HELP!!! Major OIL Leak???? - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 10:24 PM
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Unhappy HELP!!! Major OIL Leak????

Hello, been working on my 1998 Kia Sportage, and all though I have got it running well, I cannot for the life of me seem to fix the oil leak that it has. It appears to be leaking from the valve cover. I have replaced the valve cover gasket twice now trying to get it to stop leaking, each time making sure the bolts are torqued properely and in sequence, but have failed to keep it from leaking. It only leaks when the engine is running. I am not sure what could cause this, or what else I can look at to fix it. I have been told that the engine could be suffering from blow by of the piston rings and that could be causing excess crankcase pressure, but I have always thought that engines with bad piston rings would smoke blue smoke and mine does not smoke at all except for the smoke from the oil burning off the sides of the engine. I do not know what else to do to this thing. I have replaced the PCV valve and checked the hose for the valve that goes to the intake and everything looked fine. Any input on this problem would be greatly apprecieted. Thanks in advance!!!!
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 10:21 AM
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When you replaced the valve cover gasket, did you put a dab of silicone in the corners at the back of the head? I think you have to do this or they will leak.

Where on the cover does it look like it is leaking?
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 03:02 PM
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Put a straight edge along the covers to check that they havn't got warped. You could try using a high temp gasket compound on the gaskets, it might help with the seal. I'm pretty sure if the engine was getting blowby it would be burning oil and smoking. Best of luck with it.

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Last edited by pulsar86; 11-03-2009 at 03:05 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 05:42 PM
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every engine has some blow by, thats why you have the PCV valve. This is commonly the problem with a leaky cover with a new gasket. If the cover is straight and there is no debris under the lip, then you shouldn't need gasket sealant in the corners.

Make sure that your PCV valve is on the correct direction. they don't vent if they are on backwards.

Check to make sure that someone didn't use gasket sealer on the corners of the old gasket. If there is old Silicon on the head then it won't seat right on the new gasket. When I changed my gasket I needed to pull Silicon from the front and rear of the head in the corners of the arch for the cams lobes. It's tough to see it so look carefully
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 08:14 AM
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How bad is bad? Make sure your pcv valve and hose are not plugged. Where is the oil pressure sending unit located? It will only leak when running. How's the oil level? Mine was about half qt overfull and leaked out of a frt seal until down to full. I haven't had the problem, but can't see a valve cover with any gasket at all leaking BAD in a short time.

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#6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 04:01 PM
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Ok, I have an update for all. After checking all the vent hoses, and double checking the PCV Valve and hose, I reassembled everything with all new gaskets. Well I drove it less then 50 miles and I noticed it was still leaking pretty bad. So while leaving the Sportage running I popped the hood and looked arround the engine. I could not see a leak at first but when I reved the engine I found oil gushing out the back of the head, it looks like its between the head and the valve cover but I cannot be certain, but I am thinking that the engine may of been over-heated before I got it (when I first got it the old owners were trying to drive it with the timing off and plugged catalatic converters. I am thinking about pulling the head and having it checked and if possible resurfaced and rebuilt. I would like know if I am on the right track with this or am I barking up the wrong tree in thinking the head may be warped. Also is it possible the just the Valve cover could be warped. I know its an alumnium cover and although I have never heard of it, I am guessing just like the head that it can be warped. also since there is no oil pressure guage on this vehicle, is there any other way to check the current pressure level in the engine while its running? As always your help is always appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by Brobbins87; 11-18-2009 at 04:03 PM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 12:53 AM
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the previous owner could have overtorqued it or not evenly set the bolts on the cover when assembling. This could have bent the valve cover. Usually when the head warps from that cat overheating, you have a lot more serious problems than the cover leaking oil. You would probably notice a loss of power from compression leaks.
A few members have had issues with a backed up CAT ruining their head, but again, there was a serious loss of power, not an oil leak.
I'm hoping it's just a bent or cracked valve cover. RTV will fix most issues with a damaged valve cover. Just make sure the goo is completely set before starting your engin up.
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 01:14 AM
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I'd suggest an RTV called "right stuff".. really is what it is. We use it at the shop. It's made for that kind of application in heat, oil, mild pressures, etc. You've gotta do it with the surfaces free oil ANY oil though. anyway, I'd inspect the valve cover gasket and mating surfaces carefully so see if there's prior RTV or warpage, etc like the above's said. Hang in there with your Sportage. Usually , they only have a few minor bugs normally these Sportage's really are dependable and low maintenance. I think I've spent maybe $500 under the hood over over the last 3-4 years I've owned it spanning 70k Miles and it started with around 63k miles. I beat the snot out of mine every day and 'her' and I just have a blast . Good luck, hope you get it. And yes, don't forget to check proper PCV operation. Even good seals will leak if the PCV is clogged. The pressure must escape somewhere.
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 12:43 AM
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Ok, I have gone through and completely re-done the valve cover gasket. I cleaned everything thoroughly and checked for warpage the best I could with a straight edge. I applied Hi-Temp RTV to the areas specified in the kia shop manual. I put everything back together using the torque specs found in the shop manual (Manual said between 35 and 52 inch pounds so I torqued them to 45 inch pounds) and torqued them in a criscross pattern working from the inside bolts to the outside bolts. I let the Sportage set for 30 hours to let the RTV fully cure. For the first week maby two weeks it was fine and didn't seem to leak at all, but tonight I drove the Sportage about 50 miles and when I stopped in a friends driveway I noticed that it was smoking from under the hood again. When I looked at it I found it was leaking again from the same spots that it was before. I am at a loss as on what to do to make this thing seal up (I am about ready to get some JB weld and seal the valve cover perminately with it, lol). I anyone has any insight as to what is wrong or what I can do to fix this thing and to make it quit leaking oil I would greatly appreciate it. I was told that it could be excessive crankcase pressure but I have not found a single thing that would be causing pressure to build up. So with that said I am out of ideas, so anyone with an idea of what I can do next please tell me so I can keep from pulling my hair out. Thanks in advance.
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sportege View Post
I'd suggest an RTV called "right stuff".. really is what it is. We use it at the shop. It's made for that kind of application in heat, oil, mild pressures, etc. You've gotta do it with the surfaces free oil ANY oil though. anyway, I'd inspect the valve cover gasket and mating surfaces carefully so see if there's prior RTV or warpage, etc like the above's said. Hang in there with your Sportage. Usually , they only have a few minor bugs normally these Sportage's really are dependable and low maintenance. I think I've spent maybe $500 under the hood over over the last 3-4 years I've owned it spanning 70k Miles and it started with around 63k miles. I beat the snot out of mine every day and 'her' and I just have a blast . Good luck, hope you get it. And yes, don't forget to check proper PCV operation. Even good seals will leak if the PCV is clogged. The pressure must escape somewhere.
I agree, I think the only way you could be getting pressure from the crankcase forcing oil past the valve cover gasket. is a bad pcv valve. Try plugging the pcv off temporarily and see if the leak lessens.

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