Leaking oil pan and timing chain cover - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Leaking oil pan and timing chain cover

Hello,

I took my new to me 2012 sorento SX V6 into the dealer for an oil change and was informed there was "heavy oil leaks" from the timing chain cover and the oil pan as well. I was quoted 7 hours labour and $1300 for the repair. Does this seem high at all? In my limited automotive knowledge I am trying to understand what is so time consuming for the task, do they have to remove the axles or anything like that to drop the cover and pan? I bought the sorento from a private seller about 10 days ago, I checked the oil last night before any knowledge of these leaks and it was slightly above full, I don't really know the true significance of the leak based on the oil level being full to be honest.

From what I read, this is not too common on the V6 model and that the pan has no true gasket and is attached only via RTV sealant. Is this correct and is there no way to seal from the outside?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 05:37 AM
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It is a big job to get to both of those parts of the motor to reseal, AND if it is actually coming from the sealing area. I have seen vehicles that have rusted through from the outside of those parts and need to be replaced to stop the "leakage" of oil. My suggestion is to have the lower parts of the motor washed off clean, and then pinpoint actual leak area, to know for sure what is going on.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:25 AM
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About 1 month after I took delivery of my 2013 sorento, I noticed oil spots on my garage floor. The oil pan was leaking between the pan and block. Yes no gasket but only sealant. Took them only 1 day since they also suspected the seal as well but was not the case, no leaks since.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by meebers View Post
About 1 month after I took delivery of my 2013 sorento, I noticed oil spots on my garage floor. The oil pan was leaking between the pan and block. Yes no gasket but only sealant. Took them only 1 day since they also suspected the seal as well but was not the case, no leaks since.
That I would believe on a brand new ride, It can and does happen. the OP's ride is now 5 years old and we can not "see" overall condition.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tt101 View Post
. Is this correct and is there no way to seal from the outside? ...
The answer to that question is like many others: it all depends.

The rear edge of the oil pan on my Forte began to leak at around 40K and 2+ years. Turns out that the rear bolts were not torqued to spec. Don't know if they came from the factory that way, or just worked loose over time. As a result of the loose bolts, I could see that the factory RTV gasket had splits in 3 separate places, creating a very slow drip.

I'm the type of person who is militant about DIY, and never want a stealership messing around with any of my vehicles unless there's absolutely no choice. And I'd also read reports from others relating horror stories of the pan not being sealed correctly by their local KIA. One vehicle took 4 retries before it was finally done correctly!

But I also did not want to remove the pan myself while the powertrain warranty is in force, and risk getting a major claim denied. So I decided to try patching the cracks in the gasket externally with Ultra Black, along with torquing the bolts correctly. That was done around 60K miles ago, and the patch has continued to be very effective. Two of the cracks were completely sealed, and the third has just a very slight weep remaining. I do 7.5K OCIs, and never need to add oil between changes (yes, I do check the level regularly). So it's fair to say that there is effectively no oil being lost from the gasket.

But naturally I can't say this will work for your vehicle, because the specifics of those leaks may be quite a bit different than mine were. The key to determining if there's any possibility of patching yours is to completely evaluate the scope of the leaks. That means first getting all gasket surfaces completely dry, and also being able to get a visual on all parts of the gasket. A mechanic's mirror can help with the obscure locations. Once it's completely dry, you run it briefly and then recheck to determine the extent of the leaks. And of course, any loose pan/cover bolts need to be torqued to spec before this process is started.

One very important thing with your vehicle is to determine how much leakage is coming from the cover, versus the pan. The pan is certainly a much easier job, and less expensive if replacement by a shop is necessary. If it turns out that the cover only has a very minor weep, then patching it becomes much more feasible, than if the cover gasket has major cracks and leaks.

If you can't (or don't want to) DIY this job, you MIGHT find a good independent shop that would be willing to explore the patch option. And if no patching is possible, you can get a quote from them for the full repair, which I'm fairly certain would be lower than what the stealership gave you.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 01:40 PM
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Nice LONG answer to what I basically said, other than your personal repair for your ride.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MIA KIA 09 View Post
It is a big job to get to both of those parts of the motor to reseal, AND if it is actually coming from the sealing area. I have seen vehicles that have rusted through from the outside of those parts and need to be replaced to stop the "leakage" of oil. My suggestion is to have the lower parts of the motor washed off clean, and then pinpoint actual leak area, to know for sure what is going on.
Thank you, I'm going to keep an eye at the oil level. There is nothing on my garage floor and the level was at fill when I checked the night before the change, so I honestly doubt the leak is huge, most likely a slow seepage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiaguy002 View Post
The answer to that question is like many others: it all depends.

The rear edge of the oil pan on my Forte began to leak at around 40K and 2+ years. Turns out that the rear bolts were not torqued to spec. Don't know if they came from the factory that way, or just worked loose over time. As a result of the loose bolts, I could see that the factory RTV gasket had splits in 3 separate places, creating a very slow drip.

I'm the type of person who is militant about DIY, and never want a stealership messing around with any of my vehicles unless there's absolutely no choice. And I'd also read reports from others relating horror stories of the pan not being sealed correctly by their local KIA. One vehicle took 4 retries before it was finally done correctly!

But I also did not want to remove the pan myself while the powertrain warranty is in force, and risk getting a major claim denied. So I decided to try patching the cracks in the gasket externally with Ultra Black, along with torquing the bolts correctly. That was done around 60K miles ago, and the patch has continued to be very effective. Two of the cracks were completely sealed, and the third has just a very slight weep remaining. I do 7.5K OCIs, and never need to add oil between changes (yes, I do check the level regularly). So it's fair to say that there is effectively no oil being lost from the gasket.

But naturally I can't say this will work for your vehicle, because the specifics of those leaks may be quite a bit different than mine were. The key to determining if there's any possibility of patching yours is to completely evaluate the scope of the leaks. That means first getting all gasket surfaces completely dry, and also being able to get a visual on all parts of the gasket. A mechanic's mirror can help with the obscure locations. Once it's completely dry, you run it briefly and then recheck to determine the extent of the leaks. And of course, any loose pan/cover bolts need to be torqued to spec before this process is started.

One very important thing with your vehicle is to determine how much leakage is coming from the cover, versus the pan. The pan is certainly a much easier job, and less expensive if replacement by a shop is necessary. If it turns out that the cover only has a very minor weep, then patching it becomes much more feasible, than if the cover gasket has major cracks and leaks.

If you can't (or don't want to) DIY this job, you MIGHT find a good independent shop that would be willing to explore the patch option. And if no patching is possible, you can get a quote from them for the full repair, which I'm fairly certain would be lower than what the stealership gave you.
Thank you for the excellent and long reply. I highly appreciate it. I did check the level and it was full, I also have not noticed anything at all on my garage floor. I decided to wait and see what happens, I'm going to keep monitoring oil level, I have a neighbour who has a mechanic shop setup in his garage and is very skilled, I'm going to get him to take a look at it over the weekend and see what he thinks, if it is mild enough, I'm just going to ask him to patch it as much as he can and go from there. Conversely I have a good indy mechanic who can do the full job if needed, I'm sure they can save me quite a bit, I did email another indy shop for a quote and they want 1700!!! A whopping $400 MORE than the dealer. If I notice an appreciable leak or my neighbour sees a big leak, I'll get it fully sealed up from either the dealer or that indy if it's cheaper. Or else if it's moderate or mild I'll get my neighbour to do a patch job and to check the bolts. I could probably DIY it, but I would rather have someone more skilled do it.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 09:17 PM
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I seem to remember there being a recall or a service bulletin or a service action about the oil pressure switch. Did a search on the forum for "oil pressure switch" and here are a couple of the ones that came up:

Timing Chain Cover oil leak?
2011 Sorento SA168?

The second one lists some of the service actions that were performed. SA171-B is the one that addresses the oil pressure switch.

I checked on Youtube and there are several, if not more, videos describing the oil pressure switch causing what looks like a rear main seal or other oil leaks. Here are a couple of the youtube links:


FYI, I believe the the Hyundai 3.5L V6 is the same as the one used in the Kia Sorento.

Not saying that's the cause but something to look at.

I believe mine was replaced under warranty. Not sure if yours is still under warranty. In any case, this should have come up for the dealer during your other visits to the dealer. Ask them about it and if they aren't any help, call Kia. Doesn't hurt to call, especially if they want you to consider buying another Kia in the future.

I think in the US, they had TSB #PS-211. There might be an equivalent for Canada...not sure.

Some info on this at: https://www.automd.com/tsb/bulletin_b335238/

You can check recalls for yours at: Kia Recall | Kia Canada
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VIM View Post
I seem to remember there being a recall or a service bulletin or a service action about the oil pressure switch. Did a search on the forum for "oil pressure switch" and here are a couple of the ones that came up:

Timing Chain Cover oil leak?
2011 Sorento SA168?

The second one lists some of the service actions that were performed. SA171-B is the one that addresses the oil pressure switch.

I checked on Youtube and there are several, if not more, videos describing the oil pressure switch causing what looks like a rear main seal or other oil leaks. Here are a couple of the youtube links:

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5 oil leak
Kia Sorento Oil leak.

FYI, I believe the the Hyundai 3.5L V6 is the same as the one used in the Kia Sorento.

Not saying that's the cause but something to look at.

I believe mine was replaced under warranty. Not sure if yours is still under warranty. In any case, this should have come up for the dealer during your other visits to the dealer. Ask them about it and if they aren't any help, call Kia. Doesn't hurt to call, especially if they want you to consider buying another Kia in the future.

I think in the US, they had TSB #PS-211. There might be an equivalent for Canada...not sure.

Some info on this at: https://www.automd.com/tsb/bulletin_b335238/

You can check recalls for yours at: Kia Recall | Kia Canada
wow thank you so much, I really really appreciate the thorough response, you absolutely made my day, by the way VIM because of your post a long time ago that was a picture of a pdf showing how t change the auto door unlock on 2011-2013 Sorentos I showed it to my dealer and they changed it for me, so thank you very much. Now back on topic.

We also own a 2009 santa fe with the 3.3l V6 and iirc there was a recall for something leaking oil on those as well, so I wonder if this is related at all. When I took my sorento in, they informed me that I had an open recall for premature rust so they sprayed it with some rust inhibitor stuff, I then asked if there was any other recalls and she told me that my Sorento was fully up to date on recalls. You are correct, the santa fe uses the same engine as the sorento.

Now you have me a little worried to be honest, I am scared that I will shell out all this money fixing something that isn't even causing the issue, I sadly do not have warranty, about 20k kms over the Kia canada warranty. I wish I did though. I can consider calling Kia canada and inquiring about the OPS leak, it can't hurt me right. But I am being told it is the timing chain cover and oil pan leak.

I also checked my vin on that site and it told me I have no open recalls. I mean the $1300 won't break the bank, but I have A LOT of other things I could spend that money on and I don't want to play parts switch up with my car and the dealer. I could try and go indy, but I am worried they won't know my car very well and they too will be chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole.


Thank you very much for the thorough responses guys, you really are making me feel a lot better. I have loved the sorento since they came out and wanted a SX model for about 5 years now so it kind of sucks getting your "dream" car and finding something like this a few days after buying it.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:28 AM
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... I am scared that I will shell out all this money fixing something that isn't even causing the issue ...
If you're willing and able to invest the time, this is something you would have full control over. If everything is clean, the source(s) of the oil leak should be visible, regardless of what and where the leaks are. The vehicle needs to be up on ramps, in order to be able to inspect every surface. It can be a time consuming process because it's typically going to require multiple tries in order to be certain that all leaks have been found. The good news is (assuming slow leakage), there's no big rush and you can wait until it's convenient for you to do the work.
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