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1998 Oil leaking from Right side of engine block

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  • [Corsa B] 1998 Oil leaking from Right side of engine block

    I have noticed after passing 100K miles that I have a minor oil leak from the right side of the engine on the engine block. Not too sure where it's coming from. Any ideas?
    Last edited by Daddylovesjasper; 07-04-2018, 06:05 PM. Reason: Added tags

  • #2
    What engine is it? On my old 1.2 8v it was the rocker cover gasket leaking - it was a really cheap and easy job to fix. I don't know much about the other engines but I assume it'll be the same kind of setup and probably same fix.
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    • #3
      Hi. I dont know enough about this engine to suggest a source ,or to give things their correct name. But the leak appears to be quite old ,and as is the way with oil a little goes a long way. It creeps along and oil vapour coats other things. But I dont think its the rocker cover gasket that is leaking. It looks like its the gasket between the camshaft housing (if thats the right name) and the cylinder head. (Dont worry, its NOT the cylinder head gasket) I would imagine this is a bigger job to replace than the rocker cover gasket, as its probably involves engine timing issues, torque settings for bolts ,etc. Its the kind of job that if there were other work that requires dismantling you would replace the gasket at the same time. But its not worth doing the job just to replace the gasket. But I am happy to be corrected by those with more experience.

      This engine series has been in production since 1983, and probably uses technology thats even older than this. Manufacturing tolerences and sealing methods were not as good then and older engines often leak oil over time. I have seen pictures of this engine type that are much oilier than yours.

      I need to be diplomatic here, but when was your oil filter last changed? It looks rusty. Not only is this a sign it hasnt been serviced for a while its also risky. The wall of the filter is very thin. Its possible the rust could cause a perforation that would suddeny become a major oil leak that could empty the engine of oil ,even on a single journey.

      Personally i would get the oil and filter changed. Then carefully clean the engine using an engine degreaser, lots of hand cleaning with rags, kitchen roll etc, and careful use of a little water. You could use a garden hose if to wash the degreaser off, but avoid anything electrical, and dont use a pressure washer.

      Then you can monitor and trace any new leakage. If its slight you may find its something you can live with . Regular checks on oil level and the occasional clean up could see the engine through until top end work requires the dismantling anyway, or the engine reaches its end of life. But if you find it is something easily fixed its better to do the job if possible. Oil (or water) seeping into electrics etc can cause gremlins.

      As an anecdote and a little general tip. (sorry vegas) I used to run a couple of vintage cars, where oil drips were normal. A bit embarrassing on someones nice drive, and once I left quite a large patch on the steel deck of a cross channel ferry.
      I used to carry some cat litter in the car. The fullers earth type thats like dried clay granules. . It soaks oil up a treat and disburses. (a bit like cement powder sometimes used on oil at race circuits.)
      OK a bit worrying if oil leakage got this bad on a modern car, but I still keep some in the garage. You can buy the proper stuff from motor factors that may be better,but you can find cat litter in most supermarkets.


      Last edited by Bugman; 09-04-2018, 11:47 AM.

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