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Old 01-13-2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Oil Leak, Only When Running

Okay, I've replaced both VCG's with no luck. They were both leaking as well, but I still have a leak somewhere. If it sits for an extended period of time without running, it doesn't leak, but if it's running to warm up or after it's been driven, before all the oil drains back into the pan, it'll leak on the driveway. This is about to drive me nuts, I can't stand oil leaks on the driveway.

Where do I turn next? It's on the passenger side, right behind the tire.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:22 AM   #2
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timing chain cover or upper oil pan (gasket)

My TC cover is leaking in the same manner. Very annoying to say the least!
Doesn't leak in the summer though
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:24 AM   #3
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timing chain cover or upper oil pan (gasket)

My TC cover is leaking in the same manner. Very annoying to say the least!
Doesn't leak in the summer though
I think it would be pretty easy to change the oil pan gasket, but I would think the timing chain cover would be a b!tch. Is there a gasket around the TC cover? If not, how the hell would you seal it up?
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:40 AM   #4
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I'm referring to the aluminum UPPER oil pan that is between the engine and the steel(black) oil pan to which you're probably reffering to. The TC cover has a gasket too IIRC.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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I'm referring to the aluminum UPPER oil pan that is between the engine and the steel(black) oil pan to which you're probably reffering to. The TC cover has a gasket too IIRC.
Yes, I figured that's what you were referring to, thanks for the clarification though.

Is there a resource anywhere that shows the best way to get the TC cover off? I can't find crap on here today.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:22 AM   #6
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throw a big piece of cardboard under the car after driving it for a while then without moving the car, look under to see exactly where the drip derives from. That can give ya a better idea if its the pan, pressure switch, etc...
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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throw a big piece of cardboard under the car after driving it for a while then without moving the car, look under to see exactly where the drip derives from. That can give ya a better idea if its the pan, pressure switch, etc...
I'll give that a shot.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #8
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lol, i assumed yo already checked the OPS
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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lol, i assumed yo already checked the OPS
Yes, that was the first thing to get checked/replaced, then the VCG's, now I'm just searching.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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m'kay
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:56 AM   #11
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With it being on the passenger side, I think the TC cover is a good guess, but I just can't find a good resource that says how hard it would be to remove and re-seal. It looks like a pain in the butt.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:01 PM   #12
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It has to be the oil pressure switch. I had to change mine awhile back. One small crack, and its ruind.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:03 PM   #13
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It has to be the oil pressure switch. I had to change mine awhile back. One small crack, and its ruind.
But, wouldn't it leak all the time if that was bad and not just when the car is running?
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:10 PM   #14
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Before you throw the cardboard under it. Spray some engine cleaner on the motor anywhere that oil is showing and then while it's running hose it off. That way you'll have a clean slate to follow the oil up the path to where it's coming from. leLet it warm up so the oil fills everywhere and the water dries on the block. Then throw the cardboard underneath. Sometimes it will run from the front of the motor to all the way in the back folloing a pipe or wire.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:13 PM   #15
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Before you throw the cardboard under it. Spray some engine cleaner on the motor anywhere that oil is showing and then while it's running hose it off. That way you'll have a clean slate to follow the oil up the path to where it's coming from. leLet it warm up so the oil fills everywhere and the water dries on the block. Then throw the cardboard underneath. Sometimes it will run from the front of the motor to all the way in the back folloing a pipe or wire.
Thanks, I'll do that. That's what's hard with these things is that the oil can travel a ways from where it's actually coming from. I hate to just keep throwing darts.

Still no one can tell me how hard it is to remove/reseal the TC cover??
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:11 PM   #16
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No, if it has a small crack, a small amount of oild can leak out because theres pressure going through the oils system, so it makes the oil leak out where it can. If you do so happen to check out your OPS, be careful, because I'm not 100% thats the problem. Be very careful with the OPS, because if your make one crack in it, you will need to buy a new one, there not expensive, but it gets annoying when your repace them, they just break.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:39 PM   #17
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Thanks, I'll do that. That's what's hard with these things is that the oil can travel a ways from where it's actually coming from. I hate to just keep throwing darts.

Still no one can tell me how hard it is to remove/reseal the TC cover??
It's not that hard, it's just a long and tedious job.

You'll have to remove the motor mount, accessories, belts, crank pulley, all that fun stuff in the way. Then it's a PITA to guide the front cover around the motor mount stud and get it in place without getting RTV everywhere.

Did you not search? I know for a fact I've covered the experience 2 or 3 times on the forums, as well as countless hundreds other explanations. Also, check Haynes and the FSM.

FWIW both oil pans and both timing covers use RTV, not traditional gaskets.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:19 PM   #18
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It's not that hard, it's just a long and tedious job.

You'll have to remove the motor mount, accessories, belts, crank pulley, all that fun stuff in the way. Then it's a PITA to guide the front cover around the motor mount stud and get it in place without getting RTV everywhere.

Did you not search? I know for a fact I've covered the experience 2 or 3 times on the forums, as well as countless hundreds other explanations. Also, check Haynes and the FSM.

FWIW both oil pans and both timing covers use RTV, not traditional gaskets.
Thanks, that's exactly what I was searching for but didn't come up with anything. Got a lot of hits for the timing chain rattle, but nothing on the cover.

I took a peak under it tonight and it might just be that pressure sending unit, there is a lot of oil around it anyway. Could it even spray a bit if there is a crack? Is there a certain procedure for putting those on that will keep it from being damaged? I have replaced it, but I must have either damaged it or it got damaged after that. Shouldn't there be a gasket around it too? Sure seems like metal on metal is just asking to leak.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:06 PM   #19
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I had the same happin to me a few months ago, It was the oil pressure sensor, its right above the oil pan in the back, its a plug that unscrews, when the car is not running it does not leak but when the cars on it spits out all the oil its not that expansive to fix i think the part was like 10 15 bucks.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:11 PM   #20
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Not sure about the Max sender, but on the countless numbers I have install over the years I'd use some teflon tape and not overtighten it.

There are actually special sockets you can buy for sender units which help from damaging them.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:27 PM   #21
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Well, I'll give that a shot again and use the teflon tape and be more careful this time. I probably over tightened it before.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:59 PM   #22
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hey, i didnt bother to read allll these replies.. but might wnana check your Cam Position Sensor O ring.. mine was bad... lost some oil
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Jared I think u should buy my nitrous kit for the sh!tvic.

1 of 2 possibilities is likely to transpire, both of which im sure you'd be comfortable with.

1. you go jDm fast yo and race crusher for slips
2. you blow that 4 banger into oblivion with improper A/F and thus rid yourself of the thing.

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Old 01-13-2009, 11:20 PM   #23
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Teflon tape on the OPS threads... yeah... ok lets get teflon inside the oil passages... guys please don't use teflon tape on anything going into your motor. Teflon tape is for plumbing, teflon goo or silicone on the threads is another thing that you can do and is the only recommended method they told us to do at nissan training.

Sounds to me like you've got the infamous rear timing chain O rings leak. This is how i managed to score my Maxima for so cheap, quoted the customer like 10 hours (over a grand in labor, parts are only like 20 bucks). If you only have a leak when the car is running and its not the OPS then im almost sure its those O-rings. They get old and brittle and leak, just like the KA24s. You can verify this by jacking up the right front wheel and having a buddy revv the engine up to say like 3-4k RPMs and with a flashlight watch the area around underneath the power steering pump from underneath the car, you should literally see oil almost flowing down from between the rear timing cover area and the block and the flow should get worse the higher the RPM you go (as oil pump builds more pressure).

Like I said parts are cheap, just a few O-rings (not a gasket) i think 2 on the rear timing cover and 2 for the oil pump pickup and maybe a new crank seal and couple tubes of gray silicone. Its not hard to do just tedious like pmohr said, the fact that you gotta work so close to the motor and strut tower is a PITA and you will need to remove both the upper and lower oil pans, both timing covers, crossmember, engine's front motor mount, exhaust Y pipe, RH side axleshaft and support the engine/trans with jackstands to hold it up all while gettin dripped on by engine oil and ATF so plan on making a small mess.

OOOOooooooor pay a professional and be done with it. Expect to pay about a grand in parts and labor though. Whatever you choose, don't let it go too long or youll run dry of oil.

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Old 01-13-2009, 11:26 PM   #24
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OOOOooooooor carry oil in the trunk, ha
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Jared I think u should buy my nitrous kit for the sh!tvic.

1 of 2 possibilities is likely to transpire, both of which im sure you'd be comfortable with.

1. you go jDm fast yo and race crusher for slips
2. you blow that 4 banger into oblivion with improper A/F and thus rid yourself of the thing.

I see no downfall here. Lets make a deal.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:28 PM   #25
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OOOOooooooor carry oil in the trunk, ha
And some grease sweep lol.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:56 AM   #26
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Ooooooor park this POS in the street and let it leak out there.

I'll try the OPS, but I'm not putting that much time/effort in a car with 185k on it, that sounds like a *****.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:53 AM   #27
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Ooooooor park this POS in the street and let it leak out there.

I'll try the OPS, but I'm not putting that much time/effort in a car with 185k on it, that sounds like a *****.
Exactly!! That's what i do. I've replaced the OPS 2X in 3 years. I have to check mine, It might be leaking again.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbizzy View Post
Teflon tape on the OPS threads... yeah... ok lets get teflon inside the oil passages... guys please don't use teflon tape on anything going into your motor. Teflon tape is for plumbing, teflon goo or silicone on the threads is another thing that you can do and is the only recommended method they told us to do at nissan training.

Sounds to me like you've got the infamous rear timing chain O rings leak. This is how i managed to score my Maxima for so cheap, quoted the customer like 10 hours (over a grand in labor, parts are only like 20 bucks). If you only have a leak when the car is running and its not the OPS then im almost sure its those O-rings. They get old and brittle and leak, just like the KA24s. You can verify this by jacking up the right front wheel and having a buddy revv the engine up to say like 3-4k RPMs and with a flashlight watch the area around underneath the power steering pump from underneath the car, you should literally see oil almost flowing down from between the rear timing cover area and the block and the flow should get worse the higher the RPM you go (as oil pump builds more pressure).

Like I said parts are cheap, just a few O-rings (not a gasket) i think 2 on the rear timing cover and 2 for the oil pump pickup and maybe a new crank seal and couple tubes of gray silicone. Its not hard to do just tedious like pmohr said, the fact that you gotta work so close to the motor and strut tower is a PITA and you will need to remove both the upper and lower oil pans, both timing covers, crossmember, engine's front motor mount, exhaust Y pipe, RH side axleshaft and support the engine/trans with jackstands to hold it up all while gettin dripped on by engine oil and ATF so plan on making a small mess.

OOOOooooooor pay a professional and be done with it. Expect to pay about a grand in parts and labor though. Whatever you choose, don't let it go too long or youll run dry of oil.

Dang! Youre that close, might as well pull the motor!
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:32 AM   #29
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Dang! Youre that close, might as well pull the motor!

Exactly. I won't be doing that much work for this thing. It's simply a daily driver used by the wife to park downtown KC so the LS doesn't get beat up and for me to use when I travel out of town to keep the miles down on my S60R. I like the car a lot, but it's not worth putting that much time/effort into at this point. I'll try the OPS unit and if that doesn't fix it, it'll just have to park in the street at night.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:55 PM   #30
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Well keeping the miles down on the S60R is a good idea, god forbid you would need to do any never ending repairs to that thing like upper engine torque mount, control arm bushings, sway bar end links, turbo oil return trap seals, endless control module software updates, electronic throttle modules going bad and blown clutches that can't hold up to the 300hp... i work at a Nissan/Volvo dealer so beleive me i see allll that stuff lol. Not to bag on your car but without an extended warranty it is VERY expensive to own a Volvo lol. I'd much rather sink a grand into my Maxima and have it go another 150k.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:35 PM   #31
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Its not overly hard. As previously stated, its usually the o-rings on the inner timing cover. I was surprised the amount of people who forget to put these in when re-installing the timing cover(mostly techs). We actually had a car come into the shop, two techs misdiagnosed the problem, one of which forgot to put the oring in the back in all together.

Anyways, with the motor in the car, its pretty involved, the RTV nissan uses from the factory is a PITA to remove, ive seen numerous times timing covers snapped if you dont pry all the way around. On top of that, being alumium, theres not many areas you can really pry down hard. Even with the passenger-side mount removed and all the accesories, in areas, you still only have 3-4".

As stated though, if you can do the labour on your own, its pretty cheap, i only recommend the grey RTV (IMO red/black suck), the o-rings, which are cheap, while your in there, depending on the mileage, timing chain tensioners/guides wouldnt be a bad idea.

If you let it go to long, it will start to leak worse, talking to my friend who is also a tech, he said overtime, dont be surprised if you start to get a bit of timing chain noise due to the leak.

About the teflon tape, if your careful with it, it can be okay. Personally, you can use a theread sealer, just dont cake it on, use it sparingly.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:44 PM   #32
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Save teflon tape for fixin your water heater, thats my motto. Where in the FSM does it say to use teflon tape anywhere on the car?

Also would prob be a good time to replace the water pump as well.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:56 PM   #33
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Save teflon tape for fixin your water heater, thats my motto. Where in the FSM does it say to use teflon tape anywhere on the car?

Also would prob be a good time to replace the water pump as well.
Doesnt say anywhere. But, with the FSM it leaves a lot of the things out, more of a "you should already know this" kinda deal. Personally, ive used it on my ECTS. I think that was the only thing i used it on. RTV works to seal threads to, ive used that when i ran out of thread sealer.

On a side note, teflon tape works awesome for air fittings though lol.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:49 AM   #34
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Well keeping the miles down on the S60R is a good idea, god forbid you would need to do any never ending repairs to that thing like upper engine torque mount, control arm bushings, sway bar end links, turbo oil return trap seals, endless control module software updates, electronic throttle modules going bad and blown clutches that can't hold up to the 300hp... i work at a Nissan/Volvo dealer so beleive me i see allll that stuff lol. Not to bag on your car but without an extended warranty it is VERY expensive to own a Volvo lol. I'd much rather sink a grand into my Maxima and have it go another 150k.
HA! I bet you have seen your fair share of R's. I know the early years had a heck of a time, especially the 04's and 05's. They have made some improvements and I haven't had a single issue with my 07 in 33K miles and it's certified to 100K, so I'm in good shape. The 07's are a bit different beast than the earlier years, that's why I held out.

The R isn't a car you jump into without knowing much about it or knowing what you are getting. It's very specialized and it doesn't share hardly any parts with other Volvos, so they are pretty expensive to work on. But, I wouldn't trade this thing for another car on the road in it's class, not even close. It's fun to drive, it's safe, the seats are the most comfy I've ever sat in and having 300+ hp with AWD is pretty damn fun. Plus you don't see one on every corner, there are exactly 36 other R's like mine (color/year) that were imported, so needless to say, you don't run into your twin much.

Again, thanks for the help guys, I'm going to try the OPS and if that doesn't do it, it'll just have a permanent parking spot in the street until it reaches the end of it's useful life.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:23 PM   #35
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Hmmm I thought 06 was the last year for the Rs. Also i forgot to mention Bevel Gear reseals lol.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:27 AM   #36
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leak

I have the same issue on my 96' SE. I have 133k on the clock. When I am at a stop, the engine smokes, only because the leak happens to be falling on the exhaust manifold. I had the leak checked out and its the timing chain cover that needs a new gasket. It's not even a gasket, its more of an RTV they use on there. Cheap, cheap, cheap. It's the labor that will be near $500-$600 just to get to it. For right now, I am just watching the oil levels....which really doesn't lose oil at all. I drive 30 miles roundtrip a day, 5 days a week to work and I check the oil every weekend. Level stays ok. It's the smoke that is annoying and somewhat emabarrasing at the stop lights...hehehe.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:07 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by jam36a View Post
I have the same issue on my 96' SE. I have 133k on the clock. When I am at a stop, the engine smokes, only because the leak happens to be falling on the exhaust manifold. I had the leak checked out and its the timing chain cover that needs a new gasket. It's not even a gasket, its more of an RTV they use on there. Cheap, cheap, cheap. It's the labor that will be near $500-$600 just to get to it. For right now, I am just watching the oil levels....which really doesn't lose oil at all. I drive 30 miles roundtrip a day, 5 days a week to work and I check the oil every weekend. Level stays ok. It's the smoke that is annoying and somewhat emabarrasing at the stop lights...hehehe.
Generally the timing cover leak is usually mis-diagnosed by techs. Its weird how it leaks, but 99% of the time, its the o-rings on the inner cover. Its possible your outer cover is leaking, but if it hasnt been off, then its probably not. part of the reason why they specifiy to use RTV on the covers is, making a gasket that large, would be kinda difficult to line up, and produce with quality control. RTV works fine, most new cars dont use normal paper/composite gaskets anymore anyways..
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:14 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by jam36a View Post
I have the same issue on my 96' SE. I have 133k on the clock. When I am at a stop, the engine smokes, only because the leak happens to be falling on the exhaust manifold. I had the leak checked out and its the timing chain cover that needs a new gasket. It's not even a gasket, its more of an RTV they use on there. Cheap, cheap, cheap. It's the labor that will be near $500-$600 just to get to it. For right now, I am just watching the oil levels....which really doesn't lose oil at all. I drive 30 miles roundtrip a day, 5 days a week to work and I check the oil every weekend. Level stays ok. It's the smoke that is annoying and somewhat emabarrasing at the stop lights...hehehe.
First off, the rear timing chain cover uses rubber O-rings that seal the oil passages between the cover and oil pan (which is what we're discussing here), not a gasket. But it does use Silicone RTV to glue up the covers.

Also the fact that you say it doesn't leak that bad or level stays ok but your engine smokes at a stop light makes me beleive you have a smaller leak near your exhaust manifold such as rear valve cover gasket. Mine leaked like this near the front of the engine and onto the manifold which after a while would smoke too. If you truly had this same leak we're talking about, you would know for sure as this leak tends to be really bad. Think about it, its an oil passage where pressurized oil from the pump is guided up through the timing cover so revving the engine up will increase oil pressure thus making the leak worse.

I've seen techs misdiagnose the timing cover leak finding out it was the valve cover the whole time.

EDIT- dangit 96blkonblkse you beat me to it lol.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:17 AM   #39
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I've seen techs misdiagnose the timing cover leak finding out it was the valve cover the whole time.
Ever see the oil passage gaskets in the front cover of a VQ35 fail? Hell of a thing to try and diagnose (much less find the damn gaskets, they only come with a new front cover).
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:23 AM   #40
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Ever see the oil passage gaskets in the front cover of a VQ35 fail? Hell of a thing to try and diagnose (much less find the damn gaskets, they only come with a new front cover).
YES! Yes i have lol. Funny you mention this, another tech at work had this problem. I can't remember what it was the problem was, i think it was a VTC sprocket code or something. He changed the sensor, the solenoid and finally replaced the VTC sprocket only to find out it still didn't fix it. After talking to techline they told us to check this oil passage gasket inside the timing cover and sure enough the gasket had popped out and cause low oil pressure to the VTC sprocket thus setting a code for VTC mechanical failure lol. I think it was noisy too, not sure. And yeah, you can't get a gasket for it so had to do an entire cover. Good thing security plus saved this lady...
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:23 AM
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