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Old 05-13-2013, 11:26 AM   #1
Vohaul
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oil smell in cabin..

on this old 01 focus wagon i picked up for a daily driver....

drove to work today...all was ok...but come to a stop after a highway speed cruise..and a whitish mist / cloud (not billowing smoke) that stinks like oil comes through the airvent....it goes away almost immediatly and doesn't do it all the time...just after stopping after a bit of a run...

i can see under the hood one corner of the valve cover has oil seepage....

is it terminal, or will fixing the oil leak under the hood fix the issue....ac issue?...even though the ac isnt on....

thanks

Paul


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Old 05-13-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Valve Cover gasket seep/leak is quite common as they age. Being a Wagon you likely have the Zetec engine, they're known for this. Leakage that gets on the thermostat housing is a common cause of issues there, you want to clean up that area when replacing the gasket.

Oil burning off the exhaust manifold can cause quite a stink, and it doesn't take much to do it! Relatively minor repair, hardly "terminal".

Luck!
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Valve Cover gasket seep/leak is quite common as they age. Being a Wagon you likely have the Zetec engine, they're known for this. Leakage that gets on the thermostat housing is a common cause of issues there, you want to clean up that area when replacing the gasket.

Oil burning off the exhaust manifold can cause quite a stink, and it doesn't take much to do it! Relatively minor repair, hardly "terminal".

Luck!

you are correct, it is a zetec......and i figured thats where the oil smell was coming from...i think i was more concerned about it coming in the cabin and how it did that....

is the gasket pretty easy to change over?

Cheers and thanks

Paul
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
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Yes, just make sure to clean the valve cover and mating surface well and torque down the valve cover in a star pattern and titten all the bolts evenly but not to tight, I forget the spec but it's not very tight at all... Also your opening the bowels of the beast, so try not to do it around were there is allot of dirt/dust in the air ;)
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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Yes, just make sure to clean the valve cover and mating surface well and torque down the valve cover in a star pattern and titten all the bolts evenly but not to tight, I forget the spec but it's not very tight at all... Also your opening the bowels of the beast, so try not to do it around were there is allot of dirt/dust in the air ;)
ya thanks....it doesnt look all that hard....i even found a youtube video on it...

incedentally, what kind of miles / kilometes can i expect out of the engine?

its a fairly high mileage car..with 280,000 km on it / 173,000 miles...
seems to run ok..other than the valve cover leak..and a bit of a idle issue (goes low when coming to a stop).that from what ive read, seems to be related to the valve cover leak...

Thanks

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Old 05-13-2013, 01:15 PM   #6
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Well, most issues on these engines have to do with electrical, from what I've seen so long as you keep up with regular maintenance the engine its self will last indefinitely... A low idle could even be caused by the A/C... So long as you don't have a CEL (check engine light) low idle shouldn't be to much of a problem...
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
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Well, most issues on these engines have to do with electrical, from what I've seen so long as you keep up with regular maintenance the engine its self will last indefinitely... A low idle could even be caused by the A/C... So long as you don't have a CEL (check engine light) low idle shouldn't be to much of a problem...
ya it does actually have a (CEL)..the po said it was something to do with emissions....ECM?..but it drives ok....doesnt seem to really affect anything...
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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I'd guess EGR or O2 sensors... O2 senors are simple fix... With a car at that many miles it wouldn't hurt to get a code reader, you can fetch them for as little as $25 on amazon...
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Was looking on rock auto for the valve cover gasket....first off, im fairly sure, but just double checking...mine is the 2.0l zetec dohc as opposed to the single overhead cam?

also rock auto had a few different companies that make the gaskets...any brand better than the other, and do i need the spark plug grommets (some of the parts come with them....)
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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Yep you have a dual overhead cam 16 valve... If you had the single over head cam you wouldn't have a zetec as the SOHC zetec was never offered over here ...

Allot of people swear by motorcraft gaskets, witch make sense because it seems to have lasted you 170k... I personally have the cheaper fel-pro gasket, but haven't had any issues yet...
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