View Full Version : 1999 2.8 coolant and oil woes

01-19-2011, 09:49 PM
I've got a '99.5 2.8 QM with close to 160k miles on it. I've had it for less than a year, and lately it's been worrying me. It's losing oil and coolant quickly enough to turn the low level warnings on in just a month or two. I haven't noticed much dripping from the car, but there's plenty of oil on the block and pan, etc.
My biggest concern would be head gaskets; the car still feels and runs fine, but there seems to be a bit of white smoke from the tailpipe (however, it's been pretty cold lately and the oil doesn't even reach operating temp on many of my short drives.) Also, I don't have any symptoms of overheating that normally go with a blown headgasket.

My other two thoughts are the oil cooler and the heater core. Would either of those cause problems like this? I don't know how to check either without tearing things apart. Any tips on diagnosing or finding leaks like this?


01-20-2011, 07:59 AM
The oil cooler is definitely a possible place your losing coolant. Mine is doing the same thing, but at a slower rate. Just some dried up coolant around the edges, but they are known do do this. Not sure about price but due to the position, it should be relatively easy to replace.

Check to make sure your oil is not a milk chocolate color, if it is then your getting anti freeze in there.

Valve cover gaskets are known to leak, I think from the rear. If your block is wet then thats probably where its coming from.

As an aside, if you do allot of short trips get out and do some spirited driving to get the oil and exhaust temps up and burn off the accumulated condensation. Should also consider shortening your oil change interval

01-20-2011, 08:33 AM
is there a DIY for replacing the oil cooler anywhere? i can't seem to find one. i'm losing some coolant as well and maybe that will be a fix for it

01-20-2011, 08:47 AM
I'll check the oil cooler then and see if anything looks suspicious. The oil looks OK, but definitely has some condensation in it from time to time due to my short drives. Always looks fine after a longer drive. I've also already replaced the valve cover gaskets, so I hope those aren't leaking again.
Where is the oil cooler located on the 2.8? Is it near one of the manifolds? I frequently smell burning coolant when I get out of the car, so I wouldn't be surprised to find it dripping onto an exhaust manifold or something else hot.

01-20-2011, 06:07 PM
The oil cooler is actually what you screw the oil filter onto. Its the block portion of it that contains a passage for coolant to circulate around. I believe its that piece that get replaced, but at any rate I bet you see some white-ish dried coolant around there