White/yellow mucous like sludge in the coolant reservoir - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:03 AM
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White/yellow mucous like sludge in the coolant reservoir

I have a 2001 ML 320 with about 100Kmi on it. I have recently noticed that I have a white/yellow mucous like sludge that is gathering on the roof of the clear coolant reservoir tank that is at the back of the engine. When I unscrew the cap I see can see this sludge. I have also noticed a dark layer of liquid floating on top of the coolant. I have checked all the oil fluid levels in the car (ie oil, transmission, power steering, and brake) and none of those systems seems low enough to indicate a leak.

Has anyone seen this before? Do I just need to get my cooling system flushed because I have 100Kmi on the car? Do I have a crack in the system, and oil/fluid is mixing with the anti-freeze?

Another thing I have noticed, I am not sure if it is related, is that when I turn on the A/C for the first time on a hot day, after the car has been sitting for a while I smell a sweet odor coming out of the vents, but it goes away after about a second. Is the heater core cracked problem?

Any ideas on how to debug these problems?

Many thanks in advance!
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by edogd1
I have a 2001 ML 320 with about 100Kmi on it. I have recently noticed that I have a white/yellow mucous like sludge that is gathering on the roof of the clear coolant reservoir tank that is at the back of the engine. When I unscrew the cap I see can see this sludge. I have also noticed a dark layer of liquid floating on top of the coolant. I have checked all the oil fluid levels in the car (ie oil, transmission, power steering, and brake) and none of those systems seems low enough to indicate a leak.

Has anyone seen this before? Do I just need to get my cooling system flushed because I have 100Kmi on the car? Do I have a crack in the system, and oil/fluid is mixing with the anti-freeze?


Any ideas on how to debug these problems?

Many thanks in advance!
Sounds like engine oil is getting into your coolant.... normally a head gasket problem....
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:08 AM
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sludge

Hi mate this is a common problem when the car is not run enough, ie, doing short journeys, i know cos ive suffered, but when i took it on a long run going on holiday, with a sludgy oil cap when i reached my destination i checked the cap and it was all gone, i was told by a merc dealer i was doing more harm to the car than good going on short journeys,etc, the car was made to drive hard, every now and then.
dont worry its not the head gasket.
regards.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by gravel
dont worry its not the head gasket.
This may or may not have been gravel's issue, I'm not so sure that it's so easy to rule out a head gasket. It sounds to me also, that you have oil in your coolant. I would track the problem and address it as soon as possible.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 11:40 AM
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bogie im only saying, my opinion as ive had allllllll the faults thats been talked about on the forum, im only trying to give advise, and where not to spend alot of money,
A head gasket costs alot of money, with labour, cats cost money,£££££££££££££££. every ittle thing helps,
this site has saved me alot of money with the advise from alot of people, in the US, you lads seem to be able to throw alot of money to your car i wish i could, all im trying to do is give advice.
Been there!
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gravel
Hi mate this is a common problem when the car is not run enough, ie, doing short journeys, i know cos ive suffered, but when i took it on a long run going on holiday, with a sludgy oil cap when i reached my destination i checked the cap and it was all gone, i was told by a merc dealer i was doing more harm to the car than good going on short journeys,etc, the car was made to drive hard, every now and then.
dont worry its not the head gasket.
regards.
Gravel - you are correct if the sludgy thing is on the OIL FILLER cap.
This owner appears to have this sludgy thing on his/her COOLANT FILLER CAP.
Hence the possibility of a head gasket failure.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:16 PM
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sos i dived in again.
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 01:58 PM
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Sounds Bad

White / Yellow gunk does sound like oil in the coolant. Be happy its not orange. If it were orange foam then it would be tranny fluid in the coolant. That would be worse!
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:11 PM
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Well I am putting into the shop so that they can do some testing (ie compression testing, and hydro-carbons testing the anti-freeze) However, I fear the worst may be true; head gasket failure and replacement of many coolant system hoses and parts. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the tips thus far.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edogd1
I have a 2001 ML 320 with about 100Kmi on it. I have recently noticed that I have a white/yellow mucous like sludge that is gathering on the roof of the clear coolant reservoir tank that is at the back of the engine. When I unscrew the cap I see can see this sludge. I have also noticed a dark layer of liquid floating on top of the coolant. I have checked all the oil fluid levels in the car (ie oil, transmission, power steering, and brake) and none of those systems seems low enough to indicate a leak.

Has anyone seen this before? Do I just need to get my cooling system flushed because I have 100Kmi on the car? Do I have a crack in the system, and oil/fluid is mixing with the anti-freeze?

Another thing I have noticed, I am not sure if it is related, is that when I turn on the A/C for the first time on a hot day, after the car has been sitting for a while I smell a sweet odor coming out of the vents, but it goes away after about a second. Is the heater core cracked problem?

Any ideas on how to debug these problems?

Many thanks in advance!
When did you last change the coolant? I was thinking head gasket but since you're not overheating in this hot weather, I'm beginning to think it's just bad coolant from not changing in 100K. If you did do your coolant change regularly, then you're doing a good thing to go to the shop.

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