Leaking seal Variable Cam Timing (VCT) solenoid (Oil leak) - Focus Fanatics
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
Kaaru
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Leaking seal Variable Cam Timing (VCT) solenoid (Oil leak)

Hello all,

Thanks to this Forum, I was able to track down a serious issue I had with the first Focus I purchase back in nov 2011.

I had a major oil leak in the engine bay and back then the dealer was not able to precisely tell me the nature of the oil leak.

Thanks to ''Raycer'' a forum member, I was able to find out that it was due to a faulty Solenoid seal from one of the 2 VCT Solenoid unit under the hood.

Raycer made a post about it back in june 2011 but the post has been since hijacked and the issue has faded and/or went all over the place.

I'd like to know if anyone had a similar experience regarding this VCT Solenoid broken seal.

Another member, Gabe2010SE had a picture of the culprit added. Here it is:



Thanks in advance



Last edited by Kaaru; 04-11-2012 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:41 PM   #2
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I've heard of several people having this issue now, shame it's as widespread as it is. I had a similar issue with oil gushing out everywhere, but in my case it would seem the oil dipstick was "faulty", more like they forgot to put the tube the dipstick slides into inside the engine during manufacturing. My thread is here in case you're interested.
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=260179

Leaving parts out of the engine itself, and to have that problem at 300 miles hasn't really given me high hopes for the car long term.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:58 PM   #3
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Wanted to go for a nice Easter ride with the girlfriend, decided to check oil on new Focus (2400 mi.). Raised hood and see puddles of oil on valve cover! Good thing I checked oil before 135 mi. trip to girl's house. So I know it happened recently. Blown rubber seal on part you've circled on pic, front vct soleniod. Just got car back from dealer, today. They cleaned up engine, but felt-like heat shield on hood still soaked in oil. I also didn't like the use of rtv type sealant on valve cover re-install. Wonder how much of that is floating around in my engine oil now! They also charged me for an oil change, I insisted on because, I felt my closed oil system had been breeched and contaminated. What the heck Ford! I picked you over imports doing the right thing and standing by you. Don't have a good feeling about this!!!!!!!!!!! Gees It's stylish though.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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Seems like this is one reason not to install the engine cover. Think I'll take a peek under mine tomorrow.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:00 AM   #5
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One quick way to ''know'' your seals are broken and you are leaking oil, is the very powerfull burn oil smell that fills the interior of the car.

Beleive me, you can't miss it. when the car moves, the smell goes away, of course...But as soon as you stop at a red light or idle for some other reasons, BAM! instant burt oil smell flagrance...I called it back then ''Eau de Focus''

So, IMO, having the engine cover will block your visual check, but the smell will always be there. Follow your nose, it always knows :)
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:20 AM   #6
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Engine cover would keep it from soaking the hoods heat shield.

Last edited by B1GTED; 04-11-2012 at 10:20 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GTED View Post
Engine cover would keep it from soaking the hoods heat shield.

Indeed it will.
It will however prevent any visual check to see if some oil is leaking from the Solenoids. In my case, it was pretty severe, as I did a visual check while the engine was running and oil while was gushing everywhere. Some may experience a smaller/slower leak. I admit however that the engine cover looks pretty darn nice :)
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaaru View Post
Indeed it will.
It will however prevent any visual check to see if some oil is leaking from the Solenoids. In my case, it was pretty severe, as I did a visual check while the engine was running and oil while was gushing everywhere. Some may experience a smaller/slower leak. I admit however that the engine cover looks pretty darn nice :)
We'll be taking on a 3,000 mile road trip shortly and it only has about 2,500 on it so far. So I think I'll remove the cover for the trip to allow a quick visual inspection at each fuel stop. Not expecting a problem, but if it does happen it would be better to find it early.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zosylf View Post
Wanted to go for a nice Easter ride with the girlfriend, decided to check oil on new Focus (2400 mi.). Raised hood and see puddles of oil on valve cover! Good thing I checked oil before 135 mi. trip to girl's house. So I know it happened recently. Blown rubber seal on part you've circled on pic, front vct soleniod. Just got car back from dealer, today. They cleaned up engine, but felt-like heat shield on hood still soaked in oil. I also didn't like the use of rtv type sealant on valve cover re-install. Wonder how much of that is floating around in my engine oil now! They also charged me for an oil change, I insisted on because, I felt my closed oil system had been breeched and contaminated. What the heck Ford! I picked you over imports doing the right thing and standing by you. Don't have a good feeling about this!!!!!!!!!!! Gees It's stylish though.
Is the RTV all the way around the valve cover?....or is it in a location where the valve cover gasket has to bridge a seam (such as where a front cover meets the engine block?). If its where there is a seam that the valve cover gasket sits on, then it is completely normal for there to be a small touch of RTV at that location only.....which is the same as it has been done for decades. Some engines have the entire front cover sealed with RTV from the factory, same with oil pans, etc. Any competent technician can do the repair with zero worries of contamination in your engine
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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The RTV was in the front where valve cover meets the block right below the the vct soleniod.
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