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97 ETC Sudden Large Oil Leak

1390 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Peter_Reinhard
My 97 ETC the other day had a burning smell. Today the low oil warning came on. I put 2 qts in and still no indication on the dip stick. I put the car in the garage and took my truck to work. Oil has been leaking everywhere. When it was running, it looks to be dripping out pretty quickly in the middle, about 2 feet back from the front bumper.

What do you think this is? (I'll get under it this weekend)

Can a rear main oil seal suddenly go bad?

What else would you suggest?

The car is old (in years), and 140K miles and I'm at the point of wondering if I should keep it. I love the way it drives, and transmission shifts perfectly.

A little engine skip at high speeds when WOT. Something is wrong but overall it drives great.

Also the air conditioning gave me a low coolant message a month ago and has shut off. Being in the north east it has been too cold for AC so no big deal.

And I may need tires soon. So, AC parts, tires, rear main oil seal?

Anyway, any advice is always appreciated.
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Either the oil filter is loose, the oil pressure sending unit has blown the O-ring seal or the oil filter adapter itself is loose - 2 O-rings seal it to the block. All are simple, inexpensive fixes.

See the oil consumption/smell thread near this one for a diagram of the adapter and sending unit.
PeterR, The attached diagram - "oil cooler line fittings, if installed" - is/are this the "bolt" that the oil cooler tube is attached to ? If so, that's the quick connect fitting and should never have come loose.

You might want to get the car up on a lift with the lower plastic air dam removed and insure that both of those quick connect fittings are secure in the filter adapter and that the two bolts which secure the adapter itself to the engine block are tight - 12 ft/lb.

The quick connects have an internal O-ring and the service manual states that the fitting itself should be replaced when any oil cooler line work is performed. Any NAPA store - about $5.50 each.
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