foaming oil | FerrariChat

foaming oil

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by 95spiderman, Feb 27, 2004.

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  1. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2003
    just checked the oil on my 348. noticed white foam at top of dipstick. last changed oil 4 months/2000mi ago with castrol syntec 5W50. any ideas?
  2. LA Swede

    LA Swede Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2003
    sounds like you may have some water in your oil.

    hope not.

  3. Dr C

    Dr C Formula Junior

    Dec 1, 2002
    Kansas City
    Full Name:
    Yep. Sounds like you may have some water in the oil. Could it just be condensation from the cold weather (if you are in cold weather)?
  4. benn

    benn Rookie

    Nov 11, 2003
    Wellington, NZ
    Full Name:
    Ben N
    That sounds like evidence of a blown headgasket.

    I'd get that checked out by a f mechanic asap. If there is water leaking through the gasket it can cause premature wear on lots of parts.
  5. albert328gts

    albert328gts Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    Sorry to hear this and worse to give you what I think it is... A blown head gasket.
  6. Victory

    Victory Formula Junior

    Jan 28, 2004
    The previous oil could have been mineral type. Syntetic and mineral will react to form foam. It's normal practice to use "flushing oil" to clear the mineral oil residue before changing to syntetic.

    Or if you're very unlucky, it could be water that has got into your engine.
  7. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2003
    ok, im screwed here. 2 yrs ago the oil pump failed and cost $20,000 4 month engine rebuild. is this going to be similar? i think this is the end of me and ferrari. from now on porsches on warantee.
  8. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 7, 2002
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Barry Wolinsky

    That's some list of differential diagnoses. But I think I remember you telling me that you switched from mineral to synthetic oil (and the overfill of your dry sump) last fall. In that case, relax. I think Victory has explained your foaming oil.

  9. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    spiderman...... if you are somewhat hady with tools, remove your plugs, buy a compression tester from a parts store and see if you have one cylinder low on compression.
    if there is water in the oil then most of it is going out the tail pipes. antifreeze smells sickly sweet when burned and it will ruin the O2 sensors and cats in a hurry. if you are low or loosing water and oil, then its time to panic. if not i agree with the above post citing foaming due to 2 types of oils bieng mixed in the system. change your oil if your other fluids are ok. you may need to change it one more time if you see any more evidence of foam. the fact the engine was already worked on worries me. if i can help or give a better explanation please feel free to PM me. for the record i am not an owner of a ferrari but i have EXTENSIVE time with recip piston engines as well as aircraft turbines. i hope all is well and you can smile for me next time you rip through the gears !! michael
  10. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2003
    cars been on this oil for over year. is it possible gasket could blow from too much oil in sump? local mechanic over filled it once and drove for a while till i checked it and had to remove almost 2 qts.
  11. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    May 29, 2001
    Send a sample of the oil in for analysis, that might be the simplest way to know for sure....Cost is usually not too expensive...maybe $40 or so?
  12. 348paul

    348paul Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kent - UK
    Full Name:
    Paul Hill
    My 348 gets it all the time in cold weather - Frightened the life out of me when I first saw it! The condensation doesn’t have a chance to evaporate on short runs - If I drove the car for about 1-2 hours it would disappear. I have never seen it happen in the summer.


  13. zan

    zan Formula Junior

    Nov 15, 2002
    Full Name:
    Mark M
    You could also let the car sit overnight, then loosen drain plug, see if any water comes out before oil.
  14. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    This is caused by short tripping. You must really warm up the oil every time you drive and burn/boil off the water that condenses from the air in the system. If you don't it will foam up oil and leave a white deposit on underside of oil cap. If you check your oil when engine is cold and it's cool outside you'll see clear water drops on underside of oil cap. I very much doubt you've blown head gasket. If you have you'd know. Does exhaust start out with white smoke that goes away after engine gets warm? That's condensed water boiling off.
    Next time before you panic. Search.
  15. twatson

    twatson Karting

    Feb 3, 2004
    Not to rule out that it could be significant, but my old Testarossa always used to have foam when I checked the oil and when I asked the service manager about it he told me not to worry, that it was quite common. If you have a water system pressure tester you can sometimes see if there is a leak between the head gasket and the water sytem. If you don't drive the car that much oil analysis can some times indicate moisture problems just from condensation. I get this back all the time on the report when I send oil samples from my helicopter engine in as I only use it a few times a month, and it is air cooled.

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