Oil in coolant on 405 SRDT
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Thread: Oil in coolant on 405 SRDT

  1. #1
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    Default Oil in coolant on 405 SRDT

    Hello all,

    My 405 SRDT has oil in the coolant, but not coolant in the oil.

    My immediate assumption is something to do with the head gasket or a cracked head.

    But I also heard from a Pug mechanic that there is a water-to-oil heat exchanger near the oil filter that can leak, allowing oil into the coolant, but not vice versa as the oil pressure is higher than the pressure in the cooling system.

    I see on this forum others have had this issue on a 307 HDi for example.

    The car also has a few other issues which I'm happy to address if I can rule out the head / head gasket being an issue first.

    I will also look at bypassing the oil cooler to see if the problem goes away.

    So my main questions are:
    1. What are your thoughts on doing a compression test via the injector ports to prove the head / head gasket is ok?
    2. I assume these coolers are there for a reason and it isn't a great idea to bypass for any length of time, especially in an Australian summer? Has anyone successfully 'deleted' theirs with no long-term ill effects?
    3. Is a part like this easy to get hold of in Australia used or new?
    4. Could I bypass the factory water-to-oil heat exchanger and and put a generic oil-to-air oil cooler in instead?


    Any thoughts / comments appreciated.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts dmccurtayne's Avatar
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    Default Oil in coolant on 405 SRDT

    Yeah 100% you can get a shorter stub for the oil filter and bypass it all together
    Itís not a cooler itís a heat exchanger itís used to heat the oil up and keep it constant and cool when needed.
    You can get bolt on cooler kits but oil temp can stay very cold depending on where you are and driving conditions


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    Thanks dmccurtayne that makes total sense.

    What are your thoughts on the compression test to rule out head gasket?

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    1000+ Posts dmccurtayne's Avatar
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    You donít really want to disturb the injectors do you the centre oil filter stub is the only thing that holds the exchanger on so itís easy to remove


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    you would normally test compression though the glow plug holes.
    Off the shelf testers are easy to get. you just need the glow plug adapter to suite you glow plugs.

    something like this
    IMG_20190407_090508737.jpgIMG_20190407_090605504.jpg

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    Yes but again do you want to start undoing that sort of stuff and a compression test wonít tell you if there is a leak from oil to coolant


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    Have you just bought the car? It could be that someone used Bars Leaks in the coolant, which uses a soluble oil carrier. It leaves an oily scum in the coolant. I only say this because the 405 has leaky heater issues and maybe Bars has been used.


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    I had the heat exchanger do just this on my 308hdi recently. It started with a bit of oil appearing in the coolant and stayed this way for a long time until eventually one morning on start up it dumped almost all the oil into the coolant bottle. A new heat exchange and heaps of coolant flushes later and the problems fixed. When I researched the problem I found that while itís not common it does happen.

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    1000+ Posts dmccurtayne's Avatar
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    Hi Luke G is your a RHH ie 2010 on diesel just for my own info


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    Yep, itís the 2.0 diesel. I managed to get a new unit complete with oil filter housing from a mob in Germany for 200 bucks... The hardest part was swapping the old unit out and the new unit in, there were plenty of hidden bolts and a hose from the front of the block into the oil cooler which created some headaches. I sometimes wonder if I should have just unscrewed the oil cooler itís self and swap it out rather than the complete oil filter housing and cooler. From memory the 405 Srdt unit is much easier to access...

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    Default Oil in coolant on 405 SRDT

    Yeah sweet thanks yes the 405s are as easy as a oil filter Iíve done a heap of Rhh ones seem to be a issue some had a recall but I donít think it went far enough and no you canít undo those screws as a apprentice try and cheat to do one and it got distorted and pissed out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey View Post
    Have you just bought the car? It could be that someone used Bars Leaks in the coolant, which uses a soluble oil carrier. It leaves an oily scum in the coolant. I only say this because the 405 has leaky heater issues and maybe Bars has been used.
    It's my granddad's old car - he bought it new in '94 and was going to trade it on a Mazda 2, so I saved it. I doubt he would have ever put Bars Leaks in it, but his memory is not the best these days. He doesn't remember ever overheating it badly, but who knows.

    Unfortunately it is still up in Brisbane and I'm in Sydney so trying to ignore this remotely and cheaply before driving it down here.

    I've given up on the idea of the compression test and will just cross fingers and go with the heat exchanger delete.

    Thanks for all the input so far. I'll let you know how it goes.
    1994 Peugeot 405 SRDT (Granddad's old car, now a project)
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    Yeah, the Bar's Leaks was just a left field comment but it sounds more likely it's the exchanger. Good on you for saving it; 405's are really good cars. I'd have kept mine for years if the interior didn't fall apart or I could find replacement dash parts.


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    You could easily bypass the heater hose with a union from supercheap then blank one side if the intercooler ,connect a short length of hose to the other side ,stick it in a 2 liter milk bottle tied up somehow ,drive it for a while ,and see if the catch can gets oil in it ,will prove exactly were the oil is or isnt comeing from i have used ,non foaming dishwasher detergent its good for flushing out oil in the cooling system ,pugs

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    Quote Originally Posted by pugwash View Post
    You could easily bypass the heater hose with a union from supercheap then blank one side if the intercooler ,connect a short length of hose to the other side ,stick it in a 2 liter milk bottle tied up somehow ,drive it for a while ,and see if the catch can gets oil in it ,will prove exactly were the oil is or isnt comeing from i have used ,non foaming dishwasher detergent its good for flushing out oil in the cooling system ,pugs
    great idea - I will give it a go
    1994 Peugeot 405 SRDT (Granddad's old car, now a project)
    1995 Holden (Isuzu) Rodeo 2.8TD 4X4 - B100 (biodiesel) since April 2013 - daily driver
    1976 Mercedes 300D Turbo 'The Coal Grenade' - B100 since May 2016 - weekend warrior
    (@thirddegreeburns on Instagram)

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    Had the same problem with my 405 SRDT while interstate. Sydney mechanic said it was the head.

    For me wasn’t worth having it repaired. Not long after a hose went and decided the car’s interstate travel was over.

    Had mine for nearly twenty years & did over 500,000km in it. Even by today’s standards I think they remain a great car. If I was mechanically minded I would have kept it.

    My mechanic in Brisbane looks after another one that must have close to a million kms on it by now.

    If you haven’t had one before you will soon understand why they have a cult following.

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