Question about 1998 Ford Escort

4 Answers

My 1998 ford escort has oil on the filter anyone know of anything that could be wrong

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  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    The oil is on my air filter sorry for the confusion

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4 Answers

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  • Master
  • 6,784 Answers

Hi here are a list of possible causes for your current condition:

1. Leaking valve cover, due to a warped cover or a failed valve cover gasket.

2. Loose oil fiter - This could be caused by a improperly installed filter or a stripped filter mounting threads.

3. Failed Head Gaskets - This issue will cause oil to leak form the block, thus, causing spillage at the oil filter location. Check the block for leak points at the gasket areas. replace the head gasket, if needed.

4. Leaking oil pressure switch mount - This switch may have a leaking seal or the block threads could be stripped. This is highly unlikely, but possible.

  • These are the most likely reason for oil on your oil filter. You will find the culprit in one or all of the areas described above. Also; check to be sure that the oil is not leaking on the ground when your vehicle is not in use. If you notice a small puddle that has formed after the car sits for a while, this will indicate that the leak is severe and not a simple drip.

Posted on Aug 01, 2010

  • 12 more comments 
  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 01, 2010


    • Most leaks that form puddles on the ground will either be the result of a failed oil filter thread(loose oil filter), loose or stripped oil pan plug or a failed oil pan gasket.


  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 01, 2010

    wow......

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 01, 2010

    OK, in this case, this will be the result of blow by in the engine, due to a failing set of piston rings and cylinder wall deterioration. There also may be some oil and carbon that has plugged you PCV valve. This type of clog will cause oil to blow back into the filter housing. This is actually normal, considering the age of this engine. This is just a sign of engine ware and age.

    The necessary actions are to replace the air filter and replace the PCV valve and hose. I would use a washable filter in your case, due to the fact that, the piston rings are worn. This will save you some money in the future. The washable filters are easy to clean. I would schedule an overhaul very soon. Those rings will only last for so long, and the piston cylinder walls are in bad shape.


  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    I have checked both pcv valve and the vacuum on the line and both are still good pcv rattles when u shake it and engine stalls when vacuum line is removed.

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 01, 2010

    OK, that is normal for the engine to stall when the vacuum is removed, but that rattle in the valve is not a good sign. Its should be replaced. Its clogged.

    How many miles are on this engine?


  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    close to 190,000

  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    sorry 169,00 is what i meant

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 01, 2010

    Ok there is not much you can do about his blow back into the filter housing, short of a complete overhaul. The cylinder walls are worn and the rings should be replaced, as well. The oil will run past these sections of the cylinder,thus, allowing the blow back into the intake and then through the air intake housing and filter. You can by some time by purchasing another air filter that you can wash, but that about it. The mile count is were I suspected, and ford's are notorious for high carbon build up in the intake.

    How is the oil consumption? Dose the engine burn lots of oil?

    Are you noticing any smoke during morning start up and during acceleration?


  • hellinger_ma Aug 02, 2010

    I have not noticed any white smoke during morning start ups. I really haven't noticed a change in oil consumption or the smells of burning oil

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 02, 2010

    It will usually be a Grey or blue discharge when it becomes severe. What you are experiencing is the early signs of cylinder ware and ring failure. The oil deposits on the filter are the main indicator, and it will get worse over time. It is called blow back, and the target will be the intake and air filter housing. I'm sure if the PCV valve was cut in half, there will be considerable oil deposits there, as well.

    Not much you can do about it, at this time. You could add a can of "Sea Foam"(1/2 of 1 pint) into the crankcase, after a fresh oil change. This will clear up the deposits for a short time, but they will return. The only recourse is to schedule an overhaul soon, if possible. Having that many miles on this type of ford engine is risky and expensive. I woudl switch to a high mileage oil like Valvoline Max Life, if possible. This will by you maybe 20000 miles, or so and stop the release of oil for a short time. That's about all you can do, in your case. An overhaul will indeed be the end result.


  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 02, 2010

    If you need confirmation, simply, pull all the plugs and inspect for oil at the tips of each plug you pull. If oil is present, this will confirm that the rings and cylinder walls are worn.

  • hellinger_ma Aug 02, 2010

    Ok. Well thank you for the time you have spent helping me with my problem.

  • hellinger_ma Aug 02, 2010

    Ok i will do that first thing in the morning again thank you very much.

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Aug 02, 2010

    No problem; glad to have helped..

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  • Ford Master
  • 1,869 Answers

Wipe off the oil filter and, above the filter; look around the valve covers for oil dripping down; if you find any, replace the valve cover gasket if you find no oil leakage above the filter; replace your oil filter.
the filter has a gasket on it's front (engine side) end that must be coated with clean engine oil before the filter is installed and, tightened or, it will leak.
let me know where the leak is coming from and, we'll go from there.

Posted on Aug 01, 2010

  • Jim Goldsmith
    Jim Goldsmith Aug 01, 2010

    have you or, someone added oil to your car lately?
    check the amount of oil in your car using the iol dip stick.


  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    the oil is on my air filter

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  • Ford Master
  • 6,826 Answers

It could be a bad gasket on the oil filter,or the old gasket was not removed when the new oil filter was installed,or the oil filter mounting gasket is bad,and leaking,this is where the oil filter mount is mounted to the engine.

Posted on Aug 01, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • Ronny Bennett Sr.
    Ronny Bennett Sr. Aug 01, 2010

    Replace the pcv valve,and make sure the vent tube for the pcv is clear,and has vacuum on it.Pull the dipstick and see if mist is coming from it,if so,then there is a broken ring on one of the pistons,or the return holes for the oil return under the valve cover are stopped up.

  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    ok i have check the pcv valve and it is good rattles and all check for vacuum and there is as soon as i pulled the line of the throttle body it died started it back up and took out the dipstick took it a min or two but sure enough started spitting out oil and not just in a mist could see it coming out of the hole

  • Ronny Bennett Sr.
    Ronny Bennett Sr. Aug 02, 2010

    Replace the pcv valve,and make sure the vent tube for the pcv is clear,and has vacuum on it.Pull the dipstick and see if mist is coming from it,if so,then there is a broken ring on one of the pistons,or the return holes for the oil return under the valve cover are stopped up.






    I do not know why you rejected my solution,but it most likely is return holes stopped up,or the vacuum going to the pcv valve is clogged up,did you check for vacuum on that line?And if all this checks out ok,then there is most likely a ring on a piston that is broken.

  • Ronny Bennett Sr.
    Ronny Bennett Sr. Aug 03, 2010

    I do not know why you rejected my solution,but it most likely is return holes stopped up,or the vacuum going to the pcv valve is clogged up,did you check for vacuum on that line?And if all this checks out ok,then there is most likely a ring on a piston that is broken.


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  • Ford Master
  • 6,826 Answers

If the oil is seeping from the oil filter area, the last oil changer could have not tightened the filter, or the filter's gasket from the old one is doubled up, causing a leak.

If there is oil on the air filter, then the oil could be backing up in the throttle body or carburetor area through the pcv.

Can you clarify which filter you are talking about?

Posted on Aug 01, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    Sorry i am talking about the air filter. I have already checked the pcv valve and it has a rattle but as far as i know that indicates that it is good. If i remember right

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Aug 01, 2010

    You're right, the pcv valve should be ok if it rattles when you shake it. Usually, they get plugged up with oil and carbon.



    I'm not sure what other sources of oil could be getting in there. Check the other hoses that lead to the air cleaner.



    Good luck on this repair.

  • hellinger_ma Aug 01, 2010

    Thank you for your help.

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Aug 01, 2010

    Your welcome.

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