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Old 10-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
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Oil leak advice

Ive got a small oil leak around the left side cam cover. This apparently is around the area of the oxygen sensor. My indie Porsche mechanic is telling me I should repair and will likely need to drop the engine/ trans to get at the area for a proper fix. This sounds to me like it should be unnecessary. Can't this be done ( if truly necessary) with out dropping the engine? the car is a 2001 s with 64k miles and is running great
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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my advice - change your spark plugs and tubes (the plastic tubes that seat in the cam covers and house the spark plugs OFTEN crack and weep oil onto the cam covers and exhaust). take the opportunity to have your cam covers retorqued while in there. none of this requires removal of the engine. it can be done yourself, but certainly don't have your current mechanic do it as he seems a bit too eager to drop your engine and take your money.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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Agree with the Radium king, far too often people see the badge and think its an excuse to double the cost!
Pretty straight forward job if you have ramps or if you can jack the car up.
Parts are reasonably priced in the UK so probably the same in the US.

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Old 10-31-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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As radium said, be sure its the cam covers that are leaking. If it is the cam covers, then buy the new micro encapsulated cam cover bolts and replace all the bolts along the bottom of the cam covers, I believe its 3-4 per side. Take them out one at a time and goober the bolt with gasket maker (permatex red or equivalent) from the middle of the bolt to the head. More is more. Then re-install them and torque them to spec, do not overtorque.

I had a cam cover leak that dripped enough oil onto the exhaust that it smoked. After doing the above, it just barely weeps oil occasionally. Not perfect, but much cheaper than taking off and re-sealing the cam covers.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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TRM hit it on this one on the head.
When life throws you curves, aim for the apex...
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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+1 on replacing spark plug tubes. I was sure (and so was my local Porsche dealer and a indie shop) that my oil seepage was coming from the cam covers but after replacing the spark plug tubes the seep disappeared.

Cam cover gaskets can be replaced with the engine in place but its a real PITA so most shops want to drop the engine to make the job easier and to ensure that they do a good job the first time.
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