175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

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175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby kevnesbit - October 22nd, 2010, 4:24 pm

This is my first post. I've found a lot of great information on these forums. I don't consider myself a mechanic by any means. I have a 2001 Ford Escape that I love. I've had it since about 130,000 mile and now I'm at about 175,000. Recently I've be able to replace the spark plugs and ignition coils. I had a check engine light that lead to a misfire, so the replacement was necessary and seemed to fix the problem. I've done a few other little jobs, O2 sensor, fuel filter replacement, little things like that.

Recently I took my 2001 Escape to Firestone for an oil change. They did a check for me and returned the following things I need to have replaced and worked on.

2 oil leaks - oil pan gasket, timing case gasket???
Shocks and struts need replacement - I'll need to replace these
Axel boot is becoming torn - I'll need to replace this

So is it worth the $1,000 plus dollars to have the leaks fixed? It's not a project that I want to have to do myself. Plus with as many miles as I have maybe I should just live with it and save for a replacement vehicle.

What are the long term effects if I don't fix the oil leaks? Can I just check the oil levels and keep driving?

Thanks
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby Four_Eyes - October 22nd, 2010, 4:41 pm

If oil is leaking into the timing case and you have the I4 2.0L engine, that leak should be corrected. That engine uses a timing belt and you don't want oil on a timing belt. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby kevnesbit - October 22nd, 2010, 5:01 pm

Thanks that makes sense. I have the 3.0 V6, but still if it was just the oil pan I can live with that. I'm concerned about the timing case one.
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby jonas1022 - October 22nd, 2010, 7:07 pm

If it isn't getting on the ground in any quantity, drive that thing. They are just trying to drum up some work. Then again, if your Escape is seriously dropping oil from anyplace on the car you need to tend to it.
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby ajc6882 - October 22nd, 2010, 9:12 pm

I wouldnt worry too much about the leaks unless its excessive. The timing cover leak is not serious and will not damage the engine. The v6 is a timing chain and is always lubricated with engine oil. You can see it when you take off the oil cap to add oil. The oil pan gasket probably isn't leaking but to change the timing cover it needs to be removed along with the intake and Valve covers. Just watch you oil levels and make sure its not leaking all over ground on your driveway or parking spot. :thumb:
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby christophera - October 23rd, 2010, 3:51 am

As long as the leaks aren't too bad I wouldn't worry about them. Obviously if you're leaving puddles wherever you park then you should get them seen to.
Mine has about the same miles as your's and leaves the occasional drip in the driveway...I don't stress about it. I watch the oil levels between services and have never had to actually top up so I know I'm not losing much.
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby LX302 - October 23rd, 2010, 6:54 am

I agree with the others on the leaks and to just keep your eye on the levels.
Ex. My mustang started leaking at 140K and been adding oil ever since. 219K now, and all I do is keep a pan under the car and mop it up once in a while. $20 for oil a year is cheaper than a couple hundred dollars labor for replacing gaskets.
Heck I'm just waiting for the head gaskets to go at some point, then I'll rip the motor apart.
But leaks are no fun and should be addressed, but you also have to look at the big picture.
With that many miles on the motor, say you do in fact fix the leaks.
What's to say another issue comes up a couple months down the road and your ripping the motor apart again. $$$
Plus when you start taking off parts to change the gaskets, I'm sure all the rubber hoses and other connections will be hard and brittle possible adding to more cost of those replacments.
If you do in fact think your keeping the vehicle for many more years to come, then maybe you might consider new gaskets. Only you can make that decision.
Good Luck!
Last edited by LX302 on October 23rd, 2010, 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 175K miles - Oil Leaks: Fix or Not

Postby SUVord - October 23rd, 2010, 6:56 am

I agree with the people who suggest not to worry about the leak if it not serious and as long as you check the engine oil in-between changes.
I only have to add a suggestion as to the use of heavier grade oil or additives.Some people may use such temporary fixes but there is always the risk of engine damage.I would not bother with the expense and risk.
I wish you many happy miles.
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