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Scott K
Scott K, ASE Master Tech/Instructor
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 1569
Experience:  20 yrs Experience; GM factory Training ASE Master Certified with L1 advanced engine diagnostics
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I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu with a 4 cylinder(2.2 ) with an ...

Resolved Question:

I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu with a 4 cylinder(2.2?) with an engine oil leak. It appears to be coming from the flywheel area and with it up on stands, it leaks aggressively with the engine at higher rpm. There is no noticable leak at idle besides the residual on the casing. Is there anything on that area of the motor besides the rear seal that this leak could be coming from. Also, what process does it take to repair it myself(trans removal, engine removal, or just a minor separation of the two?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Scott K replied 8 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just answer,

The 2.2 engine has a canister type oil filter located near the rear of the engine around the place where the engine and trans meet, the leak may be originating here and running down the block/trans area check to see if the leak is coming from this location. This can be seen from under the hood.

Object Number: 795245  Size: SH

Scott K and 3 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Scott K's Post: I can see that very well and while it does have some old residue and dirt, it is not an active leak where the filter is installed. I believe I can see where this oil filter housing is attached to the block, could there be a leak there and running down into the bell housing because the oil is coming from directly below the flywheel?
Expert:  Scott K replied 8 years ago.

There is an inspection cover between the engine and trans on the bottom near the starter, Can you remove this and look directly at the rear main seal to confrim the leak is here?

Object Number: 510441  Size: SH

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will check this inspection area. Can you answer my questions about whether there is anything else in that area that it could be besides the oil filter and what it takes to change the rear seal?
Expert:  Scott K replied 8 years ago.


There could be an oil galley plug or a crack in the block or porosity issues with the casting. But unlikely.

The transmission is removed to replace the rear main seal and then the flywheel.

  1. Remove the transmission.
  2. Object Number: 412119  Size: SH

  3. Remove the flywheel.

    Important: Do not damage the outside diameter of the crankshaft or chamber with any tool.

    Object Number: 406046  Size: SH

  4. Pry the crankshaft rear oil seal with a flat-bladed tool.

Installation Procedure

    Object Number: 412495  Size: SH

  1. Use the J 42067 and install the seal.

  2. Object Number: 412119  Size: SH

  3. Install the flywheel.

    Tighten the flywheel bolts to 53 N·m (39 lb ft) plus 25 degrees.

  4. Install the transmission.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Does the trans have to be removed completely from the car or just pulled back a small distance?
Expert:  Scott K replied 8 years ago.

It has to be removed completely there is no room to "slide it back" to gain acess.

The engine will need to be supported with a engine supprting fixture as the trans holds up that side of the engine and the sub frame/engine cradle will be removed, it can't hang there on its mounts like a rear wheel drive. After the frame is installed back in a front wheel alignment check will need to be performed.

This is a Major repair! without the necessary tools and equipment it is almost impossible to do.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the info. I do not have the inspection cover on this model. The engine and trans are solid at their connection. There is a rubber stopper on top that allows you to see the torque convertor but that is it. Also the "installation procedure" link that you sent does not allow me access. Thanks again
Expert:  Scott K replied 8 years ago.

The inspection cover is around the starter and the installation procedure is posted below the words installation procedure,

You need to remove starter if there is no inspection cover, you need to make sure of leak before removing transmission.