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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As my profile says, I have a 2000 Firebird 3.8 with 112K on the clock at the time of writing. Anyhow, after getting my no start condition figured out earlier this year, I have now developed an oil leak, woohoo (not)! I had my oil changed at an oil change shop earlier on in the year and had a slight drip every now and then, come to find out the guys put in the wrong oil (5W20 instead of 10W30) so after not even 30 miles on that oil change, I had it changed with the correct oil and everything was fine and dandy, but since the previous oil change I appear to have developed an oil leak. I first noticed it when I got out of the car after driving to my workplace and back (only 10 minutes each way) and occasionally after longer drives, there would be a faint oil burning smell that you could only really notice for a moment upon stepping out of the car. There is no apparent oil loss on the dipstick that I can detect (at the top of the cross hatched area, although it was slightly over full when I had the last change a month ago, covering half of the FULL stamping) , however upon looking under the car there's usually two spots of varying sizes that seem to originate from the corner of the oil pan on the passengers side in the back despite the fact there is zero visible pan damage thankfully. The reasoning for the two spots I believe is because of oil running down the exhaust, which is evident in a very visible line on the exhaust. I do know that the rear mains, OPSUs, and valve cover gaskets can leak and cause this, however the valve covers were redone 20k miles ago and I replaced the OPSU not even a week after I got the car (with an ACDelco one of course). I did also replace the PCV valve too for what it is worth. My question is, where could this oil leak be originating from? I'm thinking it's rear main or perhaps even the pan gasket, however I do not see any oil above the pan which makes me believe it may be the pan gasket. What do you guys think?

Edit: here are some photos of the underside if it helps as well as the spot in the driveway which formed overnight, all of which were taken this afternoon:



 

· DELCO NERD
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, LT1 5.7L V8
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Do you have any wetness on the front of the oil pan?

Your oil drain plug appears to have some glistening around it in one picture, but no drip trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you have any wetness on the front of the oil pan?

Your oil drain plug appears to have some glistening around it in one picture, but no drip trail.
Interesting observation, I must have overlooked it. I did not detect any wetness on the front of the pan at the time of writing my original post, but can check again in the morning.
 

· Ramblin' Wreck
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Just a wild thought and may not be helpful. I went full synthetic for a few years because I though it would be better. It turned out that the Mobile 1 oil is slippier and can leak more through old seals. I switched back to regular oil and the leak stopped.

The leak is probably coming from the rear crankshaft seal. I would not worry a lot about a 22 year old car leaking a bit of oil. But you might try this to fix it. I did and it lasted a few years.
 

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IMHO....Always use the recommended oil viscosity from the manufacturer or your engine builder. I made the mistake one time of substituting 5w30 when Pontiac recommended 30w or 10w40 for my SD-455 engine. Oil consumption dramatically increased above the factory stated 1 quart per 1000 miles for my engine. My thinking was the thinner oil would free up horsepower but I just ended up wasting oil. Lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just a wild thought and may not be helpful. I went full synthetic for a few years because I though it would be better. It turned out that the Mobile 1 oil is slippier and can leak more through old seals. I switched back to regular oil and the leak stopped.

The leak is probably coming from the rear crankshaft seal. I would not worry a lot about a 22 year old car leaking a bit of oil. But you might try this to fix it. I did and it lasted a few years.
I may have to do that. I checked the receipt for the last oil change (under 1K miles ago at my local wally world) and to no surprise of my own, they used Quaker State synthetic 10W30... It was probably all they had on hand though so I don't necessarily blame them, but at the same time too it probably would have been better not running synthetic since you do bring up an interesting point about synthetic possibly being why this is going on. I may try the BD stuff since I have read positive reviews on it and throw it in next time I change the oil and see if that does anything. Thanks for the tip!

To whoever it concerns, here is a photo of the oil pan from ~30 minutes ago. I was not able to grab one yesterday due to having to take my wife to a couple of appointments that lasted all day, but it happens. I do want to say there is some leaking coming from the front? However admittedly I'm not certain if it really is that though. I did also notice some oil on the transmission forward of the transmission pan which tells me it most likely blew back while driving. I apologize for the not very good photo but I only had a flashlight and a phone camera to work with.
 

· Ramblin' Wreck
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The photo is not very helpful. More helpful is seeing where the oil is collecting on the ground or floor under the car while at rest.
 
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