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Oil/Fluid leak onto serpentine belts, 2003 N/A, 115,000 miles

 
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Old 17 Nov 2012, 02:26 pm
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Default Oil/Fluid leak onto serpentine belts, 2003 N/A, 115,000 miles

Hello all,

Did a lot of searches and can't find much on this.

A few weeks ago I had a nasty squall coming from my serpentine belt area. Thought originally it was just condensation. Went away on it's own and then came back. Looked in, noticed oil in the area, thought it was from last oil change. Foamed and pressure washed. Went away for a few weeks. Parked car for a few days and it returned, along with oil. I decided to tear into it...no harm since I'm thinking about a new vehicle anyway.

It's hard for me to tell where the leak starts, but it appears to be about two inches below where the star is. I really think it is motor oil, but I guess there's a possibility it could be coolant mixed in with oily residue.




So here's what I find:

There's a lot of oil around the intake manifold gasket. Looks like it may be oil dripping down the back of the intake manifold. Is that possible? Seems like I would have a lot of other problems.



I saw some other posts about scary things like leaking from the main seal, but this seems too high for that.

I'm going to replace the thermostat and manifold gaskets and see what happens.

Any help much appreciated, and I'll post back if I get it fixed.
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Last edited by engineerrock; 17 Nov 2012 at 02:29 pm.
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Old 17 Nov 2012, 02:38 pm
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Default Re: Oil/Fluid leak onto serpentine belts, 2003 N/A, 115,000 miles

Maybe is from the valve cover gasket
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Old 17 Nov 2012, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: Oil/Fluid leak onto serpentine belts, 2003 N/A, 115,000 miles

I was thinking leak from the valve cover too, but it was pretty clean with no fresh oil below.

I finished up this evening. I don't know if it's fixed or not. I thought I heard a little belt squeal but not much and it didn't last long.

I guess I'll watch the coolant tank to see if it's losing any. If it's not I'm thinking that was it since the tank was low before. I feel like a real newb to confuse coolant with oil, but I guess I wasn't expecting orange/brown coolant.

So here's some other learnings...


1. The replacement thermostat from Advance Auto does not come with a gasket! Had to make a second trip and install the gasket. Maybe a newbie mistake, but what a pain.

2. Said thermostat does not have a air vent valve. I lined it up the same way as the OEM. After I ran for ten minutes or so the overflow tank barfed up about two cups of fluid. Don't know if this was related or not.

3. Idle seems smoother with the new intake gaskets. Could be placebo effect. I like it anyway.

4. Going back together seemed a LOT easier than pulling it apart. Finding all the bolt locations and the right tool was hard as crammed in as everything is.

5. The shop manual is actually pretty helpful.

6. I learned why you disconnect the negative ground. The starter lug is not shielded. Glad I didn't have any gas around.

Here's what it looks like apart. The mounting bracket with the star is glossy black and always looks wet no matter what, so that could have fooled me.



Cheers!
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