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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Volvo XC90 after driving it home from working the other day had a nice interesting white milky looking substance under the vehicle. I thought to myself interesting somebody spilled Starbucks. Then without giving it much thought got on the vehicle drove to work. vehicle ran fine no issues whatsoever after being at work for a while and went out and looked around my vehicle because I had to get something else and noticed the same thing under the vehicle. again no miss fires or code, or over heating at this point.

This is when I proceeded to pop the hood and notice the white milky substance what's coming from the coolant reservoir. so I opened it, when it comes out and almost oozes out not bubbles but almost like a milkshake. I did not taste it.

I have owned a Volvos for the last 10 years and I love them I have never had a vehicle do this before. This XC90 V8 I absolutely love and adore. Does anybody have any advice for me on what this is.

I did take it up taking it to my Volvo mechanic and he said he had not clue. Something in the engine, like a seal that has gone bad. Obviously I know the oil is mixing in the coolant system but I'm trying to wrap my head around why the vehicle drive so wonderfully, other than the coolant system failing now. I had to use the heat in the card to keep the temp down when driving it back from my mechanic. And it drinking oil like a fish. the other thing that is funny to me, the oil seems fine, no coolant I can see or smell. same thing with the transmission oil.
Is there anything else than a seal in the engine or an external cooler somewhere where these could be mixing.

Before I give up on this vehicle I want to make a hundred percent sure that is not worth the cost. I really don't want the milk shake to bring me a new Volvo to the yard.
 

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My favorite line: "I did not taste it". :D

I would have the transmission oil tested for glycol. The transmission oil cooler is inside the radiator and it is fairly common for it to rupture inside the radiator, resulting in the "milkshake" coolant. You would want to do this ASAP because coolant in the trans oil is a trans killer. If you caught it soon enough, you might be able to save the transmission with a thorough transmission oil flush once the radiator is replaced.

Engine oil and coolant could possibly mix in the engine oil cooler which is on the front of your oil pan. Failure of the engine oil cooler is less common than the transmission oil cooler though. Of course, a problem with one of the head gaskets is another possible way for the engine oil and coolant to mix, though in 8 years working in Volvo dealers, the only time I ever had to replace a head gasket on a V8 was when I was doing the balance shaft replacement after its failure.

One reason the engine oil and transmission oil look normal is those systems operate at higher pressure than the cooling system.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info. how hard it is to get tested? who does that? so your thoughts is less likely engine and more likely something else. I hate spending more money over and over. I'm really sure, it's on the oil side and not the trans side.

I still would have thought if it was a engine seal... the thing would have been running bad. I drove it over 40 miles with no over heating. I have engine logs to show that, unless the temp sensor is bad.

also, when the computer says low oil, and the oil lite is not on, on the dash, the red one. what does that mean?
 
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