Q – My 87 944 has been running like a top and I love the car. Recently I took it in for routine service and the shop found a “chocolate mike shake” in the coolant bottle. I did not notice an overheating or any symptom at all but they are telling me that I have either a blown head gasket or oil cooler problem. Help! Jerry
A – Since your car has not overheated, it is unlikely that your head gasket has failed. Usually when we see a coolant bottle with the milk shake consistency, the oil cooler is the culprit. This is now a common problem with many mid eighties 924 and 944 models. I would suggest that anyone who is considering a car of this vintage factor this repair into the budget since, sooner or later, it will need to be done.
Another concern that ought to be checked is whether the oil in the car has coolant in it or not. If it does not, you win and you might be able to simply have the cooler resealed, the system flushed out, and be on your way. If there is coolant in the oil, that is an entirely different scenario. Either way, you should not drive your car until it is repaired. MC.