On my last oil change, the technician noted some oil around top and side of the engine block and said there is a small leak.

The only way to find where it is coming from is doing the whole dye test, that's hundreds of dollars.

Before I do that, with so many Taurus sold in the U.S. - is there a common area to look at where these engine may be leaking from ?

I have been adding a quart every month and a half or so to keep it level and haven't really noticed anything on the ground.

This is a gen 3, 2004, Duratec 24V, 4-door, SES.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank You.


Possibility: Oil pan threads stripped?

4 Answers 4


Even if there is a "common area" of oil leaks it wouldn't make sense to change a part based on the most common failure. You need to find out where you car is leaking so you don't make a needless repair that could easily cost you hundreds of dollars.

I would get a second estimate on locating the oil leak. Dye tests don't cost hundreds of dollars. The "Dye test" consists of adding 1/2 oz of dye (About $3 cost) and using an ultraviolet light to locate the leak. A normal charge for this should be 0.5 - 1.0 hours labor max, plus maybe $10 for the dye.

You only need the dye test to identify the location of major leaks. It's difficult to tell where it's coming from because with a major leak the engine is covered with oil. Adding the dye and watching with an ultraviolet light to see where the dye starts to leak out will identify the source of the leak.


Valve covers are a popular leak spot, across all vehicle makes and models.


I suggest a dye test, they're not very costly if you know how to do it yourself. Ive had a 99 taurus in the family, thw valve covers leak pretty often, and for some reason so does the head gasket


I have a fleet of Taurus and Mystique vehicles. Oil dye and a black light are the best way to inspect these, drive it a few miles, but be careful to study the dye carefully and make sure it has fresh leaked oil with it to confirm a leak. There are many components including dust that can make you think there is a leak when there is not.

What I have seen on all of mine are very minor oil pan to timing cover seeping. Main ones I see are the oil drain plug, the oil sender unit, an oil filter not properly seated, oil pan ribbon seal/ gasket seeping and lastly the valve cover ribbon seals failing with heat and age.

Early 3.0 2V engines had trouble with rear main seals due to design. There are updates to correct these.

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