Smoking oil leak — any ideas? Also seeking mechanic recommendation for southern Vermont (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 10, 2019
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22
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Southeastern Vermont
Greetings, All -

The engine on my '01 LX470 with 270K miles is smoking after driving. The attached picture of the suspect area is practically useless, but included because it's as good as I could get with the phone. The area that seems to be where the smoke is originating is beneath the blurred spot in the middle.

That picture is of the area on the left side of the engine immediately below the number 4 ignition coil, which happened to go bad and I replaced a few months ago — coincidental? The shiny black cover of that coil is visible near the upper right hand corner of the picture. There is visible cruddy oil buildup on the engine in the neighborhood of that cylinder. No signs of oil dripping onto the pavement when parked and oil level has not been going down. Since they're the only two gauges I have I'll mention that oil pressure and coolant temp are acting normally. The smoking, which is light but noticeable, was the symptom that alerted me to the trouble and lead to removal of the engine cover to get a look. Because I had recently replaced that 4 coil I took it off to make sure it appeared to be okay because it looked like an oil stain could have been starting there. It was not, there is oil staining below it but no sign of that being where anything's coming from. Maybe leaking oil is blowing back up into that area...?

Any thoughts on what this might be and whether there's anything I can try to tighten up or inspect before getting it to a shop?

Which leads me to my second question: I recently moved to southeastern Vermont and don't know any reliable mechanics here. I'm about 25 miles north of Brattleboro. Any recommendations would be extremely welcome. God help me if I end up having to go to a dealer.

Thanks!

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Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
22
Location
Southeastern Vermont
Oil leaking out of valve cover gaskets and dripping onto exhaust manifolds.
Thank you, makes sense. Does this mean gaskets need to be replaced or could there be a torquing issue somewhere? How big a repair deal is this potentially? I’ve done it on aircraft engines in minutes, but it looks like this might be much less accessible.
 

JunkCrzr89

Competent Ignoramoose
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Jul 21, 2019
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Colorado
At your mileage, replace the gaskets along with the spark plug tube seals, PCV valve, and PCV cable grommet. Not too difficult of a job to do - just have to remove the intake hoses on PS and some vacuum lines on the DS.
 
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243
Thank you, makes sense. Does this mean gaskets need to be replaced or could there be a torquing issue somewhere? How big a repair deal is this potentially? I’ve done it on aircraft engines in minutes, but it looks like this might be much less accessible.
My bolts were so lose that I could move them with my hand. Re-tightened lightly by hand (approx 8lbs.) and that seemed to have stopped the major leak, still see seepage but nothing dripping down to manifold. So long story short, yes you probably need new gaskets for the covers but check your bolts, they could be just as loose as mine.
 

Ayune

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Feb 12, 2017
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Portland, OR
Snug the bolts down gently with a 10mm on an extension. Bolts are small and don’t need that much torque. At 270k you’ll probably find most are pretty loose. That fixed my smelly burning oil issue for 3+ years now, I re-check them occasionally. If that doesn’t fix it then replace gaskets as recommended above.
 

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