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Old 01-11-2023, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Finding and destroying oil leaks.

Two things that everyone knows about me:
  1. I make mistakes and
  2. I have bad luck.
Things go wrong faster than I can fix them.

I have been trying to track down oil and transmission leaks on my Accord and my Camry started leaking bad enough that I am not driving my car until I fix it.

If you use dye you don't need to clean the oil, but maybe I just have a cheap UV light; it wasn't much help determining that my oil pan gasket was leaking, while I only saw oil below the gasket, not above it.

I certainly didn't see anything as clear as the video indicates.

Of course, right now, almost all of the oil is above the gasket.

I am trying to find a better way of cleaning the bottom of my engine, especially since the leak may be behind the engine.

How do I clean there?!

I have spent so long cleaning my engine that it would have been faster to remove it.

Cleaning an engine outside the car probably wouldn't involve climbing under my car in a swimsuit when it is 40F (4C) and hosing off the bottom of my engine bay.

I sprayed it with my P21S car wash and then sprayed it off with my high-pressure nozzle.
I sprayed it with engine degreaser and sprayed it off.
I had bought dishwashing detergent because it was nice and thick, figuring that it would stay on better, and spend longer breaking down the grease.
This time I thought I would make a paste. I bought LA's Totally Awesome Oxygen Cleaner from Dollar Tree, but most of that fell off right away, and then it got rock hard. I tried mixing it with the dishwashing detergent, but I wasn't going to break up the rocks.
I scrubbed it with one of my Dollar Tree toothbrushes and started looking for a better way to do this. I found this video by HumbeMechanic: I started watching it a second time, and then went through the transcripts because he kept saying that you need to clean the area and I didn't remember him saying how to clean it, which is taking me hours and hours.

He just said to use brake cleaner, engine degreaser, and dry it with compressed air.

Oh you sweet summer child!

"Oh if you use math, reason, and logic you will be hated."--OilPan4
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Old 01-12-2023, 09:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I didn't watch the video.

I use Gunk products to clean engines and other grimy under-vehicle stuff. They're (relatively) environmentally friendly -- after all you are cleaning greasy grimy gunk off the engine, and that stuff sure isn't. Gunk engine degreaser comes in various guises for various use cases. A crap ton of shop cloths, a few scraping thingies (screwdrivers are nice), toothbrushes and other stiff bristled brushes (I use old ones from the kitchen that got too gross for food related use), and other handy scrapey things. Glove up!

Rather than a garden hose I use a spray bottle. It's a lot less liquid to deal with and can be more precisely applied. Pumping that thing can get tiring though so I recently bought myself a little pressure sprayer. It's much easier. Finally, I put absorbent pads in a couple of those large flat trays you find in auto supply stores, and put them under the work area to catch the liquid and gunk. They can be slid around where I need them and pulled out from under the vehicle when I'm done. A good way to capture the entirety of the mess that's being made. It's still messy but I go at it a section at a time.
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Old 10-18-2023, 03:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From the point of view of repair, repair is not difficult, the most difficult work is the detection before repair. There are many leak detection tools available on the Internet, you can try to buy one or rent a test
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Old 10-18-2023, 09:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think UV leak detectors are a gimmick. Never helped me one bit.

Cleaning where you think the leak might be is the best bet.

Back in the day, Jiffy Lube included oil top off between changes. Miss those days of $20 changes that included vacuuming and window washing, plus extra oil as needed.

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