What Is The 6.0 Powerstroke Oil in Coolant: Cause and Fix

Oil in the coolant is a condition that you have to address immediately. If one or more gaskets or seals are damaged, the oil will get inside the coolant.

However, there can be other reasons too. And, it is equally important to know the solution.

In this article, I have described 6.0 Powerstroke oil in coolant cause and fix. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Causes and Fixes of 6.0 Powerstroke Oil in Coolant

First of all, let’s find out the causes and then I am going to tell you the ways to fix it.


1. Problematic Head Gasket

A blown-up or failed head gasket can let oil into the cooling passages. Hence, you will find oil in the coolant.

Therefore, a brown sludge occurs on top of the radiator and the coolant reservoir. In some cases, the oil goes further into the combustion chamber. You can get aware of such situations by smelling a sweet exhaust gas.

2. Bad Oil Cooler

As oil coolers in the diesel engines with turbochargers can go bad at any point due to various reasons, oil can end up in the coolant easily.

And, it is hard to find out that there is a problem because of having almost no visible symptoms. The good thing about this problem is that it costs very little to repair the issue.

3. Leaking O-rings

A very common cause of the problem is leaked O-rings. Everything else in the cooling system can work fine and still, you will see contaminations in the coolant.

4. Engine Block/Cylinder Head Cracks

If you see none of the above 3 causes are playing a role, you can safely assume that either the engine blocks or the cylinder heads are cracked.

Due to improper oiling and cooling, heat builds up resulting in cracks in the engine blocks. In this case, you have to check all the blocks to pinpoint the issue.

On the other hand, the cylinder heads can also get cracks for the same reason which is heat build-up.

Furthermore, water in the cylinder can do some damage to it. Thus, you may find out contaminants or oil in the coolant.


1. Replacing Head Gasket

By doing a compression test, you can make sure that the head gasket is the culprit. After that, replace the bad part with a new one.

But the task doesn’t end there. You also have to flush the entire cooling system and ensure that no oil is in there anymore.

At the same time, inspect the radiator and water pump for any kind of leak or damage.

2. Flushing

When the oil cooler gets problematic and causes the issue we are talking about in this article, you can try out this solution.

Flush the cooling system and refill it assuming that there are no leaks or physical damages. This way, one can easily make it new again without spending a lot of money.

3. Replace the O-rings

As I have mentioned in the third cause that leaking O-rings are one of the major causes of this problem, simply replacing it solves it.

You can also do an oil and filter change while doing it for improving the performance of the whole cooling system.

4. Repair Engine Block/Cylinder Heads

Depending on the level of damage, the easy solution is to repair the engine block or cylinder heads.

However, that won’t be the case in extreme situations. According to experts, it requires the replacement of the whole engine which is expensive.

I would suggest you consult with a mechanic and assess the problem to find the right fix.

What Happens If Oil Gets in Coolant?

Complaints of the owners and shared knowledge of the 6.0 Powerstroke mechanics indicate that having oil in the coolant can lead to serious damages.

Getting contaminants in the engine makes it really hard for the engine to perform smoothly or properly.

And it even worsens when you can’t detect the issue and keep driving. Hence, one may notice sparks or small explosions under the hood.  

So, it is important that you find out this problem as soon as possible to mitigate the damage.

Why Oil in The Coolant Is Harmful?

After knowing about the causes, and effects, you must wonder why is it so harmful?

Well, you have to understand that oil and coolant are not the same things. They are two different substances with their own purposes. 

On one side, oil is thicker and ensures lubrication for the whole engine. And, on another, a coolant is thin and like water which cools down the engine and ensures that no parts are physically damaged due to overheating.

How Can I Find or Test Oil in The Coolant?

Before you take your truck to the mechanic, it is always a good practice to find out the problem without any expert help.

This would save you from unnecessary budget funding. The most effective and easiest method to test it is by pressurizing the coolant system.

If there is a problem, you will see that coolant is dripping on an oil pan below. For this test, one must arrange a pressurizing tool for the cooling system.

And, there is an even easier way to find it but the test is not 100% accurate for all trucks.

One can easily inspect the temperature of the components and compare data to see a problem.


Though oil coolers are not common in gasoline engines, they are widely used in the ones with a turbocharger. That is why 6.0 Powerstroke engines have them.

Hence, it is common to experience some problems due to oil getting inside the coolant. I hope that you have got the most common 6.0 Powerstroke oil in coolant cause and fix figured out from this article.

Now, you won’t have to face difficulties taking action after finding out this kind of problem.

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