My Saturn's Mixing a Cocktail


I’ve got a 1995 Saturn SL1 with 181000 miles on it. About a month ago the car overheated (it never over heats)and was low on oil (it never uses oil) and I discovered that the antifreeze and oil were mixing together. I’ve had it worked on and the head gasket was replaced and the radiator was changed out. The head was tested and it was ok. I’ve been driving the car for about 4 days and discovered that I’ve still got the oil in the antifreeze and I’m a quart low on oil.

What should I be looking at next?


When the engine overheated the cylinder head may have warped; or, when the cylinder head warped, the engine overheated; or, only the cylinder head gasket was bad. The cylinder head should have been milled flat to remove any warp. If not, a seal cannot be assured. And the block should have been checked for flatness. Do a coolant system pressure check to see if there any internal, or external, leaks. You might be able to save the day if the pressure check reveals a leaking head gasket by retorquing the cylinder head bolts.


Seriously consider moving on before dropping any more money into this. This cocktail is devastating to your motor oil as water is not a lubricant for 180k+ old main bearing and other critical engine parts. Basically its as if you drove around for 4 days without motor oil.


Remember this car only has a value of $1000 at best in running condition. Put your money elsewhere. 10 years and over 150k miles is a good life.


Thanks for your input - I don’t think the engine has been compromised by the antifreeze - The oil is leaking into the cooling system and the excess is running out of the antifreeze receptical. I know from a practical point of view dropping more than a couple of hundred dollars into this car is crazy (trust me I’m way beyond crazy on this one!) The car runs fine - of course I’m constantly adding more oil and flushing the cooling system. I guess at this point it’s the principal of the thing - what I’m getting from the mechanics is “golly, gee that’s really a puzzler” - I want to know what’s wrong with it even if I decide not to put anymore money into it.
Thanks again for your response.


To find out for sure, may cost more then the car is worth.