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Old 10-06-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
seanjhon
 
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Coolant level check dipstick---white sludge?!!

So was cleaning out the ol girl today and decided top check all her fluids, everything checked out ok level wise..until I got to the coolant level check. Pulled out my dipstick to find that it is extremely low, and there is a white sludge on the bottom of it....

Here is where the ****ery begins..

So hoped in assuming the worst and took it to a reputable dealership close to the house, they told me that they didn't know why in earth there was white sludge on the dipstick...so he offered to look at it NEXT TUESDAY!!!! Freaked out I asked him there isn't anything else you can do? You expect me to wait until next week!!! He said they are completely booked!!! So I went ahead and scheduled it in.

So I then drove it a couple more miles to another Chevy dealership. So I walk into that office and try to explain to the service rep what was going on and his first response was...."these camaros don't have level indicator dip sticks"!!!! To my shock I almost laughed in disbelief of what he just said!!! So I then specifically explained to him that there was and eventually pulled the car in to show him!! Which he then had the same face of disbelief as I a second ago had!!

He went and grabbed a tech and they guy came out and told me that his service manager told him that I needed to clean out my resovoir and replace the coolant because the old coolant is old and breaking down. I then asked him if that should even be happening with the car being only a year old and 25,000 miles. He had no answer and then proceeded to tell me he would charge me even under warranty!!! I then just walked out.

So my question to you all is should I just call the dealership where I originally bought the vehicle and see what they can do to help me?

And what is the white creamy sludge from? Should I be worried!!

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:44 PM   #2
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That is not normal ,who has been servicing the car and are they topping your coolant with tap water ? . IMHO you should fully flush the system and use a 50/50 mix of Dexcool and distilled water .And then keep an eye on it and do not let anyone add anything to your cooling system except a proper mix of dexcool.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
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When coolant mixes with motor oil, you get a white milky liquid. I would check the dip stick and see if you find the same sort of thing in the crank case. If I was a betting man, I would lean towards a head gasket leak if you find the same thing in the crank case. It could also be the trans cooler bleeding trans fluid into the radiator (damaged radiator). I've seen this produce something like what you're describing.

BTW, run away from the dealer who told you that the coolant was breaking down inside the reservoir.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:16 PM   #4
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The Milkshake . If the oil looks the same way I would have thought the dealer would have checked that first .
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:46 PM   #5
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I changed the oil Saturday and it looked fine. I will double check the old oil and see if I notice anything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:47 PM   #6
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Is flushing hard. I rather not take it to the dealer but the car is still under warranty. Would they cover the coolant check under warranty?
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:49 PM   #7
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My guess is the last time they did the "multi point inspection" with topping off the fluids...when they fixed a tire... I don't think they did....
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:56 PM   #8
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If the dealer won't do it for free , DYI , very simple but a bit messy . You will need to remove the T stat to flush it right . I can not imagine what caused this ,but suspect someone added something funny to your coolant . FYI you can not mix some coolants with Dexcool .
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:00 PM   #9
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And that's what I'm also thinking, that either they didn't top it off any of the times they said they did, OR they mixed or added wrong stuff or fluid to my car. Which is why I ONLY took it to them for the first oil change and two tire repairs. I do all the other work myself if not to serious. Change my own oil when needed all that. This is just weird. I will wait until wed to see what the original dealer I bought the car from says.

Still amazed how the service tech said these cars have no coolant level dipstick...sigh...


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If the dealer won't do it for free , DYI , very simple but a bit messy . You will need to remove the T stat to flush it right . I can not imagine what caused this ,but suspect someone added something funny to your coolant . FYI you can not mix some coolants with Dexcool .

Last edited by seanjhon; 10-06-2014 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:46 PM   #10
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Update!

So decided to put some coolant in the car and to my surprise there was coolant leaking. Was coming down by the front passenger tire? Never noticed coolant leaking before. Is it just the resovoir tank on passenger side up front? What was weird was when I first began to fill nothing leaked. It wasn't until I got close to finishing the gallon when it began pouring out!!

Thinking of just taking the car and dropping it off.
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:29 AM   #11
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Sounds like you overfilled it, I assume you have a v-8 and if so the filler tube actually comes off of the resavour very easily and it probably poured out at the connection. It snaps in and out ! goofy setup.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Sounds like you overfilled it, I assume you have a v-8 and if so the filler tube actually comes off of the resavour very easily and it probably poured out at the connection. It snaps in and out ! goofy setup.
+1

I would drain it, fill it with water, warm it up, drain it again, repeat. Then drain it and put a gallon and a half of fresh green stuff in. Dexcool does not transfer heat as well. Make sure you have the heater on when warming it. Then top it off with water.

home flush kits have you cut the heater hose, which I wouldn't do
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
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What exactly is the material of the coolant lines? Im thinking they may be aluminum? If so, aluminum corrodes white and that could be what is causing the white sludge? Id look into it and see if I can see white "crystals." If so, its a corrosion issue and not an oil/water mix. Or perhaps the radiator may be corroding? I'd use demineralized water when flushing the system.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:16 PM   #14
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I am betting oil in the coolant system. This happened on our old WS6. I never was able to determine how it was happening, but since the oiling system is always at a higher pressure than the cooling system, it makes sense. The oil never looked bad and the car never got hot. We drove it this way for a couple years and identified the problem when I sold the car. Our car was almost 10 years old when it happened. You are still under warranty. This is something the dealer should handle without question.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawdog View Post
Sounds like you overfilled it, I assume you have a v-8 and if so the filler tube actually comes off of the resavour very easily and it probably poured out at the connection. It snaps in and out ! goofy setup.
Does this apply to the V6 models. That is what I have. Would I be able to reconnect this tube with access from removal of the wheel well liner? If this was the case, would this drain all of the coolant out when it poured or just in the overflow tank.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:56 PM   #16
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This morning when I actually was able to take a closer look from the top, I noticed white crust around the rim of the overflow refill tube. Didnt notice any crystals. But I take her in to the dealership tomorrow so hopefully they find the problem.





Quote:
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What exactly is the material of the coolant lines? Im thinking they may be aluminum? If so, aluminum corrodes white and that could be what is causing the white sludge? Id look into it and see if I can see white "crystals." If so, its a corrosion issue and not an oil/water mix. Or perhaps the radiator may be corroding? I'd use demineralized water when flushing the system.
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:31 PM   #17
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Normal. Quit looking at it and freaking out.

Condesation. I'd bet you do a lot of short trips. Things aren't getting very hot to burn off all the condensation here and there. Same thing will appear under your oil fill cap.

Condesation forms on the top surface of everything. You should see under the valve covers on a car that was started cold, and shut off before everything warms up. Looks like vanilla milkshake dripping off everywhere.

Steer clear of sevice depts until you actually have a problem.

The do it your self checks are.... are the oil and coolant at the proper levels and staying there over the past few months. Yes... don't touch a thing. If one of those fluid levels is screwed up, diagnose why.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:11 PM   #18
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Normal. Quit looking at it and freaking out.

Condesation. I'd bet you do a lot of short trips. Things aren't getting very hot to burn off all the condensation here and there. Same thing will appear under your oil fill cap.

Condesation forms on the top surface of everything. You should see under the valve covers on a car that was started cold, and shut off before everything warms up. Looks like vanilla milkshake dripping off everywhere.

Steer clear of sevice depts until you actually have a problem.

The do it your self checks are.... are the oil and coolant at the proper levels and staying there over the past few months. Yes... don't touch a thing. If one of those fluid levels is screwed up, diagnose why.

Makes sense, I will look at that filler tube that probably fell off, and then from there keep an eye on it. Would that build up eventually effect the radiator at some point and the quality of the coolant?
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:36 PM   #19
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Take a look inside the radiator to see if anything is floating around and maybe drain just alittle
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:10 PM   #20
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UPDATE

Dealer said that there was a seal that went bad on the tube going to the resovoir which connects the two. Just in case future owners have a leak from resovoir area check that seal out.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:42 PM   #21
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Just a question....Why would the dealer warranty your coolant flush? They dont warranty oil changes or brake fluid flush. Those are considered consumables...just like brake pads. If the motor oil was mixing with the coolant and you had a problem that was engine related....thank goodness you did not.....then they would have to do the work and that would include the flush. But since that was not the case, I am not surprised they didn't warranty it.
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