Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car temperature keeps going up and coolant level drops.

asked by on

I recently purchased a coolant reservoir bottle since the old one had a crack and was dripping coolant, i flushed the coolant from the radiator as well. After refilling the coolant, i noted that the car started to misfire, and the temperature is going up. In addition, when the temperature rises, i stop the car and check the coolant level, every time i check after this happens, the coolant level drops a lot, i have to refill. After taking the car to a diagnostic garage, they couldn't find any problem using the diagnostic machine. But after checking the engine oil, they found it to be milky. Please advice what needs to be done, and if i can still fix the car and be using it.

My car has 245000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. The milky engine oil is caused when the coolant from the cooling system gets into the engine oil. There are two ways that the coolant can mix with the oil on your vehicle. The first way is through the intake manifold as the gasket may crack causing the coolant to drain into the valley area making the coolant mix with the engine oil. However, the engine will not overheat quickly when this happens. The second way for the coolant to mix with the engine oil is through a burned head gasket. To verify that the head gasket is burned, get a block tester from your local parts store and set up the tool by putting the blue chemical in the tube and putting on the plunger on the end. Then remove the reservoir cap or radiator cap (take precautions of the coolant) and start the engine. Take the tool and place it over the inlet area to the reservoir or radiator. When steam starts to form in the area, use the plunger and suck in the steam into the tool. If there is any hydro carbons (raw unburnt fuel) in the cooling system, then the blue chemical will turn to a yellow or greenish color. If the color changes, the head gasket is burned and needs replaced. If the chemical does not change color, then the head gasket is good and there could be a leak on the intake gasket. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you diagnose your engine overheating issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car temperature keeps going up and coolant level drops.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Air doesn't get cold enough

There are many components to consider when the air conditioning stops working. The major components are electrical, and blown fuses cut the power. A low refrigerant charge will cause poor function, and a low charge would be very likely due...

Q: Oil on hood release

If a gasket was recently leaking motor oil and it is now leaking oil again, the best option would be to reattempt the repair with a new gasket and clean the mating surfaces of the two parts a little better...

Q: What's wrong when the starts and runs than starts sputtering and the car smells like burnt oil

You need to check the oil and coolant to see if the coolant is low and oil is contaminated with coolant. This engine is known to have intake manifold coolant leaks into the engine and the head gaskets leak coolant....

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.