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Water in my oil 02 Durango SLT

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Old 03-11-2011, 12:44 PM
NWboater NWboater is offline
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Unhappy Water in my oil 02 Durango SLT

Hi. I just registered here – I am the proud owner of a 2002 Durango SLT with the small V8 (4.7?) This has been my favorite vehicle that I’ve ever owned and I want to protect it. I bought it used two or three years ago. Currently it has 89,000 miles and I believe it to be well maintained.

I had a BIG scare yesterday.

I went for an oil change, as I was overdue (had gone about 4,700 miles on Jiffy Lube bulk conventional oil). The Jiffy Lube guy showed be the white & watery gunk under the oil fill cap. I’m no mechanic and really didn’t know what I was looking at (never even seen a cap like that, with the big twisty plastic thing – I don’t change my own oil and had never seen it.) But he did say that he didn’t see any signs of a blown head gasket and maybe it was just condensation build up? He recommended an engine flush. I agreed, but they were out of the engine flush fluid so in the end it couldn’t be done. He wiped out the cap as best as he could, rinsed some extra oil through, then filled the oil.

I am worried, so I went on Google this morning and I ended up here. I have gathered some information so far. It sounds like that weird plastic screw thingy under the cap is designed to trap any water there. It also sounds like these vehicles may be prone to this under certain conditions such as frequent short trips.

I use the truck for commuting to and from work which is a very short trip (less than 2 miles). It’s been winter and we’ve seen very cold weather conditions, and I did run that oil too long. I also haven’t been going too many other places, aside from taking kids to school and other neighborhood “short hops”. I had recently felt a weird hesitation while idling through a parking lot. Yesterday’s Jiffy Lube guy said water in the oil can cause sluggishness. No other signs. That sluggishness is gone now. No engine lights, there are no ignored or reset fault codes. Passed an emissions test yesterday. I have taken it to the Dodge Dealer or equivalent quality shop for all maintenance.

So, my question is, what is the best thing for me to do now? I figure I’ll make a point of changing oil every 3K from now on.

Should I do an engine flush at the next oil change? Should I do an engine flush sooner? Is it safe to keep an eye on this for a while, or should I run to the dealer to have it inspected? Should I switch to synthetic oil?

Unfortunately, money is an issue for me right now. If it were not, I’d just take it the dealer to be safe. What is the safest, cost effective course of action here? Sorry for the long post. I wanted to get all of the details in there, and I’m really worried.

Thanks for reading.
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Last edited by NWboater; 03-11-2011 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:42 PM
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WhiteWidow00 WhiteWidow00 is offline
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First off, don't be sorry for the long post. It's better for us to get the most detailed idea of what is going on and for you to get your point across as specific as possible.

I'd suggest not doing an engine flush as they can cause more harm than good most of the time. Especially with 89,000 miles on it, I wouldn't do an engine flush. However there's a product out there called SeaFoam, works wonders. I'm not sure if you're familiar with it but it's a safe alternative to an engine flush and, for the way I use it, only goes into a vacuum line and the gas tank. I am scared to put anything other than oil in my crankcase just because I'm not sure what exactly it's doing in there.

If you want some more information on SeaFoam, check out their website, http://www.seafoamsales.com/motor-treatment.html.

I would run that thru the system and if you haven't used it before, I'm warning you that it requires to be in an open area preferably at night. I am inclined to believe the water on your filler cap is perfectly normal. I have heard of it happening before and only in the winter months.

I once had a customer come in one time with the same problem and we ended up calling up the dealership locally and the tech on site told us it was normal. I would do the SeaFoam thru the engine to be on the safe side however.


If it was more of a milky foam however, there is a TSB for that. It is 09-01-00 Rev. A. The Title is : "Foamy Oil Emulsion Accumulation Inside The 4.7L Engine Oil Fill Housing". It is dated Sept. 11, 2000.

It says to replace the oil filler cap with the two following parts:
53032389AC - Baffle - Oil Fill Housing
53032126AA - Cap - Oil Fill Housing

To make sure it's not a blown head gasket (I wouldn't trust anyone at Jiffy Lube but that's just me) keep an eye on the coolant level and make sure it's not dropping. Also check periodically under your vehicle after you leave it siting for a while and make sure there's no coolant on the ground.

HTH
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Last edited by WhiteWidow00; 03-11-2011 at 01:46 PM..
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:35 PM
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I would personally do more frequent oil changes for the new few changes to help clear any gunk without accumulating more. Another good idea is to take the D on some longer trips. Go to a lake or something fun for you and the family that is an hour or so away. Short trips are hard on all cars because they do not allow the engine to get hot enough to boil off condensation build up that occurs year round but especially in the winter so a longer trip will help get her hot enough long enough to clean it up.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:01 PM
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its pretty normal as said above, i wouldnt be too worried about it just keep up on the oil changes, and wipe it out as best you can, and maybe drive the truck more, she will thank you for it, i promise
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:28 PM
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Overall sounds like you shoud be fine. You seem to have classic symptoms and driving conditions conducive to what you are seeing.

Winter driving cold outside, plastic oil baffle. Good news it is coming up on end of winter so it should go away soon.

My easiest solution was get an Oil change prior to winter (mid-late October) and one near the end of winter. Usually early-mid April. My frequent driving led to two mid winter changes but thats another story. I wiped out the baffle and cap by hand after oil change was done. I would estimate that about 90-95% of the condensation is captured and contained in the baffle area and you should be fine. All the oil in the baffle and I did not get reports of any water in the oil down in the pan. If so it is real small drops that get evaporated and burned off. I am not saying to not monitor but you should be fine. It is an inherent condition in the 4.7 due to the plastic baffle and filler cap area. Short winter drives are the frequent contributing factor. Engine is warm enough to get condensation in the baffle area from outside moisture but doesnt run long enough or get warm enough to totally burn it off... I noticed when I did longer warmups and or longer drives the condensation dissipated. It looks worse because not everyone checks their baffle area everyday so the repeated cylic action accumulates. Unless you have to add oil in between changes I would venture to say that the baffle and oil filler cap doesnt even get touched until the next oil changes.

Can I venture to say that you are in a moist climate with a lot of those conditions in the winter. If you got rid of it now I would tend to say you should be safe until next winter.

Welcome aboard and tell us a little about yourself?
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:44 PM
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On the 4.7L motor just keep up on your oil changes every 3000 miles.

Full Synthetic is the best way to go, and if you do you should probably get 5000 miles between changes.

Don't fall into using a "blended" oil as there technically isn't any difference then regular conventional because they use regular conventional in it. There really isn't any benefits using blended oils.


Just wipe out the filler and continue truckin!
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:14 PM
Reaper Boehm Reaper Boehm is offline
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Default 4.7 water problem

the 4.7 even though a good engine is concidered a sludge engine meaning it has a tendency to build up sludge and moisture,this problem can cause you to lose an engine thats the bad news the fact is if you change your oil on a reg basis and warm your engine up before leaving your engine will run clean,a little moisture under the cap is not a big deal but if your oil on the dipstick becomes creamy looking you have a problem also if you take your finger and touch the water on your cap and it dosent taste sweetish your ok if it does its antifreeze i know sounds bad but its the fastest easiest way to determine water from coolant anyways take care enjoy that wonderful machine
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Reaper Boehm View Post
the 4.7 even though a good engine is concidered a sludge engine meaning it has a tendency to build up sludge and moisture,this problem can cause you to lose an engine thats the bad news the fact is if you change your oil on a reg basis and warm your engine up before leaving your engine will run clean,a little moisture under the cap is not a big deal but if your oil on the dipstick becomes creamy looking you have a problem also if you take your finger and touch the water on your cap and it dosent taste sweetish your ok if it does its antifreeze i know sounds bad but its the fastest easiest way to determine water from coolant anyways take care enjoy that wonderful machine
I recommend not tasting the water on your oil cap...

You should be ok, just keep an eye on everything as Hydra and others said...
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Last edited by TurboStixx; 12-27-2011 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:31 PM
Compactc9 Compactc9 is offline
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I've always thought that a certain amount of that stuff on the fill cap was just blow-by from the engine, I know it likes to collect there.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:15 AM
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That is exactly what I was told the other day Compact, that there can be some on the cap due to condensation and not to worry about it, I saw it on my cap a few days ago and asked, not worried about it now...
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:15 AM
 
 
 
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