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Old 10/25/2010, 08:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine Oil Leak (00 RS)

My car is a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS. Ok, so I had my oil changed at firestone and they told me that I had an oil leak. I cleaned off the oil from my engine and have been driving it for approximately a week now and cannot determine the exact location of the leak. I see some wetness on one of the circles on the lower part of the engine (I'm unsure of what those are but they are just below the head gasket I believe). In addition, I have some oil on the lower rearward portion of the timing belt housing and surrounding engine parts. I believe my engine is an interference engine and am slightly worried I might do some harm to it if I keep driving it. Are my fears unfounded? Would this be something that I (and my friends who are much more mechanically minded than I am) would be able to fix? Is it something that I should even bother fixing? What could be leaking (head gasket?)? Any help is appreciated.

My next course of action is going to be to take the timing belt housing off and inspect the timing belt, and check the spark plugs for undue dampness.

Before Cleaning:


After Cleaning:




Last edited by GB Trey; 10/26/2010 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 10/25/2010, 08:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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pictures always help. so we are all on the same page.
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Old 10/25/2010, 11:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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pictures always help. so we are all on the same page.



And yes, your engine is an interference engine.
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Old 10/26/2010, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, you have an interference engine, but an oil leak is not a concern as far as that goes. Oil got there one of two ways. 1 - it ran down to there from somewhere else. 2 - your crankshaft or camshaft seal has gone. If you see oil other places, then it's probably #1.

If you're worried about your headgasket, look for oil in your coolant and coolant in your oil. Changing both is a pretty simple procedure.
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Old 10/26/2010, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Pictures are up.

How would I tell if I had a coolant-oil mixture?
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Old 10/26/2010, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like the gasket behind your header is bad.
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Old 10/26/2010, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Looks like the gasket behind your header is bad.
It does have a small exhaust leak, but I was told that was minor and not worth repairing.
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Old 10/26/2010, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It almost looks like oil is going into it though the way that there is build up right around the outside and the bolt...I could be wrong, I'm no engine tech.
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Old 10/26/2010, 03:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It almost looks like oil is going into it though the way that there is build up right around the outside and the bolt...I could be wrong, I'm no engine tech.
honestly, from the pictures that IS kinda what it looks like... almost like he is getting oil into his cylinders from bad valve seals, and since his exhaust gasket is dead, it is leaking out there. stranger things have happened.

any, that gasket is easy as pie to replace. you take the bolts off the exhaust manifold, and the bracket (look down, you will see it) that holds the manifold on. then remove the old gasket, put the new one in, and put it all back together.

it is a 2 beer job at most.
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Old 10/26/2010, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If that was the case how would I tell?

My gasket isn't totally shot, it is an extremely minor exhaust leak.

Also, I didn't do an extremely good job cleaning my engine (the stuff I used was like 5 years old), and so some of that buildup was there since the beginning.
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Old 10/26/2010, 07:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Some of it looks wet in the picture though..it does appear that at one time or another it leaked from that gasket and thats where the build up is...
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Old 10/26/2010, 07:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Some of it looks wet in the picture though..it does appear that at one time or another it leaked from that gasket and thats where the build up is...
Would oil actually leak from there though? Or is there another leak somewhere else as well? Is that a large enough problem to warrant replacement (particularily immediate replacement)?
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Old 10/26/2010, 08:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There'd have to be a leak somewhere else. Scarr suggested that bad valve seals causes a leak into your cylinders.
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Old 10/26/2010, 08:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There'd have to be a leak somewhere else. Scarr suggested that bad valve seals causes a leak into your cylinders.
So should I check inside where the spark plugs are? Perhaps remove one to see if it is coated in oil?
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Old 10/26/2010, 09:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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wouldn't hurt. you want to look at everything you can easily get to. and see what is going on. do you burn oil? (does it go down over time)
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