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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 16853
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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My Dodge Grand Caravan SE, 3.0 engine has a major oil leak.

Customer Question

My Dodge Grand Caravan SE, 3.0 engine has a major oil leak. Last week I had found that my oil cap was missing and I had to put about 2 qts. oil and a new cap on. Then yesterday, I am seeing a steady steam of oil on pavement where I had driven. Then when I stopped, while car was running, oil was pouring out (seems to be on upper right side of engine ..passenger side). Any suggestions?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.
The only thing on the right side of the engine to leak oil that quickly are the cam seals or the front crank seal. Many times when they leak, they pop completely out of place, and the oil streams out as you have described. The best thing to do is fill the oil and wash the engine. Start it up and watch for the oil coming out. If it is coming from the timing cover area it could be the cam or crank seals. If so, the timing cover will have to come off, the belt removed, and the seals replaced. This is about a 6 hour job for a trained tech on a lift with all the right tools.
sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 16853
Experience: ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
sprinkles08 and 13 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So, you definitely don't think it could be the oil plug or the oil plan leaking? And, what is your guess, if this is the problem, the cost to have it repaired?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.

The pan or plug could be leaking, but either of those would leak all the time, not just with the engine running. If you had to replace the cam and crank seals and timing belt you would be in the neighborhood of $500, the job is very labor intensive.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have had an oil leak on that side for quite awhile. It just seems that after losing the oil cap (most likely from not putting it on correctly), then this more major oil leak got worse as I described. Not sure if the oil cap flying around inside the engine could have done something.

When you say $500, are you talking labor and parts? Thanks for your help.

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.
Yes, $500 would be parts and labor if that is what you needed. With the oil cap off, the oil could have splashed out of the valve cover while the engine is running. Clean the engine with some degreaser and water, recheck it for leaks. The oil cap should not have hurt anything, but the oil you see dripping may have just been from the oil cap being off if the leak did not start until the cap was left off.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The leak never been this bad; where a stream of oil is on the pavement and then pouring out when the engine was running at a stop. (All the oil was on the ground). The oil alert was chiming.

I had replaced all the oil from when the oil cap was off (last week). And then, when this started (major leak), I was driving and noticed the engine making the familiar sound of 'time to add oil', I stopped the car, pulled over and added 3 qts.(which I knew something was not right since I had just added a bunch of oil the week before). Then I noticed the stream of oil on the pavement from wherever I had driven. Then, while engine was running, the oil was pouring out (more toward the right side of engine, passenger side).

Also, from driving when this was happening, oil is sprayed up on back of van (bumper, window, liftgate, etc.)

Could this cam shaft seal or crank seal been leaking for quite some time and then suddenly get worse (major leak as described) since I have had the ongoing oil leak whick seemed to have been on that side? Also, would the oil leak be on that side if it was the oil pan or plug?

Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.
The seals could have had a small leak, and one of them has now popped out. Get it checked out and fixed asap if you are losing oil that fast- you will do catastrophic engine damage driving it that way.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for all of your help!
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 years ago.
You are welcome, good luck with your van.

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