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oil leak with no puddles?

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Old 06 Jan 2011, 03:32 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Default oil leak with no puddles?

This problem has slowly been getting worse. There seems to be an oil leak, but there are no puddles in my garage, and there is no smoke in the exhaust, which means it only leaks when driving? I'm no expert but I'd like to understand where it is leaking.

First symptom:
Right around 3000 miles after an oil change, the oil light on the dash comes on momentarily during heavy braking or tight turns.

2nd symptom:
It was time for an oil change, but I didn't get to it before I went on vacation for 2 and a half weeks. When I got back, I went driving, and while the engine was idling, I noticed a sudden bubbling noise. I immediately shut off the engine and saw that the temperature gauge was reading high, but not in the red. I checked the oil level, which turned out to be so low that no oil could be seen on the dipstick. I bought some oil and put it in to the "max" line, and it seemed to fix the problem, but the temperature still climbed when idling for more than a few minutes. It dropped back to normal when I started driving.

3rd symptom:
I noticed a couple weeks ago when turning into a parking space that I had left a trail of something and a spot on the pavement, which is still there. I thought it might have been power steering fluid, because I know I have a small leak there, but I guess maybe it was oil?

4th symptom: I did the last oil change myself. When putting the oil drain plug back in, it just spun, so the threads had been stripped at some point. Hoping it was the plug and not the pan, I replaced the plug, which tightened up this time.

Any ideas?
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Old 06 Jan 2011, 04:13 pm
Wishbone's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 64
Default Re: oil leak with no puddles?

I was 2 qrts. low on oil with just minor spots of oil on the garage floor. Turned out to be the oil pressure sensor was leaking pretty bad. Replaced it and it's been fine.
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Old 06 Jan 2011, 04:22 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501
Default Re: oil leak with no puddles?

There are ultraviolet dyes that can be put in the oil to see where it's leaking from.
Your symptom # 2 points to the engine fan not working - unrelated to oil leak.
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Old 08 Jan 2011, 01:50 am
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Default Re: oil leak with no puddles?

Thanks for the replies. It looks like it may be the oil pan gasket going bad. There is oil all over the bottom of the pan.

You were right on the fan, quicksilver. I did some more research, put 12V to the fan connector, and nada. Good call.
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