This is a common question that gets asked a lot, it was sent to us to be answered so we decided to address it.
Question: A friend of mine has a chevy tracker, yr 2000 with a 2.0 suxuki samuria 2.0 engine which has water in the oil, when we remove the dip stick it has this yellow to rusty foam it’s entire length can you give me some advise? Respectfully, Rodney XXXX
Water in oil or oil in the radiator, it makes no difference, you got a potentially serious problem. There are only so many ways for water to get into your engine oil. The least probable is that someone put it in there, so lets not even discuss that one.
Lets answer this question. Yellow to rusty foam is not a good thing to hear. Without running the proper tests we can only speculate, no realistic way to prove any problem on the phone or internet without seeing the car. With that being said, rusty, yellow and foam indicates that somehow the radiator fluid got inside the engine. We eliminated sabotage already, so the radiator water or coolant appears to be a water or liquid mixed in with the oil. The color of most anti-freeze coolants is yellow, that indicates coolant is in the oil, rust would indicate the coolant system has not been maintained well enough. Rust should never be in your radiator. The foam indicates the engine has a “blown head gasket”. Which usually means you need a rebuilt engine.
This can be proven with the correct tool which is a cooling system pressure tester.
With this tool one can pressurize the entire cooling system which includes the engine to prove the point. As a general rule, when there is foam in the oil, a breach has been formed some where in an area of the engine where the oil and engine coolant separately flow through the engine channels.
The foam indicates a bad head-gasket, bad head or a gasket of some sort has failed, and the two fluids are mixing and causing foam because engines have internal pressures in them called compression or back-pressure.
After a qualified repair shop diagnoses the problem you will be able to make a choice on repairs. My experience tells me that unless the vehicle is fairly new it does not pay to repair the engine. Particularly when lack of maintenance is obvious to other systems like the cooling system and perhaps other areas.
At this point it would be a good idea to discuss your options in terms of a rebuilt engine. This is why to read our GotEngines.com blog. We consistently outperform every other rebuilt engine supply company by listening to you and helping you decide the best engine replacement choice for you. 1-866-320-1065
Don’t forget to ask GotEngines.com Blog any question that you want a real-world no BS answer to, make a comment and check out our blog for all types of automotive engine information in terms you will understand.