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Dave_TDCI

Very Watery Oil

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A mate of mine bought a 1.8 TDCi Focus on Saturday. A lovely 2009 Titanium model which seems extremely clean. He told me the t/belt & water pump had just been replaced and a new thermostat also.

I was just having a quick look over of the car after he bought it and when I checked the oil on the dipstick I noticed it was extremely watery. When you wipe it on a paper towel it seems even more watery. The car seems to drive very well, hardly any smoke and quite responsive.

There doesn't seem to be any "milkyness" which is often associated with issues with the head gasket which I looked for.

Is this something he should be concerned with or signs to look out for?

Many thanks

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maybe worth changing the oil to be on the safe side, who knows what was last put in it?

 

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Ok good, I was fearing for his sake could be head gasket related, but there doesn't seem to be any other signs such white smoke from the exhaust etc.

I'll recommend to him to just change the oil.

Cheers lads

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was the level too high? does the oil smell like diesel fuel?

In years gone by I have had two petrol cars where the mechanical fuel pump was leaking petrol into the engine. the petrol thinned the oil and made the level higher than it should have been. One of these cars was a Cortina (OHC Pinto engine) which seemed to suffer no side effects when pump fixed. The other was an Escort Mk3 CVH engine. On that engine the fuel pump is driven from the overhead camshaft. The fuel leaking from the pump was washing the oil off one of the lobes on the camshaft so the lobe wore down so it barely opened the valve and the cam follower wore down also.

Anyway, in the 1.8tdci engine the high pressure fuel pump is within the oiled area of the engine (some have a chain to it and some a wet belt) and I am wondering if that pump is leaking diesel into the oil thus thinning it down.

 

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No quite the oposite actually. The oil level seemed a bit on the low side when I checked it. And no obvious smell of diesel from it either.

My mate did say that when he originally looked at the car it was quite low on coolant, but that they then changed the t/bet & w/pump and refilled the coolant accordingly. That's why I was questioning a possible head gasket issue, but the coolant has not gone down since and there doesn't seem to be any visible white smoke from the exhaust to indicate a head gasket or hardly any smoke really coming from it at all.

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Tbh, headgasket issues rarely cause water in oil unless they're really bad - oil pressure is higher than water pressure so if you get a small split between oil and waterways it will usually go the other way, oil in coolant.

There don't have to be any other signs, it just depends where the gasket fails.  You'll only get white steam from the exhaust if the gasket fails between the cylinder and waterway.  White smoke would be unburnt diesel and not HGF related.

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Ok so really even though it is possible for there to be a head gasket issue, the likelyhood of it is actually very small from just watery oil alone? From what I remember when I had a look there was no oil in the coolant either which hopefully is a further good indiciation.

Maybe just recommending an oil and filter change and to keep an eye on it over the coming weeks may be enough so in the meantime.

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Are you sure the oil is actually watery ?. Modern cars oil is very thin i.e. in my car I use 5W-30 its like cats pi** very thin I could use 0W 40 that is even thinner but expensive. Older cars with 20W 50 is a lot thicker.Have a look and see what oil type your car uses I bet its something like  5W 40 thin  watery stuff.If you have water in the oil then the chances are that when you remove the  oil filler cap it will be coted with a thick white gunk on the underside. I bet its just the modern type of oil you have  and nothing wrong

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hey, id still be looking at the oil change before doing anything, if you didn't change the oil then god knows whats in it, Christ it could be anything they had kicking around the garage! :) 

 

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On 02/11/2017 at 1:54 PM, Gizza11 said:

Are you sure the oil is actually watery ?. Modern cars oil is very thin i.e. in my car I use 5W-30 its like cats pi** very thin I could use 0W 40 that is even thinner but expensive. Older cars with 20W 50 is a lot thicker.Have a look and see what oil type your car uses I bet its something like  5W 40 thin  watery stuff.If you have water in the oil then the chances are that when you remove the  oil filler cap it will be coted with a thick white gunk on the underside. I bet its just the modern type of oil you have  and nothing wrong

Had a look again today and yeah seems very watery. When you wipe the dipstick with a tissue it looks relatively normal at first but within a second or 2 it seems to have pretty much dried leaving more a dirty water stain than an oil stain. No sign of gunk when removing the oil filer cap that I could see. I did find it the boot however half a bottle of 5w40 which the previous owner must have been using, think it's ment to be 5w30 that engine uses if I'm correct?

On 02/11/2017 at 1:57 PM, Dee_82 said:

hey, id still be looking at the oil change before doing anything, if you didn't change the oil then god knows whats in it, Christ it could be anything they had kicking around the garage! :) 

 

Yes you're right I agree. I have advised him to change it over the weekend. At the very least it won't do any damage and if it is just the oil that's the problem from being old/wrong oil whatever it needs to be done.

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16 hours ago, Dave_TDCI said:

Had a look again today and yeah seems very watery. When you wipe the dipstick with a tissue it looks relatively normal at first but within a second or 2 it seems to have pretty much dried leaving more a dirty water stain than an oil stain. No sign of gunk when removing the oil filer cap that I could see. I did find it the boot however half a bottle of 5w40 which the previous owner must have been using, think it's ment to be 5w30 that engine uses if I'm correct?

Yes you're right I agree. I have advised him to change it over the weekend. At the very least it won't do any damage and if it is just the oil that's the problem from being old/wrong oil whatever it needs to be done.

If its supposed to be 5W-30 and you have 5w-40 in it won't make any real  difference in real terms .As advised by others an Oil and filter change with the correct  (reasonable quality or better) grade of oil will do it some good weather it needs it or not and that way it will give you peace of mind knowing that the Oil is good. For example and not every one does this but I change my oil every 6 months regardless due to  the nature of my engine . Most people change theirs at least once a year. As long as its changed  regularly ( at least recommended service intervals ) you won,t have a problem as this will keep your engine sweet for longer. TBH as you have just bought this car  I would as a matter of course change things like oil/ filter check other fluid levels,  battery electrolyte levels,  brakes, etc etc takes a couple of hours and you then know its right.

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