oil leak - possibilities - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 09-03-10 Thread Starter
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oil leak - possibilities

after pulling out of my driveway this morning, i noticed a small oil leak on the floor underneath where the car was parked
i was slightly worried,because this would appear that to my knowledge one of a couple of things:
a) the head gasket has or is on its way out
b) there is a crack somewhere
c) gasket not fitted correctly or at all on sump.

ive already had one new engine since buying the car in june last year due to a bottom end failure, and am a bit concerned because if the car has a leak, then presumably this would mean that the oil pressure is reduced when car is running, leading to cams getting starved of oil (not what i want!!!!)
it is the first time i have noticed a leak, but in the last month or so, the tappity noise that sounds like the cams rattling is appearing on start up then seems to fade after about 10-15seconds as if the oil is then lubricating them or something.

i've checked the inside of the filler cap - can't see any white sludge or anything, + my heating is still working fine which, when a head gasket has gone on me in the past, always fails, so can i count this out?

Can't see any cracks neither, which leads me to believe i am missing a gasket.
now for the questions.

the car has full a.r.s.h

1. how many gaskets does the car have on the sump, 1 or 2?
2. could my oil pump need replacing due to the tappety noise on start up
3. what else could cause the leak

i appreciate your responses
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There are no gaskets on the sump! It's fitted with a silicone(?) sealant. (Having said that, there is one on the box thing that sticks out the back of it).

Tappety noise is probably the variator.

Any idea of where the leak is relative to the engine? front/back/left/right?

Keep an eye on the level, and see how much it's losing before worrying. It's unlikely to be the head gasket.
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As said above, try to localize the leak. Park on a clean spot in the evening and check in the morning under what part of the engine is the leak. It can be more difficult if you have undertray, it can me dripping of it.

Most probably not the headgasket. Don’t panic; try to rule out the simple things first. Like the sump plug for example. Most garages don’t change its washer and it can fail. My car was also leaking on the place where dipstick enters the block. It can come from crankshaft seals... you need to localize it. And keep your eye on oil level to see how much is it loosing.

And make sure its engine oil. It can be power steering fluid as well, pretty common. Or gearbox oil...

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Do not forget that if the under tray is in place it will mask where the oil is coming from
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Check the oil filter seal, give it a turn to see if it tightens...
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Most TS engines will leak from the rocker cover at the timing belt end, next it's the same gasket from the gearbox end.
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cheers for the replies.
Parked on clean spot overnight, checked this morning and small puddle (20ml-30ml max) on floor.

Definitely not the oil filter seal, pretty sure its as Smaky said and coming from the timing belt end of the rocker.
not going to be able to get it done 'til w/end due to work, but i always check my levels just about every day anyway, (i carry a 4 litre bottle of oil in the boot all the time!) so the dipstick is always at max.

Just an afterthought though....if the oil is always at max on the dipstick, could i have maybe put slightly too much in the car for the gasket to go under the timing belt side, and would it be worthwhile changing the one on the gearbox side at the same time?
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leak , oil , possibilities

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