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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I once saw a thread that talked about this but I'm not finding it. Today after a 30 mile drive I noticed a slight oily smell. Checked under the hood and saw a very small amount of oil in the hole on the side of the engine below the valve cover (not sure the proper name). I think it's a plug for a distributor or something else not on my car.

I was planning a significant drive but now I'm a bit concerned. Does this look like a leak or is it normal to see a little oil here? Seeing oil anywhere other than inside the engine doesn't seem normal to me. There is no splatter or drips, just slight oil moisture in this hole.

Three pics to illustrate the situation...
 

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That's a plug on the end of one of the camshafts, some cars have a vacuum pump and older cars have the distributor there. Most have a plug that you can re-seal by taking off the valve cover gasket.

Unless you see oil flowing out of there, it's probably something that you can defer for a while. But as it leaks more it'll make more of a mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cleaned the oil off and drove another 30 mi and don't see any more oil. Suspect it's a very small/slow leak, but this engine was only installed one year ago and less than 6K on it. Perhaps I can convince the dealer to fix it.
 

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I have this same leak, although it's a bit worse than yours on my car. I have a 2001 with the original plug. I keep a couple quarts in the trunk just to top it off, but honestly between my 5,000 mile oil changes I might add a third or a half of a quart during that entire period. Really its not something to be hugely concerned about.
 

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Mines a lot worse than yours, I just clean it up every now and then until I get the time off work to actually fix it.
 

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I cleaned up the residue and stuffed a trimmed 3/4" rubber chair leg bottom. Just seal it with RTV. I towed two others in 90F heat and it's still dry. We'll see how it holds up in winter cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice to know I'm not alone. I'm guessing I've only lost a teaspoon of oil at most based on what I can see.
 
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