head gasket or oil cooler or?.....
This has gotta be the worst day I've had in a while... So a little back info: 1998 V70 2.4L Turbo AWD. I bought the Volvo a few weeks ago and it ran great other then a little stumble on start up, got it cheap because it had a coolant leak, got it home and found the water pump and lower rad hose leaking pretty bad, got both of those fixed. Then I noticed there was a small amount of smoke coming from the dipstick tube, no big deal, right? well it got worse quick, I probably put 100 miles on it and the smoke got WAY worse, to the point the whole engine was getting covered with oil, I also noted the coolant level was still going down, but I found a small crack on the radiator by the upper hose , so I thought that was the issue, maybe a small leak somewhere else but until I got the oil problem fixed and cleaned up I wouldn't be able to find exactly where the coolant was leaking. A little research on the smoke and oil told me probably the PCV system, so I bought a oil trap from the dealer and replaced it and cleaned out all the related hoses, and sure enough the hose from the valve cover was 100% blocked and lots of build up in the others, so of course I thought my problems were over. I figured I should change the oil as it had been neglected when I bought it and that's probably the main cause of the PCV problem.... This is where my day goes down hill... drained the oil out and it was super milky! I thought it might have just been from all the cleaner I sprayed into the block to clean out the PCV passages, so I added the new oil and filter, ran it about 2 minites and sure enough the oil was milky again, and after the 2 min of running the smoke stated coming back from the dipstick tube, not as bad, but still very much there and it might have gotten worse if I let it run longer.
If this is a bad head gasket it must have JUST happened because just 20 miles before I checked the oil level and topped it off and it was still very black, no milkiness at all. Also I pulled the hose off the oil cooler at the radiator to see if it seemed to be leaking a lot of coolant but the oil that came out was still very black, as though the internal leak happened so recently that it didn't have a chance to get the contaminated oil into the cooler, just the motor.
So now before I spend tons of money and time fixing a head gasket, I want to know if there is a way I can tell if it's that or if it's the oil cooler or one thing I read said it could be something with the turbo? Or is there anything else it could be? There is no smoke out the tail pipe, no oil in the coolant, no bubbles in the overflow tank either. Any info would be great, I HAVE to drive this car 1000's of miles down to LA in 2 weeks and need to get it fixed.
Also a hydrocarbon test would be a last resort as I don't think it's safe to drive as it with water in the oil so I don't want to go the 7 miles to the closest shop, so I would have to have it towed there and back and don't want to spend that expense unless I really need to.