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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
I just checked my engine oil in my 2010 Kia Picanto 1.1 Auto because it is overdue an oil change and there is a yellow chocolate sort of colour inside the oil cap. Dipstick looks normal though.

It has done 45k miles and mostly long 50 mile trips since last year when the oil was changed at around 35k but over the last month or 2 I have been doing very small trips of 2 to 5 miles.

Hoping it's not the head gasket. The car runs perfectly fine, but probably does lack on fuel economy.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
 

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Its called Mayonnaise in the trade. Signifies a failing (or failed) head gasket. It results form the mixing of oil and
water. It can occur if the car does only very short trips to the shops like oldies do but since you have done 10,000 miles in the last year it will not be that.

I would get the cooling system pressure tested as the first step.
 

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I'm inclined to agree with Back again. My '06 Picanto - also a 1.1 auto, tends to only do short shopping trips (it has 35K on the clock) and does not suffer from any mayonnaise.

I have encountered mayonnaise type goo in cold weather on a few older (1970's and earlier) cars with poor crankcase ventilation systems. It may be worth checking that the crankcase breather hoses are clear, but it does sound ominously like head gasket problems :(
 

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The car runs perfectly fine, but probably does lack on fuel economy.
I'm surprised that you report no deterioration in engine performance but that's not unheard of, so what about fluid levels? Have you had to top up the cooling system recently? Has the oil level on the dipstick gone up......or down? When a head gasket is compromised allowing coolant and lubricating oil to mix, the symptom you have noted is the result and if you continue to drive the car without seeking professional advice, it will almost certainly lead ultimately to a dramatic and expensive failure at some point.

As the car is 10 or 11 years old, it might be prudent to have a local independent do some tests; compression and cooling system are the most obvious ones and simplest to perform. Depending on the report, the economics of repair may well convince that it's time to say bye bye to the old stand-by. I don't know if there are still some car brands offering scrappage deals but a new car on lease or PCP terms from a maker offering a long warranty may give you reliable motoring at an affordable price.

Please return with a sit-rep in due course although, as stated previously, the head gasket and/or a crack in the head or block surface seems the likeliest culprit. I have one other concern and that is the poor fuel economy you mention. How poor and for how long? Fuel, like water, can also find its way into the engine oil.

Welcome to the forum, by the way!
 

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Hi there,
I just checked my engine oil in my 2010 Kia Picanto 1.1 Auto because it is overdue an oil change and there is a yellow chocolate sort of colour inside the oil cap. Dipstick looks normal though.

It has done 45k miles and mostly long 50 mile trips since last year when the oil was changed at around 35k but over the last month or 2 I have been doing very small trips of 2 to 5 miles.

Hoping it's not the head gasket. The car runs perfectly fine, but probably does lack on fuel economy.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
You haven't said if the engine is loosing coolant, poor power or difficult to start??
Emulsified oil in the cam cover or on the underside of the cap, can indeed be a sign of potential HG failure, but you would expect to also see coolant loss
The emulsification can also be cause by a blocked crankcase PCV & several other points & i wouldn't jump to the HG until the coolant reservoir gasses are analysed
Been in the motor trade all my working life... never refereed to it as Mayo
 

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My daughters Corsa 2004 used to mayo up terribly. (only did 1.5 miles to and from work)
It had the 1.2 Ecotec engine and they were notorious for it.
Never used coolant, oil level remained static between changes and wasn't gloopy when changed.
Started on the button, rain or shine
Performance wasn't brilliant anyway but it certainly moved adequately as long as you kept the revs up.
As others have said, check fluid levels and monitor and consider a PCV check and compression test.
It sounds ominously like head gasket tbh but in our case , it was a "feature" due to the 1.2 engines running cool and my daughters short miles.
 

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My daughters Corsa 2004 used to mayo up terribly. (only did 1.5 miles to and from work)
It had the 1.2 Ecotec engine and they were notorious for it.
Never used coolant, oil level remained static between changes and wasn't gloopy when changed.
Started on the button, rain or shine
Performance wasn't brilliant anyway but it certainly moved adequately as long as you kept the revs up.
As others have said, check fluid levels and monitor and consider a PCV check and compression test.
It sounds ominously like head gasket tbh but in our case , it was a "feature" due to the 1.2 engines running cool and my daughters short miles.
And the same with Renault clio 1.2 D4F engines and with the PCV inside the cam cover it certainly didnt help.. and agree not necessarily a head gasket fault..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Its called Mayonnaise in the trade. Signifies a failing (or failed) head gasket. It results form the mixing of oil and
water. It can occur if the car does only very short trips to the shops like oldies do but since you have done 10,000 miles in the last year it will not be that.

I would get the cooling system pressure tested as the first step.
I'm surprised that you report no deterioration in engine performance but that's not unheard of, so what about fluid levels? Have you had to top up the cooling system recently? Has the oil level on the dipstick gone up......or down? When a head gasket is compromised allowing coolant and lubricating oil to mix, the symptom you have noted is the result and if you continue to drive the car without seeking professional advice, it will almost certainly lead ultimately to a dramatic and expensive failure at some point.

As the car is 10 or 11 years old, it might be prudent to have a local independent do some tests; compression and cooling system are the most obvious ones and simplest to perform. Depending on the report, the economics of repair may well convince that it's time to say bye bye to the old stand-by. I don't know if there are still some car brands offering scrappage deals but a new car on lease or PCP terms from a maker offering a long warranty may give you reliable motoring at an affordable price.

Please return with a sit-rep in due course although, as stated previously, the head gasket and/or a crack in the head or block surface seems the likeliest culprit. I have one other concern and that is the poor fuel economy you mention. How poor and for how long? Fuel, like water, can also find its way into the engine oil.

Welcome to the forum, by the way!
I'm surprised that you report no deterioration in engine performance but that's not unheard of, so what about fluid levels? Have you had to top up the cooling system recently? Has the oil level on the dipstick gone up......or down? When a head gasket is compromised allowing coolant and lubricating oil to mix, the symptom you have noted is the result and if you continue to drive the car without seeking professional advice, it will almost certainly lead ultimately to a dramatic and expensive failure at some point.

As the car is 10 or 11 years old, it might be prudent to have a local independent do some tests; compression and cooling system are the most obvious ones and simplest to perform. Depending on the report, the economics of repair may well convince that it's time to say bye bye to the old stand-by. I don't know if there are still some car brands offering scrappage deals but a new car on lease or PCP terms from a maker offering a long warranty may give you reliable motoring at an affordable price.

Please return with a sit-rep in due course although, as stated previously, the head gasket and/or a crack in the head or block surface seems the likeliest culprit. I have one other concern and that is the poor fuel economy you mention. How poor and for how long? Fuel, like water, can also find its way into the engine oil.

Welcome to the forum, by the way!
Hi, thanks for the reply, although I haven't noticed a decrease in performance, I have only owned the car 1 year and pushed it once, reaching a top speed of 85 to 90 on flat surface. I would expect it to reach 90 -95 mph.

Fuel economy is 32mpg, last year I got mid 40s.

The coolant reservoir looks full, never topped it up but I have kind of neglected it due to being rushed off my feet.

As for getting rid of the car, I don't want to scrap it as I paid a lot of money for it because at the time, it was the most affordable automatic that was in decent shape and good on insurance. I have been thinking about swapping it for a bigger diesel but want a decent price for it.

I have heard about steel seal or something but don't know if that is a cheaper option which actually works? If there is a problem with the gasket.
 

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I wouldn't personally use steel seal it can block water galleries and that will mean a strip down to clear them out.. as far as I am concerned just another snake oil product on the market..
 

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I have been thinking about swapping it for a bigger diesel but want a decent price for it.
Forget the snake oil and decide what to do after a diagnosis from a professional. If it gets a clean bill of health, then an oil and filter change may reassure you sufficiently to hang on to the car.

Your personal economic situation may dictate whichever course is appropriate at this time.
 

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Have Google for 'Mayo under Oil Filler Cap'
Most results (for various Makes of Cars) are for short Journeys causing condensation due to the Engine and Oil not warming up.

The advice seems to be to clean it off and take the Car for a good run.

Do check the Coolant and for peace of mind you could get the Coolant checked/sniffed at a Garage to confirm there is no Head Gasket Failure.
 

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I have just reappraised this thread and looking again at the evidence provided, a blown head gasket in fact seems unlikely. The clues are contained in post #1:

it is overdue an oil change and there is a yellow chocolate sort of colour inside the oil cap. Dipstick looks normal though.
The car runs perfectly fine
Therefore, on reflection, there is no evidence pointing to a gasket failure and if the extent of emulsification is what is contained inside the filler cap, there is probably nothing to worry about.

Clean coolant, pure oil on the dipstick are other clues, together with no apparent loss of performance, lead me now to suggest that the overdue oil/filter change should be performed promptly and the residue inside the filler cap cleaned off.
 

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I'd go with what Indalo says. Monitor the oil and water levels but give it a good run, 40 miles say to get things thoroughly hot and evaporate any condensation in the engine
 

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Hi there,
I just checked my engine oil in my 2010 Kia Picanto 1.1 Auto because it is overdue an oil change and there is a yellow chocolate sort of colour inside the oil cap. Dipstick looks normal though.

It has done 45k miles and mostly long 50 mile trips since last year when the oil was changed at around 35k but over the last month or 2 I have been doing very small trips of 2 to 5 miles.

Hoping it's not the head gasket. The car runs perfectly fine, but probably does lack on fuel economy.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
 
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