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#4493251 - 08/19/17 09:40 PM How soon can I sample oil?
CARJ Offline


Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Olathe, KS
I am having a coolant loss issue on my 4runner and suspect it could be a leaking head gasket. It's only been 550 miles since my last oil change but I want to send a sample off to confirm my suspicions. So, how many miles should I put on the oil before taking the sample?
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04 Toyota 4Runner | Fram Ultra & Redline 5w-30
12 VW Passat | VW OF & 5w40 Castrol Professional
97 Honda Civic HX | Fram Ultra & Red Line 5w-30

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#4493253 - 08/19/17 09:43 PM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29758
Loc: NY
How much coolant have you lost in 550 miles? If the leak is bad enough and finding its way into the oil 550 miles should be plenty. A very slow leak will probably take more miles to show up.

Another easier and faster way to find out is with a cooling system pressure tester. That will tell you if you have a bad head gasket in a matter of minutes.
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#4493257 - 08/19/17 09:48 PM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
CARJ Offline


Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Olathe, KS
The coolant overflow bottle was empty the other day and I don't think I had topped it off since the oil change. I've tried all the tests and they are negative, but the coolant is still going somewhere. I figured a sample of the oil would tell me one way or the other.

Not sure if it matters, but the 550 miles has taken 6-7 weeks to accumulate. I do a ton of short trips.
_________________________
04 Toyota 4Runner | Fram Ultra & Redline 5w-30
12 VW Passat | VW OF & 5w40 Castrol Professional
97 Honda Civic HX | Fram Ultra & Red Line 5w-30

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#4493275 - 08/19/17 10:34 PM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
Sample now; if it is leaking into the oil it should show up. I had a coolant leak awhile back; Blackstone recommended a 2k OCI until repaired...
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Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete

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#4493280 - 08/19/17 10:46 PM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
cpayne5 Offline


Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 605
Loc: Virginia
V6 4Runner? Been there, done that unfortunately. Mine (2005) failed at only 88k miles. Cylinder six misfire like all the others out there...
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2371546

The numbers in that post are of a sample with 2300 miles on it.

I fixed it six years ago and have put about 40k on the vehicle since with no issues.

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#4493283 - 08/19/17 10:54 PM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
CARJ Offline


Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Olathe, KS
Sample I shall. Thanks all.
_________________________
04 Toyota 4Runner | Fram Ultra & Redline 5w-30
12 VW Passat | VW OF & 5w40 Castrol Professional
97 Honda Civic HX | Fram Ultra & Red Line 5w-30

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#4493417 - 08/20/17 07:50 AM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20455
Loc: Upstate NY
A coolant UV dye might be useful also. Also with a UV flashlight and yellow glasses.
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2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
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#4493525 - 08/20/17 10:15 AM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1810
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
How much do you want to spend? You can sample every 100 miles if you want to pay for it.
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'57 FL Straight 50 wt
'90 Miata 1.8L w/Rotrex Supercharger [Mobil1 0W-40]
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#4493580 - 08/20/17 11:28 AM Re: How soon can I sample oil? [Re: CARJ]
DweezilAZ Offline


Registered: 12/04/16
Posts: 61
Loc: Arizona
Had mine done on the 86 Olds Calais 2.5 [128,ooo miles] after getting it back from my brother. The sample I sent in was said to have indicators of coolant, but the head gasket had been changed before I bought it.

Blackstone said to sample it again in 1000 miles, as well as change it to be certain the contaminants were completely removed . I only have 100 miles or so on the fresh oil and filter as well as old coolant flush and replacement so CARJ's question is timely.

The odd thing is, I was suspicious of losing coolant back when I first owned the car from 92-99. It seemed to disappear at a slow rate. Parents drove it for six, then little bro for 11, before having to do a head gasket replacement some time in the past year or two.

Sample oil was very black, but the car will be going in for a total mechanical probe in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for bringing up the question CARJ.

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