Home Service Oil Company
Home Service Oil Company

What Happens if Coolant and Oil Mix?

March 11, 2021

In order for an engine to run efficiently, there are two main types of engine fluid that must be carefully monitored over time. These are coolant and oil. Each serves its own purpose so they are intentionally pumped into an engine separately. Coolant flows through a system of hoses while oil travels through a series of valves. So what would happen if these liquids were to somehow be mixed? It could damage the overall health of your car. Continue reading to find out more from HSO.

What is Coolant?

Made from a mixture of water and glycol, coolant cools an engine when it gets too hot and prevents it from freezing when it gets too cold. You may know it by another name - antifreeze. In How to Choose the Right Antifreeze for Your Vehicle, HSO discusses how it works, how to select the right brand, and when to change it.

What is Oil?

Made from another mixture, motor oil is composed of base oils and additives. This lubricant is responsible for greasing the internal parts of an engine to reduce friction, while also cleaning them. In The Different Types of Oil, HSO explains what viscosity is and the differences between conventional, synthetic, and high-mileage motor oil.

Why Would Coolant and Oil Ever Mix?

If coolant and oil each have their own way of circulating throughout and the engine, then why would they ever mix? There could be damage to your engine’s head gasket – a seal in charge of keeping the two apart. This may have occurred thanks to a fender bender or an engine overheating too often.

What Happens?

Since each fluid plays a specific role for an engine, one getting into the other will result in a significant loss of efficiency. Oil mixed with coolant will no longer be able to properly lubricate the internal components of an engine, while coolant mixed with oil will fail to keep the engine at a consistent temperature.

How to Fix the Problem

Unfortunately, this problem is not something that can easily be identified unless you notice a drop-off in your engine’s performance or a leak on the ground beneath your car. When you go to pop the hood, check the color of the coolant in the tank. It should be a thin liquid with a bright green or pink hue. If the coolant is thick and dark instead, then you know there is an issue. Next, check the oil to see if it’s discolored and thick as well. Unless you know how to flush a radiator or change the oil, take it into a trusted mechanic to fix this mess right away.

Find Coolant and Oil at HSO

HSO is known for our ability to deliver fuel in bulk, but we also do so much more. That includes providing lubricants and antifreeze for convenience stores or shop managers. Specifically for antifreeze, we carry multiple types for both on- and off-road applications.

Contact HSO today at 1-800-467-5044 for more information.