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Discussion Starter #1
So I am chasing an oil leak in my vehicle. It is coming from pretty high up on the block. My picture was taken underneath the front right of the engine looking up... for some reason this site uploaded the picture upside down...

I originally thought it was the oil pan gasket until I noticed oil residue much higher than the oil pan. Then I thought it was the crankshaft pulley seal until, like I said above, I noticed oil higher than that. I can feel below the back left of the valve cover and pull my hand away with small amounts of oil on my fingers.

The only thing I can think of that would leak up there is the valve cover gasket. I pulled the valve cover off and noticed that oil was getting passed the gasket into the screw post right around where I was getting oil on my hand. If you've ever removed the valve cover, it's right where the engine block isn't perfectly machined flat and the gasket has some RTV sealant to make up for it (I was shocked to see this... they couldn't machine that flat?!)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I noticed that the screw posts into the block that secure the valve cover are drilled completely through the block and have outlet holes in the bottom. I think the oil was making it's way past the gasket and into the screw post... dripping down the left side of the engine block.

Anyone experience this or have any tips? I went ahead and replaced the valve cover gasket and applied new RTV on those two locations. We'll see.
 

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Did anyone ever respond? I just purchased a 2018 Jeep Compass with 30000 miles on it and noticed oil on top near the corner of the block. Kind of inline with the belts, like your picture. So you think there is a manufacturing defect? Isn't this engine the same exact engine as the renegade? Although the Renegade is made in Italy, and my compass was made in Mexico.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Did anyone ever respond? I just purchased a 2018 Jeep Compass with 30000 miles on it and noticed oil on top near the corner of the block. Kind of inline with the belts, like your picture. So you think there is a manufacturing defect? Isn't this engine the same exact engine as the renegade? Although the Renegade is made in Italy, and my compass was made in Mexico.
Dave,

Good evening.

First things first: if you notice my picture is not taken from the top of the engine. This picture is taken from the bottom looking up. The oil pan looks like a valve cover so it's tricky to get the right perspective. I took this picture to show how far up the block the oil was dripping. I know, it's a bad picture.

Secondly you ask if I think it were a manufacturer defect. In my case, no. I tracked my leak successfully to the timing cover gasket. Gaskets eventually will fail. It was an extremely lengthy repair to remove the timing cover and clean the surfaces, but I did it and it fixed the leak. I don't like using RTV sealant in tight spaces like this, but that is what Jeep decided to use for the timing cover. Yay...

It's strange that you are noticing oil with such low mileage... but I would have to see some pictures to help you diagnose. My first thought goes to your valve cover gasket... but don't hold me to that. Also if you have a 2018 with 30K, it's most likely still under a power train warranty. I would check on that unless you're like me and enjoy fixing it yourself.

I'm not sure what engine you have in the '18s or if it's the same as the Renegad, but I have the 2.4L 4 cy.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. The engine is a 2.4 L4. Even though this looks like oil, when I took a white sock to it, it came off like it was graphite, not like oil would. I am suspecting residue possibly from the bushings / brushes of the alternator and / or belt. I will keep an eye on it in a few days and it is scheduled to go in on Thursday this week for this reason. I will show them pictures as I removed the evidence. haha

I am concerned as to how hot this engine compartment gets including the front panels of the body right where the hood meets. I mean, the metal body was HOT to the touch. But the electronics say it's fine. I noticed that on this Jeep, the honeycomb grill is solid with no air getting in. Do you know if other Jeep enthusiasts change out the grill with something that has ventilation? Sure air gets in lower than that part of the grill area, but I think more air should be coming in.

Thanks for any insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Your engine setup is a little different than mine... granted my Jeep is 11 year older.

Your alternator should not be throwing residue off like that. Let me rephrase - your alternator does not throw residue out like that. I've never seen an alternator throw that crud out - especially one that's only 30K miles old (my first alternator died at around 90K miles). Also, whatever that is... it's definitely wet. There is a leak somewhere. What color was it on the white sock? What does it smell like (this is assuming you know what all the fluids smell like)? From what I can see, that looks like engine oil to me. I could be wrong, but from all my experience, that's what it looks like. There's only 6 fluids in that vehicle - oil, brake fluid, coolant, TX fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and power steering. We can rule out windshield wiper fluid. Can probably rule out brake fluid too because your master cylinder is most likely no where near your drive belt. You can also rule out TX fluid because a leak wouldn't be anywhere near that part of the engine. So you're left with engine oil, coolant, or power steering.

Things to try:
  1. Trace that liquid to it's highest point and try and find where it's coming from. If I had to guess from that picture alone - it looks like your timing cover gasket. I can see some kind of red shredded material where the timing cover mates to the block... could that be blown gasket material? I don't know without being there...
  2. Dry up as much as you can. Keep an eye on it and see if (most likely WHEN) it comes back. Catching a new leak is much easier to track than one that has developed over a lot of time. It's easier to notice a leak on clean metal than dirty metal.
  3. You can buy UV dye that is safe to put in your crankcase. You pour it in and run your vehicle for however long you need to for the leak to reemerge. Then shine a UV light in the engine bay and see if you can determine the source. Slow leaks will take a little longer to diagnose.
  4. Find the power steering pump and check the high and low lines. Make sure the fittings are in order and you see no leaks. Look on the pump where the lines are bolted on. There are little gaskets in there that can fail. Check for leaks there. No PSU in this vehicle.
  5. Check your coolant level and make sure it's not low. If your engine still uses the ridiculously designed thermostat housing, it will most likely develop a leak, but you only have 30K and I'm not sure if Jeep uses the same design. Just something to think about.
As far as your air concern... follow the air tubing from the air box and see where it goes. There should be an inlet somewhere for external air intake. I'm not sure what people do with those new Compasses, but that closed off grill just sounds like bad design. How is your radiator and A/C condenser getting cooled? I guess Jeep just relies on the fan.

Disclaimer: I am diagnosing this based off two pictures. Please don't take my words to be Gospel. I can only speak to what I see there. Try the things I suggested, mainly tracing that leak and report back. I am curious as to what that is.
 

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...So you're left with engine oil, coolant, or power steering...
You can also eliminate power steering, the 2nd generation Compasses have electric power steering, so no fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can also eliminate power steering, the 2nd generation Compasses have electric power steering, so no fluid.
There you go! No power steering pump. Hopefully the module on the steering column doesn't fail... my goodness. It costs $2K for the unit in my buddy's RAM. Can't imagine it being far off in the Jeep.
 
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