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2017 Explorer sport, small oil leak, doesn't seem to get fixed.

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by intyvision, July 31, 2018.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. ISTGradFromPSU

    ISTGradFromPSU New Member

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    I got the car back yesterday. Had them put the car on a lift to visually inspect. Looked dry to me. They replaced the flywheel cover as well since I was missing a retaining screw after visit #2. Will just keep an eye on it over the next few days.

    3 Week Update: Engine is still dry so I guess the rear main seal was the culprit.
     
    Last edited: October 8, 2019
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  3. myexpmky

    myexpmky New Member

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    I am in the same boat you (were in) . My 2017 has the exact same problem as yours had. Pictures look identical . Its in the shop for the fourth, "and last time I might add", but they worked the Oil pan three times, now its the rear seal according to the Ford engineer that brought in. I do not have a warm fuzzy about the rear seal fixing the problem after reading your posts and two other I have read. I should be getting it back early next week, time will tell the story !
     
    Last edited: August 13, 2019
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum.:wave:

    Peter
     
  5. DueNorth

    DueNorth New Member

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    I'm currently dealing with the same issue on my 2017 Explorer XLT. I brought it to the dealership today for the third time in about a year because it was slowly leaking oil. I was just informed that the leak was from a bad rear main. I'm sure they miss diagnosed this problem all along. I'm waiting to hear back from them as to what they are planning on doing. Should I be worried about significant engine damage if this problem was first brought in at 11k miles and now has 23k miles now? Once again, this has been over a year since it was first brought in. Thanks in advance!
     
  6. ISTGradFromPSU

    ISTGradFromPSU New Member

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    I will say mine was a very small leak at most... not enough that the engine was running low on oil (i think you would get an oil pressure warning light if it did). On my '17 Explorer V6 N/A, the oil dripped out from behind the flywheel cover, my dealer informed me that no damage would come of that (not sure if they would tell me if there was anyway lol). They dropped the trans and reapplied a silicone seal (Ford decided to do away with rubber seals for both the rear main seal and the oil pan, which is why you are seeing the failure, but they continue to use silicone so not sure if we will be back in the shop in another 10K miles). Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: October 8, 2019
  7. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum DueNorth.:wave:
    If they are talking about a seal, then seeing as it is a slow leak, and if your oil level was maintained, I don't see any issue regarding engine damage.

    Peter
     
  8. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    You said real main seal in more than one of your posts. What is that?

    Do you mean rear main seal? If so, that is not a rubber seal that has been done away, nor is it a seal that can be fixed with a reapplication of silicone.
     
  9. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Although my last vehicle (a 2015 Edge Sport) had a 2.7 Ecoboost engine in it, versus the 3.5 you have in your Explorer Sport, I am seeing a possible common thread between your situation and mine.

    My Edge's engine had a PLASTIC oil pan on it, that started leaking at 14K miles, and as a result, was in the shop 3 times for repeated repairs (new oil pans, with new RTV sealer, every time)... yet the problem kept recurring. In talking to both the dealership and their corporate service specialists, I was told that Ford had no intention of revamping this engine to use a standard metal oil pan... a change that might have solved the problem. It was at that point that I had finally had enough, and I traded it in for my current 2018 Explorer (a 3.5 with cast ALUMINUM oil pan).

    In my case, my 2.7 had a large plastic oil pan bolted to an aluminum engine block. In your case, your 3.5 has an aluminum block/housing with some sort of PLASTIC insert/piece sandwiched between those two metal surfaces, and your pictures appear to show the oil leaking somewhere out of the sides of the sandwiched plastic piece.

    Having suffered through a similar process, my theory is this... that PLASTIC has different expansion and contraction characteristics than the surrounding METAL surfaces they're attached to... meaning, as these dissimilar pieces heat up and cool down repeatedly, these different characteristics can eventually result in a failure of the sealing materials used between the mating surfaces... and eventually allowing the oil to seep out.

    While my dealership couldn't even begin to tell me why a plastic oil pan was used on a metal-blocked engine... they also could not deny that perhaps my theory was indeed a possible cause for these ongoing problems.

    Again, it's just a theory of mine, but maybe food for thought?
     
  10. ISTGradFromPSU

    ISTGradFromPSU New Member

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    So the pictures are a little misleading.. that black plastic piece is the flywheel cover.. it isn't sandwiched between too pieces but rather runs up the side

    Here are other angles that may show it better

    IMG_0611.jpeg

    IMG_0608.jpeg

    Basically the leak is at the rear main seal but the oil comes out of the flywheel cover (path of least resistance is what I was told).
     
  11. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    "Plastic" oil pans have been around for a long time. As have plastic intake manifolds and valve covers. Proper spec and design will mitigate issues, but $hit happens and sometimes there are failures in parts and/or sealing gaskets/materials.

    Please post up the dealership and the personnel you spoke with so others will know who to steer clear of in the future.

    Your vehicle does not have a flywheel - the torque converter is bolted to a flex/drive plate. The plastic cover is an access panel to unbolt the torque converter from the flex/drive plate. Basically there to keep out debris.
     
    Last edited: October 9, 2019
  12. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Ok, for argument sake it's a flywheel. Geez

    hidden by the flywheel cover, as named by ford.
     
  13. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    No. A flywheel and a flexplate are two completely different things.

    Ford parts refers to the "cover" in question as a plug or grommet depending on where you look. It is part 7N171.
     
  14. Bobs2018Explorer

    Bobs2018Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Thanks for clarifying more on the actual part and its installation position! Again, I still don't know why Ford would insert a plastic "cover" like that, on a metal-structured unit... just seems wrong to me.
     
  15. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    To help reduce overall vehicle weight?:dunno:
     

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