i’m giving away a major clue to what really happened with the leaking oil but i need an answer now before i can write up a proper post 🙂
i think i know the answer to this, buuuuuuut, can i remove the oil pressure line without draining the oil and not get a pool of oil on the ground? the line is maybe a third of the way up on the engine block right next to the oil filter. the engine is cold and all the oil has drained to the bottom of the engine and the oil pan so i think the answer is yes?
update: response back from social media is that i shouldn’t loose much oil if any by removing the line without draining the oil.
i’m troubleshooting the leaking oil in the galaxy 500 and my first thought is that a deteriorated valve cover gasket is causing the problem. the engine exhaust doesn’t smell sweet and there’s no oil in the radiator fluid so it’s unlikely to be a head gasket issue.
when i went to the local auto parts store, the guy behind the counter said he’d love to sell me a valve cover gasket ( only $20 ) but asked if i had tightened down the valve cover bolts recently.
“uh, nope. and to be honest i couldn’t remember when i would have thought to tighten them.”
“give it a try. i’ve seen valve covers so loose that oil starts seeping out.”
i went home and sure enough the valve cover bolts were so loose that i almost couldn’t believe the covers stayed on! i was sure that had to be the cause of the leak since the oil seemed to be coming in out of the bolt hole that had one of the loosest bolts. it couldn’t be a coincidence!
so i tightened the bolts, cleaned up the oil that leaked on the block and started the engine.
the result? the oil was pouring out of the same area faster than ever! what was going on? i couldn’t quite tell because it was hard to watch the oil leak and start the car at the same time but it didn’t take too long to figure it out.
while i was poking around i discovered this line appeared to be completely severed! it wasn’t obvious at all that it was severed because it was running through the clip attached to the bolt that seemed to be the main source of the leak. i turned the engine over and sure enough oil came spurting out of the lower section of line that emerged from the engine block. the line looked like it went into the main cabin bundled with a few other lines. i wondered why pressurized oil would be going into the main cabin and it took me a few seconds to come to the rather obvious conclusion.
it’s the line for the after market oil pressure gauge that sits under the dash. it must have developed a small crack right under the clip that held it in place and i broke it completely when i cleaned up the oil around the bold holding the clip.
as i was leaving our local food coop, a ferrari ( perhaps a ferrari 360 which was produced between 1999 and 2005? ) pulled in which is notable because i’ve never seen one in almost 10 years in the area. someone passing through on a saturday drive? or maybe it belongs to a local who has had it in storage for 10 years after they learned why you absolutely can’t drive a ferrari every day?
it’s a handsome car, sure, though i’ve never been that into ferraris except for a brief period in the early 80s when i thought magnum P.I. was a pretty cool dude driving around in his.
it occurs to me that i’m taking the picture from a 1965 ford galaxy 500 which i find amusing on about 10 different levels. am i driving an old ford today because i thought magnum p.i. was cool when i was a preteen and somehow over space and time the early imprinting of coolness morphed into me buying the old ford 15 years ago? who knows! and in the history of photography there has probably never been a photograph of an early 2000 ferrari 360 from 40 year older galaxy 500. i find this a little mind blowing for reasons that i can’t quite articulate.
while my mind is blowing, i smell a smell that’s not a smell one wants to smell while an engine is running. burning. AND THEN OH MY GOD WISPS OF SMOKE COMING FROM THE ENGINE.
but they’re smallish wisps and i’m only 4 blocks from home so i make what’s probably the wrong decision and put it in drive.
thankfully, i got home without anything catching on fire and popped the hood to find what looks oil leaking from the valve covers. while i was blowing my mind, the old ford blew a gasket? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
it’s a little hard to tell but it looks like the leak is coming through the screw in the left side of the valve cover and along the space between the valve cover and cylinder head. so if i’m lucky, maybe it’s a leaking valve cover gasket? or maybe a head gasket going bad?
today i had an exchange with someone while i was out in the old ford ( she turned 50 years old this year! ) which amuses me because they could not that know i’ve had the exact same exchange countless times over the past 13 years.
them: “you know, i really like your car.”
me: “oh, hey, thanks.”
them: “it’s soooooooo, you.”
me: “uh, thanks. i think that’s a compliment.”
them: “oh, it is.”
still, after all these years, i’m not quite sure exactly what they mean. i know it’s a compliment of some sort, i’m just not sure what sort it is 🙂
nobody ever says, “you know i really like your cool car. it’s sooooooo, you.” that’d be easy to interpret ( and even easier to dismiss as untrue ). i’m probably reading too much into it, but i get the impression from the repeated exchange that the galaxie says something about me that i don’t understand.
a colleague peered into the office i was squatting in at organic valley hq ( new digs still under construction and my regular office is not at hq which is why i was squatting ) and asked somewhat sheepishly, “yoooouuuuu drive a gray jetta tdi?”
and before he could respond i spun around and looked out the window to see it was definitely not where i parked it.
“looks like it rolled out of its spot.”
indeed, it had. now i have to admit that i’m wasn’t *completely* surprised. the car is 11 years old and the manual transmission is a little finicky. sometimes, when you think it’s in gear it’s not, and it has a tendency to pop out of gear easily. aaaaaaaand the parking brake is loose so you reaaaaaaallllly have to crank on it to get it to work. up until today we could rely on either the transmission or the brake to keep it in place without both failing simultaneously ( well, actually – true confession time – both failed once before ). maybe i should travel with blocks that i can put under the tires when parked? or maybe i should just stop procrastinating get the car into a shop 🙂
it was mildly amusing that it rolled back to rest perfectly between bushes on either side and a tree to the rear without an inch to spare anywhere. i couldn’t have parked it that perfectly if i tried. *super* !SUPER! glad nobody was hurt and nothing was damaged.
for some reason, i personally think the most amusing part of the story is my boss owns the red jetta wagon in the photo and pulled into the spot where i was parked not long after my jetta rolled out ( and didn’t notice, or just though, “oh i guess snowdeal found a new parking spot.” ).
WILL IT FIT?! also, yes i have a new skateboard that i haven’t told anyone about ( well, almost anyone ). no broken bones! yet!
lots of experimenting with endless combinations of cars and track configurations to see which cars can make it down the launch hill, through the loop, around the curve and over the jump.
genius way to keep them preoccupied for hours on end.