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Old 05-29-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
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Oil Leak Help Needed

I've been searching for weeks regarding an oil leak on my fiance's 2007 Cooper S, but I'm having a heck of a time finding anything at all.

Here's the deal - Every day when my fiance leaves, her car leaves two dots of oil on the garage floor - or, rather, the bib we've placed under her car. It's the exact same two dots of oil, in the exact same pattern, every single morning. She has about 70k on the car, and it's been doing this since we got it.

So far on this thing, I've replaced the tensioner, the water pump, which started leaking and making noise shortly after she got the car, installed an intake, a turbo inlet pipe, as the stock one kept popping off, (turned out it had torn anyway), the valve cover gasket, and the rear breather hose, since it was cracked. I've washed the underbody very thoroughly, and the drops reappear a few days later.

Here's a list of the pertinent info relating to the leak, hopefully making it easy will fetch some good replies and suggestions!

1 - Two dots of oil, every morning. These dots are on the passenger side, either off of the crossmember bolts, or two oil pan bolts.

2 - Timing chain tensioner has been replaced, as it was leaking.

3 - Valve cover gasket has been replaced, as it was pretty moist around the edges with oil.

3 - Rear crankcase breather hose was cracked, so it has been replaced as well. There was a bit of oil on the power line for the starter motor from this dripping oil.

4 - Upon initial inspection under the car, it looks to be the oil pan that is leaking, but I'm not quite convinced that's what it is. The oil pan bolts are where I see the majority of the oil gathering, but I THINK I see oil on the block above the oil pan.

Interestingly, it looks like there may be a bit of oil on the helper pulley for the water pump, too, if that helps narrow down where the problem is. It's entirely possible that I got a bit of oil or something on the housing for that pulley when I did the water pump, though. It's pretty tough to see up there when I can only get the car 8" or so off of the ground, though.

So, I'm at a loss here. I've seen it mentioned that the oil pump could leak, or that it could be a Vanos solenoid, etc, but there's absolutely no solid information that I can find on these conditions. Any google search for oil leaks turns up tons of information for R53's, but minimal info for R56's past the valve cover gasket. Any search on any of the big-3 forums (here, MA and Mini2) are pretty worthless, but that could just be my search terms.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly welcomed!

Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
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It would help if you would share a photo showing the location of the oil on the engine.

Without a photo, and based on the frequency of oil leaks I've seen, I suspect the turbo's oil tube banjo fitting located on the front of the block.

A plug located on the rear of the engine case above where the half shaft bearing bracket bolts up is another possibility.

Dripping from the inlet hose to the throttle body.

Loose oil filter housing cover.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by k-huevo View Post
It would help if you would share a photo showing the location of the oil on the engine.

Without a photo, and based on the frequency of oil leaks I've seen, I suspect the turbo's oil tube banjo fitting located on the front of the block.

A plug located on the rear of the engine case above where the half shaft bearing bracket bolts up is another possibility.

Dripping from the inlet hose to the throttle body.

Loose oil filter housing cover.
Thanks, I'll see about a picture. Not sure how great the quality will be from under the car, though!
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by k-huevo View Post
It would help if you would share a photo showing the location of the oil on the engine.

Without a photo, and based on the frequency of oil leaks I've seen, I suspect the turbo's oil tube banjo fitting located on the front of the block.

A plug located on the rear of the engine case above where the half shaft bearing bracket bolts up is another possibility.

Dripping from the inlet hose to the throttle body.

Loose oil filter housing cover.
Most of these things are on the wrong side of the motor, though. Not saying it's impossible, but I would assume there would be pooling closer to where the leaking components are.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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oil pan. just starting to see them...or the turbo oil feed line.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by agokart View Post
oil pan. just starting to see them...or the turbo oil feed line.
Thanks. I'm really going to just try and replace everything that can leak, but I want to hit the obvious stuff first to try and eliminate the leak.

I know oil pan gaskets were a problem with the R53, have there been a lot of problems on the R56 yet? Any idea how bad of a job that is? It looks easier than my STi...

How about the oil pump? I assume it's driven off of the timing chain... Has anyone had any problems with that leaking?
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #7
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Didn't they use the old failure-prone fluid filled motor mount until 09-ish? If so, could be another possibility.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:59 PM   #8
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Front seal?
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:18 AM   #9
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My Dad ('08 MCSa) had a leak that manifested in a similar spot. Turns out the bolts on the timing chain cover can back out if not properly re-installed after a chain replacement. It's small at first but get's worse over time. Tends to leak on the passenger side. Check to make sure they haven't backed out and if they haven't make sure the seal at the timing chain cover is seated properly.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Front seal?
I sure as heck hope not. If that's the case, it's going to keep leaking for a good, long while. Haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard View Post
My Dad ('08 MCSa) had a leak that manifested in a similar spot. Turns out the bolts on the timing chain cover can back out if not properly re-installed after a chain replacement. It's small at first but get's worse over time. Tends to leak on the passenger side. Check to make sure they haven't backed out and if they haven't make sure the seal at the timing chain cover is seated properly.
Ah, that's good info. I'll check that out. Funny, my fiance actually suggested the same thing, I said 'nah, honey, I doubt that's the case.' haha

As for the fluid-filled mount suggestion, I don't think so. It would be the top passenger-side mount, right? The area it's leaking would make tons of sense, but I'm pretty sure it's dry as a bone around the mount.

Thanks, guys!
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