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Ford Escort Used To Leak Oil

Q. Hi Sir, My car is in for regular maintenance and oil changes. As of yet, there are no leaks. Recently, I noticed a bit of oil leaking under the hood on the passenger's side of the motor in the area of the serpentine belt, water pump and timing belt. It seemed like a spray of oil.

Ford Escort Used To Leak Oil

I proceeded to check all fluids, including oil dipstick, transmission fluid, coolant (radiator), power steering fluid, not one of those showed they were low or down. I still don't know where the oil leaked from. I brought the car into the shop, had the engine power washed, mechanic had the car running for one hour trying to find where the leak was originating, and he couldn't find a leak either. He and I are both scratching our heads, since then, there is no evidence of a leak, nor has it sprayed oil again.

What could this be and does the cold temperatures contribute to this spray of oil?? Thanks in advance for your prompt response.

  • 1998 Ford Escort Wagon
  • 2.0 liter engine
  • Automatic
  • 150,000 kilometers
  • Fuel Injected
  • NO ABS
  • P/S
  • A/C

Sincerely,
Kendra

A. I guess it is possible for extreme cold to effect a seal and cause it to leak. I have never seen it personally, and I live in Minnesota.

There is a fluorescent dye you can put in the oil that is visible with an ultraviolet light. Your mechanic can put it in and check the engine every 50 miles or so to see if the leak redevelops. I'm sorry that's the best I can do for you.

Added 2/13/03:

Hello Vince, Thanks for your prompt response. I did find out more information, something you might not be aware of. The problem, I've been told by a 30 year Ford Mechanic, is the Crankcase Ventilation System. This is the best I can explain, hope you'll be able to understand:

There are two lines, one definitely houses the PCV valve, the other line houses another valve (expensive to replace but can be cleaned out) but both are somehow related to the air cleaner and circulation of air in the engine. Because I am a short trip kind of driver, these lines are becoming blocked with condensation and freezing up with the cold temperatures, creating a pressure in the engine, therefore the oil must come out somewhere. Nine chances out of ten, it will be the dip stick.

Ford Canada has a kit $746.50 P/N EK107 or EK106 and 1.9 hours of labor. The kit includes some sort of shield which is affixed near the dipstick, the lines and necessary valves.

Since this job is $1046.00 with tax, my mechanic, recommended cleaning out the lines and all the rubber joints, replacing the PCV Valve, cleaning out the other valve and affixing the ¾" foil insulation to the lines as well as the base of the dipstick to keep the heat in and reduce the condensation build up. Power wash the engine so as not to have oil residue on the serpentine belts etc. According to the mechanic, this problem should have been a recall, but wasn't. It's a rare problem I've been told and mainly occurs in the colder temps which is what we've been experiencing here.

Hope this info helps you out with future questions.
Kendra

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