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Mysterious Green Oily fluid

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Gator, December 17, 2004.

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    1. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      I have a '97 XLT with a V-8 and have a green, oily fluid dripping from the engine. At first I thought it was Prestone, but it is more oily and doesn't smell or taste like Prestone.

      It is coming from the area of the water pump, but I am not sure of its origin. The top of the water pump has fluid on it, but the thermostat doesn't show signs of a leak and again, the fluid is more oily than Prestone.

      I poured pure Prestone onto the cardboard that I had placed under the engine to help find the leak and the Prestone "spill" is more watery than the unidentified spill.

      The fluid I am finding is oily like motor oil, but is completely green--no black, as the oil is. Is it possible that I have Prestone mixing with oil?

      Any ideas PLEASE!
       
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    3. spindlecone

      spindlecone B

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      Could be martian sperm, have been some strange sightings lately in your local, extraterestrial stuff, do's it taste like catfish?
       
    4. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      Leave it to a "left Coaster" to come up with this "helpfull" reply. It must be something in the water.........

      Thanks anyway.
       
    5. spindlecone

      spindlecone B

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      Sorry, you said you tasted it, so what did it taste like?
       
    6. smiley1

      smiley1 Active Member

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      When I heard green I though Diff fluid first. My t-stat housing is hard to see all the way around. You could have a leak on the back side. With the hot engine temps it would evaporate the coolent down to an oily form over time. I had this happen to me once but fixed it right away. I doubt it would taste or smell much like the real stuff after that. I would give a more sarcastic comment but I usually drink bottled water.
       
    7. Crankcase

      Crankcase Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      Sounds like antifreeze mixed with a little engine oil or some grease off the engine.
       
    8. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      This is what I am thinking as well, but I can't explain why the dripping solution is absolutely clean rather than dirty (as I would suspect a solution of Prestone and engine grease would be, or as a solution of Prestone and used engine oil would be as well).

      I have a VERY slow depletion of antifreeze from the coolant recovery reservoir (the radiator remains full), and occasionally a slight smell of hot antifreeze. I've tried to pinpoint the source of the leak for months, but it is so small that I haven't found it yet. I replace a few ounces of Prestone every 6 months to keep the recovery tank full to the line.

      When I pick up the drippings on my finger, it feels like fresh engine oil, but is green. It doesn't smell like engine oil or antifreeze--it has no smell as far as I can tell. I would suspect that it would smell sweet and taste somewhat bitter if it was Prestone--it doesn't.

      I'm going to wash off the engine as well as I can and then drive it for a while and look again around the Thermostat and water pump for leaks, (although I have had no symptoms of impending failure from either of them--no squealing from the pump or heating/cooling problems from the thermostat). There is a slight pooling of antifreeze below the thermostat and above the water pump--on the top of the block where the intake manifold rests.

      Does anyone think there is a chance that I have a pierced water jacket(the engine runs fine) that is allowing the engine oil and Prestone to mix in a solution with greater concentration of Prestone than oil, which would allow the prestone to "clean" the oil of its blackness and just keep the oily feel? This is probably "reching for answers", but I am baffled. I changed the engine oil recently and saw no evidence of contamination.

      Thank you all for your inputs. I welcome ANY ideas on what to check.

      Gator
       
    9. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Does the motor smell of antifreeze upon a cold startup? You are most likely leaking fluid antifreeze from somewhere and it is mixing with oil or another fluid as it seeps frome where it is like Crankcase suggested. Your water jacket is fine, or else you'd have milky oil, and white smoke. It's got to be somewhere near where it is pooling up. Probably t stat housing.
       
    10. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      flush the radiator out completely with water. Then refill with 50% water and 50% yellow or orange antifreeze. Make sure you flush it out good with water first to get all the buildup out. Then see what happens
       
    11. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      Thanks for the suggestions about flushing and filling with another color of antifreeze.

      I washed off the engine this AM and will look again for green on the top of the block after driving for a while. The next step will be to replace the coolant with another color and see if the drippings change color.

      The motor does not smell of hot antifreeze when cool. The oil was not milky and the exhaust does not blow out white, so I think I am OK in regard to the water jackets.

      So far the drippings are just an annoyance, but with the quantity that is dripping it makes me nervous as to what it could be.

      Thanks again for the suggestions.....
       
    12. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      BTW, antifreeze tastes sweet. Just a tidbit worth knowing.

      I have been trying to figure out what, besides antifreeze is green, and it hit me... some of the UV dyes used to leak check can be green. So that could expand the list if you or anyone had ever added leak check to something. I doubt this to be the case but wanted to throw it out. Oh and, martian sperm IS NOT GREEN (sheesh).
       
    13. spindlecone

      spindlecone B

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      Never tasted the stuff but do know from sad experiance not to leave waste antifreeze in an open container, my wifes dog got into it and died like a dawg two days later (destroyed her liver)
      I only assumed martian sperm was green because martians are :confused:
       
    14. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      Thanks--I should have remembered that antifreeze has a sweet taste; that is why you have to be careful around house pets or they will drink it and die.

      I haven't had any leak checking done, so I doubt that could be the answer.

      My best guess is the mixing of Prestone and engine grease. After I have driven it for a little while I will do a more thorough check for a leak around the Thermostat and the water pump. Hopefully (I guess) that will be the answer. Although replacing either will be a pain, at least I will have an answer.

      Thanks for the suggestions.
       
    15. Lee S.

      Lee S. Active Member

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      Don't know if this applies to the 8 cyl. but when I was researching a slight coolant leak in my SOHC 6 cyl., I found threads on the heater control valve which can go bad and leak. My heater contol valve is located right by the water pump. Some HCV's (not sure if it's first gen or OHV or 8 cyl.) are located where the heater hoses connect by the fire wall. If your HCV is located by the water pump, you may want to look into it as a source for your leak.

      Lee
       
    16. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      Thanks Lee.....On this V-8 the heater control valve is up near the firewall( I changed it last year), and the leak is too far from it to be from the valve.

      I just can't figure out why the fluid is oily and green instead of watery and green. It must be that the water is being boiled out of the liquid and the only fluid left is therefore oily and green.
       
    17. Albino 94LTD

      Albino 94LTD Recovering from Moab 2016 Elite Explorer

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      How's your AC system? Dye is used for checking that system.

      Just a thought.

      Cone, it's not Martian sperm, more like Martian snot :D
       
    18. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      My A/C system works fine, and I haven't had any dye checks done....any more ideas?

      Thanks for the reply.
       
    19. spindlecone

      spindlecone B

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      16 replys, couple hundred hits, dude, if it's greenish in color, you have a coolant leak, find it, fix it, end of problem
       
    20. explorernutt

      explorernutt New Member

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      I had a problem identical to yours, it was my steering pump, I never bled the air out of it when I installed it (stupid :roll: ) And eventually the power steering fluid turned into a slime oily green, it sounds just like what you have. check your p/s pump and let us know what you find.
       
    21. Lee S.

      Lee S. Active Member

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      I thought the PS fluid is red in color...how does it turn green??
       
    22. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Its red is you use ATF; synthetic PS fluis is clear. I have never seen green PS fluid.
       
    23. Gator

      Gator New Member

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      Thanks for the tip.

      I checked the PS fluid level and it is at the full mark and I have not experienced any squealing or resistance during turns. The fluid in the PS reservoir is also a slight reddish color.

      The only thing that so far sounds logical is Prestone which has dropped onto the cardboard and then the water in the Prestone has been absorbed by the cardboard, leaving only the oily residue.

      My next plan is to put plastic on top of the cardboard so that the water will not be absorbed and maybe it will show for sure that it is Prestone. I have not been able to find a leak in the thermostat as yet and the drain hole in the water pump is clean.

      Thanks to everyone for the inputs. I'll let you know when I find out for sure.....
       
    24. ashleyroachclip

      ashleyroachclip Active Member

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      ...weird thing , when I bought my 91 explorer , It also had a green fluid in the power steering res. I drained teh fluid , refilled , and it returned to green again .....works just fine , no leaks ....ashley
       
    25. X~FACTOR

      X~FACTOR Name is Ray

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      LMAO. This thread has many hilarious post. Gotta go search for them. :D

      So, Gator, found the culprit yet? Does it drip a lot? Maybe if you wait a week you could tell which fluid your loosing to give you a better idea where its coming from. Cleaning your engine out to find a leak is the best approach I know how. :thumbsup:
       
    26. agzaretzka

      agzaretzka Elite - G-d Bless!

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      Well, at this point I would use a UV dye to check for leaks, starting with just the coolant.
       

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