Easy Questions ........ I Hope !
I have a 1998 Ford Expedition with only 58,000 miles. The vehicle has been “babied” from day 1. This past spring I noticed I had a small amount of oil running down the side of the oil pan. It appeared to be the oil pan gasket and not the rear main seal or valve cover gasket, etc. As a matter of fact, EVERYTHING above the oil pan is dry as a bone. Although the oil leak was not bad enough to leak on the garage floor, I definitely wanted to correct the situation.
First, let me say that I almost always do my own repair work and I am very slow and meticulous to ensure I will only have to do the job once. Two months back, I raised the engine, removed the oil pan and checked for other possible causes of the oil leak. I honestly could not find one. My next door neighbor, who is a retired auto mechanic, also took a look and found no other reason for the oil leak except for the oil pan gasket. So, I changed the gasket making certain to clean and dry all surfaces THOROUGHLY and then tightened the bolts to the specified setting with a torque wrench. The service manual also stated to apply a small amount of silicone sealant at the 4corners. The other gasket also had the sealant applied when manufactured and I applied the sealant in the same manner.
This past weekend, I noticed in a couple of spots around the gasket that it appeared a small amount of oil was trying to ooze out. We will be taking a trip in October (about 2500 miles round trip) and I do not want an oil leak. Therefore, this weekend I plan to change the gasket again. My three questions: What in the world am I looking for? What can I be doing wrong? Can the oil pan be warped or damaged ……… I certainly do not how it could have been damaged??? I would really like to "nip the situation in the bud". Any thoughts or experiences would be welcomed!