[V6-12v] Oil leak under intake manifold

James Whitehouse jamescarstuff at aol.com
Sat Nov 27 19:16:10 EST 2004

That's really good advice. I didn't know about actually being able to see
the head gasket leak at that point while revving!

The 12v.org site is also a good recommendation - it has very well written up
and responsible procedures for this job and many others.

I highly recommend that, should you do a head gasket job, and therefore
remove the timing belt, that you do hire the special tools required to
re-align these properly, instead of trying to mark the cams/crank - you'll
never get it spot on that way.

Hope it's something simpler though!


On 27/11/04 11:14 pm, "apowell at colocougs.org" <apowell at gocougs.wsu.edu>

> Jon Hohlfeld <jonhohlf at yahoo.com> said:
> I have been experiencing an oil leak for a while in my 94 90 quattro, I have
> been noticing burnt oil
> smell when I stop at stop lights. I was checking into it today and it appears
> there is oil pooled
> under the intake manifold, and that it is running down the back of the engine
> and onto the exhaust.
> My question would be for someone who has experienced this, what gaskets should
> I have on hand when I
> dive into it, and what would be the best source for those gaskets? I don't
> want the car to be out of
> commission too long, as it is usually the car my wife drives and the one with
> the car seat in it.
> **********************
> Jon, I've recently been through this with a 1993 90Q V6, and others on the
> list were kind enough to
> help me - I'll pass along the favor.
> The V6 motors from this time period live long, healthy lives but also are
> prone to multiple problems
> with oil leaks.  In increasing order of severity (read: time and expense) they
> run about like this:
> 1) Valve cover gaskets
> 2) Rear cam seals
> 3) Valley pan gasket (under intake manifold)
> 4) Rear main seal
> 5) Head gaskets
> I won the prize and ended up with #5, worth about $1000-$1500 in labor and
> parts at an independent
> shop - and although I usually do my own car work, I decided this was one I
> didn't have the time for.
> So I paid the man.
> I finally spoke with a gent who had done a lot of work on these, and the
> single most common place
> for the head gasket to leak is on the driver's side, about 1/3 of the way back
> from the front. It's
> under the intake manifold, BUT - if you get a small flashlight, aim it back
> through the manifold and
> watch carefully while you rev the engine to 2500 RPM or so, you may see a
> small trickle of oil
> running down the block at that point. Once I saw that trickle, I knew it was
> the head gasket. Turns
> out there's an oil passage very, very close to the edge of the gasket and the
> seal just fails
> sometimes. Q@#6$)$&!!!
> If that is what you see, you're in for a set of head gaskets. While you're at
> it, of course you want
> to do the valley pan gasket, cam seals and valve cover gaskets. You may also
> want to put new valve
> stem seals in. Be ready for the exhaust manifold studs to be stuck and require
> lengthy heating to
> get the studs out without breaking them off. While you're in there, have a
> machine shop check the
> heads to make sure they're perfectly flat and if not, have them milled
> slightly.
> I hope for your sake that this is not the problem, and that it's something
> more basic. Never in 38
> years of driving many, many cars had I ever had a head gasket leak oil before,
> but this one did.
> If you do this as a DIY job, please read the intake manifold removal procedure
> at
> http://www.12v.org/maintenance/repairs/headgasket.php
> For helpful hints.

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