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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Maybe you guys can help me with this. Got an oil change and plugs Fri at Saab. I have a mysterious coolant leak, so I always look for leaks underneath the car. Friday was the first time I've ever seen oil leak from underneath my car. I'm disappointed and think the dye they put in the oil is a band aid approach to fix this problem. Car only appears to leak after it has been sitting for 10-15 mins and the puddles are small to medium. I dropped my car off Saturday and was given a loaner car free of charge which I'm grateful for because I'm out of warranty but didn't expect the problem to persist or have to come back for the same problem. No one called to tell me the car was ready. I went to see if they were still procrastinating and seen my car was parked for pick up today. I was basically called a liar because they said there's nothing they could have done to cause the leak and possibly its the rear main seal. They so called cleaned the area and say the can see where the leak ends but can't pinpoint where it starts. I parked it in the garage at 1:45pm and jacked it up. Left for work around 2:32pm and there's was oil. So why can't they tell where its leaking from if I can still see oil on my garage floor? Owning this car for 19 months with 115k I'd think I'd know if it was leaking before service. I'm really skeptical if they changed my plugs too because my mileage out was wrong. I'm taking a 1,486 mile trip Thurs, do you guys think the car is safe to drive for 24 hours and what see there anything that's engine and turbo safe to stop the leak? Thanks guys


Taken 07/20/12.

 

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Well, a rear main seal leak is not uncommon.... but then I had an Oil leak for two days after an Oil Change that I went back to the dealer for and it turned out the Helper who changed the Oil had spilled some... they cleaned it up and no more leak. But realistically, if it's the rear Main... they should see it. If it leaks... it's going to leak all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, a rear main seal leak is not uncommon.... but then I had an Oil leak for two days after an Oil Change that I went back to the dealer for and it turned out the Helper who changed the Oil had spilled some... they cleaned it up and no more leak. But realistically, if it's the rear Main... they should see it. If it leaks... it's going to leak all the time.
Exactly what I was thinking. That shouldn't require dye and a black light to determine if its as they said possibly the rear main seal. Hate when dealerships guess. I paid $212 for an expensive oil change and plugs and I get this guessing crap! Saab had my car four days and cant tell where the leak starts when its still leaking! I wonder if its safe to drive out of town??? I cant check my plugs or leaks because they over torqued the plate and engine cover. I'm just surprised my car has been leaking for days and it happened the same day I took it in for service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Isn't the drain screw to the right of the white circle? I think judging from this pic, the leak is dripping from the middle of the engine. I could be wrong. I have seen stop leak at autozone or advance auto parts that I put in my dads olds 98 but don't know how safe it is. I dont want anything clogging up my engine or turbo.

 

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I have exact same leak...

Happened after an oil change. Still trying to find where it is coming from. Will let you know if I find out anything.
 

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That is your trans in the pic your oil drain plug is on the other side of that charge pipe.... I would bet rear main like the others have said...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update

That is your trans in the pic your oil drain plug is on the other side of that charge pipe.... I would bet rear main like the others have said...
I don't think its an oil leak now at all. I crawled under it tuesday night after work for about an hour. Thank God it didnt fall and crush me but It looks like the transmission sit to the right of the oil pan. I could see some type of gear above it and the drive axle runs through it. Maybe the torque converter? My oil has a strong small of gas and looks golden brown. This fluid smells nothing like oil and looks reddish brown. Let me know what you guys think.


(leak always starts here)

(and ends dripping from this)

I always thought the transmission was bigger than this. It appears to be a closed unit and I can't replace any fluid lost. If it is a rear main seal, how can i get it fixed? It looks like a PITA and theres not much space under there.
 

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It sounds like you're leaking transmission fluid.

Trans fluid is red, has a strong smell compared to engine oil.

The transmission is on the driver's side.

I wouldn't say the rear main seal is leaking, if it was, you'd be leaking engine oil.

Is your car an automatic? Check the fluid level at the cap if it is.

Could be the front seal of the transmission where the flywheel is, or torque converter bearing, or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It sounds like you're leaking transmission fluid.

Trans fluid is red, has a strong smell compared to engine oil.

The transmission is on the driver's side.

I wouldn't say the rear main seal is leaking, if it was, you'd be leaking engine oil.

Is your car an automatic? Check the fluid level at the cap if it is.

Could be the front seal of the transmission where the flywheel is, or torque converter bearing, or both.
Yes 5sp auto. Check fluid at which cap? I had trans flushed back with the major service in Feb 2011 and never had a problem until friday. Fluid really doesn't smell like anything. I can feel it shift between 1st and 2nd, dont think I noticed that before. When shifting from P to R N or D with the car off, its loud and clunky. Havent noticed any slipping and for awhile the car was driven in M lifting his foot between shifts. I dont think my car likes that because there was a screech sound between 1st and 2nd. One thing I dont like when I park after driving, it revs very slightly when put in Park???

My guess is either trans fluid or maybe the power steering pump is leaking.
I have notice that my power steering reservoir is always oily after I clean it. I'm guessing there is a leak but in the 19 months I've owned this car never had puddles or a power steering low warning, if there is one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks like the color of Power Steering fluid. What are the levels of your various fluids like?
Trans Fluid: unknown
Brake Fluid: looks half full, havent really looked at it.
Oil Fluid: at max line, just changed friday
Engine Coolant: topped off Fri at Saab
Power steering fluid: unknown, will check later today
No SID warnings.

Isnt power steering fluid red?
 

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I forgot the p/s is on the same side lol. Have you tried cleaning off the engine/transmission on that side (don't pressure wash) with some degreaser and running some water over it to rinse?

Might help you locate your leak better.

Most cars start leaking from power steering between 40-70k miles depending on the brand.

Caps can leak as well.
 

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The power steering leak is caused by an internal oil seal failure that causes the overpressure of the fluid to leak at the cap.

It shouldn't be such a big deal to track down a leak, you can use a local mechanic with a lift... You don't need a 100 an hour Saab tech or Specialst for most of the stuff we need done. But make your your trans fluid level is good before you go on that road trip.

And you say it's red... are you positively sure it's not Dexcool?
 

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from the location of the leak it appears to be a rear main tho i have only seen them leak on older cars. Check the powersteering fluid it should be dark green in color, if it is cloudy, looks like dirty motor oil and is overflowing(above full line) thats probably your root cause. Its very common on the 2.0t's and is a rather easy fix with parts being somewhat expensive, upwards of 300 for the pump and 30/quart of fluid.
 

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Perhaps you overfilled the oil a bit and its aggravated the PS seal. That greenish tinge to the fluid on the ground looks suspiciously like the PS fluid. Mine leaked at the seal between the pump and the engine (when I had my 2.0T Aero).
 

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I had exactly the same oil leak on mine 03 aero, turned out it was the rear seal, therefore contaminated clutch etc, it's a bit of a job, drop subframe, take gearbox/clutch out etc. My flywheel had a lot of play in it as well so had to have that changed also. Don't let your oil get low, keep checking it. Good luck getting it sorted
 
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