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I have a 1988 Milan 2.5 with automatic. Nice car low mileage for age. Unfortunately oil appeared in coolant, but no water in engine oil or on the filler cap. Our Guru, a very effective one, suggested it may be the automatic transmixer cooler in the radiator. I have not gotten the car to a transmission place to drain the autoT yet, but hope to do that tomorrow.

The oil in the coolant looks like engine oil, but no particular odor - color light brown or brownish white. I have observed a very small drop in engine oil level, but almost unmeasureable. Alternatively it is possible that the when the water pump was replaced, last summer - a lube may have been used, but I don't think this is that problem because the quantity of oil only recently became apparent.

Have you all encountered a situation with your automatic Milano where the transimission cooler leaked? What did it look like? Or, did your engine oil leak into the coolant with out water in the engine oil?
 

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sounds like a head gasket or a seal to me....and ive blown a few Head gaskets on my cars, is it like a really creamy cup of coffee with a lil foam on top.
 

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I have a Milano that I just noticed had oil in the coolant overflow tank. It's black, def engine oil. No water in the oil or on the cap either. I haven't checked it out yet, let me know what you learn.
 

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I have a Milano that I just noticed had oil in the coolant overflow tank. It's black, def engine oil. No water in the oil or on the cap either. I haven't checked it out yet, let me know what you learn.
me too,
But I have put new cooant in and it's seemes to be getting better
with lots of use .
think it (in my case) it's the O-ring in the head .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a Milano that I just noticed had oil in the coolant overflow tank. It's black, def engine oil. No water in the oil or on the cap either. I haven't checked it out yet, let me know what you learn.
Mine is not black but very light brown almost white, a viscous layer, not very thick no foam... Sounds like a specialty drink from Starbucks, but not fun.

Think I may try flushing and new coolant. I am not sure what that would do, but if it works like for one of the other responders - who knows.:confused:
 

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yep, is worth a shot. ones the head gets hot my stops I think the O-ring is shrinking when cold ??
your gess is as good as mine
 

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Try to snuf to the coolant in the exspansion box - if the engine has been overheated (like in very slow running and the fan didn't cut in) compression can be squeezed into the coolant and with it some oil. The smel is destintive of burnt gas.
Erik
 

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I have an automatic and noticed the same thing, not much, just a tiny skim layer of discolored oily coolant floating on top of the normal coolant in my bottle. I had mine flushed recently and there are no other symptoms (runs perfect, engine oil is perfect, level is perfect, temp is perfect)

I have ignored it for the past few weeks and will mention it next time my car is serviced by the alfa experts, hopefully it'll be nothing. I'll post back when I find out.

BTW - how is your exhaust? Mine is "ticky" due to a cracked RHS manifold and/or the cat and sits way low at the center section. I noticed online that the cat and tail/muffler are the same as 5spds, which at least is good news. However the center section is different for autos! :eek: and who knows if anyone still stocks it. I wonder *how* different it is.
 

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i wouldnt worry as you can prooly just weld on a magnaflow which is what most of the tuner alfa kids down here do.
 

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Don't forget that the first thing you should do when discovering oil where it doesn't belong, or coolant where it doesn't belong, is to retorque the head(s) back to spec. All Alfa engines, both 4 cyl and 6 cyl, basically need this after many thousands of miles and a decade or more of use. Trouble is, it's often neglected or forgotten about.

This can be quite helpful when you find the dreaded chocolate mousse under the valve covers, but may help here as well. In four plus decades of owning Alfas, I've never had an Alfa that didn't get a smudge or so of oil dirtying up the coolant tank after years of driving. Retorquing generally reduced this tendency.
 

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My son's 3 litre has the same problem and as Alphie said, I think it is due to the O-ring in the gasket being hard or having shrunk a little. My mechanic said we could try re-torquing the heads but can't guarantee it will work. Ultimately it needs new gaskets. The engine runs perfectly and I don't think the oil will cause a major problem. There is no water in the sump.
 

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Hey, I've heard of this but I hadn't even thought of it and it's almost a given that the old lady who had the car before me didn't as well. I'll definitely do that, thanks for the advice!

According to the manual online, torque is:
78 Nm
(57.9 ft lbs)

It has the tightening sequence too, page "75-01-088-80" and "75-01-088-81":
http://www.craig75.clutchout.com/group_01_engine.zip

Further reading says that after 1000km to slacken each for one turn, in proper sequence, oil them and tighten to:
88 Nm
(65.1 ft lbs)
 

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Not only should this be done after only 1000 km, but also after many thousands of miles later as well. That is when the leakage problems occur, as the engine component assy "matures" after thousands of cycles of starting/driving and sitting cold, components expanding and contracting.

I found a little mousse under the oil filling cap of my 91 164S at less than 100k miles, and when I retorqued the heads, I found that the rear head had evidently never been touched, probably because the PO didn't want to mess with removing the airbox, etc. The existing torques for it were down in the 50-60 lb-ft range. Retorqued both heads back to the max of the allowable range, and the problem has been gone now for at least 60k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the advice, I am going to try the re-torque and see where that goes.

I recently popped an flex disc, do not know which one yet, but am about to order 3. My Milano automatic has a tag that said it was manufactured in September 1987, albeit labeled as a 1988 in the paper work. I cannot find the engine number, which is supposed to help identify the type of center flex joint. Must be blind!

Finding the proper flex joints must be a common problem, has anyone found a refrence for which flex joint to use for each location, for type (ie automatic) and mo/yr of manufacture?
 

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I just purchased a 3.0 with the knowledge it had a little cappucino under the oil cap, decided to just replace the head gaskets, boy was I surprised to see the old style 3 piece head gasket, in my case re torque would not have helped
 
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