Oil in the coolant, Daihatsu Charade

I bought this car for my mother to use when visiting Australia. She prefers to drive a small car.

The only trouble is that is has started leaking oil into the coolant, lots of it!

There is no apparent loss of coolant into the exhaust or into the sump.

Nevertheless I am assuming that this is a head gasket job that I am going to have to tackle myself one day as the price quoted for doing it is rather more than the car cost.

Well you’ve sort of made a statement, not asked a question, so I don’t know if I can add much. You’ll probably have to do a head gasket job on the car, bit if you’re lucky it won’t be too bad. I have not worked on one of these cars, but it sounds like a 4 cylinder, which is always a plus.

Just to be sure though make sure you check everything throughly and confirm that you are indeed dealing with a head gasket and not a small leak at a water pump, hose or radiator.

If the vehicle has an automatic transmission, the oil could be coming from a leaking transmission cooler inside the radiator.


I agree with Tester. Check the transmission fluid level. The automatic transmission sends the fluid to the radiator to cool, and the cooling lines can break and leak inside the radiator. This would push trans fluid directly to coolant.

You stated that you are finding oil in the coolant, this is not the sign of a bad head gasket, coolant in the oil would be a sign of a possible head gasket. What you describe here sounds like possibly a cracked block. You might seek out a qualified shop for their diagnosis. Good luck!