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Old 03-06-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
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Residual oil leak from rear valve cover leak??

I have a 99, I had a rear valve cover oil leak which a private garage fixed about a week ago, I still see (looking up from under the car)a little oil wetting/one drop forming on the two bottom most lower exhaust manifold studs, where the stud goes into the exhaust manifold, on the passenger side. the valve cover of course is above this stud (and the head gasket is below the stud)

Is this typical? could the leaking rear valve cover gasket have leaked enough oil down to leave some residual oil there around the lower stud and under the nut that is on the stud??
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
I have a 99, I had a rear valve cover oil leak which a private garage fixed about a week ago, I still see (looking up from under the car)a little oil wetting/one drop forming on the two bottom most lower exhaust manifold studs, where the stud goes into the exhaust manifold, on the passenger side. the valve cover of course is above this stud (and the head gasket is below the stud)

Is this typical? could the leaking rear valve cover gasket have leaked enough oil down to leave some residual oil there around the lower stud and under the nut that is on the stud??
...I have the exact samething going on..Changed the rear VC this week and now I can see oil driping from the exhaust studs ..I thought it might be the head....
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cjlgarage View Post
...I have the exact samething going on..Changed the rear VC this week and now I can see oil driping from the exhaust studs ..I thought it might be the head....

I would like to know if that is indeed possible because I think that's whats going on in the front of mine. But someone in another thread said that it isn't possible for oil to come out from the exhaust manifold... I think we need to shed some light on this topic. Could it be valve stem seals although there is no smoke coming out of exhaust?
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:36 AM   #4
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Mine- the leak is at the level of the two passenger side lower most exhaust manifold "pipes" that connects to the head, and it shows some oil residue at the top of the nut that is on the exhaust stud. My instinct is that its oi left from the months/years old rear valve cover gasket leak, but you would thing it would burn off soon.
The head gasket is below this point and seems if it was a head gasket leak that it would flow down the block, not uphill to the exhaust stud.
My car only has 108000 miles, what did nissan do wrong? bad OE gasket in 99??
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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I was thinking when I took the rear vc off there was leftover oil in the rear cover because of the PVC system holding more oil causeing it to pool ..So when the rear cover is removed a lil oil gets on the exhaust..I wiped down everything hopeing to see no more oil .Il will find out later today if its stopped..
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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Does any one else know of this problem??
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:31 AM   #7
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I will post a picture

in a new thread, cant figure how to do it in a reply.
sorry cant figure out how to do it.

Last edited by edwardh1; 03-09-2010 at 06:34 AM..
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #8
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Place link to the new thread here once you started it so I can continue to follow.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:28 PM   #9
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How post?

I dont think I can post? whats the trick?
What should I do? I have a pix of the oil spot.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:58 PM   #10
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Oil leak guys,

Pictures are very helpful when trying to find an oil leak. If you want to load a pic you should upload it to your albums and get the link. Instead of quick reply, do an advanced reply and you can use the tool bar to include a link to your pic and it will show up in the post.

You might benefit from reading Oil leak from timing chain cover?

Pay special attention to NISSANMAXIMA91's pic of the oil leak spot on his and my car. If you are saying that oil is on the exhaust manifold where it mates to the head, I think the circled area in that pic may be your leak.

At any rate, I spent a long time chasing my oil leak and replaced a lot of gaskets on my way there. If the leak is on the passenger side then you pretty much only have a few options. Please keep in mind that this info is based LARGELY on research although I have spent the better part of the last 3 months under my maxima and I know it like the back of my hand now:

-Upper oil pan (probably too low to get oil where you said it is)

-Head gasket (possible but not very common especially with only 108K miles)

-Valve cover gasket(s) (High enough, but if you already replaced it then probably not. Did the leak change at all after? Or exactly the same?)

-Front oil seal (probably too low and far to the passenger side to get any oil at all on the exhaust manifold)

-Front or rear timing chain cover (not very common from what I can tell, but in relative area)

-Oil pressure switch (I've heard that it can sort of spray when it leaks because it's pressurized. It could possibly be spraying up there.)

-O rings behind rear timing chain cover (they call it infamous so I guess it's relatively common. In fact I just got done replacing mine. It's very time consuming if you DIY and very expensive if you pay someone else so it should probably be your last resort.

Read that link I gave you above and start ruling things out.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:28 AM   #11
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Thanks

my leak is at the 8 and 9 oclock locations in nissanmaxima's circle, on the lower exhaust manifold studs, only on the lowest stud on each manifold "pipe' - only on the bottom 1/2 circle of the stud under the stud nut. very very small leak. its like it leaks out of the bottom stud. oil no where else to be seen.

do all engines have as many gasket leak points as these engines?!
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:03 AM   #12
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john p anderson coolaidkid001
It is still your rear valve cover gasket i would say....did you use a sealant around the bends of the valve cover gasket when installing?If not that is your problem,justy slapping on a new gasket doesnt fix the problem it will leak around the bends around the corners.When you look underneath it makes it look like it's leaking from the exhaust studs.

J.P.



BTW i just fixed the same issue with both of my maximas,use some rtv or similar gasket sealant around the corners and your good to go.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:10 AM   #13
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Here is a pix

I hope
http://forums.maxima.org/album.php?albumid=2401[IMG]

http://forums.maxima.org/album.php?albumid=2401[/IMG]

Picture needs to be rotated to the right, clockwise 90 degrees, its looking over the c joint at one of the two exhaust manifold connections to the block

Last edited by edwardh1; 03-10-2010 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
my leak is at the 8 and 9 oclock locations in nissanmaxima's circle, on the lower exhaust manifold studs, only on the lowest stud on each manifold "pipe' - only on the bottom 1/2 circle of the stud under the stud nut. very very small leak. its like it leaks out of the bottom stud. oil no where else to be seen.

do all engines have as many gasket leak points as these engines?!
First off all, I think all cars have head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, oil pan gaskets, and front oil seals. Most cars have oil pressure switches or something similar. Not all cars have timing chains (many have belts), but the fact that our engines often make it to 350k or more is largely due to the timing chain. Therefore the timing chain covers are pretty much necessary. Also noteworthy is that I didnít say they are all common leak points. I was just trying to list the POSSIBLE leak spots for a passenger side leak. By no means are all these leaks common especially for only 108K miles. The only ones I have found that seem to be somewhat common are the o rings and maybe valve covers. Usually with more miles than yours.

Well, to be sure I didnít have any oil on my exhaust manifold or studs. I had oil leaking from the circled area and down on the cv shaft, the oil pressure switch, the oil panÖ pretty much everything under there, but my leak was pretty heavy considering I had 30K more miles than you (134K). FYI if it is the o rings, it WILL get worse over time. Leaks are a little unpredictable especially if you have been driving because the oil can sling up, fall down, or sling left and right. So the best way to trace it is to get some uv dye for engine oil and a uv light from autozone (maybe about $20 together). You can put the dye in with the oil and idle the car (instead of driving) until itís leaking florescent oil. It will make it a lot easier to see the source. In fact to make it easy to see that area, once you see some florescent oil leaking out I would recommend removing the power steering pump from the timing chain cover and let it hang out of the way (like in NISSANMAXIMA91ís picture. Itís only 3 bolts and it would make it really easy to see if it really is leaking from the o rings where mine and NM91ís carís were. For the PS pump just:

-Remove passenger front tire.

-Loosen the belt by turning the upside down 12mm bolt RIGHTY LOOSEY. It makes sense once you see it, but you have to turn like youíre tightening the bolt in order to loosen the belt.

-After loosening the belt, remove 2 12mm bolts holding PS pump bracket to the timing chain cover.

-Remove 14mm bolt from behind PS pump ( looking at it from the passenger side wheel well). If you look through the holes in the PS pump pulley and turn the pulley, you will see the end of the threads of the bolt in question sticking out maybe 1/16 - 1/8Ē . You have to reach around at about 7 Oíclock with your left hand and feel around for it. Itís head is bout 0.5Ē deep and the bolt goes from the back of the pump, through the TC cover, and out the front side.

-After you get that bolt out, the pump assembly will slide down and out.

Install:

-position the pump and slide the long bolt in place as far as you can to hold the pump up.

-bolt the bracket back on.

-tighten the belt until you canít turn it 90 deg with your fingers.

-after tightening the belt itís much easier to get the long bolt through the pump.

Let me know if you need pics or anything, but the above should help pinpoint the leak. BTW when you say small leak what do you mean? Is it hitting the ground? When does it leak? Only after highway speeds?

Dan
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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Dan, I think you need to look at the pic first. That has nothing to do with the PS pump. It is new in the pic if I am correct and the leak is clearly on that stud and not on the rest of the exhaust. Doesn't appear to be valve cover either.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trini Boom View Post
Dan, I think you need to look at the pic first. That has nothing to do with the PS pump. It is new in the pic if I am correct and the leak is clearly on that stud and not on the rest of the exhaust. Doesn't appear to be valve cover either.
I have rotated and blew up the pic a bit to avoid confusion and disorientation.
I was writing that previous post while he posted the pic so I hadn't seen it yet. The big black thing to the right of the stud a couple inches is the PS pump. In my case removing it gave me a lot clearer view of the leaking area. In Ed's case I think it will do the same for him.


Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by dan1el; 03-11-2010 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:29 AM   #17
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I have gone ahead and transferred nissanmaxima91ís pic to this thread as now it seems to be even more relevant. The o rings are just behind the rear TC case and 1 of them is almost right beside the exhaust stud. Depending on which of the rings and where the rings are leaking, it could easily explain oil on the exhaust stud but not the rest of the pipe. I agree with trini that the valve cover wouldnít leak on the stud without leaking on the top of the pipe. I also have posted the FSM pic of the TC covers which shows the o rings in question.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:32 AM   #18
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Thanks!!

Thanks dan1el for rotation!!!!!!!
this passenger side most (and bottom stud) at that location has the most oil on it.

The next manifold "pipe" connection to the head, maybe 6 inches over toward the drivers side, has a similar oil around the exhaust stud, but not near as much oil on it- it has not formed a drop yet. The passenger side one (in the pix) is borderline on forming an oil drop. I drove it for years with a slight rear valve cover oil leak.
?Could this be oil thats still coming down after the garage replaced the rear valve cover gasket?
?Or could the timing cover (TC??) be leaking onto BOTH manifold studs?
ps: I can not see the manifold studs on the drivers side of the engine , maybe dont know where to look.

? If the valve cover job the shop did was bad, you are saying that the top of the exhaust pipe and all of it would probably have oil on it? Not just coming "out of the stud",under the stud nut??
Thus this leak small as it is is coming from somewhere else? IS that the thought process? There is a drop of oil on the bottom of the power steering pump - could just be draindowm?
?How rule out a PSteer fluid leak? different color oil??
AND - so many questions- is the water pump inside/under the timing chain cover?

Last edited by edwardh1; 03-11-2010 at 08:54 AM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:05 AM   #19
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Ed,

I think you’ve got mine and Trini’s idea right. The rear valve cover is above the exhaust manifold, so it makes since that any oil leaking from the valve cover would drip down onto the manifold connections. In your picture it looks like oil is coming from either below or from the right side of the stud. I would think the right side is more likely (based on the pic). The part that throws me is that you say there is oil on the middle (correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you meant the middle) manifold connection. It seems very unlikely… ni impossible that the o rings could get oil over onto that one. If the oil on the middle pipe also seems to be coming from below, then I would lean toward the upper oil pan gasket (although oil doesn’t usually go up without also going down). And in the picture the oil pan looks pretty clean.

I really think you should get some dye like I suggested. It may help pinpoint the leak. At this point it looks to me like either upper oil pan or the o rings on the TC case. The upper oil pan is just one of many steps to replacing the o rings, so it would be great if that is all you have to do. If it’s the first time you do it, I would set a whole day aside for it. It will probably take 7 or 8 hours with Write-Up: Upper Oil Pan Removal . I’m in the middle of resealing my upper oil pan for the 6th time in 3 months (I was chasing my oil leak for a long time and replaced a few things that also required re-doing the pan) and it took me 2 hours to get the upper pan off and will probably be 3 to put it back on. The first time it took 3 days, but I didn’t have the awesome walkthrough SrgScott made for us.

If you plan on getting a mechanic involved I would ask for quotes on both jobs. If they do the o rings they will have to do both valve cover gaskets, both oil pan gaskets, both TC cover gaskets, and the o rings anyway, so your best bet may be to get them to do that if the price is right. If you do this, get them to do the front oil seal too since it’s on the way and only takes about 10 minutes extra plus the seal is $9. If they do all that then you’re pretty safe in the way of oil leaks. The only other seals are the rear main and the head gaskets which hardly ever leak. Personally I wouldn’t pay any more than $120 for the upper oil pan because a day of my time is not worth more than that. If you don’t have the tools (just sockets and wrenches and a razor knife) then you may want to pay a bit more. For the o rings I wouldn’t pay more than $400 because 3 days of my time is not worth more than that. By no means do these figures represent what a mechanic may quote. That is just the most I would pay before I decide to do it myself.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
There is a drop of oil on the bottom of the power steering pump - could just be draindowm?
?How rule out a PSteer fluid leak? different color oil??
AND - so many questions- is the water pump inside/under the timing chain cover?
Not sure what power steering fluid looks like, but you could take the lid off of the reservoir and compare it. Dip a little on a paper towel or something.

Water pump is inside the front TC cover there is an "access panel" sort of. It's a little black cover with a tab on the bottom left corner kind of pointing at the crankshaft pulley. You can remove this to get to the water pump without taking off the TC cover. However if you are replacing the o rings you have to take the water pump off, and I recommend replacing the 2 big o ring seals on the water pump its self. They are $5 for both at Autozone.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:39 PM   #21
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mine looked just like the pic on both of my maxima's and it was valve cover,ask the shop that did the work if they put a gasket sealer around the bend on the end of the head where the hump is,if they didnt just a simple gasket replacement will not fix the leak,it gets in the corner drips down around the exhaust manifold and makes it look like it is dripping from the mentioned "stud" on the exhaust.When it gets worse it will drip down to the power steering pump etc...etc... and make it look like the power steering pump is leaking.If you have had to add PS fluid i would say possibly the pump "o" rings if it is bad enough to drip and down on the pump you should have a slight influx in PS fluid.If no influx i still think it's the rear corner of the valve cover leaking.Just my opinion though,i have had to fix a few of these here at the shop....including my own 2 max's.
Hope that helps you out some and good luck and keep us posted on the outcome of this.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afterlife View Post
mine looked just like the pic on both of my maxima's and it was valve cover,ask the shop that did the work if they put a gasket sealer around the bend on the end of the head where the hump is,if they didnt just a simple gasket replacement will not fix the leak,it gets in the corner drips down around the exhaust manifold and makes it look like it is dripping from the mentioned "stud" on the exhaust.When it gets worse it will drip down to the power steering pump etc...etc... and make it look like the power steering pump is leaking.If you have had to add PS fluid i would say possibly the pump "o" rings if it is bad enough to drip and down on the pump you should have a slight influx in PS fluid.If no influx i still think it's the rear corner of the valve cover leaking.Just my opinion though,i have had to fix a few of these here at the shop....including my own 2 max's.
Hope that helps you out some and good luck and keep us posted on the outcome of this.
If Afterlifeís looked like it was coming from the stud then the valve cover gasket probably is your problem. I just didnít think that the VC could leak around the pipe and only hit the stud while leaving the top side dry. Thatís much better news than what I gave you lol.

The other thing that is weird to me is that I replaced my VC gaskets while searching for my leak and didnít use any RTV except a little dab on the cover its self to hold the gasket in place while I positioned it. Mine hasnít leaked at all from the VC since then.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #23
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john p anderson coolaidkid001
The corners around the humps is the only place i would recommend RTV to make sure they dont leak.We don't do any of them in our shop without putting some around those corners and you dont have to gob it on there either just a light coating in those corners because it will seep around the bends and eventually make a drip like mentioned.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1el View Post
If Afterlifeís looked like it was coming from the stud then the valve cover gasket probably is your problem. I just didnít think that the VC could leak around the pipe and only hit the stud while leaving the top side dry. Thatís much better news than what I gave you lol.

The other thing that is weird to me is that I replaced my VC gaskets while searching for my leak and didnít use any RTV except a little dab on the cover its self to hold the gasket in place while I positioned it. Mine hasnít leaked at all from the VC since then.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1el View Post
If Afterlifeís looked like it was coming from the stud then the valve cover gasket probably is your problem. I just didnít think that the VC could leak around the pipe and only hit the stud while leaving the top side dry. Thatís much better news than what I gave you lol.

The other thing that is weird to me is that I replaced my VC gaskets while searching for my leak and didnít use any RTV except a little dab on the cover its self to hold the gasket in place while I positioned it. Mine hasnít leaked at all from the VC since then.

You guys must have some good valve covers for it not to leak without using RTV sealant. I have to redo the front valve cover on mine as well since the left bottom bolt by the dipstick, I guess some shop overtightened it and stripped it so it always leaks form there now. But now that I mention it, is it easier to tap and die or have any of you guys tried helicoil to repair the hole??
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:58 PM   #25
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I personally would just tap it.
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Black..Mevi,intake,exhaust,Tein,Stillen

Retired 97 Maxima 5spd Green..Tein,Intake,Exhaust,UDP

Retired 98 Maxima Auto
Green.. Intake,exhaust,Tein,Stillen,UDP

Retired 96 Maxima
Black..Y-Pipe,Intake,Exhaust,Tokico,UDP,
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:58 PM
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