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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just put a down payment on a 2003 Taurus SEL with Duratec motor and reading 84000 miles on odometer.
Test drove it a couple days ago and it idled rough and seemed to have a miss and stumble a little bit. The car had just been traded in and hadn't been checked by their service dept yet. Drove it again today after it was checked and they said they replaced the plugs in it. Seemed to drive fine today,however looking at the motor I do notice some oil on the front of the engine right underneath the manifold housing,it looked a little wet,I rubbed my finger across it and it was definitely oil.
They are giving me a 3000 mile powertrain warranty so I guess it would be covered under that,is it anything I need to be worried about? Anything else I should have my own mechanic check powertrain wise in case it needs to be fixed by the dealer under the warranty?

Thanx
bgreen
 

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clean it off and let it run see if it pops back up. if it doesnt show up drive it for a couple of miles and look again. if it shows up i hope the warrenty covers it
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No actually the oil cap is located several inches below the area of the leak.
Odd thing is it is located near the top of the engine underneath where the plastic or whatever it is manifold housing is located,looking at it from directly in front of the car.

bgreen
 

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Need a picture or a definite part description. "Manifold housing" could be anywhere. I'll bet good money an oil leak isn't covered under a used car powertrain warranty.
 

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Keep in mind that 2003 Duratecs are known for leaking oil pan gaskets. Two of my '03 duratecs (built between 11-02 to 04-03) had them replaced. Mileage was 70-80K. Also keep in mind the PVC ($12 item) should be replaced. One of mine was bad at 72000.
 

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PCV removal

Keep in mind that 2003 Duratecs are known for leaking oil pan gaskets. Two of my '03 duratecs (built between 11-02 to 04-03) had them replaced. Mileage was 70-80K. Also keep in mind the PVC ($12 item) should be replaced. One of mine was bad at 72000.
I agree on both.

I added a pic of my tool, got this idea from some post here a while back.

PCV should be changed every 30K. It may last a while longer, but, it it fails, you will have a choppy running engine, water and oil in your air filter, and water in your oil. NAPA valve ~$7. The hose is a whole different issue. Remember, exhaust goes down the rings into the crankcase, and it has water in it. The PCV valve regulates the purging of the case into the intake and it is burned.

And I need to the pan gasket on my '03.


-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Haven't taken delivery of the car yet so I can't provide a picture. Hopefully it is a PCV valve cause it looks like a thin line of oil directly below the very top plastic looking housing on top of the engine which I am guessing is the intake housing,it has what looks like large ports going to each cylinder as far as I can tell. Haven't looked underneath at the oil pan yet.

bgreen
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I purchased the car and my mechanic checked it out today. He said it has slight amount of normal oil leakage for an 8 year old car with it 84000 miles. I don't see as much oil up top as I did,the salesman said the detailer would probably clean it which didn't make sense to me.
Don't know if my mechanic checked the pcv or not-I did ask him to. Do detect a slight burnt oil smell inside the car every once in a while,usually when stopped after running at highway speeds for a while. My mechanic said it is just a drop of oil getting onto something hot every once in a while,he did say there are no major oil leaks he can see.

bgreen
 

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Keep in mind that 2003 Duratecs are known for leaking oil pan gaskets. Two of my '03 duratecs (built between 11-02 to 04-03) had them replaced. Mileage was 70-80K. Also keep in mind the PVC ($12 item) should be replaced. One of mine was bad at 72000.
You mean PCV? PVC is plumbing materials. ;)


Thanks for the heads-up. My '02 Tec just hit 70,000 so I'll probably get those done as a preventative measure soon enough.
 

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As I recall IF it is an oil pan leak it will often drip very slowly on the 'Y' part of the exhaust. I NEVER seen oil drips under my '03 Duratec. However, I had the same burnt oil smell in the cabin once in awhile. I would often smell it at a stoplight or when driving slowly as in a parking lot. The Ford garage could find nothing. I concluded its a 'nuisance' instead of a serious problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep that pretty much describes it,at a stoplight or driving slowly. Also smell it once in a while standing next to the car while idling.Also can really smell it with ignition in on position but car not running and the AC fan blows it through the vents,I noticed this when I plugged my code reader in. As you said it is a nuisicance more than anything.

bgreen
 

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Alright smarty pants monkeydad! I KNEW I would mess PCV and PVC up one of these days! LOL! Wait until you get to be my age! I do plumbing once in a while but not on the Taurus.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Took car back to dealer today to pick up the license plates and I told them about the smell from vents. Since I had the tranny and radiator flushed there when I bought it they were thinking it might have been spillage from that.
Left the car with them and they called me a couple hours later and said it was the intake manifold. They said it should be covered because the car came with a 90 day/3000 mile powertrain warranty. It was the end of the day so I have to call back in morning and find out more. Come to think of it when my mechanic checked the car right after I bought it he saw white residue on the coolant reservoir and said it probably had stopleak added at some point,he also told me to keep an eye on the coolant level. It did look like it went down a quarter inch or so over two days.
Will bad manifold gasket leak oil or will hot coolant smell similar to oil?

bgreen
 

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Will bad manifold gasket leak oil or will hot coolant smell similar to oil?

bgreen
No, there is no oil circulation through the intake manifold. I'm pretty sure there's no coolant circulation in the Duratec either, so I don't know why they came to that conclusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They called me this morning to pick it up,they implied that the problem was spillage from the tranny & radiator flush I had them do and that their orginal diagnosis of intake manifold was wrong. I guess they just degreased it.
The service receipt said "due to oil spillage over the years"
The service rep that called yesterday and said it was manifold said they had to get the Service Manager to ok it but that it shouldnt be a problem.
Apparantely it was a problem. Guess it is much cheaper to degrease it than to do the proper repair. My main problem is that my daughter is leaving in this car in 2 days and driving 600 miles away for a couple months. They are aware of this and the car will be out of warranty by the time she returns.
When I picked the car up this afternoon took it for a 15 mile ride on my way to work and didn't smell anything. Drove home 10 miles after work and there the smell was again as I pulled in my driveway!!
Anyway-what does this repair cost if I have to pay for it out of pocket down the road? Any precautions needed or things to look out for with a manifold problem if you are using the car daily?

Thanx
bgreen
 

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Ok so did they replace the upper intake manifold and/or lower intake manifold gaskets? Good thing to do at its age, but obviously not the issue.

As mentioned above...oil pan gasket is very common leak/weep point on 96-03 models. Oil pressure sending unit is also known to leak/weep (like mine is). Oil will leak out of a crack in the plastic housing of the sending unit and drip down, over the oil filter and drip onto the exhaust. It's a great setup :)

Vacuum leaks. The fiberglass "header panel" up front should have an assortment of stickers, one with the vacuum line diagram. Poke around under the hood. Look at the rubber "elbows" that connect the hard plastic lines. The elbows turn into mush with age/oil. There's one that goes on the valve cover up near the rad fan, and one that goes on the valve cover next to the firewall...both are known to fail, and will give a nice aroma in the cabin. The HELP/Dorman area at AutoZone sells replacement elbows for ~$10. They are for 97 F150 PCVs or something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
BullGeek-thanks for the tip about the elbows. Am working a double shift today so will check that first thing tomorrow. Also was going to replace the cabin filter if it has one but I don"t know if it will help.
Actually they didn't replace the manifold gasket,they backtracked on their original diagnosis. I guess it could be oil pan but I can hardly see it under car or get to it to check it.As posted earlier I did see fresh oil in the manifold area
It was cool this morning when I left so I turned off the AC for the first time and had fresh air coming through the upper vents.The problem seemed much worse,could smell it everytime I stopped or took off from light.If there is no wind you can smell it while car is idling if you are outside the car standing next to it.

bgreen
 

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If you are seeing oil...where in the manifold area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Can't take a pic right now or go out to car, but standing in front of the car looking at engine it is above valve cover with oil cap and right below the black plastic or whathever it is port assembly that sits on top of motor.
They cleaned it off and not as noticeable now but when I first looked at car it was a thin film of fresh looking oil,wasn't grimy or anything,looked like it just came out of the can. I asked the dealer mechanic about it and he said was normal for that age & mileage.

bgreen
 
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