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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have noticed a leak, a pretty bad one on my co workers (and potential SO's) SX4. The car just loses oil, it essentially disappears throughout the life of the oil, her mechanic said its due to a poor design of the filter being next to the exhaust manifold which makes sense I guess, but recently, it decided to coat the entire side of the engine compartment on the passenger side. I initially suspected overfilling by the owner, who does not have much experience, but upon further inspection it could be a leaky seal, even the wheel and tire on the passenger side has oil on it. The car will leak to a certain point then stop, this point is well below the recommended level and it makes what i would call a metal on metal knocking noise. It does smoke white when it heats up recently, this is a new issue.

I looked around here and saw the oil filer can be an issue so I will take a look at it today (need to get some jack stands first). But the car has other issues. The headlights randomly stop working. I soldered a new connector on the driver side which fixed that (old one had rusted) and now the passenger side is pooched, cant catch a break. Owner said the check engine light has always been on but does not know the code either.

To my knowledge this is the 2.5l engine (or the largest engine these cars have, although if someone can help me decipher exactly what it is, that would be great). Just looking to get some direction here. I fear it may be the crank seal which is something I will not touch with a 10ft pole due to lack of knowledge. I have not worked on a front wheel drive vehicle in years, so any direction would be much appreciated!
 

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If the engine is making clanking noises, best to gauge the oil pressure before attempting any repairs..

The location of the oil filter has no bearing on leak..

The engine may be at EOL due to poor maintenance...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If the engine is making clanking noises, best to gauge the oil pressure before attempting any repairs..

The location of the oil filter has no bearing on leak..

The engine may be at EOL due to poor maintenance...
Yea, that's my concern.. There is no money to replace it either. So potentially stupid question: How can I test it?
 

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Remove the oil pressure switch, install a mechanical gauge, start engine and record the oil pressure

cold idle,
warm idle,
hot running...

report back, include the oil used (viscosity)

... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Should I be concerned that the oil is below the low line on the dipstick? I figure that may skew the result? Grabbing the gauge now, will have to find the switch and remove it.
 

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There is a concern any time the oil is not above the min level, Oil starvation is the death knell of an engine...

... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It leaks out to below the min. I can fill it but the effort is futile. I just got the gauge, going to check now.
 

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The largest engine in an SX4 is 2.0l.

The oil filter on both the j20a and later 2010 on j20b is in an awkward place. Without the right filter wrench it is easy to end up with a leaking filter but tightening it is an easy fix. You should be able to check whether the oil is leaking from the filter. Perhaps giving the engine a good clean would help see where the leak is.

If the engine keeps making knocking noises it may be too late for the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When it's got oil it doesn't knock, I figure the knocking sound is the crank slapping what oil is left but im not sure. Had to attend to an emergency, I'll get the reading of pressure later tonight. I appreciate everyone's help! I'm a bit rusty on cars, especially front wheel drive four cylinders lol
 

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If it is leaking that fast, you should be able to locate the leak..

Have you made sure you do not have a double gasket on the filter..??

... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If it is leaking that fast, you should be able to locate the leak..

Have you made sure you do not have a double gasket on the filter..??

... Philip
Located it as a front seal leak. Having a mechanic friend of the owner replace it for $160 total, not worth the effort myself IMO. Thanks for all your help guys!
 
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