Chevy Astro and GMC Safari Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

Registered
Joined
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's me again! Just got an 02 AWD Safari cargo with 134k miles. I bought it from a mechanic, carfax looked like it was well taken care of, tons of stuff replaced over the years, everything drove really well. i took it to a second mechanic for an inspection and everything all came back good, except for the sway bar/bushings need to be replaced eventually, which I expected.

It sat in my garage while I worked on it as I am converting it to a camper van. After a couple days I moved it out and noticed the engine is leaking oil - just a drip, but it's consistent. I also noticed a tiny bit of black fluid on the ground near the passenger side. none of this was an issue about a week ago.

So I took it to the mechanic who inspected it and they looked again. They said the oil leak could be the oil pan gasket. or it could be the main line, but they wouldn't know unless it keeps leaking after replacing the oil pan gasket. if it's the main line, would have to take the whole thing out and work on it, quoted 8 hours of labor.

they also said there was a brake hose leak on the passenger side, to replace the hose and caliper as well as the pads and rotors. it is now with the mechanic who I bought it from, who showed me that he had already replaced the hose, and it does look new. he tightened it as he said it was a bit lose.

so, sob story aside, i'm curious if anyone has thoughts on the above issues and best course of action. I truly don't know much about all this, just trying to learn and figure it out. thanks for reading.
 

Registered
'96 Astro AWD LT vin W
Joined
106 Posts
Honestly I wouldn't worry about an oil pan gasket seep from a 20 year old Chevy 馃憤馃徎 if it's not actively dripping. Meh.

There are some good anecdotes in this recent thread.

 

Administrator
Common Sense + Critical Thinking
Joined
13,754 Posts
After a couple days I moved it out and noticed the engine is leaking oil - just a drip, but it's consistent
First clean, clean, clean, you will then be able to find exactly where the leak is.
 

Registered
Joined
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Honestly I wouldn't worry about an oil pan gasket seep from a 20 year old Chevy 馃憤馃徎 if it's not actively dripping. Meh.

There are some good anecdotes in this recent thread.

Thanks! It seems to me like it鈥檚 actively dripping. My neighbor said he would help me replace the gasket so I鈥檒l know a bit more once we get in there and have a look.
Thanks for sharing that thread!
 

Registered
Joined
60 Posts
Oil pan gasket is easy fix on a 2wd, awd may be more difficult. Not sure what he meant by "main line" other than maybe oil cooler line(s). I would (did) remove those anyway to eliminate future leaks.
 

Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
5,713 Posts
Are you SURE it's oil leaking?

Two very common possible leaks:
(both on same side)

1) Oil cooler lines (people often delete this option
2) Hydroboost Steering fluid leak (slow drip)

The reason I mention the Hydroboost, it that it will drip and make a mess everywhere.. but it looks like oil. Of course if this is the case, you would find yourself replacing steering fluid from time to time.

Oil cooler lines are easy to eliminate.. and leaking lines are more likely than an oil pan gasket.
I certainly wouldn't spend that kind of money for the mechanic to guess.
I certainly wouldn't spend that kind of money for a leak.. even if we knew for sure.

Gunk Engine Cleaner (Original Formula): spray it on engine block where gunked up.
Once engine is clean, you may be able to locate the leak.
Avoid getting Gunk in pulleys or seals.

Also be aware that oil leaks commonly flow from above (valve covers, leaking sensor, etc)
Leaks can be tricky and deceptive.
You may have a leaking front seal or crank sensor, as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: intramural

Super Moderator
05 Astro AWD
Joined
14,155 Posts
Yeah, I'd guess either the oil filter gasket from an old filter is still stuck on the engine side, which always causes a leak, or the oil cooler lines are leaking at the crimps.

Yes, the oil pan gasket can leak, but the oil cooler lines are almost 100% guaranteed to do so. Like Will said, take it to a self-wash place and spray degreaser everywhere underneath, then hit it with the water. Generally makes it pretty easy to find the leak.
 

Registered
Joined
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks everyone. Got it back from the mechanic who I bought it from and he said that the brake line was leaking at the pump near the master cylinder under the drivers side. Thanks for all of these tips here and will save this thread in case it comes up again while I鈥檓 on the road!
 

Registered
Joined
197 Posts
One other area that can leak...the transmission lines as they pass along the engine on a 1st gen, not sure about 2nd gen. They can corrode and wear at the frame clips (just like brake lines) and get pinholes or split. Relatively easy to fix. Fluid color is red, but can be confused with motor oil, depending on what it drips onto.
 

Registered
Joined
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One other area that can leak...the transmission lines as they pass along the engine on a 1st gen, not sure about 2nd gen. They can corrode and wear at the frame clips (just like brake lines) and get pinholes or split. Relatively easy to fix. Fluid color is red, but can be confused with motor oil, depending on what it drips onto.
Awesome, thank you! I'll keep an eye out for any red drips.
 

Registered
01 Astro RWD Cargo, 97 AWD Mark III
Joined
2,276 Posts
You stated that the oil both oil and brake leaks were passenger side. Oil filter and oil lines are both on the driver side of the engine. Is it possible that the confirmed and fixed brake leak was the cause of the possible oil leak?

Oil and transmission cooler lines generally leak at the radiator or oil filter adapters.
These are usually O-rings that are leaking and will show towards the front of the van ahead of the tires or behind the driver side tire in the case of the oil filter adapter. The oil filter adapter can be misdiagnosed as an oil pan leak.

The Oil pan will usually leak at the front or rear of the engine and would show more toward the middle between the tires.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top