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Chrysler Repair/Intrepid 2.7L:engine died, oil level increased/coolant leaking

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Question
Hi Roland,

I have a 2001 2.7L Dodge Intrepid.  Driving at 65 mph the engine suddenly stopped.  No noise or other symptoms, just quit.  The oil indicator light came on.  No overheating, no smoke, steam or odors.  Car would not start after pulling to roadside.  Puddle of coolant collected on pavement.   Checked the dipstick and the level is now over MAX, although do not see water on the dipstick.  Was near the add mark a few days ago.  For the past several weeks had noticed that the car would ocasionally lose power momentarily, but instantly resumed.   Is this a water pump failure, or something else? How extensive of a repair is likely?

Thanks
George

Answer
Hi George,
It is likely also the case that the coolant level in the bottle will be down or empty, so check that out.
For the fluid in the crankcase to increase in volume by a quart or more on its own accord would indeed suggest to me that it is coolant in the oil. This is generally not caused by a water pump failure as the cooling system and the oil system are separated by gaskets and there is no connection directly between the water pump and the engine lubrication system.
Coolant most typically gets into the oil due to a leak in gasket between a cylinder head and the cylinder block or worse would be a crack in the metal of the head or the block which allowed the two separate fluid systems to come into contact.
If there is a head gasket leak you might determine that by removing and inspecting the spark plugs and observe them for wetness. When you have all the plugs out you could have a helper crank over the engine while you and a friend observe the spark plug hole area on each bank of cylinders to see if you see fluid to be expelled from any of the spark plug holes. That would tell you which side of the engine the head gasket has been breached. A head gasket leak is a moderately expensive repair if that is all that is wrong because no other parts would need to be replaced. You also could do a compression test on each of the cylinders which might also help you to identify which side of the engine is the source of the leak.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.
Thanks,
Roland

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

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Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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