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FucusSpin 12-08-2012 04:59 AM

Oil Leak, Ford Focus 2002
Does this look familiar to you guys ?
Pics here:
What could it be ?

I have this going on for about a year now. Losing a bit of oil there.
A technician at one time told me it was missing a quart of oil. Didn't notice a constant loss afterwards.
The engine sounds fine. The oil isn't dirtier than I would expect it to be.
Car mechanic at superficial inspection couldn't tell where exactly it came from.

I am willing to get my hands dirty replacing an oil pan gasket .. I've looked it up, but some other fixes I know can be really difficult. Not really interested in leak stop magic solutions.

Thank you ! 12-08-2012 05:52 AM

Looks like the oilpan gasket is leaking and the front main seal is also leaking. That milky look may be some antifreeze also leaking from the water pump. Are you loosing any antifreeze.

FucusSpin 12-08-2012 06:55 AM

I don't think there is any antifreeze leaking. I haven't touched the reservoir for that in a long time and the level is constant .. no visible change.

The milky thing might be whatever comes from the road that the city is throwing with the sand to melt the ice / snow. Maybe. But I am not so sure what exactly you are looking at.

Front main seal ? Is that the "cam gasket" ? Big job to replace ?

I don't want to give up on this car. I still like it with all the headaches it gave me.

Thank you !

Ahhhhh ... Fucus .. not my intended user name !!! 12-08-2012 07:08 AM

looking at your pic #1 and #5 there's a milky color. Well the first thing I would do is clean all that oil off with some engine degreaser real good this way you can pinpoint where its coming from

(Front main seal ? Is that the "cam gasket") No. I have never changed a front main seal on a Focus but its the seal at the front of the oil pan between block crank and oil pan

FucusSpin 12-09-2012 08:43 PM

Thank you !
That makes most sense. I will try to clean the engine as good as I can and throw some dye in and check the newly formed leaks with a UV light or whatever system there is.
Shouldn't be to long before new leak occurs.
I need to wait till spring though .. I don't have access to a garage.
If I take it to a mechanic it most certainly will cost me more than getting a new car, before they find out what exactly the problem is and I pay for all the labor and parts.
I developed some trust issues with mechanics.

Thanks again !

iminhell 12-09-2012 11:24 PM

I don't see anything 'milky'. What you guys are calling milky I'd call fresh oil.

I see the front main as the primary leak. In the first pic you can clearly see the clean spot/fresh oil trace up to the bottom of the seal.

I'd replace it and the PCV ... it may be a blockage in the oil emissions system causing pressure and forcing oil out the seal, the weakest link.

I'd also replace or plug that open hole in the exhaust ...

FucusSpin 12-09-2012 11:38 PM

These photos were taken while fixing a broken catalytic converter.
That hole is for some sensor I think. It was removed during a another repair. I was in the shop to have a look. The pipe was broken write next to the plate that connects it with the exhaust manifold (?). Another story. May have hit something with the bottom end of the catalytic converter.
Just the other day I've straddled a curb, an island in the middle of the road. It was covered in snow and dirt. It was scary hearing the metal squeaking as it was grinding against it.

I just have fun fixing stuff. Gas first. Think later.

I'll do some research on the PCV as well. Will have fun with this repair in the summer.

Thanks !
Happy Yee Haa from Calgary !

freemind 12-10-2012 01:10 AM

The front seal is easy to replace while doing your timing belt.

When was your timing belt done?

FocusSpin 08-24-2015 08:41 PM

The outcome ...
4 Attachment(s)
This is only about 3 years later but .. what can I say?
I've attached some photos so you can see what the problem was.
( the dropbox link isn't working anylonger )

After a while I decided to go with a water pump, timing belt and gasket ( front seal ) replacement.

There wasn't any obvious damage to the front seal but I am pretty sure that was the culprit .. no more leaks since then ! Yay !

It was very confusing to me because the oil leak was spread all over around the oil pan, and it pointed out to a leaky gasket. Also, there was some oil on the upper part of the motor, on the side with the timing belt. I was still calling it a minor leak, because there wasn't a major drop of oil level from one oil change to another.

I have no idea if the timing belt was ever changed on this car, the old one didn't look bad, but it didn't look fresh either. Anyway is changed now.

Also, there wasn't anything wrong with the water pump either, but it wasn't a big expense to replace everything. It all came in a kit and while I can't remember exactly how much it was, it didn't feel like a big deal.

The one part that gave a me a little trouble while doing this was the actual timing belt replacement. My friend and I spent a good hour and a half trying to get it back there and everything lining up properly. We failed four times before we got it right the fifth time. ( While manually turning the engine a few times the cogs there need to align perfectly or else there's going to be a lot of damage when you start the engine .. the goodbye type of damage )

Thanks everyone, this is a great forum !
Good luck !

sailor 08-25-2015 12:51 AM

Nice outcome post!

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