Is this a problem? [pics] | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Is this a problem? [pics]


August 21, 2007
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
I was changing my oil today and noticed that at the rear of the oil pan everything seemed to be covered in oil.

The area in between the oil pan and I'm guessing that's the transmission is the only area covered in oil like this. Everything else in the area is clean.

Hopefully it's not a problem but I don't like the look of that one piece that seems to be bent.

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It could be caused by a leaking valve cover and running down the back of the block, but it could also be a rear main seal leaking, that would suck.

it could be transmission oil ATF spilled out (because of heat or extra ATF) from breathing assembly at the top of bell-housing

My 97 Mounty looks just like that, including some oil showing up on the oxygen sensor (like in your first pic). With any 15+ year old vehicle this is normal and like electrician said - all fluids expand in the summer heat causing more of this to show up on the lower end of things.

If your Ex isn't leaving any oil puddles where you park it at night, and the engine and tranny oil levels don't go down much, it's nothing to worry about. You can get some piece of mind with an older vehicle by checking the all fluid levels under the hood every month or so plus transfer case and diff fluids once or twice a year.

all fluids expand in the summer heat causing more of this to show up on the lower end of things.

Hmmm mean like my brother driving home 10 miles after the idler pulley broke off??:( Man that oil boiled for an hour straight. That happened about a year and a half ago so that might be the cause of the oil. I'm convinced my engine survived only because it was wintertime.

But no evidence of leaking fluids on the driveway. Anyways I'll just wipe it clean and keep an eye out for more leaking in that area.

Thanks for the replies:)

I'm guessing rear seal. Mine has weeped for 100k miles. Can be a bit smelly once it drips onto exhaust pipes. Wipe it clean and monitor regularly to make sure it doesn't get worst.

ya, mine leaks too, just the **** that goes along with having an old vehicle, thats it.

I have a 99 exp and I have oil just under the pan and front of transmission too, the rest is clean. I have been wondering if the gasket was leaking or what could be causing it for about 6 months now, I have 203518 miles on it. I finally had a code come up on the rough riding and it was P0172 which could've been who knows how many things, one said too much oil, and mine seems to be over the full line even though i add the 5 quarts its supposed to hold. I drained all the oil & only added 4 qts and the code has yet to come back and it said too much oil could cause it to find all kinds of crevices to come out of and cause other problems, you may try checking that.