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Old 01-08-2017, 11:28 PM   #1
JosephN79
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Default Oil Leak

Leaks in this car have been nil, dry as a bone since I've had it in 2012. never had any oil leaks or burning smells. Today, i stop at a stop sign and smell oil burning. I figure maybe another car. But then i smell it again and every time i stop.

I get under my car and there is oil under the engine and on the transmission and splashed back underneath my car. I got under to check and i see that there is also oil up above the oil pan gasket, but cannot get into it too much tonight to see if its anywhere else. My cousin is a tech and said maybe the valve cover gasket, but i don't see anything that high right now

I took a plate off the bottom between the engine and transmission (R main seal inspection?). I mean my finger inside the bottom of the housing and picked up some wetness, but not sure if its seeped in there from driving all day and splashing. The fly wheel itself is dry and nothing wet up inside as far as i can see...

This is a decent leak that came on all of a sudden.. Its been cold the past few days if that makes a difference.

Im trying to rule out rear main seal, since if thats the case I'm selling this car and getting a new one, honestly.

If the flywheel is dry and i see nothing up inside there thats wet or leaking, can i rule out the rear main ??

Thanks

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Old 01-08-2017, 11:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Forgive me if this is a dumb question... but the seal is on the passenger side of the fly wheel? I have it running right now, but still when i look up between the fly wheel and the engine, i see no oil or moisture. I see a silver shaft up there just barely that shows no oil either. Hopefully I can rule out real main seal . . . if its literally anything else I'm good...

The inspection plate was pretty wet on both sides, but again, I've been driving all day and could have been blown up in there. Everything inside the plate is dry, some oil on the bottom of the transmission housing, but probably for the same reason as the plate is soaked...

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Old 01-09-2017, 01:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Im sorry for the posts, I've been looking at my car and around the internet for research. by the time i come back the edit feature has expired. Ive read that very cold temps can cause a pct valve to seize up. We've had the coldest last 3 days here and this is when my probs started. Ive read replacing a faulty pcv valve can alleviate these leaks? I saw on a ridgeline forum where they had leaks out of their rear main and after replacing pcv that they said was "in pieces" the leaks stopped. Any thoughts? Thanks again.

Worst case for me id the RMS, which i guess is $1000-$1500 from what I've read. I have that in savings, but i want to be sure, and wondering if its something i can just deal with for another year or so so i can save money for something else...

Of course, i realize i have the "its tax season and you'll have money to spend on broken S*** curse . . ." Every time . . .

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Old 01-09-2017, 09:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Oil Leak

we have no idea what engine you have, if it's a v6 (well any engine) a vc gasket leak can look like many other things because the oil runs down and goes all over the place

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Old 01-09-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephN79 View Post
Im sorry for the posts, I've been looking at my car and around the internet for research. by the time i come back the edit feature has expired. Ive read that very cold temps can cause a pct valve to seize up. We've had the coldest last 3 days here and this is when my probs started. Ive read replacing a faulty pcv valve can alleviate these leaks? I saw on a ridgeline forum where they had leaks out of their rear main and after replacing pcv that they said was "in pieces" the leaks stopped. Any thoughts? Thanks again.

Worst case for me id the RMS, which i guess is $1000-$1500 from what I've read. I have that in savings, but i want to be sure, and wondering if its something i can just deal with for another year or so so i can save money for something else...

Of course, i realize i have the "its tax season and you'll have money to spend on broken S*** curse . . ." Every time . . .
Joe ... I've attached extracts to test the 3.5 PCV system and replace the valve and/or clean hoses if system fails "click" test (it may pass if engine is at normal operating temps).

I have a mechanics stethoscope (thank you Harbor Freight) but a long screwdriver should work just fine if you put end of handle next to ear and tip against valve housing .

I'd probably replace the valve (or remove and thoroughly clean) and would also remove the two PCV hoses listed in test document to remove any moisture or globs of sludge.

Repost or email if you'd like other extracts, and incidentally - the documents are for 2007 3.5 engine but same data applies for 04-07.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 3.5 PCV Inspect-Diagnose.pdf (83.4 KB, 33 views)
File Type: pdf 3.5 PCV Valve R2.pdf (49.3 KB, 18 views)

...
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Last edited by far2grumpy; 01-09-2017 at 11:30 AM..

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Slapping my head didn't see your profile. In any case I still think best thing to do is completely clean the engine. Put some UV dye in the oil run the engine and see where it's escaping. Also I still believe it may be VC gasket(s). Have the same thing going on with my Infiniti QX4 3.3 DOHC V6. But anyone who has looked under the hood of that vehicle knows the nightmare doing VC gaskets is.

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Old 01-09-2017, 02:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil Leak

When mine did that I first cleaned everything I could get to. Including removing the inspection plate and cleaning inside and the plate itself completely. Then I drove it a while and inspected everything. I found the oil was coming out of the inspection plate. I determined it was the rear mail seal. I read all I could find on it also. I cleaned the PCV (no help). Finally I changed the oil to Valvoline MAX High mileage semi synthetic. After about 2 weeks, no more leak. It remained oil free for a couple of years and finally when I had to have the transmission rebuilt I had them replace the seal. I now use Mobil 1 High mileage oil.

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Old 01-09-2017, 02:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Just looked up the part and damn that's an expensive PCV valve. I've never had one cost more a few dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Toad View Post
When mine did that I first cleaned everything I could get to. Including removing the inspection plate and cleaning inside and the plate itself completely. Then I drove it a while and inspected everything. I found the oil was coming out of the inspection plate. I determined it was the rear mail seal. I read all I could find on it also. I cleaned the PCV (no help). Finally I changed the oil to Valvoline MAX High mileage semi synthetic. After about 2 weeks, no more leak. It remained oil free for a couple of years and finally when I had to have the transmission rebuilt I had them replace the seal. I now use Mobil 1 High mileage oil.
Switching to a high mileage synthetic is interesting. I wonder why that would stop the leak. I've always run Mobil 1 in all my cars. Now I'm really curious what is in the high mileage oil. Were you running synthetic before?

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Old 01-09-2017, 05:14 PM   #9
JosephN79
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Yeah i forgot to put my 3.5 engine up, i couldn't remember if i had it in profile or not...

Ive read people changing oil viscosity to alleviate a leak. I have used the castrol high mileage synthetic 5w-20.

I read that a clogged pcv valve causes extra pressure in the crank case where all the oil is and will force leaks. I went ahead and replaced the pcv valve just now. It was $23 at Oreilys. Rock auto had not for $5 less but i opted for convenience over price

My plan today was to take my car to the wash and spray underneath and clean up the oil. I then drove slowly and gingerly home, which is about a mile from there. I pulled into the garage and around the inspection plate was a good amount of oil . . enough to leave drips, but not dripping after i stopped and cut everything off.

I changed the pcv valve and i plan on changing the oil and filter.

I wiped everything off and started it so ill go back here in about 15 min to see if there is any leaks.... since while I'm driving, it slings it all over. I don't think the valve covers are leaking, as i don't see any oil coming down from either side . . . it doesn't go any higher than the oil pan gasket.

Like i said before, the fly wheel is dry . . there are some spots of moisture, but maybe from oil spraying behind that plate? theres no oil on the aluminum between the fly wheel and the engine. I see no oil up on the silver shaft . . . could that rule out rear main leak? wouldn't there be oil prominently on the wheel or inside there if this much oil was coming out??

Ive read oil pan can leak in that area making it look like rear main . . .

soo ... im gonna go see if i can find any oil spots under the car . . ill report back

thanks again

** So its been running like 15 minutes . .not a drop . . . with the mess it makes, and its still warm, i figured there'd be something . . .

Last edited by JosephN79; 01-09-2017 at 05:25 PM..

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Old 01-09-2017, 05:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil Leak

FWIW don't use that high mileage crap. It causes other issues. Years ago when I was in the business we used to simply put a cap full of brake fluid into the oil. It did the same thing. Swelled the seals

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Old 01-10-2017, 07:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oil Leak

FWIW - my opinion as an actual medium to high-miles 3.5 owner.

I'm a fan of Castrol GTX Syn-Blend High Mileage 5W20 oil and have never been tempted to put brake fluid in my crankcase.

I take care four family 3.5 Vue's - with mileages of 78,000, 80,000, 139,000 and 145,000 - and all purr like kittens.

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Old 01-10-2017, 11:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephN79 View Post
Ive read people changing oil viscosity to alleviate a leak. I have used the castrol high mileage synthetic 5w-20.
The high mileage oils have an additive that rejuvenates seals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
FWIW don't use that high mileage crap. It causes other issues. Years ago when I was in the business we used to simply put a cap full of brake fluid into the oil. It did the same thing. Swelled the seals
I have been running the high mileage “crap” for a couple of years now with NO other issues. Seems to me that dumping something that is NOT formulated (brake Fluid) to run in my engine DOESN’T belong there and could cause more problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephN79 View Post
Ive read people changing oil viscosity to alleviate a leak. I have used the castrol high mileage synthetic 5w-20.
Changing oil Viscosity won’t alleviate a leak. It will only mask it and could cause more severe engine problems. These engines (especially Japanese engines) have tight tolerances and the oil viscosity specs are chosen for these tolerances. Think about it, if you run thicker oil so it won’t seep past a seal, where else is it NOT going.

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Old 01-10-2017, 11:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oil Leak

The PCV hose freezing up was a TSB issued to the 2002/2003 3.0L Opel based (L81 engine code) VUE's.

Not sure about any known PCV hose problems on the 3.5l Honda engine VUEs....

By the way, our PCV valve froze 5-6 years ago one very cold winter, and blew all of the valve cover gaskets.... a freaking mess. The dealer replaced all the gaskets, and simply routed the PCV hose above the intake manifold, instead of beneath it. No problems since.

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Old 01-11-2017, 09:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Oil Leak

"I have been running the high mileage “crap” for a couple of years now with NO other issues. Seems to me that dumping something that is NOT formulated (brake Fluid) to run in my engine DOESN’T belong there and could cause more problems."

I was NOT advocating putting ANYTHING in your oil. I was simply telling you what I used to see done in the old (most likely long before you were born) days.
When I was apprenticing back in the 60's some of the old timers would do this when a customer did not want to pay for a rear main or front main seal leak.
Me personally? Never did it and never will. Was simply relating what I had seen from MANY years ago being done.
I believe now as I did then that anything that "swelled" or "conditioned" seals supposedly would also cause other issues down the road and living with a slight oil leak IMO was better than this.
So before any of you assume something please REREAD and understand what is written.

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Old 01-11-2017, 11:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Oil Leak

Quote:
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I was NOT advocating putting ANYTHING in your oil. I was simply telling you what I used to see done in the old (most likely long before you were born) days.
Nah, I was born in the early 50s

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Me personally? Never did it and never will. So before any of you assume something please REREAD and understand what is written.
Then why did you write...

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
"we" used to simply put a cap full of brake fluid into the oil.

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Old 01-11-2017, 11:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: Oil Leak


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