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Oil leak at front of engine

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My 1999 Boxster with 60,000 miles has a film of oil on the bottom of the unit where the water hoses attach to the engine and a drop of oil on the bolt that I think is the water drain plug. I took the engine cover behind the seats off and could see oil residue a few inches below the pulley attached to the crankshaft. I could not see well enough to tell if it was coming from behind the pulley. What do you think is causing a leak in this area. You can see the oil buildup in the center of the picture. It appears to be a very slow leak.


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Oh no, the first FMS leak. :huh: You know know about the RMS - rear main seal issues - well there is also a front seal that no one talks about.

This is just a joke. I have never seen oil seepage in that area. I do not know what it is. But oil will always find a way to escape from the motor. If you can send me a better picture I will show it to Peter and see what he says.

BTW that bolt is not a coolant drain bolt. The drain is on the bottom of the motor and it is an allen plug like the oil drain plug. Jeff

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You got me!! :unsure: Yes it is the dreaded FMS. :)

Here is a better picture with the oil cleaned away. I drove the car for about 15 minutes after I cleaned the oil up and no new oil appeared. I guess I will run it for a few weeks and take another look.


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don't know much about boxsters, but on a 996 if you've got an oil leak in that area it is usually one of two things:

1) the seal of what you called the "water drain plug" which is probably the oil pressure relief valve. The seal is a metal/rubber seal, costs about a tenner and can be changed without draining the oil.

2) the seal of the oil pump. There is an o-ring that seals the case of the oil pump against the crank case and that sometimes gets hard. Because of the pressure involved it usually makes quite a mess.



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Thanks for the info Uwe. I decide to subscribe to Alldata.com so that I could see some pictures of here you think is leaking. Looks like it is probably the o-ring. if you mean by o-ring that the gasket is round and not flat. At this point it is a seeping leak. Do you think it will get worse gradually or should I go ahead and replace it before it makes a mess.

Thanks Again,


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Looks like it is probably the o-ring. if you mean by o-ring that the gasket is round and not flat.  At this point it is a seeping leak.  Do you think it will get worse gradually or should I go ahead and replace it before it makes a mess.

Hi, if it's the oil pump I'd have it changed now. Why don't you go to a dealer and see what he says. I suspect on a 986 you'd have to lower the engine a bit to change it.



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  • 16 years later...

Well, I may have just had the first FMS leak on my 1997 boxster!  Noticed a very small leak...not enough to cause even a few drips on the driveway, but enough to be slightly wet under the crank pulley.  I removed the pulley thanks to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldmfY2lPJh8



I was surprised that no one else had covered replacing this seal..must be very uncommon...but with a 23 yr old car, anything is possible (like 2020:)


I got the seal out using a limited access tool like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-56920-Limited-Access-Puller/dp/B002MCVPVM


I did find some very minor pitting at the bottom of the opening which I filled with JB Weld and sanded smooth.




For the installation I used a 2 inch pic fitting and a brake caliper tool to push against the bulkhead forward of the engine...worked like a champ.





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