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I recently discovered a black oil drop coming from under my car and noticed it was coming from around the torque strut.

The odd thing is that the leak is full on black but none of my liquid in the dip stick for transmission, oil, power steering or breaks is black so I have no idea what exactly it is. Does a torque strut contain some type of oil? Or could it be something completely different where the leak is originating from?

The vehicle is a 2010 Ford fusion sport 3.5L with 185,000KM

torque strut

UPDATE: I took a closer look and can see the seal around what I believe is the transfer case covered in oil. Is that something that can be resealed ? If so how much would this cost?

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

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I'm not sure about your Fusion's torque strut, but these can be either solid or liquid filled. It just depends on what Ford specified. In your case, I believe they are solid.

That said, I wouldn't be looking at the torque strut itself for the source of the fluid. If you look above it, you'll see more wetness there. Liquids only run downhill, so unless it's being sprayed from a pressure source, you need to look above it to find the source of the leak. Trace it back to its source and it should tell you what you want to know. This looks to be a leak which has been there for a while. Regardless of whether the oil in your engine is clean, it will collect contaminates on its way down, which would make it far dirtier then when it exited your engine. And yes, I'm suggesting that is the source of your leak, you'll just need to figure out where it is coming from.

Something you could do is to thoroughly clean the area of all oil. Then get some fluorescent dye to put in your oil. Let it run for a couple of days (not continuously, just normal use) and check it again with a black light. It should be plainly obvious where the source of the fluid is coming from. And if you see more fluid and it's not fluorescent, then you know it's not engine oil. Kits for this are readily available, cheap, and easy to use.

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I believe your car has a plastic air duct to take air from the air filter box to the throttle body, and that this duct is where crankcase fumes and mist are directed from the PCV valve. Condensed crankcase fumes / mist looks like black oil. It's possible that you have an accumulation of crankcase mist in your air duct, and it's leaking out and dripping onto the vicinity of the torque strut.

With the engine off and cold, try feeling the underside of that duct to see if it's oily. As an alternative, disconnect the duct from the throttle body and peek inside to see if it's oily.

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