Question about 2000 Nissan Sentra

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Oil Leaking slightly from engine block

Oil found on my driveway, looked at the engine block, some oil appears to be leaking from the front of the engine, dripping down. Maybe a few drops a day. What should I expect for repair costs? Is this a head gasket, or some other engine gasket deterioration? 2000 Sentra GXE, only about 68,000 miles, not that old. What causes this? Just age and wear and tear, or cooling system problem? Pistons firing out of sequence causing undue heat and pressure?

Anyone else with this problem? Bet to let a shop look at it and give me an estimate? I shudder at the repair costs right now.

Posted by on

  • bluehousekey Apr 14, 2009

    I noticed the oil about a month ago, just had it in for an oil change this past weekend, they pointed out the front of the engine, said most likely a valve cover gasket, looked like it was between the top and bottom halves of the engine. Just started reading about it, maybe more than I want/can to do myself. Am thinking that's what it might be, as the oil is pretty noticeable along the front edge of the engine, they didn't see anything with the oil filter or anything down below. Said to have it checked out, cleaned, diagnosed. Wondered if that was accurate? Is a few drops a day a worry or par for the course? Valve cover gasket or could it be head gasket, or just not sure until you get it looked at and looked in to diagnose the problem. My question also is why with so low mileage? Deeper problems than just what i can see?

  • bluehousekey Apr 14, 2009

    Thanks for the good information, you have helped a great deal.



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Could be some thing as simple as a leaking filter, drain plug, or oil pressure sending unit. If it hasn't been in for an oil change lately, take it in, mention you have seen drops on the driveway, the tech will likely note the leak and possible solution. From this you can determine the cause and cost.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009

  • Ed
    Ed Apr 14, 2009

    Age will have as much to do with these things as mileage,Gaskets can break down from age and heat more so than mileage. Head gasket would give you performance issues as well as oil and coolant clues. If it is a valve cover gasket, it is possible it is shrinking a little, making the valve cover loose. If it is readily accessible check the bolts/nuts holding down the cover. you may find them loose. They should be snug but be careful not to over tighten them. If this corrects you problem, it could return in the future as it is a sign the gasket is getting old and tired.



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Dear Sir,
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