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Old 08-13-2016, 11:39 AM   #1
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Leak troubleshooting - need some wisdom

Out for a drive in the sunny Pacific NW this morning, pulled over to refill my coffee cup and noticed light smoke from the passenger side (US car - left hand drive) and burnt oil smell. Home I go to diagnose.

Under the car it looks like I have a couple weeping spark plug tubes on the passenger side, I'll address all of them since it seems likely that all the seals need replacing. Those look like the culprits behind the burning oil on passenger side exhaust.

Here's the question through - while under the car looking for leaks I could see evidence of a leak on the driver's side. Similar location but different source. There has been no visible smoke or oil smell from the driver's side. Looking down from the top of the motor the O2 sensor connector is saturated. See pic:


It's hard to tell as the wiring goes under the plenum but it looks like the leak may be up higher and traveling down the wiring where it's collecting on the O2 sensor bracket and connector. From the bottom side it is leaking both on to the exhaust as well as the crossmember in that area.

Here's another picture showing the wiring as it routes under the plenum, it is gunked up and the photo does not show it but with the right lighting it looks wet:


I'm suspecting that this may be power steering fluid as opposed to oil. Looking at the power steering pump reservoir it seems to be leaking from somewhere and is in the vicinity of the O2 sensor wiring under the plenum:


Am I on the right track thinking this may be power steering fluid? Or is there a possible source of an oil leak topside that could be traversing the O2 sensor wiring?

Thanks in advance!

-Roger

Last edited by rdonahe; 08-15-2016 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Fixed image permissions
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:45 AM   #2
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No pics showing up for me.
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:55 AM   #3
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No pictures showing for me either. Leaking from the top of the engine on the left side, check the oil cooler if it's not power steering. Oil cooler leaks (often the O-rings that seal it) are common.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdonahe View Post
It's hard to tell as the wiring goes under the plenum but it looks like the leak may be up higher and traveling down the wiring where it's collecting on the O2 sensor bracket and connector. From the bottom side it is leaking both on to the exhaust as well as the crossmember in that area.
I also had a strange oil leak that seems to have sprayed the driver's side O2 sensor connector and suspected the power steering pump as I know it was losing fluid. After changing the pump and cleaning the connector, it has stayed dry.

My old power steering pump actually looked OK, but there is a small o-ring that comes with the pump and attaches on the high-pressure side. The old o-ring that I took out was completely flat, so I suspect that may have been the cause of the leak.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback re: missing images. I think it was a permissions issue and should now be fixed.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
No pictures showing for me either. Leaking from the top of the engine on the left side, check the oil cooler if it's not power steering. Oil cooler leaks (often the O-rings that seal it) are common.
Oil cooler looks good, no visible leaking from that area. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:59 PM   #7
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Then the power steering pump must be checked closely. These are hoses etc and not much space to see it.
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