1997 Volvo 850 oilleak the oil is on the top of motor and in the rear
Outside of the oil filter, there aren't a lot of places oil can exit the engine under normal circumstances, but my wife's '96 850 had a similar problem.
The source of the leak in her case was the dipstick tube. We'd had the transmission replaced a few months before, and as it turns out, they had to pull the engine and transmission as a unit in order to get the tranny out. (They Hayes manual says to drop the subframe beneath the car, but given a full auto shop, it was probably just as easy for them to just pull the entire assembly.)
Anyway, in the process I assume they disconnected the dipstick to give themselves more room to work. From the looks of the o-ring between the block and the dipstick tube, it appears it got deformed when being reinstalled so it failed to seal correctly, letting the oil leak out of it. Between the action of the cooling fans on the radiator and wind coming through the grille while driving, it was throwing the oil all over the place, making it hard to determine exactly where it was coming from.
I ended up wiping down the entire bottom of the engine, driving the car and looking for oil. Repeat several times until I finally isolated it to the dipstick.
You can buy just the o-ring online for just a few bucks. That solved the majority of the issue for me, but then I found oil leaking out of the top of the dipstick as well! There's another o-ring there, but they don't sell those by themselves; you have to either buy the whole dipstick (without the tube) to get it, or take the old one to an auto parts store and try to match up the existing o-ring to something they have in stock. I found one that was close enough, and that seems to have put to bed my engine leaks.
Of course, I don't imagine you've had your engine pulled, but since your car is almost of legal drinking age, it's entirely possible the seal has simply failed due to age. Definitely recommend replacing both the top and bottom seals. There's only one bolt holding the dipstick in place, so it's not hard to swap out the one between the tube and the block.
Aug 29, 2017 |
1997 Volvo 850