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Oil

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The oil leak is slow and builds up after time. Seems to get worse if driving over 70mph. Car is ford fiesta 1.4 tdci.

The picture where i've highlighted red circle - the oil seems to build up here, wells up. Any idea what that part of the engine is?

It's hard to tell if there's a loss of power as the car is slow anyway and not had very long.

  • 1
    Looks to be the oil feed line to the turbo – rpmerf Mar 31 '16 at 11:36
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    Can you rev the engine with the hood open after driving for a while (with a helper) to see if oil is coming from the turbo or if it's just dripping from the oil supply tube? Oil seems to be spraying over a lot of the engine, so I think you'd be able to see it. – JPhi1618 Mar 31 '16 at 13:43
  • Also, is there oil sprayed all over the underside of the hood? – JPhi1618 Mar 31 '16 at 14:48
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    Im with @rpmerf. Looks like the oil feed line to the turbo. Clean the area very well when the engine is cold. Use a little brush to scrub around the oil line. Dry it off and operate the car normally for a week. You should be able to see oil/dirt/gunk buildup near the line if its bad. – race fever Mar 31 '16 at 14:49
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    Your local auto shop will be able to add dye to your oil. After driving for a couple of days, you can see the dye with a black light and funny yellow goggles. Makes it a lot easier to see where the leaks are coming from. Clean it, dye it and see what you see. – 3Dave Mar 31 '16 at 15:03
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You have to clean the engine bay first

When troubleshooting for the source of an oil look you first have to completely clean off all of the old oil, dirt and built up grime.

You can get a citrus based cleaner for oil at an auto parts store. Typically you will heat the engine up enough to make it warm but not hot enough that if you sprayed something on the engine that it would evaporate quickly. Citrus based cleaners are water soluble so you can hose them off. You may want to brush around the bay, especially underneath the motor where most of the gritty grime will be builtup.

Once clean, do the following

  • Turn the car on, get it good and hot and ensure that all the water is evaporated. You may want to drive it a short distance but not so far that you will dirty it up again.

  • Place a large piece of cardboard under the engine. See where drips might be forming and dropping onto the cardboard. When you have a drip you will want to chase it up to it's source. The oil might run along a wire and drip. It may leak down the side of your engine, drop onto a suspension arm, run down it and then finally drop onto the ground. The source can be difficult to find.

  • Check areas where two engine surfaces meet. If you have a failing gasket it will be something like this. A valve cover, an oil pan, something like that.

  • Check oil lines - You may have an oil line coming loose that is dripping. Take into account the air movement from a fan or driving down the road at a high rate of speed and oil can get sprayed everywhere. Which is why it's important to clean EVERYTHING before you start you hunt.

  • You can also try throwing talcum/baby powder all over the place and blowing it off with a leaf blower and see where it has built up. It's a painful way to do it but I've found the leak source doing this before so sometimes it's a good method depending on where the leak is.

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I would also suggest looking at the gasket that's right next to the red circle. You can see the bolts holding the two halves of the turbo together in the picture. If oil is leaking into the compressor side, leaking out of the shaft bearings or just generally getting blown out of a failing gasket, it could certainly make that sort of a blast pattern.

I would also expect that hex hole to fill up first if oil is flying around since it is essentially a bowl waiting to fill up with under-hood crud.

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