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Oil and Antifreeze mix...means?

Well this is my final question for my ole 98 Ford taurus beater that has a bad head gasket. I found out yesterday when I had an oil change done on it that we have reached the point of the antifreeze/water mix I use as my coolant is getting into the oil. I know without question this is the death blow. But my questions are:

1. How long can a car’s engine operate with this happening?

2. What does this mixing exactly do to the engine?

3. What harms the engine worse if that is possible, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze water as your coolant or just going with straight water at this point?

I want to thank everyone who has answered my questinos on this car, not sure how much longer it will be driveable.

As you have surmised, it will not be driveable much longer.

Whether it is a 50/50 coolant/water mix or simply water that is diluting the motor oil, the effect will be the same, since neither of those fluids is a lubricant. (If water was a lubricant, it would be much cheaper to use it instead of motor oil in the crankcase!)

The result of the contamination/dilution is that the main bearings and possibly some other lubrication-sensitive engine parts will soon fail. I would suggest that you not drive at high speed or for any distances more than a few miles from home, because at some point in the near future, the engine will simply seize-up and you will come to a rapid halt when it seizes up.

Dude, I’m sorry. Your engine is toast. You do have a blown head gasket. Your engine should start overheating really quickly, causing your valves to bend, and cause other fatal engine problems. The mixing makes the oil really thin, which makes it harder to lubricate things. You have probably another week of very short drives before you do serious harm to the motor. Your best bet would be to sell the car, or if you really want to keep it, take it to the shop to get the engine cleand thoroughly and get your gaskets replaced. I’m not sure which is, worse the coolant or water, but either way they will both do the motor in.

The OP has been posting about this Taurus with a known head gasket issue for several months. At first, coolant was not getting into the oil, and he only had to deal with oil leakage into the cooling system. Now, his engine has Crossed the Rubicon, so to speak.

He has already informed us in some of his other posts that he does not intend to fix it.

So far overheating has not been an issue, in fact operational wise it’s been okay, I knew I was losing coolant, just not sure where it was going, but figure now it’s been going into the oil for about at least 3 weeks. Not sure if changing the oil yesterday helped or hurt the issue.

I wouldn’t leave home in that car except to attempt to get it to a shop or a junk yard. It might not make it through the first mile.

You keep asking questions while you are operating in “unknown” territory. It is all a matter of how much fluid is getting into the oil and how fast. Your best bet to keep it going is to start changing the oil yourself more and more frequently.

Buy the cheapest oil you can get. I don’t think you’ll need to change the filter each time. Drain the oil in a month and see how it looks. Refill with cheap fresh oil and drain it again a month later. If the oil gets grungy in a month change it every 2 weeks. If you can afford it change it daily.

The motor may never quit completely. It will just get to be more trouble keeping it going that it is worth.

If it is summer you can switch to plain water. But water doesn’t have any lubricating properties so they make a product called “Water Wetter”. This is used in racing motorcycles as it is easier to clean up in the event of a crash. Without the water wetter you may burn up your water pump, but hey the motor is about done anyway. It probably doesn’t make any big difference to the motor at this point, and pure water is cheap. Remember, pure water doesn’t transfer heat as well as 50/50 mix of coolant so you might overheat with pure water.

Have you started shopping for another car? I’d not put much money into the old Taurus at this point. Better to save up for a better car.

Thanks for the info. I have begun to search out new transportation, was back at auction this past weekend, but it wasn’t a good weekend. I just had the oil changed this past saturday and noticed before they changed the oil that white smoke was coming from the tailpipe, but now after the change that has stopped. I check the oil daily and it’s still clear. I am going with right now a 33% AF/66% wather mix for my coolant. The engine starts and is getting me back and forth to work (about 30 miles total) and that is the only driving I am doing. I watched when they changed the oil and see it’s pretty simple and I have a pair of ramps so I can do it. Would it be better to go with a heavier oil? Also I am closley watching the temp gauge and it still stays where it has and the engine has not gotten hot.

Heavier oil won’t make any difference. Learn how to change it yourself and use cheap 10W-30 or 10W-40 oil. Make sure you have a place to take the old oil for disposal. Not good to dump it on the ground or into a sewer. Many recycling facilities take used oil.

Actually all the auto parts stores in my area (Oreily, AutoZone, etc) take my old oil for recycling. Or you could take it to any Walmart with an Auto Shop.

I have 2 old paint-pails of 5 gallons each, and whenever I fill them up with used oil, I take them in for recycling. Same with the oil filters.

thanks for the info, i want to thank everyone, it’s nice to be able to get some good info and how to keep her running as long as possible.