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BigBob
BigBob, Shop manager/Service Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4837
Experience:  Shop Manager with 25 years experience
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Windstar LX: I notice that there is an oil leak in my van. I

Customer Question

I notice that there is an oil leak in my van.
I dont see the oil leak at all when the car is off.
Seems it is leaking while driving.
I notice oil all over the drives side on the tranny.
Not underneat, but on top of the engine.
How can i troubleshoot where it is coming from?
Is there known components to leak when driving on that right drives side area of the engine?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.

BigBob :

Greetings and welcome!!!!!

Customer:

Hi Bob, i think i bought a lemon, Today I noticed the oil was low after 3 days of using it. I noticed oil residue on the right side of engine, not on the engine but in that area and seems it only does it when driving

BigBob :

This leak is on the drivers side?

Customer:

yes, top of engine,

BigBob :

3 QTS seems like the leak is bad.

Customer:

it was about 1/2 a quart in 3 days

Customer:

but nothing dripping on the floor

BigBob :

Sorry misread that.

Customer:

so it tells me it is happening when driving

BigBob :

This sounds like a valve cover gasket is leaking. I would also replace the pcv valve, because the valve sticks and causes gaskets and seals to blow out.

BigBob :

You can pinpoint it buy cleaning off the oil and putting some engine oil dye in and then you look at it with a black light to see where it comes out.

Customer:

where can i purchase this engine oil die?

Customer:

i am not familiar with this van. can you tell me the location of where this pcv valve is?

BigBob :

Most auto parts stores carry it. I always use the GM brands because it works so good. Most Parts stores do carry it though. Let me look up a picture for you.

Customer:

and what do these part stores know it by? engine oil die?

Customer:

or is there another name for it

BigBob :

Yes engine oil dye.

BigBob :

#1 in the picture.

Customer:

thats the 2003 windstar? and the frong one?

Customer:

im curious, i see alot of stuff on the back of these vans that seem to be hard to reach. How do yall work on min vans on the back. seems even hard to put brake fluid in

Customer:

is there a way to take the top thing off to work on it?

BigBob :

Right next to the oil fill cap. Yeah with my big hands it gets worse and worse. We do a lot of the work on a rack in the air.

Customer:

is there a way to take off the hood area above these components to like fill the brake fluid up

BigBob :

You can remove the cowling, but that is a project in itself. You can also remove the air cleaner housing.

Customer:

whats is weird, is the master cylinder is on the back, the place to fill it up is like 4 inches from the top of that thing. How do you put brake fluid without spilling it?

BigBob :

We have a plastic bottle with an extension.

Full Size Image

Customer:

nice, that is what i am envisioning

Customer:

dont tell me that all the vacuume hoses are back there too

BigBob :

Yes. Usually a tool for everything.

BigBob :

Yes, vacuum hoses are in the back.

Customer:

well how can you put them on, do i ahve to take the whole engine to change vacuume lines?

BigBob :

No not at all. You can get to them from underneath. Sometimes you can do them by "feel". On this engine I would wait until they are needed.

Customer:

ah, so from underneat, i can access the back?

Customer:

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX working on my car so i know where everythinig is, but this is my first lemon minivan and i am trying to learn the basics

BigBob :

Yes. You will need to put it up on jack stands to get to them.

Customer:

ok, thanks.

BigBob, Shop manager/Service Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4837
Experience: Shop Manager with 25 years experience
BigBob and 2 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what is the recommended oil weight that I should use?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
5W20 oil


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

synthetic or regular?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Regular


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the dye will be here tommorrow. Here are some pics I took of the leak after driving. The front valve cover looks and feels dry.


 



 



 


Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
The pictures are a little blurry, can you get some better ones?


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, here are the new pics. the first two show where all the wet is. i believe it is happening bending the third part and running down to where the first two pics show. is there a 2nd valve cover by the firewall?


 



 



Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes there is a second valve cover on the back side. Can you take a picture a little farther back for me? Thanks




Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

how can i gain access to the back. I cant see back there. Can i get a clear view and access from under the van?


 


I also put the dye in there. What kind of black light? Do i need those glasses to?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes the glasses would be helpful. They make a small inexpensive black light, a pen style, that would work. If it is the back cover that will be a project to get to. You will not be able to see it from underneath. For that repair you will have to pull the cowling to gain access. The cowling is by the wipers.


PANEL - COWL TOP VENT

Removal

  1. Remove the windshield wiper pivot arms.

graphic



  1. Remove the screws.
  2. Release the dips.
  3. Remove the windshield wiper hose.
  4. Remove the cowl top vent panel.

Installation

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedure.

 

Bob

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thanks are those glasses just for uv protection?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No they make the light glow better. They are yellow glasses.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

who would carry these things locally? when i ask for uv glasses, they are saying yes, but then give me clear goggles that are uv protection. what are these called?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Not all are yellow, I thought they were. I have never seen clear one I guess. They are UV glasses. Like these here.

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_x_20891221- P_x_x?cm_mmc=ACQ-_-Google-_-enhancedRM-_-20891221&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=20891221&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw={keyword}&gclid=CL23lMKdpbUCFUXhQgod5AcAzw#utm_source=acq&utm_medium=google&utm_campaign=enhancedrm&utm_content=20891221


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank link dont work

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Sorry about that. Go to advance auto parts online and put part # XXXXX



Take a look at that,
Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
That is perfect, it should work just fine.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, i have the dye in the car? should i drive for a couple of days before checking?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes. Just obviously don't drain it. Sometimes you can even see the dye without the glasses, but before checking , clean it the best you can with a can of carb spray or cleaner.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


you mean clean the current mess, then drive and check again? does this dye just stays on where it comes out or will it go wherever the oil runs to?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
It will go wherever th oil runs to. Clean it today and then recheck it in 2 days. You can even check it in 1 day, since it seems to leak often.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so for sure there should be some leaking that connect to engine and that should be the source?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
If the leak is engine oil it should show up. Where the dye comes out is where the source will be. Did you get a picture a little farther back for me? I would like to see a couple from farther away, then a little closer.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

there is no way i can see farther back.


i think i have to take off that cover to see back there.


I know the source is somewhere on the side where the other valve cover is.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No problem let me know when you see it or get that far.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

can it be possible to leak where the injector harness plugs into?


you know right on the back on the valve cover?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Not the harness, unless it is coming from the valve cover on to the harness.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i see that die on each of the little poles where the harness plugs into and i see some like on the bottom of the exhaust manifold, but it is hard to see specific where it is coming from. because i see it in different areas.

 

i think it may be leaking where the exhaust manifold bolts to the engine. There is a gasket there. can i send you a video of where it glows?

 

sorry i mean the intake manifold, not the exhaust manifold

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Absolutely. Lets take a look. Maybe the intake is leaking?



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

dam, the pics dont show the glow, but i can point to where i see the glow.


is that alright.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
You bet that may work.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Here is the pic. There is no glow on the valve cover gasket as people indicates that oil cant leak from the intake manifold behind the valve cover, so i dont know. what do you think?


 


Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Can you also take a picture without the black light on?





thanks
Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

here are two pics,


 


1.) the first one is in the front, right when you open hood


2.) the second one is the passenger side by the belts. i notice it really wet there.


 


 



Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
I think the intake manifold is leaking. That is the only oil that can leak there. Unless the valve cover is leaking right in the corner and spraying up there, that has to be it.




Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes, i would of thought valve cover, but if it was the valve cover gasket, it would of been glowing along with what i saw, but the only thing that is glowing is the gasket on intake manifold and those injector harness pipes, which i believe is from the spraying, dont you think it would of glowed too if valve cover was leaking. and the 2nd picture seems like it is from the end points of the intake.


 


is it possible for oil to leak all around the intake even the area by the valve cover?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes I agree with you. There would be dye at the valve cover if it was leaking there. Yes it is possible.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Do I have to remove valve covers to remove intake

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No you do not. Click here and here for the files to remove the intake.




Please let me know if I can help further,
Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So I have to remove the fuel lines. Where are they and how do I do it t

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i am removing the upper intake manifold and i noticed that pcv hose, the other side of where the pcv valve is was practically torn, and lots of oil from there. I am suspecting maybe this could be leaking oil from there, so i am nervous if this is the major leak from here, but does oil come from here?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
It can if the pcv valve was plugged up. That's why i replace them when you find oil leaks.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hmmmm, i already have the upper intake manifold off, so i will just change the gaskets. i notice the oil is really really dirty, if i put my finger, it has residue. is this normal?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
I doubt all that oil is from just the pcv hose. From the pictures you showed me I still believe the intake gaskets are leaking. When you get blow by like this it will be really dirty, if that is what you are talking about. This is normal, just make sure to replace the pcv hose.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i am talking about the six holes that are present when i take off the upper manifold. i notice those six holes, they have like hinge openings, those are really dirty. can you tell

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No that is engine sludge and that is not normal. That is from the previous owner/owners not changing the oil on time. Next oil change, run a can of engine oil cleaner through it before changing it. That will help, there is nothing else you can do for it at this point.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

well, if i wipe with my finger, it comes off so it it not stuck on it like hard sludge, but really dirty. i have some bg quick clean. will that help? i was planning on changing the oil with new oil, put a clan of this quick clean, and run it for a few miles and then drain the oil and do this a couple of times to clean it.

 

should we clean the lower intake similar how we clean the valve covers when we change them?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes that is a great idea.Yes clean the intake just like that.




Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

one question, i got the tool to remove the fuel lines, but the smaller one doesn't want to come out. i was able to remove the bigger one. Why would it be so hard? Do i need to put alot of force. Im thinking maybe that smaller one has too much pressure which is making it hard. Please help!!!

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Relieve the pressure to make sure. Push the schrader valve in on the fuel rail. These can be very tight. If the tool is working it will come out.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i am using a 3/8th one, are those all universal or are fords different?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
That should be the one. the ford tools are basically the same thing.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, please tell me the ford parts that i need for this job?


should i replace anything on upper intake since im there already?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
I don't know the ford part #'s for these tools. I use Snapon or Mac from the tool truck, much cheaper. Just replace all gaskets obviously, thermostat and gasket, pcv valve. I think that is everything.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

why thermostat? where on the manuals does it show thermostat?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Because you are right there and it will save you time later. The thermostat sets inside the intake I believe.


graphic


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

can you get me the ford part numbers for gaskets, and all these things.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
XR3Z8575BA Thermostat

XF2Z9H486AA Upper plenum gasket
YF2Z9439AA Lower right intake gasket
YF2Z9439BA Lower left intake gasket


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


what about the ends?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Those come with the lower gaskets.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


are the upper ends the white gaskeet between the two pieces on the upper intake?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes it is!!!


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

another question, if an injector oring is bad, will it leak oil or fuel?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Fuel. I forgot to mention those. You will want to replace those also. They don't list those part #'s, but the dealer can look those up for you.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, and since i will have the injectors out, can i test for fuel leak in them and is there a way to clean them like the shops do since ihave them out?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
The shops do not clean them while they are out. We use a strong cleaner put write into the fuel tank and air induction. You can have them pressure tested for leaks, but most shops do not have that equipment. Were any of them wet when you pulled them out? You may have to call around and see if anybody local does it.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, i took the fuel lines out, the electrical connectors, the four bolts. how do i take this out. it does not come out easy. do i have to forcefully take it out.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes the o rings on the fuel injectors hold them in. They have to be tight to seal.




Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, i took it off, wow, black from the oil leak.

also on the back of the intake manifold, leaking even more.

 

how do i take off the heater hose. there is a plastic clip on it?

also what size wrench do i need to remove the egr to exhaust manifold tube?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Well that is good. I do not remember what size exactly the egr tube is, I think 19, 20, or 21mm but not sure. The plastic "clip" I am not sure about either, can you take a picture?




Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, i got the lower intake manifold off.

do you think i should buy dealer gaskets or are felpro gaskets better?

 

before i put this stuff back on, is there any change the head gasket could be the cause of this leak too?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
I use felpro gaskets all the time, and they are great. A lot of time felpro makes an updated gasket before the dealer has them for problem gaskets. If you had head gaskets leaking you would have seen dye from there. i doubt that they are leaking. You can buy a felpro intake gasket SET that will come with everything you need, except maybe the injector o rings.





Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes, i see them, i just want to make sure they are quality.


if the head gasket was leaking, where would it leak from?


arent the heads internal.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No you would see right where the head meets the engine block, dye would be there.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

are you saying under the vehicle. all i see is the intake hitting the block. are you talking about below the valve cover?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes. Below the valve cover where the cylinder head meets the engine block.

graphic


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so it would of been leaking under there on the block?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes absolutely. It would have run down on the block.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes and i noticed these leaks were like rust brown on areas, this tells me the leak could of had oil and antifreeze from the intake. is this common?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No, head gasket leaking is not common on this engine. Rust is usually coolant. Rust could come from other areas. did you pickup any dye there?


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what i am talking about is the leaks i showed you from the intake gaskets, i noticed dye in the area, that i pointed out, but the color is a little rusty color, which i am thinking is the antifreeze and oil leaking out from these bad gaskeets.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes that would be correct. These gaskets are the issue.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX looking at these gaskets.


 


http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_intake-manifold-gasket-set-felpro_15780606-p?searchTerm=lower+intake+manifold+gaskets#


 


do you think these will be better quality then the dealers?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Absolutely these are perfect. These meet or exceed oem specs.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

would it be possible if this type of leak cause random idle surges when i turn the car in morning?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
That was probably that pcv hose that was broke causing that.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

are you familiar with gasket adhesive?

can i put this on to preven the gaskets from moving around when i put on the inake?


can i take a picture of my engine where i took the intake gasket out and please tell me if it looks normal. What are the purpose of those size holes, that go to the head.

was their a tsb on the valve cover gaskets that can cause any internal leaks from gasket to intake?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes give me a picture and i will do what I can. Do not use any adhesive on the gaskets, follow the directions on the package.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

im nervious that lowering the manifold will move the gaskets. How can i prevent this. I dont see any grooves where the gaskets sit, it is just on a flat area.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
The intake gaskets do not need any sealant, except in the corners as shown in the procedure.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

oh ok, please explain to me how we are suppose to lower this down without the gaskets moving? how do the gaskets stay in place?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Get some spray adhesive and lightly spray it on to hold it in place. I use permatex. This is tacky and you will not need much.

graphic


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


will this work? http://www.bowessealfast.com/p-588-permatex-82019-all-purpose-spray-adhesive-16-oz-aerosol-can.aspx

 

where exactly do i spray this sealeant, all over or just a part of it? please help me.

also when i put the rtv on the ends and put the ends on. do i let it dry before i proceed?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Yes this will work. Just spray a little on the gasket and set it on the block. You can spray it all over or on the end, as long as it does not move. Just let it sit about 4 minutes.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i noticed that device on the intake, the one with the two metal arms that open and close those little hinge windows. I noticed on of those arms was not connected, the clip was broken. I am assuming this was broken awhile so one side must of not been opening. What symptom would this be?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
That is the intake manifold runner, surprised it did not set a code. You can buy those clips at any local dealer.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

is it possible for people to make the computer not read codes. like a shady used car salesman.

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No not that I am aware of.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Also, i used brake cleaner spray and still some hard gunk on the manifold. What is the best cleaner that is used to clean this good and safe for it? Please point me to the best.


 

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
You can use an engine degreaser. After rinsing it make sure it is completely dry.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so should i just clean the gasket area or even inside those holes and stuff? can i use acetone?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
You want to clean those holes out the best you can. If it is real bad, they have some brushes at the parts stores to get inside better.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

can i use acetone?

 

can i take it to the carwash and use the pressure washer thing to rinse the degreaser off?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure about the acetone and this type of metal, I would not use it just to be safe. Yes you can use the pressure washer at the car wash, just make sure it is completely dry before installation.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thanks, i just want to be safe,


 


you think the pressure of car wash, can damage any of the gasket surface area?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
No it will be ok, unless there is some pitting, then I would not.



Bob
Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
Hi Gerald Dalum,

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? do you have any further questions? If not please leave an excellent rating, I do not get credit for my work until you do.


Let me know,
Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

had another question about the upper intake gaskets.




they seem stuck. how do i remove them and when i put the new ones, do i have to put adhesive to keep them stuck or will they stay stuck themself?


Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
You need to make sure you get all the old gasket material off. You can buy a gasket scraper to do it.

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As far as the new ones, I think we have already talked about using the spray adhesive to hold them on.


Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

well im talking about the upper manifold gaskets now, i think we were discussing the lower ones about the adhesive. right now the upper intake that i took out has the gaskets still on them, they even seem good, and the whole things seems tight on there. how to i remove them, they seem teflon?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
I am so sorry, I did not read that correctly. Even though they look good still replace them. Don't use the gasket scraper on this gasket. Use a small pick to dig them out of the groove. You will not need anything to hold these, they will fit tight. If for some reason they do not hold, just use some adhesive.




Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the gasket kit came with a round ring. Where is this located on the manifold?

Expert:  BigBob replied 1 year ago.
It may not go on this model or you did not take something apart that uses it. That small ring could be where a hose or pipe connect, but hard to tell. If you did not take it apart then you will just discard it.



Bob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

one question, i read that sometime anti-freeze can fall into the engine when removing these intakes. also that we should drain the oil and pour a quart of clean oil on the lifters to push the wetness or anti-freeze out. With the lower intake off, where should i pour this quart? do i pour it in the circles where gaskets are or the center ditch area?

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BigBob
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