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Engine oil leak on Power Steering Pump

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Engine oil leak on Power Steering Pump

Old 11-25-2018, 03:27 PM
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Engine oil leak on AC compressor

Hi Experts,
I have a slow engine oil leak on the bottom of my 3.5L air conditioner compressor.. If I park car, the oil leaks about 4 drops per day onto floor. I cleaned the bottom of compressor, restarted engine, and the oil slowly started leaking. I could see the drop forming on the bottom (see photo), but could not see the origin; I suspect oil is seeping down the mating surface of compressor housing halves from above (somewhere near alternator).

AC Compressor bottom

The oil leak is not near the oil filter / oil cooler/ or oil pressure sensor (those all looked dry). I just changed both valve cover gaskets, and the front valve cover (next to the alternator) does not appear to be leaking

Any ideas?

Last edited by kimbo; 11-25-2018 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention valve cover gasket. Its the AC compressor, not the PS pump
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:55 PM
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is the oil for sure dripping all the way down the compressor? oil pan looks kind of wet and might be misting/splashing some oil back, hard to tell with the image
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by chrome91 View Post
is the oil for sure dripping all the way down the compressor? oil pan looks kind of wet and might be misting/splashing some oil back, hard to tell with the image
Yes the oil is dripping down the compressor. After taking the photo, I wiped all the newly leaked oil off the bottom and sides of compressor. Without starting engine, I returned today, 24 hours later and the sides and bottom of compressor were again wet with oil.

I don't see a path from oil pan to upper compressor walls, so I don't see how oil pan could be source. The engine oil dipstick is above the area that leaks, so I suspect the origin is someplace near there, but it is difficult to see below the dipstick with the a/c pipes and alternator blocking the view (fyi the engine oil level is at bottom of dipstick). There are two pipes going to compressor from above (I believe refrigerant lines), and I suspect oil is leaking onto one of those pipes from above and that's what ultimately shows up on the bottom of compressor. I would suspect the oil is coming from the valve cover, except I don't see oil leaking there, and I just changed v/c gasket, and there should not be oil in valve cover after engine has been off for 24 hours.

Last edited by kimbo; 11-27-2018 at 01:44 AM. Reason: clarify oil in photo
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:59 AM
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I chose to replace the front valve cover (nearest the radiator) gasket again, because this seemed like the most likely source of a leak. After removing most RTV from the head with a gasket scraper, I finished with scotch-brite scouring pads which worked great. Then with a new Fel-pro gasket (and the original Nissan valve cover) I was more liberal with the RTV on the valve cover to head interface, adding approx 1/8" dia RTV bead. That did the trick, no more leak!
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kimbo View Post
I chose to replace the front valve cover (nearest the radiator) gasket again, because this seemed like the most likely source of a leak. After removing most RTV from the head with a gasket scraper, I finished with scotch-brite scouring pads which worked great. Then with a new Fel-pro gasket (and the original Nissan valve cover) I was more liberal with the RTV on the valve cover to head interface, adding approx 1/8" dia RTV bead. That did the trick, no more leak!
Nice work! Is the alternator going to survive? They don't like being saturated with oil so much!
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