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Old 11-22-2017, 09:53 AM   #1
adam22
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Default 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Bad stuff this morning...

Posted recently that I just got my car out of the shop and had some maintenance recommendations. Got some solid advice, but things have taken an unexpected turn this morning.

I haven't put too many miles on the car since the oil change a week ago, but was driving to work today (8 miles) and the oil pressure light began to flicker but went out. I was extremely close to work, and drove another minute then parked the car in the parking lot. The light came back on.

I let things sit for an hour and just went out to look and there's a huge puddle of oil under the car, just to the right of (if you are facing the windshield from the front of the car) the oil pan. The oil drain bolt had a visual drop of oil on it and taking a rag revealed fresh oil on it.

It seems like there might be some under the hood near the oil filter cap but it might be old grease. The hose near the filter looks like it has oil on it as well. I would say the leak under the car is pretty much directly under the filter.

I have 152k on the car and it's never leaked a drop of oil. I regularly change with dino 5w-30 every 3k miles.

What I want to know is:

-What might this possibly be?
-Could the shop be at fault for this?

I need to have the car towed now and want to be informed before I move forward.

Thanks all

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Old 11-22-2017, 10:18 AM   #2
adam22
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Iíll upload some pics shortly. Itís probably not directly under filter but slightly further back near the front left tire.

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Old 11-22-2017, 11:04 AM   #3
adam22
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Attached some pics for reference as I await the tow truck.

There's some water under the car, it rained overnight. The only oil is concentrated to one area, so the left side of the car seems to be dry.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hood.jpg (99.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Under Car - Copy (2).jpg (94.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Side Car - Copy.jpg (88.2 KB, 6 views)

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Old 11-22-2017, 11:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
...there's a huge puddle of oil under the car, just to the right of (if you are facing the windshield from the front of the car) the oil pan. The oil drain bolt had a visual drop of oil on it and taking a rag revealed fresh oil on it.
First of all, did you check the oil level on the dipstick? This will give you a clue about what problem you may be facing.

The oil found at the drain plug could be caused by inadequate tightening of it, or because of a bad drain plug gasket, or a slow leaking timing cover seal where the oil is travelling down the front of the pan and onto the drain plug (less likely, but possible). Otherwise, I've found that these plugs are quite secure from leaking (our vehicles share the same engine). The torque value for tightening the drain plug and the oil filter cap are the same, 18 ft. lbs., or 25 Nm. When changing the oil myself I seldom use a torque ratchet on either item - and have actually under-torqued the oil filter cap - without resulting in oil leaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
It seems like there might be some under the hood near the oil filter cap but it might be old grease. The hose near the filter looks like it has oil on it as well. I would say the leak under the car is pretty much directly under the filter.
For the record, the smaller diameter hose connecting very near to the oil filter is not found on the L-Series 2.2L engine. It's possible that, during the oil change, oil that had dripped from the old oil filter as it was removed from the engine and got on the hose. Perhaps wasn't cleaned off well enough. (Just a supposition here, I can't have certainty on this.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
I have 152k on the car and it's never leaked a drop of oil. I regularly change with dino 5w-30 every 3k miles.
FWIW, that's been true with my ECOTEC 2.2L as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
What I want to know is:

-What might this possibly be?
Have you verified that the oil underneath the driver side of the engine is actually engine oil? It could be transmission fluid. However, if it is engine oil then the two most likely sources for a leak in that area are the oil pan (a fractured pan or a leak between the pan and engine block) or the rear main crankshaft seal, with the latter being the lesser likely place for that to occur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
-Could the shop be at fault for this?
Perhaps, or perhaps not. What other work was performed beside the oil change, if any?

...
276,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 11-22-2017 at 11:58 AM..

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Old 11-22-2017, 12:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
First of all, did you check the oil level on the dipstick? This will give you a clue about what problem you may be facing.

The oil found at the drain plug could be caused by inadequate tightening of it, or because of a bad drain plug gasket, or a slow leaking timing cover seal where the oil is travelling down the front of the pan and onto the drain plug (less likely, but possible). Otherwise, I've found that these plugs are quite secure from leaking (our vehicles share the same engine). The torque value for tightening the drain plug and the oil filter cap are the same, 18 ft. lbs., or 25 Nm. When changing the oil myself I seldom use a torque ratchet on either item - and have actually under-torqued the oil filter cap - without resulting in oil leaks.

For the record, the smaller diameter hose connecting very near to the oil filter is not found on the L-Series 2.2L engine. It's possible that, during the oil change, oil that had dripped from the old oil filter as it was removed from the engine and got on the hose. Perhaps wasn't cleaned off well enough. (Just a supposition here, I can't have certainty on this.)

FWIW, that's been true with my ECOTEC 2.2L as well.

Have you verified that the oil underneath the driver side of the engine is actually engine oil? It could be transmission fluid. However, if it is engine oil then the two most likely sources for a leak in that area are the oil pan (a fractured pan or a leak between the pan and engine block) or the rear main crankshaft seal, with the latter being the lesser likely place for that to occur.

Perhaps, or perhaps not. What other work was performed beside the oil change, if any?
Thanks for your reply.

The fluid color, smell, and viscosity indicates new engine oil. The light coming on and the low level on the dip stick confirms.

No other work was done, other than inspection and suggestions to flush brake fluid, some sort of fuel cleanup, etc.

The car's a manual trans and shifts fine, FWIW.

For some reason, the oil change took them 7.5 hours and was still on the lift when I showed up the other day. I had scheduled an appointment at that AAA car care center several days in advance. Not saying there was an issue encountered, but I was told an hour when I had dropped it off.

I just had it towed back to the facility that changed the oil. When I hear back, I'll post here. It's hard to imagine some catastrophic leak developing out of no where on this car given the maintenance and performance history. Anything's possible, I suppose.

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Old 11-22-2017, 12:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
Thanks for your reply.

The fluid color, smell, and viscosity indicates new engine oil. The light coming on and the low level on the dip stick confirms.
Good! That also clarifies things for us out in the hinterlands. BTW, how low was the oil level on the dipstick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
No other work was done, other than inspection and suggestions to flush brake fluid, some sort of fuel cleanup, etc.
In the FWIW catagory, I had a fuel system cleaning done at about 150K miles at a AAA approved facitlity. Based on mileage it seemed like a good thing to do. However, there was no improvement in the vehicle performance at any level. As for flushing the brake fluid, do that whenever your next brake job is to be done.

While the factory recommends draining and refilling the brake fluid with each brake job, I've only done it once. That occurred a year and a half ago after upgrading my rear drum brakes to rear disc. The braking system has always worked well (even the master cylinder on my car is original). To be fair, however, the reasoning for replacing the brake fluid is to maintain its peak efficiency under the pressure and heat it is rated for. It is expected to diminish over time so that braking can be compromised (to some degree at least). I've never noticed a problem in that regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
The car's a manual trans and shifts fine, FWIW.
The thought had crossed my mind that you could've had an M/T. Oh well......so much the better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
For some reason, the oil change took them 7.5 hours and was still on the lift when I showed up the other day. I had scheduled an appointment at that AAA car care center several days in advance. Not saying there was an issue encountered, but I was told an hour when I had dropped it off.
It takes me about 90 minutes to 2 hours for an oil change at home. This is includes getting the car lifted, the job itself, inspection and clean up. 7.5 hours on a hoist for an oil change is unusual to say the least. As a point of information, I used to work at an independent repair facility which was AAA approved. My manager would've never let an oil change job remain on a lift for anywhere near that amount of time no matter how much inspection took place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
I just had it towed back to the facility that changed the oil. When I hear back, I'll post here. It's hard to imagine some catastrophic leak developing out of no where on this car given the maintenance and performance history.
My thoughts would be the same as yours presently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
Anything's possible, I suppose.
And, yup, this is also true...oi vey...

...
276,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 11-22-2017, 02:55 PM   #7
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2006 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Just got off phone with shop who apologized and said the filter gasket was defective. They cleaned the parts off and replaced filter and oil.

Does this sound like a bs way to say they left the old gasket on?

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Old 11-22-2017, 04:06 PM   #8
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2004 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

Check the oil filter cap very carefully for a crack. Those plastic caps are very easy to crack due to heat, age and improper torque. (Too tight) will crack them.

GM has a kit that has a new cap, filter and a Quality gasket. I've never seen an aftermarket gasket that can compare to the GM gasket. The GM gasket is superior as it is much thicker.

...
2004 L-Series Wagon 2.2
2004 L-Series Wagon 2.2
2004 L-Series Wagon 3.0

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Old 11-22-2017, 04:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2.2L Oil Pressure Light + Leak

^Valid points made in the above post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
Just got off phone with shop who apologized and said the filter gasket was defective. They cleaned the parts off and replaced filter and oil.
It appears that the shop is being responsible. Strictly speaking, our oil filters have no gasket on them. There is a large o-ring seal on the oil cap which should be replaced at each filter change. It is impossible to place two o-rings on the filter cap. If they're referring to the o-ring then I have no idea how it can be defective. They've always fit just fine on my car whether it was from Fram, Wix, or K&N. What brand of filter and seal did this shop use? This would be useful to know.

Please ask the shop where this particular gasket is located and how they determined that it was defective. Frankly, this seems odd to me, but they may be misusing the word gasket for seal. Even if they'd failed to replace the o-ring and simply by accident left the old one it, in all likelihood, there would have been no leak. (I have used the same o-ring seals for more than one oil change.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam22 View Post
Does this sound like a bs way to say they left the old gasket on?
As someone responding from a few thousand miles away, I'd be tempted to think that the seal wasn't installed in the first place.

...
276,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 11-22-2017 at 04:16 PM..

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