An engine oil leak is a common problem that's found on different models of cars and trucks. Sure, it can mess up the driveway for the owner, but it could also cause engine damage if left undiagnosed. The average car holds 5 quarts of oil. Many GM cars now hold 6. Still this won't last long if you have a continuous leak and even less if it's a pressurized leak.
Yes, most vehicles are equipped with an engine oil warning light. I would rather not rely on this device and the pressure sensor that turns it on. What's worse is when this leak develops after an oil and filter change.
When this happens all fingers point to the mechanic that did the last oil change. Myself and the mechanics in my shop are all certified and have many years of experience. When we started receiving comebacks with engine oil leaks directly after engine oil and filter changes I knew something was wrong.
The oil leak comebacks where on the same 2 engines. The 3.9L and 5.2L engines. Both of these engines are very popular and in the fleet I service they can be found in Dodge ram trucks and Jeep grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles.
After changing the engine oil on the Jeep Cherokee it came back the next day with the driver saying there was oil spots under the truck. I lifted it up and the oil filter was wet. I checked the tightness of the oil filter and found that it was very tight, maybe even too tight.
I thought that I had a defective oil filter and that my fellow car mechanics might have been experiencing the very same thing. Maybe even a defective batch or case of the bad oil filters. I took the extra time on this vehicle and installed some engine oil dye. I ran the engine and then leak checked it with a black light.
The oil leak was not from the oil filter, but just above it from a part known as the engine oil filter adapter. This is what the filter screws onto.
This is an easily misdiagnosed concern due to the fact that the oil leak is just above the filter and then runs down directly onto it thus making it appear that it is leaking.
I decided to check for Technical service bulletins for engine oil leaks, and yes I found one. This was a known problem with the 5.2L, 5.9 L and 3.9 L Chrysler engines that are installed in Dodge and Jeep trucks.
The filter adapter and plate are experiencing warping conditions on older model units starting in 94 and 95. The procedure to check the adapter plate for warping is to remove it and lay it on a flat surface. If you are going to use a wood surface like a workbench then check it with a straight edge first to make sure it really is flat.
You then take .008-inch feeler gauge and try to stick it between the sealing edge of the adapter plate and the surface. If the feeler gauge slips in between the two while you are lightly pushing down on it, then the plate is warped and needs to be replaced.
It is just about impossible to see the warp with the naked eye. So removing and following this procedure will be necessary to verify that the part does need to be replaced. Now that we know about the problem we stop and check the adapter plate before screwing on the replacement filter.
This saves us the
embarrassment of a comeback after an oil change. Since this engine and vehicle combination are extremely popular
and millions of these vehicles are still operating on the road. I
decided to share with you this story and also about the technical
service bulletin that applies to this engine oil leak repair.
Give this car oil leaks page a bookmark or share with a friend messing up your driveway.
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