Is there a mechanic in the house?


#1

Ok, so I own a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrugie GLS. When I bough the car, it was in 2001 and had 14K miles on it. I paid $17K for it. I got to drive the car for about 2 years and put about 30K miles on it. Being military, I had to go over seas for about 4 years from 2003-2007 so I left it with my parents who only drove it ocassionaly to keep it running and have preventive maintenance done to it. When I got back, the car had roughly 43K miles on it. I’m stationed in california and I put 80 miles on it everyday back and forward to work. Now it has 120K miles on it.

Ever since I’ve had the car it’s only had 2 repair jobs done. 1 major in that the termastat went bad on it and the 2nd was that the AC compressor also went bad. Total cost of that work is a little over $2K. I can say in the 9 years that I’ve owned this car, it’s been good to me. I now have what I believe is a real problem. An oil leak. I never used to pay much attention to the oil because whenever I take my car to get an oil change every 3K miles (without fail) everything was ok. The past 3 oil changes it was brought to my attention that my oil level was extremly low. Almost to the point where there’s barely any oil on the dip stick.

So now I check my oil every 500 miles just to keep an eye on it. Now, when I was first told about my oil being low, the oil change guys looked for a leak and they did the dye thing. They said they couldn’t find anything. I asked the guy that I worked with about my situation and he said another cause of my losing oil could be through evaporation because it’s so hot here, but it shouldn’t be making it that low. The other thing is that oil could be escaping through various imperfections in the engine through gaskets, shafts or pistons because the car is getting old.

Now I went on vacation for 2 weeks. When I came back to move some boxes around in my garage, I had to back my car up a bit. When I looked down, I saw this huge puddle of oil. Any other time, there woudln’t be any oil in that spot, but I guess since the car had a chance to really sit, it was able to pool up. I was told that because of the duts and heat, the oil was probably drying up under the car and never had a chance to really leak, so I never knew that I had the problem.

What I’d like to know is how much am I going to get raped trying to get this fixed? The car is in damn good shape and I’ve never had an accident in it. People always ask me what year my car because I take such good care of it and they think it’s new. Now my mechanic friend told me I have 2 options. 1 get the engine rebuilt which he told me I’d be an idiot to do that when I could just trade my ride in and get about $5K according to kelly blue book value site and get a new car. I’m sure I would get less though. Option 2 would be to throw in a quart or 2 of oil every so often so the engine doesn’t blow up.

Now I’d like to take it to a mechanic and have them try to see what it really is because I’m sure the local quick lube guys arne’t really mechanics. But I don’t want to pay some mechanicn $65+ just to look at it and not be able to find out what’s wrong. So minus the engine rebuild cost. What would I be looking at in terms of repairs for this kind of thing?


#2

the oil pan could just be stripped and the cap is not on tight enough

it’s pretty common when they put the cap back on they turn it too hard and it strips a little which causes a leak. they can fix that for like $2

if you have to replace the pan its like $500

just take it to STS IMO they always diagnosed my car for free in NJ

if you gotta get the entire engine rebuilt might as well just trade it and buy a certified pre owned. much better than new or leasing


#3

In order to give an estimate of how much you would spend, a proper diagnosis would need to be done. Might I suggest you take pics of the engine (pref where you think the problem is and an overview pic) to help with possibly getting a proper diagnosis. Seeing as how there was a puddle of oil underneath your car, evidence of an external leak should be visible.

Oh, and I don’t think it is common for a mechanic/lube tech to over tighten the oil cap. Now if you are talking about the bolt that plugs up the oil pan, I can see how mechanics/lube techs COULD over tighten the bolt. But at the same time, that is why they have washers on the bolt, to stop any type of leak from happening. If there was a leak from the bolt, it would come from the bolt breaking off and that would only happen if the mechanic/lube tech over torqued the bolt.

Anyway, my guess would be the oil pan gasket. But there is the possibility that the actual pan has a crack in it. Pics would be nice though. If no visible cracks or leaks are visible, might I suggest making sure the guys who are changing your oil are properly tightening the oil filter or that there is not an extra seal from a previous oil filter that is stuck (meaning you have two seals where the oil filter is supposed to be, instead of one. This could cause oil to leak out as well).


#4

It’s going to be kind of hard to get those pictures. I don’t exactly have a way to get up under my car. Maybe the mechanic will allow me into the work area during my next oil change so I can take the pics while I’m down in the pit.


#5

well if he’s gonna put your car up, he’ll probably also see the crack if it’s there.


#6

do you know if they’re filling your car up with a synthetic oil?


#7

I’m not sure. I never really paid attention to the oil type, just the weight.


#8

There are a ton of places the car could be leaking oil. I would suggest just taking the car to a reputable mechanic and explaining to him that you want him to give you an estimate because you aren’t sure you want to drop a ton of money into the car to fix it. Most mechanics will check it out for you and probably charge very little to tell you what the problem is. That way you get a good idea of what it would take to fix it.