was that he took it too...
    I have an 02 Malibu. I can tell you with almost certainty that the tick is piston slap and VERY common on these vehicles. It is relatively harmless certainly not worth spending lots of money to fix.

    As for the sludge in the overflow these cars are also known for intake manifold gaskets going out.

    Unless the mechanic verified the head gasket leak with a compression test, exhaust leaking into the coolant (does it overheat) etc. I would not rule out the intake manifold. The sludge could be oil which could come from the head gasket but could just as likely come from the intake manifold gasket as well.

    There are service bulletins on both these problems.
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