1993 Saturn SL2 Oil Leak. Help!

Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 SATURN SL2
  • 1.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 151,000 MILES
My saturn has been rock solid for the past 6-8,000 miles. Just this morning on the way to work it was smoking a little going down the highway. I pulled over to check it out and it left a nice little dribbling path of oil to where I stopped.
It seems like it is dripping off the back of the engine right onto the exhaust pipe. It did not drop all of the oil out, it seems to just be leaking consistently when it's warm and then stops when the engine has cooled for about 10 minutes.
I really need a reliable car for work and hoping this is a simple, potentially common problem.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AT 7:34 AM

20 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I need more info from where its leaking I cant see the leak.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AT 8:31 AM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
I have not had the opportunity to clean the backside of the engine to pinpoint a location. I was wondering if there was a part that is succeptable to go bad on the back of the engine that could potentially be the cause of the leak?
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AT 8:33 AM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
Ok. Not an oil leak. Tranny leak right where it meets the engine. Looks like it's missing a bolt and I put 2 quarts in. It spewed it all out without the engine even starting. Might be time for a new car.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AT 4:57 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Alright if its right where the two meet its the input shaft seal which is part of the quill bearing the part your throw out bearing slides onto.
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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AT 11:02 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
Well i'm getting another car. However, the saturn is not going away yet. Probably going to fix it for a backup vehicle, or depending on what happens with my dad's van, he may need to use it for a while. In any regard I have little hope that it is just the seal that went bad. A little over 2 years ago I did put a used tranny in for replacement for the one that had a hole in the bell housing. Once we get the tranny out we can see if it is just the seal or that pin that punched a hole in the housing last time.
Bottom line is it will be fixed eventually because of how much money I have put into it over the years including brand new tires this past september, but it wont be a real high priority to fix it.
I'm getting a 2008 subaru impreza hopefully very soon.
Thanks for all your help over the years Louie, i'm sure ill have a few more questions on here if we do fix the saturn.
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 9:04 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome glad I could help keep me posted on what you find?
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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 9:25 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
I got a 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5 speed to replace the saturn, however, she shall live again. I parked it in the back yard in hopes to repair it this spring as a backup/beater car. With how much money I have in that car it didn't make sense to junk it just yet. Tires barely have 6,000 miles on them. Brand new in sept. So once all this white crap they call snow goes away I will be looking into tinkering with it.
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Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 AT 2:48 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Sounds good keep me posted on how your making out on the saturn.
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Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 AT 7:42 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
Just pulled the saturn over to my buddy's place about 10 miles away, will start tearing into it this saturday hopefully. I'm betting it needs a new transmission at this point. The shifter is really loose side to side while in gear and it spewed out all the fluid it had left in it just driving it from my back yard to the front, less than a block of driving.

If and when I get a new transmission is there any precautionary steps you would advise? I already plan on replacing both of the cv axle seals when I get the used tranny. Thanks!
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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 AT 1:51 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Not really any things to watch out for just get a clutch kit might as well change the clutch out.
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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
Progress report:
Sat july 26th, got the engine pulled with the bad tranny. Inspected clutch, everything looked good but I replaced the friction plate for safe measure.
Got new seals in replacement tranny.
Sunday july 27th got to the garage at 1pm, started working on the car. Mind you we started this day with the engine and tranny on the floor out of the car.
At around 3:30 we made a run for car parts, 2 engine mounts, and tranny fluid. Got back at 4:30. 7:30 I was able to drive the car, only to hear a terrible grinding noise. Turns out it was the wheel bearing.
Tonight, july 31st, got the wheel bearing installed. Took it for a 15 mile test run. Runs and drives great. Only a few issues left on my to do list
things I know how to do and will get done: replace passenger side mirror, put tranny brace back on that was forgotten, adjust camber on struts, put plastic covering bs back into place.
Things I don't know how to do, get the wipers working.
The wipers were working perfectly fine when it was parked in February. The fuse is good but they still will not work. Any ideas? I am so close to finally being finished with repairs just need a hand through the last 5%
I am about $540 into this repair and I hope I don't have to spend much more. And I am doing all of this not even for me. Doing it for my brother so he has a car to drive in the next week or so. Thanks in advance for the help again.
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Thursday, July 31st, 2014 AT 7:10 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So do you have power across both sides of the wiper fuse?Also do you have power to wiper motor?
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Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
Well my brother had tried it, the wipers moved up about 4 inches and stopped. The winter blades are still on but I don't think that would cause it. Being as how the motor was just pulled for the tranny swap i'm wondering if it maybe as simple as a ground was left loose or something.
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Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 AT 11:07 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Have you checked to make sure the wiper arm nuts are tight?
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Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
I will check that as soon as I can. Been really busy between work and volunteering some of my IT services at church. Still have to install the master slave cylinder assembly and get a plate welded on the sub-frame, it is looking really ate up from rust on the underside.
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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 AT 7:10 AM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
Another quick update, I got the wipers working. We took the clip off by the windshield and lubed the crap out of all the joints.

We replaced the master slave cylinder assembly but it still seems to catch a little while going into gears. Any ideas?

This is the only issue left so I am really anxious to find out if it can be fixed easily.
So far the car runs and drives great. I even had a metal plate welded onto the subframe where it was cracked. Not a fix that will last forever but should do quite well for the next couple years. If I can get another 50k out of the car i'll be happy.
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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 AT 8:38 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So do you have a nice hard pedal all the way from the top it doesnt drop some then become hard?As long as everything is assembled correctly then the only thing left besides the linkage is the used transmission itself. Does it grind in every gear?
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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
I will have to check again, from memory it was mainly 3rd and 4th. God I really hope I don't have to yank the dang engine and tranny back out.

I will be driving the car home from my buddy's garage tonight so I will try to give it a thorough test.
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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
To replace the transmission you dont have to pull the engine you just drop the subframe down and pull the transmission that way.
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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 AT 8:09 PM
Tiny
BLACKBOY454
  • MEMBER
I don't want to remove the subframe due to rust. If I was to put that much effort into removing it I might as well find a junk yard replacement with lest rust. I'll drive it a bit more and see how it goes
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Friday, August 8th, 2014 AT 5:24 AM

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