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Old 08-10-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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How many seep oil?

Hey all,

I'm trying to figure out if I have something to worry about. My "new to me" 2004 SE with 37,000 miles has oil seeping from the rear of the head gasket. The PO guaranteed there were no engine problems. so he's on the hook for the fix, although it might be a fight. This is my first Jeep and I am a total newbie. What do you think, is this something for me to be concerned with? I do not get a puddle on the floor, but my mechanic says it will get worse over time. So I throw this one out to the group-Thoughts?

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Old 08-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Do you have coolant in your oil or oil in your coolant? If not it isn't a big deal YET but deff wanna get them to fix that under their cost

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Old 08-10-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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Do you have coolant in your oil or oil in your coolant? If not it isn't a big deal YET but deff wanna get them to fix that under their cost
as best as I can tell, no coolant in the oil and no oil in the coolant.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
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Since oil is passed from block to head through holes in the push rods, and returns to the block by draining through the valve guides, there would have to be a pretty major leak in a head gasket to see oil leaking out the side. My guess is that your valve cover gasket is leaking and it just "looks" like a head gasket leak.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #5
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Since oil is passed from block to head through holes in the push rods, and returns to the block by draining through the valve guides, there would have to be a pretty major leak in a head gasket to see oil leaking out the side. My guess is that your valve cover gasket is leaking and it just "looks" like a head gasket leak.
Is a leaky valve cover gasket much easier to repair than a head gasket?
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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Yeah it is. Where is the oil actually dripping from?
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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Is a leaky valve cover gasket much easier to repair than a head gasket?
Yes, the valve cover sits on the very top of the head (top of engine). The gasket that's most likely leaking is the one between head and valve cover in the picture. Pretty simple fix.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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The mechanic showed me while it was on the lift. It seemed to be leaking out the back of the engine, down the backto the transmission. That's where you see the oil accumulating. I'm not savvy enough to know if it's from the valve cover or head gasket. My mechanic and now the service manager at the Jeep dealer say head gasket. The amazing thing is that the dealer quoted a price of $650 to fix while the local mechanic says $1,000. That was really surprising. I do not have the skills to do this myself...
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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The mechanic showed me while it was on the lift. It seemed to be leaking out the back of the engine, down the backto the transmission. That's where you see the oil accumulating. I'm not savvy enough to know if it's from the valve cover or head gasket. My mechanic and now the service manager at the Jeep dealer say head gasket. The amazing thing is that the dealer quoted a price of $650 to fix while the local mechanic says $1,000. That was really surprising. I do not have the skills to do this myself...
Is it pooling on the bell housing? I would certainly consider an engine rear main seal. When head gaskets leak, they leak coolant into the oil and you have issues with overheating.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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The mechanic showed me while it was on the lift. It seemed to be leaking out the back of the engine, down the backto the transmission. That's where you see the oil accumulating. I'm not savvy enough to know if it's from the valve cover or head gasket. My mechanic and now the service manager at the Jeep dealer say head gasket. The amazing thing is that the dealer quoted a price of $650 to fix while the local mechanic says $1,000. That was really surprising. I do not have the skills to do this myself...
If you can turn a wrench, you can. There was a guy on here who didn't think he change the head gasket and he did by the help of people on the forum.

Just about every single 4.0 leaks or has leaked oil. It's the nature of the beast. I don't think it's the previous owners fault that you didn't get a mechanic to look over the car before you bought it.

I'm skeptical that your head gasket is leaking though.

Most likely valve cover as others have stated.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by fireball24 View Post
The mechanic showed me while it was on the lift. It seemed to be leaking out the back of the engine, down the backto the transmission. That's where you see the oil accumulating. I'm not savvy enough to know if it's from the valve cover or head gasket. My mechanic and now the service manager at the Jeep dealer say head gasket. The amazing thing is that the dealer quoted a price of $650 to fix while the local mechanic says $1,000. That was really surprising. I do not have the skills to do this myself...
Ask your mechanic where in the head (or block) the oil is coming from that he thinks is seaping out of the head gasket. If he says from an oil passage, find another mechanic. I have a feeling that the dealer's price might be for a valve cover gasket replacement and the local guy is quoting a head gasket replacement.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #12
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If you can turn a wrench, you can. There was a guy on here who didn't think he change the head gasket and he did by the help of people on the forum.

Just about every single 4.0 leaks or has leaked oil. It's the nature of the beast. I don't think it's the previous owners fault that you didn't get a mechanic to look over the car before you bought it.

I'm skeptical that your head gasket is leaking though.

Most likely valve cover as others have stated.
Thanks for the confidence that I could do it myself. I'm not convinced right now even with internet help.

I did not include in my post that the PO and I added a clause to the bill of sale that gives me 30 days to get a mechanic to look over the vehicle because I raised concerns at not having one look things over. What I lack in auto mechanic skills, I make up for in contract law. So it is the PO's responsibility in my case. That aside, it's not the issue. I'm more curious if it should be a concern. While there is some confusion over what exactly is leaking, I think it's safe to say, everyone thinks it's an issue that should be fixed.

PS it's not a car, it's a Jeep.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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Actually, it really doesnt need to be fixed. If you REALLY feel the need to, then fix it. but an oil leak wont kill you and probably half of the forum lives with them.

yep. its a jeep all right.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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Actually, it really doesnt need to be fixed. If you REALLY feel the need to, then fix it. but an oil leak wont kill you and probably half of the forum lives with them.

yep. its a jeep all right.
Thanks Bro, now we're on the same page.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #15
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Actually, it really doesnt need to be fixed.
As long as you check the oil regularly and wipe up the spot in your driveway before the wife sees it....
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:48 PM   #16
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As long as you check the oil regularly and wipe up the spot in your driveway before the wife sees it....
I've had many cars, trucks, and motorcycles in my day and all but one do those was able to hold oil. IMO it's better if they don't leak oil...I'm just saying.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #17
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I've had many cars, trucks, and motorcycles in my day and all but one do those was able to hold oil. IMO it's better if they don't leak oil...I'm just saying.
I know, I hate oil leaks. I always make sure I don't have them.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #18
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Just spray it off every once in a while. It will look brand new!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:49 AM   #19
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Just spray it off every once in a while. It will look brand new!
How it looks isn't the problem.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:01 AM   #20
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How it looks isn't the problem.
So you're worried about what from the oil leak?
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:08 AM   #21
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So you're worried about what from the oil leak?
My concern is that it will get progressively worse over time and that it will need to be dealt with at some point in the future. I have no base of knowledge to know if seepage is normal. That was the reason for the original post.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:28 AM   #22
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Is oil seepage 'normal'? I would say no to that question, since they don't come from the factory like that. Your original question of how many do it has been answered, which is just about all of them, but that doesnt seem to put your mind at ease any. You say you're concerned about it getting worse, and you had 30 days to get it checked by a mechanic. You did that, and have repair quotes. Why not just take it back if the PO is responsible for the repair?
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:13 AM   #23
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Exactly.


I mean, between the rear main seal that sits on the crank shaft, timing cover gasket, oil pan gasket, head gasket and valve cover gasket, you're going to have oil "seepage" when? Got me. But eventually it will happen.

How do you fix an oil leak? You go replace that gasket. And if that gasket doesn't fix that leak, now what? Oil leaks are quite hard to stop completely and can end up being more of a hassle to try to deal with than to just check your levels every time you fill up and add a quart every so often.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #24
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True, it seems it's not a Jeep unless it has an oil leak somewhere.

Honestly I think it was Chrysler's idea for built in rust protection.
Oil leaks out, covers the chassis and frame and no rust. BRILLIANT!!!
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:07 PM   #25
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True, it seems it's not a Jeep unless it has an oil leak somewhere.

Honestly I think it was Chrysler's idea for built in rust protection.
Oil leaks out, covers the chassis and frame and no rust. BRILLIANT!!!
Wait, "Garage Floor Lubrication System" wasn't a factory option? Mine definitely has it; so did my old Harley!
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:13 PM   #26
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Wait, "Garage Floor Lubrication System" wasn't a factory option? Mine definitely has it; so did my old Harley!
My Sportster leaks no matter what. My dad said it leaked from day one when he bought it brand new in 78.
.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #27
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My Sportster leaks no matter what. My dad said it leaked from day one when he bought it brand new in 78.
.
That's just territorial, it's marking it's spot.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:52 AM   #28
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ok... am I wrong, if so correct me. Maybe this doesn't happen with every vehicle...
.......
When your head gasket is "blown", you can start your engine cold. take off the radiator cap, cold, and when it is running, you will see bubbles coming up out of your radiator neck.
.....
These two I know are a fact.
When you change your oil, you will see white or whitish color film all over everything.
when your Jeep is running, you will see a white smoke coming out of the exhaust.
If it is only in fact an oil leak from the valve cover gasket, your looking at about an hour to replace it. With no mechanical experience necessary.
head gasket, about 2 days. 1 to get to it, get it out, and one to clean it up and re-assemble it.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:59 AM   #29
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If the engine is running fine, I very seriously doubt your leak has anything to do with the head gasket....I've never even heard of an instance of a 4.0 oil leak in this area (but maybe it's happened in an extreme case).

Like everyone has said: this is the 4.0 engine, and it WILL have leaks in the valve cover and rear main seal at some point in it's life....those gaskets are wear items. I did both of mine last summer.....no more leaks, period.

If you aren't leaving spots on the garage/driveway yet, your leak is very very small. My RMS (rear main seal) got to the point of a quarter size puddle every time I drove it, so I finally changed it. Some people on the forum run that way for years...you just have to check the oil regularily and keep it topped up. These are great engines, but they do leak!
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #30
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The 2002 w/ 135K miles I recently bought my son has oil on the rear of the motor too. No coolant / oil cross contamination. His leak is from the valve cover gasket at the rear of the motor. Very minor and expected. It is on our todo list.

I might suggest that you buy a can or 2 of spray degreaser and clean the whole motor area that has oil from the leak and spray if off with a water hose. After it is clean, run it for a little bit and check to see exactly where it is leaking. This way you will know for sure and not take someone elses word for where its leaking.

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