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Old 05-26-2018, 11:13 AM   #1
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Found coolant in my engine oil. Please Help!

Hello everyone. I was doing a oil change and when I loosened the drain plug about a 1/4 cup of clear liquid drained out before the oil drained. I'm assuming it's coolant. I took the RV to the Ford dealer and they're telling me nothing is wrong with the motor. Anyone else experience this problem with the Ford V-10?Any advice would be helpful. Thanks! My rig is a 2016 Sunseeker 2290S on a Ford E-350 Chassis with about 28000 miles on it.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:48 AM   #2
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Was the engine cold when you drained the oil? It's always a good idea to drain oil when it's warm and thinner so more will drain out in a given time. If the engine was cold and hadn't been run for a long time, I guess it's possible for some condensation to have formed in the block, but I've never heard of that large an amount.
Coolant is rarely clear, it's usually green or yellowish in color. The main way it can get into the oil is through a bad head gasket or cracked head, both usually the result of serious engine overheating. You'll have other symptoms like white smoke from the exhaust and coolant loss.
Big question here is if the vehicle was stored for a long time, like months. If it was run recently then there is some real troubleshooting in your future, pretty strange problem.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
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If you drained anything but oil from the oil pan You have a Problem, Yes it is engine coolant. cant be anything else. Is your oil milky or better yet the dipstick will have a milky crud on it.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:20 PM   #4
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Send a clean sample to blackstone laboratories for an oil analysis. They will tell you if it is coolant.

If you do a lot of short trips, it is possible that it is condensation that didn't get burned out.

Worst case, blown head gasket.

Good luck but def get that oil analsyis.
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!

I changed the oil right after coming back from a long trip about 2000 miles. Always checking oil I never saw it appearing milky on the dipstick so it was a surprise to find something other than oil coming out of the drain plug. Hopefully it is just condensation, I guess I'll put some miles on it and check and see what comes out of the drain plug. I'll check out Blackstone Laboratories and send them a sample. Thanks again for the responses! Have a great weekend!
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:48 PM   #6
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I changed the oil right after coming back from a long trip about 2000 miles. Always checking oil I never saw it appearing milky on the dipstick so it was a surprise to find something other than oil coming out of the drain plug. Hopefully it is just condensation, I guess I'll put some miles on it and check and see what comes out of the drain plug. I'll check out Blackstone Laboratories and send them a sample. Thanks again for the responses! Have a great weekend!
How long did it sit without running before you drained the oil and what was the environment like during that time? Although my first guess would be coolant, it shouldn't be clear. I definitely agree with having the oil tested if it's not too late. Hopefully whoever said your engine was OK did a cooling system pressure test, this can help pinpoint any leaks in the system. If you're not sure you can get a tester on loan from most major auto parts stores. The test is very easy, especially with good ol' YouTube around.
If it turns out to be water from condensation, you might want to check your other fluids, as in the tranny and rear end, to make sure they didn't pick up any water as well.
Good luck!
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:03 PM   #7
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It sat for a couple of weeks before I changed the oil and I warmed up the engine before draining the oil out. The weather was highs in the 40's and lows in the teens. I can't say for sure that the liquid was completely clear, I know the coolant is light yellow so I might be wrong there. I'l look into the coolant pressure test and check the tranny and diff as well. Thanks DavidBo!
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:26 PM   #8
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A quarter cup is a LOT of condensate, so it's unlikely to be that simple.

Blackstone will let you know if it's glycol, and if it is, get it fixed! Glycol is he!! on bearings!

Unusual to hear of this, as those V-10s have been pretty reliable powerplants.

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Old 05-27-2018, 02:34 PM   #9
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:43 PM   #10
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Following this to see resolution . . . .
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:06 PM   #11
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head gasket

If ya found coolant in the oil that's usually a blown head gasket...
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:07 PM   #12
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Yes, this is unusual. I'm not trusting what the Ford dealer is telling me so
I'm gonna get a second opinion from another mechanic. It's slim pickings when it comes to mechanics that can work on RVs in the Denver area especially when your trying to get warranty work done. If anyone has any recommendations for a mechanic in the Denver area please let me know. Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:14 PM   #13
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Sunnyinfla is most definitely correct. A head gasket has failed between the coolant water jacket and the oil lines in the block. Since coolant pressure is greater than oil pressure, water/antifreeze will seep into the oil. If your oil is milky off-white then there is a failed gasket. There could also be a cracked block or head but this is much less likely and would be MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mtnbronco View Post
Hello everyone. I was doing a oil change and when I loosened the drain plug about a 1/4 cup of clear liquid drained out before the oil drained. I'm assuming it's coolant. I took the RV to the Ford dealer and they're telling me nothing is wrong with the motor. Anyone else experience this problem with the Ford V-10?Any advice would be helpful. Thanks! My rig is a 2016 Sunseeker 2290S on a Ford E-350 Chassis with about 28000 miles on it.
Water in the oil usually means a leaking head gasket. The coolant is under pressure and is forced into the cylinder then flows down into the oil pan. Get it fixed immediately or the repairs will be even worse.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:45 PM   #15
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mtnbronco, Try Rush Ford in Commerce City: 303-291-6330. I haven't used them but I've talked to them and they will do warranty work on Ford powered RVs. Another one I've verified will do warranty work on RVs is Interstate Ford in Dacono: 303-833-6700.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:46 PM   #16
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Oil pressure is always higher than coolant pressure, If not you have a major problem. go to a Cummins or Cat dealer and buy an oil analysis kit and have it checked. then worry about a Ford mechanic
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:07 PM   #17
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Found coolant in my engine oil. Please Help!

Simple compression test should tell you without the need for a laboratory.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:36 PM   #18
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Simple compression test should tell you without the need for a laboratory.
Not if the leak isn't in to the combustion chamber. It's possible for the gasket to have failed at a point that allows coolant into the valley pan area which leads to the oil sump. This is very rare, but possible. The intake manifolds on older V-type engines used to have integral coolant passages, which could be another source of a leak, but that has become less common. I have no idea on this engine.
I'm interested in the results of the cooling system pressure test, this could tell a lot. There's also a test for exhaust gasses in the radiator, which also works well, trust me (long story ).
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:46 PM   #19
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Does the V10 Ford use the oil cooler at the base of the oil filter? I have had to replace 2 on different Triton motors. Both were older ones with very high miles tho.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:52 PM   #20
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Does the V10 Ford use the oil cooler at the base of the oil filter? I have had to replace 2 on different Triton motors. Both were older ones with very high miles tho.
I was wondering about that too, but wouldn't the higher pressure of the oil system mean oil would force it's way into the coolant? Still could be a possibility, I've seen stranger things.
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