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The Leak Continues--------------

This is a discussion on The Leak Continues-------------- within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Alright my Hot Shot buddies! A big hello to all you again..... My dead TA Bird continues with more diagnostic ...

  1. #1
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Post The Leak Continues--------------

    Alright my Hot Shot buddies!

    A big hello to all you again..... My dead TA Bird continues with more diagnostic troubleshooting necessities. I'm feeling like a regular on this board. I need the accumulate brains of your thoughts to figure out what to do with this bird. I'm looking to save this bird rather than trading it in for another vehicle, like an Eclipse, to cut my losses. Bare with me for this post is long in the description.

    Let me give you an update first from the that thread titled "Leakinnnnnnng."

    I purchased a silver 2000 Trans Am from a used car lot 5 weeks ago.

    Brought it back to their mechanic for a rear squeak; they changed the rear polyurethane extensions.

    Brought it back a second time for more than a week where they fixed the engine oil leak by replacing oil pan gasket and rear engine seal. To do that job, they had to pull out the engine.

    Picked the vehicle and have drove it for 5 days without noticing any leaks, then Check Engine Light comes on.

    Today when I pulled it out of the driveway, I saw the fucken leak again. Son of a bitch! The Used Car warranty is up so I have to deal with it on my own this time.

    I was thinking that if it's the oil from the engine seal again, there is no freakin way this vehicle can be saved.

    Okay boys and girls, I didn't drive the vehicle today and have pulled it up a ramp, took photos of the areas, degreased the underside big time, gave the vehicle a complete wash upside and downside.... and waiting for your suggestions to diagnose.

    Let me point out some things so that you can assist me.

    From a visual and a touch inspection, I can't tell what oil it is.
    Photo #1:

    From this photo of the oil pan/gasket, looks like the mechanic did a proper job putting it back on, I don't see a leak though it seems like whatever oil is penetrating the pan. That white shit must be the gasket putty he used.

    I asked the mechanic when I picked up the vehicle if there were any issues I should be concern about. He mentioned the Rack and Pinion. Despite he saw that was the case, the owner of that used car lot was not about to let him work on it for he has lost money from the repair on this used vehicle if you get my drift.

    Here's the deal, inspection of the oil could be steering fluid.... it's dark looking, especially from the fact that it has never been flush. Could that be? Steering fluid is typically clear. I did remember adding more fluid when I took the vehicle home the first time.

    Some of these images are not clear though I used a flash for the photo.... mind you, it was dark underneath that vehicle at 5 pm while the sun was still out. The camera didn't have a point of focus until flash went off. Here are the rest of the photos:


    In the following photo, look at the little drip of oil on the tip of that bolt. Can steering fluid get to there without traveling down the engine somehow?


    In the following photo, I think the oil is coming out of there.... can it really come out of there between the joint of the steering column? I have purchased a TA manual on CD already but it has not arrived int he mail.


    This is a wider and better view detailing and marking all the point of underside oil absorbtion. Both of the plastic sleeves are absorb with oil.


    Alright partners, what do you think? I have it clean and ready to fire up to find the leak. It's still on the ramp. Should I fire it up and let it idle on the ramp, or should I take it for a spin and then upramp? If it's coming from the pinion, oil will not be force out unless I turn the the steering wheel?

    By the way, if oil is coming out of the pinion, would a check engine light come up? Hmmmmm? I forgot to check the steering fluid today. I have had not luck with borrowing a code reader from Autozone while waiting for my own to arrive in the mail. Last note buddies, I purchased Belt Dressing because of a squeal from the belt. Squeal comes when engine is not warmed up...... at any rate, that dressing did not do shit to stop the squeal. Any suggestions? When I stopped at Autozone, I did by R-134 Refrigerant to charge up the AC. Good news is that the AC Recharged and worked likes new on top of all these fucken problems!!!

    I don't think I can deal with the Rack and Pinion at home if it's that. What are your thoughts?

    Looking for all or any advices my brothers!

    Thank you in advance for saving this dying bird!
    Matt

  2. #2
    ArtistFormerlyKnownAsMac Silver Streak's Avatar
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    After checking your fluids, I would take it around the block a few times making sure you turn both ways several times.. make sure its up to norm temps as well. then ramp it back and see the result. And AutoZone/Advance won't let you BORROW their scanner.. but they will hook it up there and print off the codes you are showing.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Danger731's Avatar
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    Oil can get anywhere from blow by, with a wind current it is hard to tell the source.

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    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Will do as suggested

    In an hour or so, I will let the engine idle for 15 to do a check. If that does not show, I will drive it around and do as you suggest. Shit, the Autozone over here permits you to take the scanner home given the fact that you have a C Card and an ID. Idiots over here drive away with it I guess.... they don't print over.

    Will give you an update soon.

    Thanks man,
    Matthew
    Quote Originally Posted by KITTvsKARR View Post
    After checking your fluids, I would take it around the block a few times making sure you turn both ways several times.. make sure its up to norm temps as well. then ramp it back and see the result. And AutoZone/Advance won't let you BORROW their scanner.. but they will hook it up there and print off the codes you are showing.

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    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Far left to Far Right of Pinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Danger731 View Post
    Oil can get anywhere from blow by, with a wind current it is hard to tell the source.
    I agree, thus the Dudes on this forum and I didn't quite know where the leak was coming from the first time around since it was from the rear engine seal.

    But as I see it, if it's coming out of the pinion (majority of the connection on driver's side).... why would it also be on the far right around the pinion sleeve. Maybe the whole pinion is damn. I'll give you word when I check it out in an hour....

    Thanks man,
    Matt

  6. #6
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Red face Leak Inspection Diagnose

    Hey there,

    I fired up the vehicle, took it out for a spin at very low speed to avoid oil leakage blow by for the diagnose. I'm feeling a little relief if it is steering fluid, but not 100% sure. I took and diagramed the pictures for your review.

    It's a not revealing freakin leak. I don't know what it's called, but that underside carriage is blocking off the leak reveal. I don't think it's the engine seal that the mechanic replaced. Check it out:


    That was a difficult shot and not clear of the oil drip on the carriage. Very minor since it is collecting in the carriage. I'm swaying away from thinking it's engine oil though there is a 50% chance the mechanic did not do a proper on the engine seal / gasket. I can be a combination of engine oil and steering fluid which is throwing me off big time.





    The underside of the rack and pinion is very clean here.


    Alright men, what do you think?



    Well ..... appreciate your opinions and what you have to say and we will take it from their I guess.

    Matttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
    Last edited by matthewaqui; 09-03-2007 at 01:44 PM.

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    KWK N NUF TheKitchenSink's Avatar
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    I think this thread has helped me, I just had my trans removed to have a stall put in and now I notice a small leak, seems like its coming from between the trans and the rear of the engine. The drips are collecting on the head of the oil pan bolts like yours. I will have to have them check the rear seal! It isn't leaking a lot, a drop or so a day.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KyleLs1's Avatar
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    man if i were you i would go back to the place you bought the car and tell them the leak they "fixed" under warranty, isn't fucking fixed and you want it taken care of. They should warranty their own work for a period of time so if they fixed something and it was done incorrectly... they should fix it properly.

    Sounds to me like you are getting fucked and if it were me... i would have the car back there and you can bet your ass they would either repair it or i would become their worst nightmare.

  9. #9
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Unhappy More on a Helpful Forum Thread

    Glad this thread has helped you. I was sure that it would help many given the fact that there are so many gaskets and seals in the engine that one leak can screw you over big time. You have an unrevealed leak it looks like. Try to get that taken care of right away. To help you even more, check out the engine seal thread and the pics. It is a devastating underside mess you will have on your hand in no time if you don't deal with it:

    Leakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkking--------LS Assistance

    Good luck and read the whole thread. Members of this forum gave me good advice and tips.

    Matthew

    Quote Originally Posted by TheKitchenSink View Post
    I think this thread has helped me, I just had my trans removed to have a stall put in and now I notice a small leak, seems like its coming from between the trans and the rear of the engine. The drips are collecting on the head of the oil pan bolts like yours. I will have to have them check the rear seal! It isn't leaking a lot, a drop or so a day.

  10. #10
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Screwed from the Beginning

    Hey Kyle,

    After you reading your advice, I will consider giving that place hell. I would be at a fucken big loss trading this in towards a new vehicle.... fixing it would cost my ass..... Just a little fucked and pissed at the moment going through all these problems one after the next. I have to read that used car contract over again.... evidently I had 30 days on transmission and engine where I would of had to pay 50% of the cost of service.. though I lucked out and didn't have to pay shit.

    I am more pissed that it's fucked up vehicle from the get go.... if it had problems after a year then it would have been no big shit.

    Mattttttttttttttttttttt

  11. #11
    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    It looks to me like it's leaking oil where the timing cover meets the oil pan. No gasket there, must be sealed with silicone gasket maker. Mine leaked pretty good for a while from there and it dripped on the steering rack like yours. It can be hard to seal properly. I had mine apart twice before getting it right. I believe the key is cleaning the cover/oil pan good with brake cleaner and letting the silicone dry overnight before starting the engine. It's really not that hard to do yourself.

  12. #12
    tattoo artist,esquire sic2001's Avatar
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    Leaks are hard but if its running good no need to panic. Buy a couple different color dyes and put them in power steering and engine. A rack is pretty easy but a little time consuming and remanafatured are under 100.00 Im pretty sure. Dont get too frustrated, stick with it and be NICE to the dealership and mechanic and get your cause to be their cause. Have you done the obvious and tightened all the connection to the steering rack?

  13. #13
    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    Whatever you do don't go tightening the oil pan bolts. The front ones are very thin and break very easy if overtorqued.

  14. #14
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Very Deceiving-----------

    Bare with me for I'm giving you the low down in this posting.

    I'm going to make a mental note of this suggestion from you. This leak is so deceiving for I'm racking my brain for visual inspection. After I degreased the bottom side Sunday night, spent Monday morning running the engine for the leak... there were very minor visual leakage if any at all. Today, I came out of work at break and inspected for leak, pick up the children after work and inspected again... then coming home and inspected again..... there were no leaks.

    I sat at work and read up on the Used vehicle Lemon law and thought about how I would approach the used vehicle lot on this matter, for they are not happy about losing time and money on this vehicle. I don't know if I should be relieve from not seeing any more leaks or not. It be stupid for me to bring the vehicle back to that lot and they don't find any visual leaks. The trip to Los Angeles is very time consuming, despite the bumper to bumper traffic and finding someone to pick me up and drop me off. I guess this is how people get drepressed and hang themselves hahahah!!!!

    The Trans Am Cd Manual and Code Reader arrived in the mail today. I ordered it off of EBAY. On top of this investment, I also have already done the exhaust on the vehicle. Even for the dealership to buy it back where I would purchase a different vehicle from them, I would be at a lost.. but then again, who is to say that I will not end up picking out another Lemon. A month ago when I purchased the vehicle, I almost ended up purchasing a Ram Air hood. Thank God I didn't.

    The timing seal and gasket certainly can be done by myself if that's the case. Twice over done should not be ruled out.... and that was on my mind about the mechanic not installing the rear seal properly.

    Listen, do you believe that the mechanic had to take the timing cover out when pulling the engine to do the rear engine seal? I have done a very thorough inspection of his work and everything seemed to be on right and tight with many silicone gasket maker at the connections.

    Thanks for the kind advice in this thread......I kept in mind to title this thread "Leak" so others can quickly find it for their own problems. So far, some people have made use of this thread knowledge base already.

    Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
    It looks to me like it's leaking oil where the timing cover meets the oil pan. No gasket there, must be sealed with silicone gasket maker. Mine leaked pretty good for a while from there and it dripped on the steering rack like yours. It can be hard to seal properly. I had mine apart twice before getting it right. I believe the key is cleaning the cover/oil pan good with brake cleaner and letting the silicone dry overnight before starting the engine. It's really not that hard to do yourself.

  15. #15
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Thumbs up No Tightening Needed

    Alright!!! I checked the oil pan for the mechanic did replace that gasket when replacing the rear engine seal. I'll remember this about those bolts for the future.

    Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
    Whatever you do don't go tightening the oil pan bolts. The front ones are very thin and break very easy if overtorqued.

  16. #16
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Never Easy

    Super advice.... I am relief that it's running and the leak for some odd reason has dissipated. Tightening is the easiest fix... no leaks coming from the tube connections. It's never that easy... always the hard way. I'll email you Christian!!!

    Matthew

    Quote Originally Posted by sic2001 View Post
    Leaks are hard but if its running good no need to panic. Buy a couple different color dyes and put them in power steering and engine. A rack is pretty easy but a little time consuming and remanafatured are under 100.00 Im pretty sure. Dont get too frustrated, stick with it and be NICE to the dealership and mechanic and get your cause to be their cause. Have you done the obvious and tightened all the connection to the steering rack?

  17. #17
    Epic Fail: 12mpg 3.4 B34M3R's Avatar
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    Your best bet is definately the dye... Go to your autoparts store and ask them for UV dye... and then pick up a UV penlight....

    Since its most likely PS fluid, put some dye in that first, wait a little while, and then check it with the UV penlight... if nothing shows up then, drive it normally, and check it the next day... If still nothing, then move on to putting the dye in the oil, and repeat the process.

    If you do find the dye coming out, try to find it at its highest point... then you will be very close to the source... on a relatively small leak like this, wind doesn't get much of an opurtunity to blow it up further in the engine bay... just around a little bit.

    Also, looking for the leak will actually be easier in the dark/semi-dark.

    And that was finding a leak 101 by B34M3R

    And that mech sucks for not finding said leak, because thats pretty much the standard proceedure for mechanics.

  18. #18
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Post Dye For a Leak 101- Hahahahahaha

    Thanks for the schooling on the dye. Good stuff their man! I'm going to make a note of it... I'm keeping a constant watch on this leak issue, though I'm because it's not leaking right now. I'm thinking that my washing of the underside somehow sealed up that minor leak....

    That mechanic limited his work. Honestly, he is a nice guy. Since the vehicle was under warranty, I flashed him a $40 when dropping off for the engine seal.......told him to take care of my vehicle and keep it clean for the engine seal repair and gave him another $40 tip when I picked it up. Damn sucker left my windows down while working on it for a week... the insider was dusty. I brought it back the first time for rear extension and alignment, second for oil seal..... that leak and all the repair should have been taken care of the first time.... thus, I concluded they limit their repair.

    Once I took my Saturn in for rear struts and drum replacement.. next day I drove it with a buring brake smell. Took the rear tires off for inspection and fixed their screwed up job. The drum kit assembly spring came loose and released the brake shoe against the drum. After paying $1000 for that job, you would think the idiots would get it done right. I did it myself for it would be a hassle dropping that Saturn off again.

    Your posting of the Dye 101 will be useful for other members searching for a "Leak."

    Thanks man!
    Matthew

    I lose alot of faith in these mechanics......I know they are human, but what they do is their livelyhood and should be professionals at it.
    Quote Originally Posted by B34M3R View Post
    Your best bet is definately the dye... Go to your autoparts store and ask them for UV dye... and then pick up a UV penlight....

    Since its most likely PS fluid, put some dye in that first, wait a little while, and then check it with the UV penlight... if nothing shows up then, drive it normally, and check it the next day... If still nothing, then move on to putting the dye in the oil, and repeat the process.

    If you do find the dye coming out, try to find it at its highest point... then you will be very close to the source... on a relatively small leak like this, wind doesn't get much of an opurtunity to blow it up further in the engine bay... just around a little bit.

    Also, looking for the leak will actually be easier in the dark/semi-dark.

    And that was finding a leak 101 by B34M3R

    And that mech sucks for not finding said leak, because thats pretty much the standard proceedure for mechanics.

  19. #19
    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthewaqui View Post
    Listen, do you believe that the mechanic had to take the timing cover out when pulling the engine to do the rear engine seal?

    Matt
    He didn't have to take the cover off to mess up the seal. If he changed the oil pan gasket that could have done it. Timing cover meets the oil pan, silicone in between.

  20. #20
    Member matthewaqui's Avatar
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    Post Diagram it for me Boss

    Hey 2001 TA..... thanks for the 411 on that. It is driving me nutz not seeing a single drop of fluid leakage. I check the underside every single time I've parked for the past 3 days. I guess being nice to your vehicle and cleaning its underside has rewards ahahahaha...

    Shit.... I just received my service manual from Ebay and download another parts manual through a link from one of our friendly neighborhood LS1 members.... I would like to see or understand what you are referring to where the pan gasket meets the timing cover...... do you have pictures you can send or an exact diagram so I don't have to get lost looking? That area is in a non revealing place very difficult for visual inspection.

    Thanks Man!!! Really appreciate your assist on this matter.

    Matthew

    Quote Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
    He didn't have to take the cover off to mess up the seal. If he changed the oil pan gasket that could have done it. Timing cover meets the oil pan, silicone in between.

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