Suzuki Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1995 Sidekick JLX, 16 valve, automatic with 4wd, currently 174000 miles. I am not a mechanic but I like to fix things on my cars if I can and I am pretty mechanical so I can fix quite a bit. I usually need to know where to start though and then get info to begin the process of fixing.

So, the issue I am having is that I found water in my oil. The vehicle still runs well, doesn't overheat, no warning lights, it does go through coolant... I haven't seen white smoke out of the tail pipe, the radiator doesn't overflow when started or shoot coolant out when hot.

If anyone can direct me to a current forum regarding this type of issue or give me information about where to start looking to determine where my coolant leak is I would appreciate it.

Thank you,
Ken
 

·
Registered
1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
Joined
·
243 Posts
Hello. This is the right place to ask. It's not an unusual problem, but more information would help. How long has this been happening? How did you determine there is "water" in the oil? If there is "water" in the oil it could do serious damage. What color coolant do you use? When did you last change your oil. Give us all the info you can.
A common leak is in the head gasket, especially with older cars with high mileage. I've done it once, but it's not a simple job. It involves removing the top of the engine. You'll need more than a repair manual. The replacement gasket is cheap, but the cylinder head needs to be checked for flatness, and frequently "flattened" at a machine shop -- not so cheap.
You'll hear from other members soon about what to check first, before determining it must be the head gasket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,798 Posts
the fact its going thru coolant and i am assuming you have milky coloured oil, its either a head gasket, or a crack somewhere. Time to investigate further.
 

·
Registered
1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
the fact its going thru coolant and i am assuming you have milky coloured oil, its either a head gasket, or a crack somewhere. Time to investigate further.
Thanks for the reply. Yes it is milky colored oil. Can you give me some idea of where I need to start investigating?
This is part of my issue, I am not versed in diagnosing and do not know where to start. Is there a tell-tale sign of a head gasket vs a crack, coul dit be something else?
 

·
Registered
1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
Joined
·
243 Posts
How did you determine there is milky oil?
 

·
Registered
1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
Joined
·
243 Posts
One place to look is through the earlier posts on this forum. SEARCH for "head gasket leak". You can search other SUZUKI models as well -- same problem. That will tell -- and probably show you what you are probably up against.
 

·
Registered
1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
One place to look is through the earlier posts on this forum. SEARCH for "head gasket leak". You can search other SUZUKI models as well -- same problem. That will tell -- and probably show you what you are probably up against.
Thanks for the reply and info on where to look. I recently changed the oil, about a month ago and 1,000 miles. Now when I look at the dip stick it is covered in thick creamy looking gunk which when I researched it this is what everyone says the oil looks like when it has water in it. It looks like pictures I see online also.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,229 Posts
Start with wet & dry compression tests - in many cases, a defective head gasket will show up in the compression test results.

It is possible to get coolant leaking into the oil, without it being the head gasket, I believe the 16v head has a number of core plugs under the rocker cover that can rust through and allow coolant to leak.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bex

·
Registered
1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Start with wet & dry compression tests - in many cases, a defective head gasket will show up in the compression test results.

It is possible to get coolant leaking into the oil, without it being the head gasket, I believe the 16v head has a number of core plugs under the rocker cover that can rust through and allow coolant to leak.
Thanks for the info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,798 Posts
Thanks for the reply. Yes it is milky colored oil. Can you give me some idea of where I need to start investigating?
This is part of my issue, I am not versed in diagnosing and do not know where to start. Is there a tell-tale sign of a head gasket vs a crack, coul dit be something else?
Do as Fordem suggests, I would also remove the rocker cover gasket and pressurise the cooling system and look for leaking core plugs. If one is leaking, replace all of them. Hopefully its this simple and you dont need to delve deeper.
I would advise against running it as you will cause severe damage if you have milky oil already.
 

·
Registered
1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
Joined
·
243 Posts
Is the bottom of the oil fill cap covered with milky GOO -- instead of oil?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,636 Posts
Here, read this:
They are actually not ‘freeze plugs’, but most people think that they are, so if you search the forum for ‘freeze plugs leaking’ you’ll get tons of hits that may just identify your problem and solution.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bear95

·
Registered
1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hello. This is the right place to ask. It's not an unusual problem, but more information would help. How long has this been happening? How did you determine there is "water" in the oil? If there is "water" in the oil it could do serious damage. What color coolant do you use? When did you last change your oil. Give us all the info you can.
A common leak is in the head gasket, especially with older cars with high mileage. I've done it once, but it's not a simple job. It involves removing the top of the engine. You'll need more than a repair manual. The replacement gasket is cheap, but the cylinder head needs to be checked for flatness, and frequently "flattened" at a machine shop -- not so cheap.
You'll hear from other members soon about what to check first, before determining it must be the head gasket.
I just changed the oil 12-16-20, 1437 miles ago, most of those miles are towing miles though as I just pulled the car behind an RV for three weeks and maybe drove the car a couple hundred of those miles. When I changed the oil there was no white milky substance, so it just started happening. I looked under the oil cap and it has white milky goo under it, I pulled the first two spark plug wires (from front of vehicle) can't get to the back two without removing things. The first plug wire from front of vehicle has oil and white milky goo on it. The car has 173912 miles on it. The coolant color is green. I have a service manual what more will I need?
Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,636 Posts
You need to look at Fordem’s link above.
 

·
Registered
1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
Joined
·
243 Posts
The good news is that it "just" started happening. The bad news is you better not drive it to avoid serious damage.

Have you done an external check of the engine for coolant leaks? You said the coolant was low -- how low???

Has it been in an accident lately? Jeep trails? Speed bumps??? Etc.???
 

·
Registered
1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
Joined
·
158 Posts
I just changed the oil 12-16-20, 1437 miles ago, most of those miles are towing miles though as I just pulled the car behind an RV for three weeks and maybe drove the car a couple hundred of those miles. When I changed the oil there was no white milky substance, so it just started happening. I looked under the oil cap and it has white milky goo under it, I pulled the first two spark plug wires (from front of vehicle) can't get to the back two without removing things. The first plug wire from front of vehicle has oil and white milky goo on it. The car has 173912 miles on it. The coolant color is green. I have a service manual what more will I need?
Thanks
"... the first SPARK PLUG WIRE.... has oil and white milky goo on it"?????
You mean the actual wire (that goes on the spark plug) is covered with the milkshake?????
So, this "milkshake" stuff is on the exterior of the engine, as well?????
 

·
Registered
1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
Joined
·
158 Posts
Steve McQueen says it sounds like the BLOOB!!!
:oops::oops::oops:o_O.... the GLOB, the GLOB....
Seriously, though, that can't be right... maybe it "migrated" or dribbled on there when dipstick or oil filler cap was removed and goo dripped on them.
Otherwise, it's sounding very weird. Go to Twilight... I mean AutoZone and borrow their cooling system pressure tester. Easiest of tests and free loaner... compression tests are quite revealing, as FORDEM states. Those casting core plugs are always suspect.
PopsCA, I'm going to take a chance and guess that although you should not run it anymore, as others have recommended, no serious damage has occurred YET. Also, weird that no trace of burnt coolant is evident in the exhaust (whitish smoke).
 

·
Registered
1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
Joined
·
243 Posts
I'll reserve judgement until I hear how much coolant has been lost -- and in what period of time -- and if it's dripping on the ground!!!
 

·
Registered
1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I'll reserve judgement until I hear how much coolant has been lost -- and in what period of time -- and if it's dripping on the ground!!!
The last time I filled it with coolant which was when I was towing it over the past four weeks I put in about 48 ounces. I don't see any coolant leaking around the outside of the engine or on the floor.

I'm going to try and do a compression check as well as a coolant pressure test tomorrow so hopefully I will have some details to share about what I find.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top