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Old 10-24-2016, 07:47 PM   #1
Arthall111
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Question 2004 L300 oil or trans fluid in coolant


I don't use a drop of oil but I have been putting trans fluid in about every about once every two weeks I'm trying to figure out why I am getting what looks like oil in my coolant

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Old 10-25-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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There are transmission cooler lines that run to and from your transmission that are routed though the bottom section (or side section) of your radiator. (You can see them if you look towards the bottom/side -- they are metal lines with fittings on them.

Sounds like the line inside the radiator has rusted through/begun leaking. This allows tranny fluid to mix with your coolant.

1) Coolant in a tranny is a SERIOUS problem, which if not remedied ASAP, will likely spell the early death of your transmission from a lack of proper lubrication. I don't think the seals like the coolant either,

2) If you have murky coolant, if it was oil mixed in, it will look like a chocolate milkshake. You may see the same in the oil pan on the end of the dipstick, but if your car uses no oil AND is not gaining liquid volume, your oil will probably look clean.

3) If the murky coolant is coolant + tranny fluid, it makes sense if the tranny fluid is indeed leaking.


4) Let the car idle in the driveway and check the plastic end tanks of the radiator very carefully for leaks. This is the only way I can really think of tranny fluid getting out of the (transmission) system (assuming said tranny cooler line leak) unless the coolant that is mixing in is just concentrating the tranny fluid in your cooling system.

Is your "coolant" level rising? I don't know how much you're adding so I'm not even sure a visual check would be possible.

4a) Make sure to check for tranny fluid leaks at the tranny

5) To fix this, you'll need a new radiator one way or another unless you buy an external tranny cooler, cap the fittings from the rad, and route the tranny lines to the new cooler, which may not be easy b c the tranny lines are preformed metal .

Also a complete tranny flush, cooling system flush, and all new 50 50 coolant mix and tranny fluid. Be sure to use the type compatible w your tranny (see owner's manual).

If I'm right.
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:18 PM   #3
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hello?

Any progress?
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:46 AM   #4
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Not yet. Been really busy. What worries me is the color of the coolant. Yellow brown mush. Maybe the orangish coolant and trans fluid is making it that color. I took off air intake, gonna pull radiator today. I have an air compressor, is there a way to pressure test the radiator ?
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:20 AM   #5
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You may save a bunch of time by removing a tranny line at the radiator (I think you need flare nut wrenches for this) and seeing what comes out. If it is the same color as the gunk in your overflow tank, you know it is coolant + tranny as that is really the only place the 2 could mix.
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Pressure testing the radiator out of the car MAY, on second thought, tell you if the tranny cooling line inside has a hole, since in theory the pressure should slowly bleed off. However, I think most places will test only the entire system. Actually it's usually tested with the system full of coolant and the pressure applied and then you watch for bleedoff. If you see it, you hunt for leaks.

Testing just the radiator might allow you to hear hiss leakage through a tranny line fitting but I don't know what pressure you'd apply nor how to seal. Anything above say 15psi for the whole cooling system is getting dangerous, and since the entire system's pressure is approx 15 psi, it cannot all be dropped across the radiator. Maybe 10 PSI REGULATED is enough.

I suggest just pulling a tranny coolant line at the radiator and see what comes out.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:26 AM   #6
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Gonna try that today
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:16 AM   #7
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Any updates to share?
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Old 11-13-2016, 08:03 AM   #8
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Default Not yet. Waiting on friend to do compression test

Should be tomorrow
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