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  • Motor oil milky

    Hi sry if this is in the wrong spot but I changed my motor oil today and saw it was a milky brown color. I started it yesterday and it ran a lil rough but smoothed out and sounded good after a few mins and warming up. Today I warmed it up to thin the oil and when I changed it it was milky looking. We had a coooold winter but I pulled all hoses and put 3 gal of antifreeze in thru stat back in the fall so I don't see how it could have cracked the block. Motor is a merc cruiser 350 w alpha one, is it poss that condensation built up over the winter or does this seem like a major problem. Thanks for any help

  • #2
    Re: Motor oil milky

    Sure sounds like a head gasket. Would have to be a ton of condensation to turn oil milky...
    You have noting to lose by running it for a while and changing oil again - if it's milky again, then you know for certain you need a head gasket.


    And this is the wrong section - it says "not engine topics"
    Last edited by Gyrene; April 12th, 2014, 07:24 PM.
    SeaSwirl Striper 2150
    21' Walkaround with hardtop, 175HP Johnson on a bracket

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    • #3
      Re: Motor oil milky

      Yes I saw that but the engine FAQ hasn't anything new in forever so I thought I'd put here and let the mod move. Here's my next q is that I used a pump on the dipstick to change the oil, is that goin to leave some of the milky oil in there? I haven't refilled the motor yet jus pumped it out and pulled the filter. Also w the head gasket how would that go bad if I've nvr even come close to over heating her? Isn't that very rare for it to fail w/o that?

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      • #4
        Re: Motor oil milky

        Condensation would not cause milky oil. From what you have stated it is my opinion that something has cracked. Start with the basics and finish changing the oil, run it a while and check the oil. If you find water again, start with a compression test because it's easy. If all looks good start pulling the exhaust and heads
        94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
        95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
        07 Seadoo GTX
        Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
        G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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        • #5
          Re: Motor oil milky

          mercruiser engine repairs is were you need to be with this. Those guys can help you out! Also you must have been looking at the wrong forum cause there are new posts every minute over there. Good luck on your problem! FWIW I would say head gasket or cracked block over winter!! I would also pressure test the block before i run it to much!!

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          • #6
            Re: Motor oil milky

            Ok so it ran great like 8 -10 times a month all last season, so do you think the water was there all last yr or happened yesterday when I first put the muffs on it? Also would winter affect the head gasket?

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            • #7
              Re: Motor oil milky

              Pressurize the cooling system and listen for air. There is a reason they say "air don't freeze".
              83 Sunrunner 16.5 120 merc Alpha 1 drive SOLD 8/1/13

              1996 Crownline 202BR
              5.7l EFI 0f791070
              Bravo I drive

              GMC Yukon tow rig

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              • #8
                Re: Motor oil milky

                If you did everything in the winterizing question thread you shouldn't have a cracked block.
                Last edited by bspeth; April 13th, 2014, 12:04 AM.
                84 Beachcraft 229cid 3.8L V6 R Alpha 1.

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                • #9
                  Re: Motor oil milky

                  Originally posted by scott8058 View Post
                  Ok so it ran great like 8 -10 times a month all last season, so do you think the water was there all last yr or happened yesterday when I first put the muffs on it? Also would winter affect the head gasket?
                  Howdy,


                  Forget about the head gasket. Head gaskets rarely fail on marine engines.

                  Start with pressurizing the block. This is the time of year for cracked blocks if you erred in winterization.

                  The ONLY way to rule out a cracked block is to pressurize it (assuming it holds pressure)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Motor oil milky

                    What is important is: How high on the dipstick was the oil? Is the boat new to you as of last season and was this your first winterizing? I don't think pouring antifreeze on top of water will do it. Best to drain. Your motor may be trashed, but can't tell from limited details. Rather than pressurizing the cooling system, just change the oil and run it for a good bit then check the oil level on the stick. If it is a quart high - cracked block. If not, you may have hope. Did you drain the exhaust manifolds?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Motor oil milky

                      Originally posted by scott8058 View Post
                      We had a coooold winter but I pulled all hoses and put 3 gal of antifreeze in thru stat back in the fall so I don't see how it could have cracked the block.
                      I don't see anyplace in your first post that you drained the block FIRST.

                      If you did not drain the block BEFORE pouring the antifreeze in, you likely did get a freeze in an pool of water that didn't mix thoroughly (or at all).

                      After changing the oil and running it you'll find out.


                      Also, in the future, NEVER change the oil at the beginning of the season. Always change your oil at the end of the boating season. This way you have fresh clean oil in the engine when it sits the longest!


                      Good luck,



                      Rick

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                      • #12
                        Re: Motor oil milky

                        Agree with HT, if you did not drain the block before adding antifreeze there is a good chance that you have a cracked block.
                        Terry
                        87, 4WINNS H 190
                        470/Alpha I

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                        • #13
                          Re: Motor oil milky

                          Without leaving out any of the steps, EXACTLY how did you winterize the motor?
                          "Hi sry if this is in the wrong spot but I changed my motor oil today and saw it was a milky brown color. I started it yesterday and it ran a lil rough but smoothed out and sounded good after a few mins and warming up"

                          A classic symptom of water in a cylinder and a fouled plug that cleared.
                          NO PERSONAL QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHAT THE FORUM IS FOR.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Motor oil milky

                            Ok sorry, I when id put it away I ran and fogged it til it died and then drained both block drains and exhaust manifold drains. Then I pulled all 6 I think hoses going to stat and I front of, even the one on the bottom power steering cooler or whatever it is. Then pulled the stat and filled w antifreeze. After that I opened all four drains again to make sure it was only pink coming out. I pulled the prop greased the zerks and prop shaft, the only thing I didn't do is change the oils. I jus don't see how I could have a cracked block.

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                            • #15
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                              Re: Motor oil milky

                              And to answer bonzo when I went to change the oil and pulled the dipstick I didn't really think of it but it was higher than it should have been now that I think of it. And this is our 3rd season and I've winterized twice, first yr no antifreeze and came out ok, this past fall I researched and obsessed lol over doin it right.

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