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About to buy 59 Corsa - Last MOT shows oil leak gearbox side - Should I avoid?

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  • [Corsa D 2006-2014] About to buy 59 Corsa - Last MOT shows oil leak gearbox side - Should I avoid?

    Hi all

    Hoping for some assistance here...

    I've all but signed up to buy a 59 Corsa for my son. Got home from putting a deposit down last night and thought I would do the HPI check thing.

    On the last MOT dated December 2015 it shows two advisories that have got me concerned, oil leak & oil leak gearbox side.

    I'm waiting to a call back from the dealer to see if there is any documentation to state it's been fixed, but, in the meantime, I'm wondering how concerned I should be....

    I know I'm not giving you much (if anything) to go on, but wondering if there is any advice as to whether I should proceed or, if I do, likely scenarios and costs to get things fixed if it should go at a later date.

    He is getting a new MOT done for the car but not sure if these leaks are guaranteed to show up as advisories this time.

    Any advice greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
    Stan

  • #2
    The snag is that MOT testers have to cover their backs these days and some of them go over the top pointing out all sorts of things which in reality never turn into issues. Look through the MOT history of many cars and you'll find advisories that never show again. I had one for a seal on a rear bearing that I couldn't see any problem with and 80k later it still never caused or problem or ever reappeared on MOT reports.

    Obviously check it out and make sure it is noted with the dealer so you're covered with any possible warranty claim. On many of them the oil filler is on that side of the engine and it's easy for a small splash of oil spilt whilst topping up to run down and appear as a 'leak' sometime later.

    The key thing with the Corsa engines (I'm assuming one of the smaller petrol engines if it's for your son) is frequent oil changes. The breather system isn't the best in the world and they tend to suffer a load of unnecessary problems if the oil changes are skimped. Change the oil every 5k and use genuine filters. Other than that the annual 10k service is fine. Ignore extended service intervals, they are just a sales gimmick.

    Things to watch for (every engine has its foibles) is the oil pressure switch top left of the engine - first sign of an oil leak get it changed. If left oil will track into the wiring loom and cause all sorts of problems. Keep the coolant maintenance up to date. They don't tolerate overheating. Loss of coolant into the oil can happen via a seal behind the water pump which is part of the timing cover. A lot of people mistake it for HG failure but if it's spotted in time then major problems are avoided. Frequent oil changes are also good for the timing chain which ought to last over 100k if the engine is well maintained.

    Generally they are robust little engines, they just need to be well maintained. The weak spots tend only to cause trouble if they're neglected.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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    • #3
      Thanks for the swift response Taurus. Yes, it's just a 1 litre engine.

      I've had a chat with the dealer and the plan is to see what comes back on the MOT and take it from there.

      Hopefully nothing serious and if I do go ahead I'll keep a close eye on things and follow your recommendations above.
      As you've probably gathered I'm not that well up on cars so probably need to start by reading up a little!

      Cheers
      Stan

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      • #4
        Check for clutch rudder. Oil on the transmission side is usually spillage from the oil filler or a leaking crankshaft seal. The former is trivial, the latter isn't. A weeping crankshaft seal often shows up as clutch rudder first few starts as oil gets onto the friction plate.
        1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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