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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a used 2010 Ford Escape a month ago and have been leaking a substantial amount of oil the last two weeks. This is my first car and I know almost nothing about them, but am learning!

I took it to a mechanic who told me I had four leaks: valve cover, timing cover, and oil pan (and a transmission leak that they don't do at that shop). The repair costs are almost $1700. I'm taking it for a second opinion today, but am curious if anyone else had this problem or if you can tell from my horrible photo if that estimate is reasonable. Any advice would help thank you!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the city, mags

I would strongly recommend going to more than one shop for estimates/diagnosis. Look at some reviews for shops around you, and which ones have treated 'everyone' fairly.

But first I would inquire where you purchased the car one month ago, and see if you can't go back to them for some resolution.

I hate to say this, but a lot of people will treat the elderly/women differently when you walk into a shop. If you have a brother, dad, uncle, friend that could go with you to the mechanic… I would suggest that.
you said it was major oil leak, and you are obviously willing to crawl under the car… Put a piece of cardboard underneath it so you can see where exactly the puddle is beginning, then you know where to look up at from underneath and try to trace where the major leak actually is.
I strongly recommend some sort of glasses to protect your eyes when underneath a car. Allow the car to cool down for several hours before you touch anything.

you are already ahead of the game, you found the city(us), and the only dumb question is the one not asked. ( :

I would strongly recommend joining something like AAA. it's not expensive, and you will never be stranded as long as you have cell service.

Rereading this, sorry to go dad on you... lol
No thank you so much for the advice! I was definitely nervous of being taken advantage at a shop bc i'm a younger woman who clearly doesnt know too much about cars. Unfortunately, I can't go back to the place where I bought it bc i recently moved to another state, which also means I have no male family or friends yet to take with me to the mechanic /: but, I will be sure to take it to another mechanic for a second opinion! Until then, i've been checking the oil and bought some that fits with my type of car in case I need to refill until I figure it out.

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I just figured out the photo position. It is a 4-cylinder, and the photo is looking in/up showing the front(belt) end of the engine to the left, and the bottom of the A/C compressor directly above the oil pan sealing surface.
GIven the drops collecting on the compressor, you have a seeping cam cover gasket. That is the set I just replaced on a 3.0, which as two. A 4 only has one. It really is not difficult to replace the cam cover gasket, though I have not done it. Unless there is some restriction on access I do not know about, it should be a minimally difficult task.
The things to disconnect are not many, with the main ones being the injectors and the spark plugs along with the COPs that make them spark.
I had just about the same amount of oil dripping from the compressor, and just checked the other day, with no drops forming. To me, so far, that indicates that replacing the cam cover has slowed or eliminated the seepage that was collecting. I will keep checking now and again. I am at about 155,000 miles, so the rest of the sealing is likely on the way to needing replacement, but it may or may not get done. The engine does not leave drops on the garage floor, neither does it seem to need additional oil between changes. Slowing down the seepage may cut the use significantly.
FWIW, repairing just one of your leaks may give you adequate service leaving the others to keep slowly leaking. The cam cover should be doable. I would check for a video on YT. A minimal tool set would be needed, at least I think so.
tom
thanks tom you have been very helpful I will check out some videos and maybe facetime my dad so he can maybe help me as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a significant leak on my 3.0L V6. It was so bad there I could not identify where it was leaking from. The entire bottom and front side of the engine was covered in oil. It looked like a shootout from a Quentin Tarrantino movie... As the exhaust got hot it would smoke from under the hood. Again, significant leak.

Since it's an 05 with some rot issues and a dead 4WD transfer case, I mostly ignored it until I could replace the truck and junk it.

Many months later, it threw an oil pressure light. The oil pressure sensor switches are known to cause this so I ordered one and installed it because it was cheap and easy to do. Guess what? The switch was also leaking oil. Now there's no oil leaks. Like none. Zip.

That pressure sensor switch was leaking and since it's behind the AC compressor, it hid itself well. The oil made its way to the belt and slung itself over the entire bottom and front of the engine.

Even though the switch requires the AC compressor to be removed, it's only a 30 minute job because the AC is on the front side of the motor right under the front bumper. I don't have a lift so I used wheel ramps for better clearance. Just three bolts and swing the compressor out of the way - you don't need to disconnect any refrigerant lines. Change the switch with a deep socket and reassemble.

John

EDIT: remember, all motors with high miles or a lot of age leak some. Substantial can mean anything. To me, that's a two inch puddle any time it's parked. To others, that could any seeping that visible on the engine. Is it leaving a drop, two drops, or a small puddle?

Any oil that leaves a drop or two or more should be investigated, but on an older engine you generally see some seepage from the timing cover, oil pan, front crank seal, etc, but only seepage, not dripping. If you're just seeing some dampness and no puddles, I'd be inclined to ignore it.
haha love the tarantino reference! thank you for the info, it's really helpful! This was the amount of oil leaking overnight. Not sure why it's in a few places and seems like a lot to me, but am not sure.
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