Oil leaking into my coolant tank???


Asked by May 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM about the 2001 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a crown vic police interceptor that's
getting oil in the coolant tank. You can
smell the oil when heat is turned on
sometimes and sometimes while it's off.
What could cause that?

20 Answers

a leaky headgasket is the most common cause...sometimes they get destroyed from poor manufacturing materials...sometimes the hot/cold hot/cold gets to 'em, anyways this is the first choice, intake gaskets and anyone who sees the coolant loop is suspect....if we are lucky the headgasket job is the end of our troubles....really won't know until we pull it apart to examine the flaw....good with tools? you could start tearing it apart yourself, just keep track on a piece of cardboard with little hole and a cartoon showing the origin points~

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Heater core or head gasket probably

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Is there actually oil in the coolant tank or do you just smell oil? That engine is tough as nails. If there is a head gasket problem, it's likely that it doesn't run well or overheats quickly. The Police Interceptor is equipped with a seldom-mentioned oil cooler that can fail causing engine oil to enter the cooling system - it's a big tube near the bottom of the radiator. If you're just smelling oil through the heater and it isn't running hot or rough, I would suspect an oil leak and a bad or missing hood weatherstrip allowing oil smoke to enter the fresh air duct at the right side of the vehicle just below the windshield.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

BTW - a heater core smells like antifreeze and fogs up the windshield leaving a film on everything in the car.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

These are cool, silicone hoses instead of butyl, 5.6 liter engine...wicked~ ....oil cooler, that doesn't surprise me~

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

could be a leak between the oil radiator and the glycol radiator?...just a thought...you wouldn't have to tear down your engine looking for the flaw if it's right there at the radiator....you could test by pressurizing the oil line and seeing if it sprays~


Tracy there is actual oil in the coolant tank. Econo lube said I'm leaking something in the valley of my engine on passenger side which is burning. They also pointed out hose by radiator that is an oil hose. Could it just be that? Judge_roy8 could it just be an oil leak that's connected to my coolant?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Btw it's not running rough or overheating yet but there is small amounts of smoke that comes just below the windshield at times but not often....

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

inspect this situation...the oil cooler (didn't know it had one) and radiator apparently can leak to one another....put a coolant pressure tester on the radiator cap...pump it up to 17 psi and see if coolant shows in the oil...if it has an oil cooler at the radiator was merely suggesting this would be the place where a leak could occur...a lot cheaper than major engine work if we can catch it in time~

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Judge_roy is right on. Follow his lead. - The oil cooler is a Police Interceptor only option. Can't find info on it anywhere except Ford. - it isn't part of the radiator, it's a big aluminum tube that the lower hose connects directly to.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

...glad you know about these things Tracy, have always been in awe of the police interceptor 5.6 liter engine....whoa, like why?...pushing a truck off the freeway with those pusher bars mounted on the front is something a MINI cooper couldn't do with it's 1.6 liter engine~ also silicone hoses...nothin' but the best for those guys who are sworn to protect us~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thank you guy's, I appreciate it! Lastly, what does this hose/ aluminum tube fix usually cost on an estimate?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

see if I can put a hook into that one...wife's here now, might take a bit~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I see the image isn't worth a darn...just type 2001 Ford Crown Victoria Oil Line at the search bar and punch "shopping" and you will see at least five choices tried to take a snap and post it but the money numbers were cut off~drat.


If you determine it is the oil cooler -- I would put in an aftermarket trans cooler for the oil lines and put a normal Crown Vic radiator hose and take that cooler out of the loop -- Ive never been too impressed with mine

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

still a mystery this exchange of fluids, if it were not integral to the radiator...but I've been told that it is not...makes me want to go over to a cop car and look under the hood~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

PS -you're cute, RaShon~ ;)


Most of the PI's I work on are 2005 and up. They are equipped with electric fans so you can see the cooler directly connected to the lower hose connected directly to the lower radiator support (that the deputies are always bending). It would look like an aluminum tube right under the fan. Our cars have skid plates so you can't see them from under the car.


Judge Roy. Thanks for all the info but you're a dude lol, I appreciate the.compliment and everything but I love ladies lol...... thank you everybody else for the input!

it's cool RaShon, you can still be cute! I quit being judge_roy and am now operator_13, what I used to be in 1982 .....everyone loved the smoooth operator~~one driver would always sing sade to me everytime I got on the air~

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