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Oil puddle--what to check?


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Heart break comes to mind....

I went off to enjoy a great spring day, run to the gym etc. later tonight I see I have a fresh puddle of oil under the car (i am guessing 1/2 qt) . Any suggestions what I might begin with looking for?

Car seems to run fine with no abnormal symptoms.

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Heart break comes to mind....

I went off to enjoy a great spring day, run to the gym etc. later tonight I see I have a fresh puddle of oil under the car (i am guessing 1/2 qt) . Any suggestions what I might begin with looking for?

Car seems to run fine with no abnormal symptoms.

A 1/2 quart of oil all of a sudden is a LOT of oil for a leak with no prior history of leaking.

First try to determine if it is engine oil ( and not power steering fluid, for example).

If it is engine oil, and you can determine that it is coming from the point at which the transmission is bolted to the engine, then it is either your RMS or your IMS.

The RMS does not usually leak that much all of a sudden.

If the leak is coming from your IMS, proceed with caution as that could be a sign that your IMS bearing or flange is failing. If it does fail and you run the engine, the engine can self-destruct.

I don't want to be an alarmist, but you should carefully explore the possibilities and determine the source of the leak.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
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Heart break comes to mind....

I went off to enjoy a great spring day, run to the gym etc. later tonight I see I have a fresh puddle of oil under the car (i am guessing 1/2 qt) . Any suggestions what I might begin with looking for?

Car seems to run fine with no abnormal symptoms.

Try to locate where the leak is coming from. Is it for sure oil? (rule out it's not coolant, transmission oil, or power steering fluid, etc) 1/2 quart is a lot.

Some common places for oil could include:

spark plug tubes on either side driver or passenger (usually small amounts)

AOS or the black small accordian rubber hose that is beneath it. More towards passenger side

Check around oil plug or oil filter (any oil changes lately) Center to slightly towards driver's side

or....

RMS or IMS dead center where the transmission bell housing meets the engine block (directly under the clutch)

Edited by kbrandsma
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I'm holding my breath on this one.... good luck, hope it's a fluke nothing. My first thought was IMS. What's the year and model of your car? If you're in Roseville, maybe Loren can help you.

Edited by judgejon
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Yes, here in Roseville. I will roll under the car tomorrow after work and look for the source. The car is a 2003 C4 80K miles. so far been very tight.

Appreciate the tips, keep them coming. I will report back tomorrow night with pics.

Thanks guysrenntech1.gif

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Puddle is directly under the oil filter, near as I can tell...I gave it a quick look on my way out the door today.

Appears the puddle might be water with antifreeze. Could explain the oily feel last night when I dragged my hand through it. Nothing conclusive yet. I will jack up the car tonight and crawl under it for a closer inspection.

Sure hope this amounts to something trivial <fingers crossed>

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Puddle is directly under the oil filter, near as I can tell...I gave it a quick look on my way out the door today.

Appears the puddle might be water with antifreeze. Could explain the oily feel last night when I dragged my hand through it. Nothing conclusive yet. I will jack up the car tonight and crawl under it for a closer inspection.

Sure hope this amounts to something trivial <fingers crossed>

Good news if the puddle is directly under the oil filter.

If it's oil, it may just be the large o-ring seal on the oil filter, or that the oil filter housing somehow got loose or cracked.

If it's antifreeze, it may be coming from the oil cooler, which is on top of the engine, but almost directly over that area.

The oil cooler has four o-rings (two for the coolant passages, and two for the oil passages). I would check to see if it's any one of those, which would show up at the point where the oil cooler mates with the top surface of the block.

Here is a photo of the oil cooler on a 3.8 X51, with the arrow pointing to the mating surface:

post-6627-0-65680200-1301590179_thumb.jp

This should give you an idea of where to look.

Regards, Maurice.

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