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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I have a 1991 S4 Veloce in very good condition. I purchased it last spring and had an awesome summer with it. She is now off the road and stored for the winter.:(

When I purchased it, there was a little "wetness" in a couple of areas in the undercarriage and after looking at this board I understood that little oils leaks are common with these vehicles.

Over the spring/summer/fall I noticed about 2-3 new oil drops on my garage floor every week. Which seemed to be minor. The oil drops would show themselves under the transmission area and towards the back of the crossmember. No oil drops showed up directly under the engine. Most of the wetness seemed to be present behind the "Guibo" (flex disk) area which I had changed early in the summer. I also had the gear oil (Redline) and defferential oil (Spiax) changed. The mechanic who did the work said there is a small oil leak but this is normal for these vehicles and that I probably shouldn't spend a lot of money to fix the small leak.

The emmisions test on this vehicle was flawless. I did about 4,000 miles of driving this year and had to top up about 2 quarts of oil. Towards the end of this driving season I brought the car in to get the oil changed. After the shop drained the oil they said told me they did not have the oil I requested (Castrol GTX 20W 50). They thought they had it but the guy was wrong. We ended up putting in another brand of 20W 50 and I was off.

A couple of days after the oil change I stated to notice an increase in the number of oil drops in my garage floor (increased to about 10 - 15 per week - same area). It is still dry directly under the engine and the oil filter area is dry. I ended up spraying down the undercarriage to clean it up so that I can better see what is going on. I took some pictures of the area to show you what is going on and where the fluid is dropping from. I'm assuming it is engine oil.

If anyone can take a look at the photos and provide any advice on what I should be looking at, what the cause may be, etc. ... it will be greatly appreciated. Would different oils leak more than others? Should I replace the oil? Is this something urgent that I should be worried about?

FYI - I have circled three areas in one of the photos to show you where the fluid drops are. There is a droplet hanging off the transmission plug but I do not think it is leaking there. I have also provided an older image of the moist area behind the guibo (flex disk) which was taken earlier this year before I replaced it.

Any thoughts out there?



Michael
 

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Maybe the rear crank seal of the engine?

I just had mine replaced. It was leaking out the drain hole of the bell housing and the hole where the clutch slave cylinder is on the passenger side of the bell housing. It all runs down and back and did run down the bottom of the gear box.

Shine a light into the bell housing (through the clutch slave cylinder hole) and see if it is wet inside of it?

To check if it's not tranny fluid all you have to do is smell it, tranny fluid has a very different smell to it. Tastes bitter compared to straight engine oil too. :D

It took me all summer long to figure where it was coming from I finally put a helmet cam under the car to catch it leaking on the road (that's was the only time it would leak). You can see the oil coming out of the clutch slave cylinder hole in the bell housing in the video.

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/n5j1Gn0u244&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/n5j1Gn0u244&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

On different types of oil and increase leakage:

I bet your mechanic put synthetic oil in and you were running regular oil. The former tends to leak easier in our old engines or should I say that if you have a leak that leak gets worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is this the area you mentioned

Hi Msiert,

Is this the area you were talking about in the bell housing? I actually caught it with a different picture (top right corner). It looks moist in that area also.



The potential issue you mention (Engine Seal)... would this be a big/expensive job to get fixed?

BTW - I saw your video last week. This was quite the set up. It is exactly something I would do:rolleyes:
 

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Hi Msiert,

Is this the area you were talking about in the bell housing? I actually caught it with a different picture (top right corner). It looks moist in that area also.



The potential issue you mention (Engine Seal)... would this be a big/expensive job to get fixed?

BTW - I saw your video last week. This was quite the set up. It is exactly something I would do:rolleyes:
Yep that's the hole, looks like oil has been coming out of there.

The shop that did the R & R of the seal changed me a day and a 1/2 labor @ $85 to do the job, the cost $1,207 not having an oil puddle under the car............priceless. :D

Shine a light in the bell housing to see if it is wet I also noticed oil dripping out the bell housing hole when the car was at idle too.

The helmet cam deal...................Well I had the helmet cam already and a afternoon with nothing better to do. :D

Ohhh after a while when it gets worse the oil will go all the way back to the rear axle coating the entire under carriage.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is this what After a while looks like?

Yep that's the hole, looks like oil has been coming out of there.

The shop that did the R & R of the seal changed me a day and a 1/2 labor @ $85 to do the job, the cost $1,207 not having an oil puddle under the car............priceless. :D

Shine a light in the bell housing to see if it is wet I also noticed oil dripping out the bell housing hole when the car was at idle too.

The helmet cam deal...................Well I had the helmet cam already and a afternoon with nothing better to do. :D

Ohhh after a while when it gets worse the oil will go all the way back to the rear axle coating the entire under carriage.

Hmmmmm. After a while!!!!

Is this what after a while looks like? It it is then you were bang on!!!:eek:

These photos were taken at the beginning of the summer? The fluid marks go all the way back of the car and covering the differential.

Again... if you are correct, would this be considered a serious issue or could this be done when I do some other tranny/clutch work in the future (kill multiple birds with one stone). I can live with a few oil drops until it gets worse.

Thx

Michael

FYI - The outside of my car looks much cleaner

 

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Hmmmmm. After a while!!!!

Is this what after a while looks like? It it is then you were bang on!!!:eek:

These photos were taken at the beginning of the summer? The fluid marks go all the way back of the car and covering the differential.

Again... if you are correct, would this be considered a serious issue or could this be done when I do some other tranny/clutch work in the future (kill multiple birds with one stone). I can live with a few oil drops until it gets worse.

Thx



Mine had the same spread patter too

The oil could be coming for a number of places? I might be wrong, but if the inside of the tranny bell housing is wet it will narrow it down to either the front seal of the tranny or the real seals of the engine.

In any of those two cases all you need to do is keep an eye on the fluid levels and you'll be fine. But you do stand a chance of soaking the clutch with oil thus speeding up your other tranny/clutch work you were planning of doing in the future.

If it's not wet in there it's coming from some where else?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
seal of the tranny or the real seals of the engine

If the tranny seal is leaking would it be leaking transmission fluid, engine oil or potentially both?

I'm assuming tranny fluid but I'm not an expert. This is why I denpend on this board so much to help diagnois potential issues. People like yourself have been great so far.

Thanks for your help

Michael
 

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If the tranny seal is leaking would it be leaking transmission fluid, engine oil or potentially both?

I'm assuming tranny fluid but I'm not an expert. This is why I denpend on this board so much to help diagnois potential issues. People like yourself have been great so far.

Thanks for your help

Michael
I hear you, I'm the same way you just want to be sure. It would be tranny fluid which has a very nasty smell to it. :)
 

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I've found that sometimes a few wrench turns here and there will slow down or even halt minor leaks. Make certain oil pan bolts, drain plugs, trans case bolts/nuts, and other relevant fasteners are torqued. It may pay dividends for zero cost.

On another note, frankly our Alfas underneath are never going to look like a 30.000 mile Toyota or Nissan (i.e. bone dry). It's just not in their nature. And it's not a reasonable goal to pursue, IMHO. I get concerned over, and repair persistent, dripping oil leaks. But a drop here and there? It adds character!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've found that sometimes a few wrench turns here and there will slow down or even halt minor leaks. Make certain oil pan bolts, drain plugs, trans case bolts/nuts, and other relevant fasteners are torqued. It may pay dividends for zero cost.

On another note, frankly our Alfas underneath are never going to look like a 30.000 mile Toyota or Nissan (i.e. bone dry). It's just not in their nature. And it's not a reasonable goal to pursue, IMHO. I get concerned over, and repair persistent, dripping oil leaks. But a drop here and there? It adds character!;)
I agree Alfaloco,

I was aware there was a leak, it just got worse after my recent "winter storage" oil change where I was put in a situation where the regular oil normally use was not used. This is why I posted the issue .... so that I could get some feedback from others.

I'll look at retorquing and possible putting my regular oil back in the spring. For now, I will monitor to see what happens while the car is stored.

Thanks for the info

Michael
 

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Just for giggles, you might want to run your hand on the back of the head by the firewall. You could even look down in there with a light and mirror actually.

If you come up all nasty, you might want to look into halfmoon seals and mabe a cam cover gasket before you get all knee deep in a transmission pull.

Also, you can pull the inspection cover off the front of the bellhousing (4 bolts) and take a look at the engine side of the flywheel.

If it's wet, you may very well have a crank seal going, but if it's dry and clean, it's likely coming from the front trans seal or higher up on the engine somewhere if the inside of the bell housing appears clean and dry. (there will likely be a bit of clutch deust in there, but it shouldn't be visibly wet)
 
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