Where is the oil leaking out?


Senior Member
May 25, 2001
Over the winter the car seems to have started to drip onto the cross over pipe under the starter. The starter looks oily. The leaks a little from the rear seal and the front seems actually dry. My engine cross member is wet looking but not ridiculous. Would the oil be running along the starter from the rear? My car is parked level too. Any thoughts?

How long does it take to change the pan gaskets? Does the pan come out without lifting the engine (I hope so).

The oil landing on the cross over makes the car smell like an outboard.

Also I use synthetic oil as did the previous owner. Would the leaks go away if I went with regular oil?
Leak could be from the back of the intake manifold or the valve covers...

Yes you can do the oilpan in car. If its your first time plan on it taking an afternoon.

A leak is a leak no matter what oil you are using...
How do you guys search for a leak. What is the best way to clean off the engine to search for fresh oil?
Wash the underside of the car and get it nice and clean. That is the best way to tell since you will see new trails of oil. You could also get that GM oil dye and a blacklight to help make it easier to see the source of the leak.
Starting fluid is the quickest degreaser in a spraycan form that doesn't need washing down (carb cleaner works too, not as well though). Please try only to use it on the bottom of the engine using a lift, hood up. You need to wear a respirator and be able to back away from the cloud. And no smoking around it or starting the car for at least 30 minutes (be safe please).
Is it hard to change the rear seal?

What's in there a rope seal? What do people replace it with, a neoprene lip seal?
You can replace the rope with a molded rubber - Napa sells them - I just did mine this weekend, went fairily smooth with the exception of finding out that I need main bearings also.:eek: