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Oil leak?

bordsourcebordsource Posts: 95
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
I need help. I added a quart of oil to our 1997
T&C (3.3 V-6, FWD, 78000 miles) last week on
Thursday, I believe. Well, I checked it again today
because I smelled oil burning. It was a
half-quart low. The van has only been driven 300
miles or so at max since I added the oil.
Realistically, it's probably more like 200 miles.
The car doesn't leave oil on the ground, and it
doesn't smoke. The engine block, however, is oily.
The van has always had an appetite for fuel- a
quart about every 1500 miles- but never like this.
Am I making a mountain out of a molehill, or do I
have a serious problem here?


  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Sounds like what might be happening is it's leaking out somewhere, like maybe the valve cover gasket, then touching the exhaust manifold and burning. If it's just the valve cover gasket, that's not too expensive. And a quart of fuel every 1500 miles? Wow, that's great mileage :) And yes, oil leakage at this rate IS a problem.
  • bordsourcebordsource Posts: 95
    Hey, one quart of fuel every 1500 miles- I sure do wish. LoL! With gas prices up to $1.80 here in KC, it's ridiculous! We bought this thing because it supposedly got better gas mileage than the Grand Cherokee that we traded in, which was just awful with fuel. Well, surprise, surprise, the van isn't much better (14-16 in the city).
  • ghook1ghook1 Posts: 1
    In first month and 1500 miles I noticed a drop in oil level. Had oil changed early at 1600 miles. After another 3000 miles I needed to add a quart. Had dealer check it apparent leaks. They tell me to drive it until 10,000 mile mark and they will determine what course of action required if problem contiues or becomes worse. Spoke with Mazda and they seemed very interested in problem until they contacted dealr who stated "oil consumption does not seem excessive". Thoughts on this?
  • gle_hellegle_helle Posts: 7
    I have a '93 VW Fox that is leaking coolant and oil. I had this problem before, so my dealer replaced the head and valve cover gaskets. It's been about 2 years and 40,000 miles since then, and it looks like I have the same leak. Is this the normal life of a head gasket? Any suggestions of what else might be causing the problem? Can I ignore this for a while until I get a new car? For how long? Any help would be great! Thanks.

  • mwp2mwp2 Posts: 2
    My son owns a '94 cutlass 3.4L V-6. It has developed an oil leak I'm told is coming from the old distributor opening plug O-Ring. Very cosly repair since head removal is necessary. Any options/ideas out there?
  • I have a 1994 Cutlass Supreme w/a 3.1 Ltr motor that has a small oil leak that I haven't been able to identify the source. Where is "the old distributor hole" at on these motors...? And is it actually visible..?

    Thanks, John
  • mwp2mwp2 Posts: 2
    From what I understand the chronic leak is on the 3.4L . I'm not familiar with the 3.1. On the 3.4 it's on the drivers side rear of the motor under the throttle body, not really visible.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Most dealers will not consider oil use excessive until it exceed 1 quart in 1,200 miles. to me this is unacceptable but that it what they use. Keep documenting it, keep hounding them until they find the problem or replace. Should not even use a quart in 7,500 miles.
  • Thanks mwp2. The location you described (back side of motor on drivers side) seems to be a similar location to where my leak maybe coming from, I'll take a closer look...

    Thanks, John
  • jrt5jrt5 Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Grand Prix with the 3.4L that developed an oil leak. It was the oil pump drive o-ring (same as the distributor opening o-ring, I've been told). It is a major effort to fix - it cost about $1000 (dealer wanted $1700) - head removal required, etc. My mechanic blamed the engine design for the high cost - the 3.1 engine would have been about $300 for the same problem.
  • GM 's 3.1 or 2.8 engines are notorious for leaks around the oil pump drive which used to be the distributor on earlier models. With D.I.S. engines the distributor part is no longer needed but the oil pump shaft is still needed.
    This is directly beneath the throttle body on 3.1L engines & beneath the rear head on 3.4L engines.
    To repair the 3.1 remove the throttle body, It will be the round object with the U-shaped hold down. Remove this bolt & with a ssssmmmaaaallll pry bar and vise-grips and or channel lock pliers try to lift lightly under the lip while turning back & forth with the pliers. The complete unit is near a foot long. The o-ring near the top is the culprit, it dries & either shrinks or cracks with age. When replacing you can apply some silicone gasket compound under the lip to prevent failure longer - maybe.
    The 3.4L requires head removal to do it correctly but a possible fix would be to loosen the clamp on the round projection under the inner slope of the rear head on the drivers side. If you can lift it and apply sealant such as orange hi-tmp silicone "evenly" under the lip it may hold. The sealant should be left to dry overnight without using the vehicle -- make sure you tighten it down first.
  • john306 - Thanks for the insight, my 94 Olds Cutlass Supreme was purchased new by an older gentlemen who "almost never" drove it. I bought it one year ago (the car was nearly 6 years old) and it only had 1,600 miles on it (it was covered in his garage). He said he drove it about once every 2 - 3 weeks just enough to warm it up. I now have 9K on it, and my wife loves the vehicle, but I want to stop the leak, and then go to Synthetic oil.

    I was concerned about leaks in all areas, but the engine is the only leak, and it is only a drop or two per day, but I want to get it fixed. I'll take a look at it this weekend and see if it looks like something I want to tackle. From your note, it really doesn't seem to bad.

    Thanks, John
  • I am considering purchasing this car for $4,500.
    Garaged, elderly woman drove it, children selling for her. Very nice. Driven only 2-3 times a week.
    Loaded options.
    I own all fords(no comments pls)so don't know this design/motor, etc.
    Any comments? what to look for? good year for this car? etc. Please tell me all you know. Thanks.
  • I'm responding to the post about possible purchase of a 1989 Cutlass Supreme. Two years ago we bought a 1986 model w/61K for our 17 year old's first car. The owner had died, widow was selling it. We changed the belts & hoses, got new front shocks, etc. Eight months after we bought it, it needed a new transmission (probably 70K). Since then it's needed a new alternator, radiator,& motor mounts. We keep putting money into it for these reasons: insurance is fairly low on a car like this for a teenage kid, it's a lot of heavy metal, and he smokes in the car and isn't the neatest "housekeeper." The car is using a lot of oil now and the oil pan is leaking but he checks the oil regularly. He just made it over the Sierra Nevada from Sacramento to Reno and back.
  • situation: vehicle started to show check radiator lamp 2 months ago. dealer/garage could not id problem. Oil change 3 weeks ago, starting 2 weeks past rough idle till warm. degenerated to point where could not start on 1st try. drove to dealer for trade-in, could not crank after. checked oil dipstick found choc-milk substance, smells like gas. blown gasket for sure. questions: a). should garage have picked this up on last oil ch b). is engine siezed? if i drain it and refill w/oil, i could at least donate it to charity rather than salvage. Any ideas? thanks in adv.
  • My 91 dodge shadow often turn off while driving, and the "check engine"light is on. i have it checked, they said the gasket must be replaced, and it will cost 800-1000$.is the price reasonable?someone told me he replaced the gasket only for 150$.
  • I have a 1999 Ford E-350 van with a 5.4 liter V-8 engine . I have 65000 miles on it and it has developed an oil leak on the right side in the back of the engine. My mechanic is estimating 1000 dollar repair bill. Is there anyone else that has experienced a similar problem? I have changed oil every 3000 miles and have never had any other problems.
  • mike1313mike1313 Posts: 1
    GM uses the same engine block (at least for 1990 3.1L engines)that were designed for distributors as the newer ones w/ EFI. Obviously w/ EFI you don't have a distributor therefore GM use a plug to fill that hole. These are prone to leak & very expensive. I paid the dealership approximately $600 for this repair. Also, it does not appear to be visible without major effort.
This discussion has been closed.