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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I have an oil leak from under my S4, it tends to only do it when it's ticking over and warm, but it will drop a few ml of oil. I have had it on axle stands and had a look, but nothing obvious. Before I spend more time on my back on the cold concrete, I thought I would tap into you guys knowledge to see if there are any standard places they leak from.
If it helps the last point of the oil run before it drops is on the outside back (gearbox end) of the sump, roughly in line with the sump plug.

Any ideas?
 

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How bad a leak?
oil at back of sump can be a few things...it might be leaking from higher up.
First and easiest check is the cam cover at the back, put your finger over the 2 half moon rubbers and see if there is fresh oil there. If so replace gasket and 2 half moons. A leak there would run down the back of the engine and appear as though it was a head gasket or sump gasket leak.
It could be the head gasket leaking from the back (inspect the back of the head carefully with a good torch for fresh oil)
If it indeed is dripping out at the back of the sump (check for big drips of fresh oil on the 2 rearmost upper sump bolts) it might be the 2 cigarette plugs or seals on the rear crankshaft block.
If the bottom of the bellhousing is wet it could be the rear crankshaft oil seal or even the gearbox oil seal (gearbox oil smells quite different to engine oil)
Or indeed it might be the upper sump gasket itself.

You could clean off the oily area with brake cleaner and put some detection dye in the engine oil (something like this: Leak Dye for engine coolant - Tecalemit Garage Equipment Ltd - Tecalemit Garage Equipment spares, ) which when you shine a UV light on it, shows bright green where the oil is escaping.
 

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I agree with spiderserie4, that a leak detection kit (dye and UV light) is well worth your money.

These cars can have you chasing leaks forever.

Can you post a picture of where the drip is?

There are a lot of places where our cars can leak oil unfortunately.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well tomorrow with a torch and a camera (and warm clothes) I will do further investigation, I thought it was just Land Rovers that marked their territory!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
More info, Put the S4 on the ramps and started it, after about 2 mins a black splodge appeared on the ground, the circle of oil after about 5 mins was 5cm across. The weird thing was it stopped then as the engine was warm. I left it another hour ran it again and no leak. After more investigation and getting fingers and torches into places they were not designed to I think I have traced it to a nut/seal on the back of the block (just below the cam level with the manifold). I have attached some photos. The nut is in the 2nd photo and is the middle of the picture just above the manifold joint.

I think the nut is something to do with removal of the crank or something alike. I hope its just a nut with a o-ring on. Any comments on what the nut is and if it is a common leak point. I will start the car tomorrow again whilst cold to see if it leaks again.
 

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you are talking about that huge mother of a bolt on the block, arrowed in this photo, I guess? I have never seen that leak and I am not so sure there is even oil behind it. I thought that was water! :confused:
Obviously you have an oil leak too coming down on the exhaust side, but the leak from that huge bolt looks clean and green like antifreeze, and the leak in the other photo definitely looks like (dirty!) oil...........I would check higher up, back of the cam cover first (especially the 2 half moon rubbers at the very back of the cams), then, if that is dry (run your fingers around the back) go down a level to the head gasket and do the same.

I sure hope there is not a crack somewhere in the block or head!
Before you atart it up in the morning, spray the whole area with brake cleaner from the top then below - it will evaporate off, then you can start her and you ought to see a fresh stream ...and a stream is the right word...that is a bad leak, either way you look at it!:(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think I have found it, looks like its weeping from the corner of the head gasket, the last owner had the head off last year, reading the manual it says the head needs to be re-tightened after 1100 miles. As a first remedy I have gone through the re-tightening process, started the engine and no leak, not getting too excited as I will try it again tomorrow.
If it is the head gasket, then its not to bad, could of been worse I supposed:eek:
 

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I think I have found it, looks like its weeping from the corner of the head gasket
Hopefully that works.

You may already know this, but since its leaking from the rear left, and you are doing a cold re-torque, did you:

1. Fully remove the nut to oil the threads prior to re torquing?
2. Torque to 65ft/lbs cold?

You could also follow this sequence provided by papajam to leave the left rear nut last:

8 5 2 3 9
7 4 1 6 10

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Vin,
Thanks i did, released the bolts first then re-torqued, tested again today and all OK :cheese: next challenge remove the sump plug :(
 

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good news!

removing the sump plug to change oil? then get a new copper washer for this (clean off any metal filings on the magnet with brake cleaner and a rag) and always use a new filter (bit of a swine to get your hands in there to twist that old filter off, it can be a real pig if someone has overtightened it before you! When you put it back just a thin film of clean engine oil on the filter rubber sealing ring and a good hand tight does the job perfectly. I use 20W/50 oil - our engines are over 20 years old and like thicker oil (Millers Classic, Comma classic, Castrol GTX or some other 20/50 grade..I have always used Duckhams but that has now gone out of production), so don't bother with all that super expensive synthetic stuff....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Half moons are fine, had a good a check and I am currently leak free, oil pressure not brill at tickover but by all accounts this is normal. Next job the removal of the 4 tonnes of underseal.
 
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