Engine oil leak -2002 venture


baby141
04-01-2012, 11:22 AM
My 02 venture is leaking engine oil. I put out a piece of cardboard underneath and it is leaking in the center front. I had an oil change 4 months ago and I checked oil today and it was dry. So, I'm assuming in 4 months the engine oil all leaked out. What could be causing this? I do smell a slight oil burning underneath the hood. It is slight but there for sure. I'm afraid to know the cost of repairs for this since money is pretty tight right now.

ricebike
04-01-2012, 01:25 PM
we can't really see the engine bay and underneath your vehicle to properly guess where the external oil leak is at...

keep an eye on your oil level, not just once every 4 months, but at least weekly, NO, DAILY until you can have it properly diagnosed and repaired

you don't want to seize up your engine like my neighbor did & turn your engine into a boat anchor!!!

you can have someone clean the oily areas from underneath the engine, then keep an eye on where it's actually leaking from or add a uv dye to find the leaks

sverker
04-02-2012, 02:12 AM
The oil pressure sensor is located above the starter and is a common source for leakage. You can reach down from above to feel if it's greasy there. Other possible sources for the leakage is the valve cover gasket or the gasket for the oil cooler behind the oil filter.

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merc81
04-02-2012, 07:59 AM
I agree with sverker. The oil pressure sensor is easy to check, just under the exhaust manifold and above the starter. If you have allowed your engine to run with the oil so low as not to measure on the dip stick, the low oil light should have come on also.
If you want to avoid spending lots of money on repairs, its time to start being more diligent in checking the oil/coolant in the engine. Start with an oil change and while you are changing the filter, clean the area under the filter so you can keep watch on it for leaks. Then check it every couple days for level and to see if you can spot the leak.

baby141
04-02-2012, 08:57 AM
thanks for the great advice. I'm taking it in for service tomorrow. The oil light did come on but I ignored it because ironically I am due for an oil change and the indicator was at number 5. It was doing the count down and when it gets to 0, I would have taken it in for an oil change and also to get my snow tires off.

baby141
04-02-2012, 09:00 AM
What should I expect in terms of repair costs if it is the oil sensor pressure? I will keep you posted when I am back from the mechanics tomorrow. Thanks for your help!

merc81
04-02-2012, 10:24 AM
What should I expect in terms of repair costs if it is the oil sensor pressure? I will keep you posted when I am back from the mechanics tomorrow. Thanks for your help!

The sensor price is $15 to $20 dollars online or at Napa. Since it can be changed in under half an hour, shop rates for the repair would be about $50. So $60-$75 including the part. Just don't go to a dealer for the work.

Please note that nobody is saying you need a sensor, only that its a common source of oil leaks. You need to change the oil and then pay attention to where the leak is coming from before thinking about changing any sensors. My money is the oil filter area is where its leaking, but my recent experiences with this engine prove that I have no crystal ball either and you need to pay careful attention to where the oil seems to be coming from. . .

sverker
04-02-2012, 10:36 AM
It took me under 10 minutes to change the sensor, which included rotating the engine back slightly to more easily reach the sensor from above. You need a 27 mm tall socket.

http://www.abrahamsson.com/IMAG0163.jpg

As merc states, it's not certain that it's the oil pressure sensor that is the problem in your case so try to diagnose from where you have the leak. If it is this sensor then it will be greasy on and above the starter and you can also disconnect the electrical connector to the sensor and see if there is oil inside it.

baby141
04-03-2012, 12:04 PM
Just got back from the mechanics to fix an engine oil leak. He says he had to remove and install crank shaft seal, $20 for the part and $70 for 1 hour of labour. Does this sound right? What is this seal? I just parked the van and left a piece of cardboard underneath to see if the problem has been fixed. Your advice is appreciated.

sverker
04-03-2012, 12:27 PM
I've never seen that myself but as I've heard it's not uncommon. Sounds like a reasonable price also, keep an eye on if you continue to loose oil if not then it's solved.

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merc81
04-03-2012, 01:01 PM
I just performed that job about a week ago for a friend. The oil seal sits around the rotating crank shaft pulley and the timing chain cover. Its a normal part to wear out but I didn't mention it since you said the oil was coming from the other side of the car, not the passenger side.
To do the job, you remove the tire, a plastic splash guard, and use a tool to remove the pulley. Takes about an hour. Sounds like a reasonable price to me.

baby141
04-03-2012, 08:16 PM
So I parked my van for the last 3 hours. I put a cardboard underneath. I just checked and noticed a small pea size drop of oil on the cardboard. Is this normal given the van is 10 years old. Or, should there be no oil drops at all. Should I take it back to the mechanic who just replaced the seal today?

sverker
04-04-2012, 02:26 AM
Did you note from which side of the engine the oil had dripped based on its position on the cardboard? It doesn't necessary mean that you still have a leak, could be oil from the old leak that dropped on the subframe.

I would probably give it a good shot from below with anti-grease (what is the correct word in English?), then take it to a washer with a good underneeth cleaning. Then keep an eye on the oil level and if you continue to have leakage. Small drops can be considered normal for an engine of this age but any substantial leakage needs to be taken care of. Also pay attention as much as possible to from where you get the oil drips, that will help diagnose it.

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baby141
04-04-2012, 08:46 AM
Thanks for your time in reading my posts and helping me out. That is great! The oil seems to be dripping from the same spot as before I got it "repaired". It drips from the center front and slightly over to the passenger side. It drips while parked and also when idling. It doesn't seem to be as much as before the repair so maybe there is another leak somewhere? I will keep an eye on it but it is so frustrating. I heard something about the "master seal" going on these vans and if that happens your van is toast. Is this true? I'm not sure what is meant by the master seal but is that what I just had repaired? I had the crankshaft seal repaired.

sverker
04-04-2012, 09:00 AM
Center front towards the passenger side would likely be under the oil filter. Did you have a oil & filter change also? There is a oil cooler behind the filter (merc81 knows all about that one ;) ) and some seals that can leak. You should have the engine and the subframe beneth it cleaned, then it's much easier to find where it comes from.

sverker
04-04-2012, 09:05 AM
The "master seal" you mention is most likely the Lower Intake Gasket, you can read all about it e.g. in the sticky post at top of this forum. The engine will not be toast imediatly, but if it is leaking coolant into the oil and you continue to drive with it then it's gone pretty fast.

What you need to keep an eagle eye on is your coolant level, if you start loosing coolant then the LIM gasket is a very common cause. Also take as a custom to check the oil regulary, it should go from amber (fresh oil) to black as it's being used. If it goes to something that looks like chocolate milk or grey then there is water in the oil and that will kill the engine if you continue to drive with it.

baby141
04-04-2012, 09:32 AM
When I took it in yesterday, the mechanic said he had to clean the engine to see where the leak was coming from. So, I'm assuming he is telling me the truth. He then said it was the crankshaft seal. The last oil change I had done was in November but I have had this leak way before that oil change. It seems to be black oil that is leaking out. Dumb question - how do I check coolant level? Is that the reservoir with the pink fluid in it? I'm taking the van back in a few weeks to get winter tires off and I will get the mechanic to check the spots you mention for possible causes of this oil leak. I'm thinking I paid $100 for nothing yesterday. THANKS for your great knowledge.

sverker
04-04-2012, 11:07 AM
It's possible that you had more than one source of leakage, since it after all is 10 years,old. Pay attention on the oil level, if any warning lights come on then that is something to take seriously. It may be good idea to take it back to the shop for the mechanic to have a look if he can find any additional leakage.

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baby141
04-04-2012, 11:14 AM
So I went to check the oil level on my van. I'm a little paranoid given that the leak does not appear to have been fixed yesterday by the mechanic. I noticed something odd but I don't know anything about vans.
On the right of the oil dipstick is a large bolt. On the left side of the oil dip stick is just a hole and no bolt. Is this bolt missing on the left side? PLEASE HELP. Now I'm really scared.

sverker
04-04-2012, 11:38 AM
That is nothing to worry about, the heads are the same on both sides and I believe on the other side those holes are used for the ignition rack.

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rkvons
04-04-2012, 12:19 PM
I am curious about this oil cooler that is a possible source for an oil leak. I have a 3.1 in a '98 Monte Carlo and was wondering how I can tell if I have one of these. Thanks.

sverker
04-04-2012, 04:03 PM
I am curious about this oil cooler that is a possible source for an oil leak. I have a 3.1 in a '98 Monte Carlo and was wondering how I can tell if I have one of these. Thanks.

According to Rockauto it has the same type of oil cooler, it is located at the oil filter and looks like this:

http://images.wrenchead.com/smartpages/partinfo_resize/DUS/24504105.jpg

You may get external leak if the mating surface seals are damaged or if it has internal damage you get oil mixed in coolant and/or vice versa. Take a look at the thread http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1075400 for an insight on how that may manifest.

ricebike
07-30-2012, 07:38 PM
hii dear according to me their will be a hole in your fuel container thats why your engine oil leakage. Now you should repair your fuel container.

that didn't make any sense at all! :screwy:

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