Allpar Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So just got back from a 700 mile trip and found oil underneath my car. My 2001 Grand Caravan 3.3 liter engine looks like it is leaking from the trans-axle to engine connection. My questions are: Could it be anything but the rear engine main bearing seal? If so what else. Can I check it further by taking the access plate off. Is that as easy as it looks? The car has 134,000 miles on it and wondering what else in that area should be replaced along with the seal. I assume the trans-axle needs to be removed for that service. How bad of a job is that? Thanks for the help.
 

·
Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
Joined
·
1,580 Posts
Doug, never been that far into our 3.3L yet. Be sure to check valve cover ends and make sure the oil isn't tracking thru the bell housing from above. As for a main seal R&R, I don't know what's in there. You got a Haynes book? With the old school "rope" seals, we pulled the pan and the rear main cap and loosened all the rest. I seriously doubt it's that simple anymore.

edit to add: After an extended road trip, be sure to explore all areas of crankcase ventilation. Excess pressure in the oil pan could force oil out the weakest point of the pan which may be the rear. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
Ray is probably right, I just had my valve cover gaskets replaced and will have the pan gasket replaced in the near future. My mechanic says these are two common leaks and he owns an '03 GC SE just like mine.

Oil leaking from the valve covers can run down to appear to be coming from almost anywhere.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,355 Posts
The rear main seal wasn't a common leak failure, but still is possible. It was a round rubber seal at the crankshaft end that required the removal of the transaxle and flexplate.
I would degrease, rinse and reassess the leak source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The PCV valve has NEVER been replaced on this vehicle. Valve cover gaskets have been replaced about 80,000 miles. EGR valve has also NEVER been replaced. I have read PCV valve is a pain to replace. What do you think? I have already cleaned off oil. Will monitor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
mopar_doug said:
...I have read PCV valve is a pain to replace...
The 2001 has a screw-in PCV valve and is not too difficult to replace. The easiest way to access it is to remove the wiper tray but it can be replaced with the wiper tray in place.

The PCV valve changed to a press-in style during the 2004 model year, those are the ones that are a pain to replace.

George
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So finally crawled underneath the van for a good look and it looks like the oil pan gasket is leaking. Was checking the shop manual for instructions to replace. Does not look too hard. Anyone have first hand experience with this procedure?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
mopar_doug said:
So finally crawled underneath the van for a good look and it looks like the oil pan gasket is leaking. Was checking the shop manual for instructions to replace. Does not look too hard. Anyone have first hand experience with this procedure?
not hard at all. took me about 2 hours on mine. Felpro kits come with platic retainers that thread into the block to hold the pan up while you bolt it back up. I used RTV on both sides of the gasket for a good seal. Some guys like RTV, others despise it; so the RTV is optional. I finger tightened all bolts then torqued them all down in the crisscross pattern. Looks like oil pan bolts need to be torque to 105 INCH pounds
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,355 Posts
There are a few kinds of RTV and selecting one that works with engine oil is important. They come in different colors and compositions. The rubber-backed steel oil pan gasket should seal fine by itself on a smooth surface, but a dab of RTV at seams will help seal oil from leaking past these point.
http://forum.2gn.org/viewtopic.php?t=38681
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Removing the oil pan on a minivan with the 3.3 v6 is easy. There should not be anything in the way and the pan will drop straight down.
Once you have the pan off, clean it well and check for rust. I had a friend that had a 3.0L in a 1987 Voyager that had small pin holes from rust in the oil pan just above where the oil sits when the engine is off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
I don't recommend silicone since most does not withstand oil very well. Unless the gasket instructions say to use it I don't. Check label carefully.

There are dozens of good gaskets sealants out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So I replaced the oil pan gasket. Easy enough. I just used RTV only where the shop manual said. Where the front chain case cover and the rear seal retainer join the engine. No place else as per the instructions. Seems to have worked great. Thanks for all the comments and help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
May have spoken to soon. Had a small puddle of oil in the driveway again. Went underneath the van and tightened all the bolts again checking to see if any were not torqued to 105 in/lbs. When I took the flex plate access plate off I saw no oil in that area. I assume that is a good sign the rear main seal is not leaking. What do you think?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,969 Posts
Rear valve cover gasket. Just did mine in my 02. Remove the windshield wiper cowl to gain access.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,355 Posts
Maybe another quick 'degreasing' and rinse on a warm engine? Diagnose the source of the leak first.
Test drive it to start the leak again and then recheck the leak source. Oil generally leaks downward (gravity) and rearward (road draft). Common leak sources around the oil pan are the oil filter/adapter and pressure sending unit or from above. Oil can travel along the flange of the pan and drip off some distance from the actual leak source.
Leaks down the firewall-side bank of the engine may be from the rear valve cover/PCV area. Due to air turbulence behind the engine while driving down the road, oil can be blown around and its leak path be difficult to trace as everything will appear wet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
My '03 with 218K mi was dripping oil like crazy when I bought it three weeks ago. My mechanic said valve cover and pan gaskets.

He replaced the valve cover gaskets, I'll do the pan.

Result, 90% of the leaks stopped which I have been watching carefully on my 1200 mi trip.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top