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milkly oil in catch tank


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I emptied my oil catch tank last night following the longcross sprint at the weekend...


what came out was about 60-100ml of chocolate milkey oil, not the black stuff that usually ends up there, so assuming something (water, coolant etc) had got in I checked the following


1. coolant level - no change and same colour

2. quality of oil in dry sump reservoir - looked ok, also the oil on the coning tower tube thingy

3. general look around to see if there is anything else odd, oil cap etc and everything looks like it should be


Is this the first sign of K head gasket failure, or is it more likely to have been some other contaminent (condensation) in the catch tank 🤔, something in the breather pipes 🤔


What else should I check 🤔 or am I being paranoid 🤔


rob *confused*



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I had the same thing when I emptied my catch tank for the first time in about a year (on a zetec engine), I put it down to condensation/other moisture forming over the period of a year and causing the milkyness, not from any engine related issues, not driven the car much since I emptied it though, so cant say for definate that its not a sign of impending doom.


I did check the actual engine oil and that was the same colour as usual, so felt pretty confident that it wasnt an engine problem.


How long has it been since you last emptied it? Was this period longer than you'd normally leave it before emptying.

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ok - i thought I was being paranoid, glad to know that is the most likely case, I will keep an eye out for the other usual symptoms anyway *thumbup*


I only emptied it 3 weeks ago after I had an extra 500ml due to overfilling the system, and that was fine, in fact it was stil llike new as I had only done 1/2 a mile (before the wheel fell off 😳)


phew 😬



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Hi Lads this is condensation they used to have the same thing on the old VAUXHALL Vivas, its the cold air hitting the catchment tank which has hot oil vapours in it so you get a milky mess in the catch tank, on the Vivas it was the rocker box and breather pipes used to get in A right mess Regards Paul
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Rob - I had the same problem *mad* My catch tank was positioned below the front of the TBs and I suspected cold air was the issue. Re-located the catch tank to the scuttle area and there's been much less of a problem. I even changed the head gasket the week before going to Le Mans last year just to be on the safe side *mad* Decided afterwards that there was sod all wrong with it ☹️



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I had exactly your symptoms after my SS-R upgrade (the catch tank is in front of and below the TBs, just behind the rad on the offside). I asked Simon Lambert about it, and he replied: "This is usually from condensation in the tank and under the bonnet etc, and is prone to inducing paranoia attacks. Just make sure it doesn't look the same under the filler cap and all will be well!"




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