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#63 of 82 Re: Engine's burning oil - how much longer will it last? [chelle26]
Sep 03, 2007 (7:23 pm)
Can you say, "SCAM-O-RAMA"? Sure, I knew you could.
The bilge water that article is championing is made with the exact same primary ingredients as the world renowned Slick 50 product, namely Teflon. Like it or not, Teflon is a solid and is removed from the engine oil by the oil filter (at least until it clogs the filter) before it gets to the cylinder walls.
Said another way, Alemite CD-2 is just another bottle of "me-too" snake oil, produced and sold by folks more interested in separating you from your hard earned money than helping you with a problematic engine.
#64 of 82 Re: Engine's burning oil - how much longer will it last? [chelle26]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 04, 2007 (7:35 am)
Not buying it either. You can't fix worn rings with something in a can. We are talking here about missing metal that's worn away, in a combustion chamber exposed to incredible heat and stress. So a can of goo is going to fix this?
There MIGHT be situations where oil-burning is correctable, but actually engine wear is not one of those situations.
Also, using engine sealer is a bad idea. This swells the seals temporarily but they become flabby and rubbery and will leak worse shortly.
#65 of 82 Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure
Aug 01, 2010 (6:23 am)
I have a 1997 Subaru Outback with a manual transmission. 97,000 miles. For the last five years or so, the car has been driven occasionally, but not for many miles , because I have a company car. Despite this, the car still runs very well.
Now the car has oil leaks from the engine block and oil pan, and a transmission leak from the front end. The estimates for repair are a few thousand dollars, which I have trouble justifying on a car this old. I am trying to decide whether or not to keep driving it and feeding it oil until it dies, or replace it.
I have been monitoring the levels of both the engine oil and the transmission gear oil. Both leaks appear to be slow leaks. I have seen very little fluid in the driveway, and no tailpipe smoke. I see some smoke from the engine compartment when I sit at stoplights for long periods, presumably from engine or transmission oil dripping onto the exhaust pipe. There is some odor.
The car runs well, and I don't mind feeding it oil for a while. However, I do not want to get stuck somewhere. I often carry canoes/kayaks on the roof rack, and having a breakdown with boats on the car could be a bit complicated.
My question is this: Do these kinds of leaks typically lead to a sudden catastrophic failure that would leave me stranded someplace? Or, will the car just gradually burn more and more oil and lose more gear oil?
Also, do the engine oil stop leak products that are widely available on the market actually work, without harming the engine? Is this a viable strategy for engine oil leaks?
Thanks in advance for your help.
#66 of 82 Re: Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure [canoeboater]
Aug 01, 2010 (6:46 am)
The vehicle is probably worth around 2-3K if trying to trade in or sell.
Since you already have a reliable daily driver company car, I think the decision on this is partially dependent on how much the value will reduce if you keep it a year, and the oil leaks get progressively worse. Just keep the thing alive to haul your sport gear, and don't spend a ton of money on it.
If this were mine, I'd probably look to replace the top valve cover gasket, it that is where it is leaking and dripping down on the exhaust pipes. That should be much easier and cheaper to repair. I'd then degrease and clean off the engine and transmission, which would give you the ability to monitor closer where and how much it's leaking.
#67 of 82 Re: Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure [canoeboater]
Aug 01, 2010 (6:46 am)
First off, unless you run the engine (or transmission) low on oil, then they'll go on running for a long-long time.
Second, for the cost of the gasket replacement service you can buy lots and lots of oil and still never justify the cost of the service, even if you drive the car a half of a million miles or more.
Third, as a general rule, engine stop leak products do not work well.
Finally, long ago when I was quite poor and needed a car desperately, I bought a car that was leaking a fair amount of oil, burning a fair amount more (to the tune of 100 miles per quart), and the previous owner's mechanic told him that the engine wouldn't go more than a few hundred miles more before suffering a catastrophic failure. I was pretty handy with engines and figured I'd take a chance on it; I paid $250 for the car which had 105,000 miles on it at the time. At the 220,000 mile mark the oil consumption hadn't gotten any worse (better actually as I'd replaced a number of leaky gaskets), and the engine still ran well. By then I was making a little more money so I yanked the motor and rebuilt it. My bet is that that darn thing would have gone easily twice that mileage without being rebuilt, but I finally just got tired of putting oil in all of the time.
Long story short, I say keep your car, feed it oil, and save your money.
#68 of 82 Re: Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure [canoeboater]
Aug 01, 2010 (9:15 am)
I agree with Kiawah and Shipo. Oil is cheap, relative to replacing crankshaft and driveshaft seals. Valve cover gaskets can probably be done for less than $50, if you can do the work yourself. Forget about the engine stop leak products.
#69 of 82 Re: Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure [canoeboater]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 01, 2010 (10:03 am)
Before you do anything, you should have the car checked for the dreaded Subaru 2.5L engine's headgasket leak---which occurs right about at your mileage, and which can cause external as well as internal leakage.
If you're lucky, maybe the oil leaks are not so hard to fix...if it's just valve gaskets, the only real risks are a) running out of oil and b) excessive oil catching fire at some point--if it started leaking A LOT.
A good Subaru specialist should be able to diagnose for head gasket failure pretty easily and cheaply.
If you need head gaskets, that's also a good time to fix the transmission leak. If it's a very clean car, otherwise functioning well with good AC, upholstery, tires, brakes, etc., I'd say go for it. These cars can run a long time. But if the leaks are only one of a number of other issues, and if the car is kinda beat, I'd let it go.
#71 of 82 Re: Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure [shipo]
Sep 27, 2010 (1:50 pm)
Interesting, shipo. Can you tell us what kind of car it was?
#72 of 82 Re: Engine oil leaks and transmission (gear) oil leaks - longevity and failure [hpmctorque]
Sep 27, 2010 (3:30 pm)
A 1966 Plymouth Valiant 200 with the "Certified Bullet-Proof" 225 Slant-Six engine.