2008 Odyssey - Head gasket time?

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2 weeks 2 days ago #201743 by merc68k
2008 Odyssey - Head gasket time? was created by merc68k
Hi all, we had some decent weather for the first time in a while today so I decided it was time to check under the hood of the wife's Odyssey (2008, about 150,000 KM)

When I checked the oil I noticed a little bit of creamy fluid near the handle of the dipstick which I thought was strange. I wiped the stick and checked the oil level, and it was up to the full mark and looked okay (not cloudy). It was changed only a few weeks ago though.

Right away I started wondering about head gasket issues and oil + coolant mixing, so I checked the overflow tank. It was nearly empty, so I took a look at the rad and found the coolant level was maybe 1/8" down below the top of the coils inside, and a very creamy brownish colour.

Is this likely to be anything other than a bad head gasket? I ran the engine a while and didn't see any bubbling in the coolant or any other signs or trouble, although a week or two ago I thought I smelled a bit of coolant after shutting it off. There are no leaks on the ground underneath the van, but I haven't been able to get a good look at the underside.

I'll most likely take it to our mechanic tomorrow to get their opinion but I wanted to see what the consensus would be here as well.

I took a short video to show the colour and consistency of the coolant; this is just a funnel in the neck of the rad while I squeezed the top hose with the engine cold:

drive.google.com/open?id=1AH904zEph53F-R6qYaIrgVKix6qma4Xo

Thanks for your input!

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2 weeks 1 day ago #201757 by merc68k
Replied by merc68k on topic 2008 Odyssey - Head gasket time?
A few additional details to add, I checked it cold again this morning and the inside of the oil cap does have some of the same kind of light coloured cream that I saw on the dipstick stuck to it. There is also a fairly obvious oil smell to the coolant.

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2 weeks 1 day ago #201758 by relative4
Replied by relative4 on topic 2008 Odyssey - Head gasket time?
A combustion gas leak test is a good place to start.

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2 weeks 2 hours ago #201795 by merc68k
Replied by merc68k on topic 2008 Odyssey - Head gasket time?
Well, I have had it to two garages.

One wants to flush the cooling system and see what happens over a week or two, and the other wants to swap out the motor completely with another one, for fear that the damage has already been done to the bearings with coolant having been in the oil.

Price aside (it's another 1/3 or so more than the head gasket job would be), I am pretty hesitant to replace my motor whose history I know with an unknown motor (although there is a 90 day warranty). There is no knocking or any other ominous sound from mine right now, and it has fresh oil in it that so far doesn't seem to be filling up with coolant...

It's a bit of a dilemma.

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