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Mechanical help for 97 LS400 oil leak

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Old 02-19-11, 09:23 AM   #1
lexuskim
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Default Mechanical help for 97 LS400 oil leak

Hi all, I had a valve cover gasket job and timing component kit job done a few weeks ago, then after a week of oil still leaking (the same spot and amount on the newspapers under my car), I called my mechanic friend to come to the house to inspect. He said the bleeder screw on the thermastat housing was leaking coolant (did I say that right?) causing the leak. He said he fixed it. NOT!! Now it's leaking oil in 3 different places and alot more. He wants me to bring it in today, but I told him I was going to ask y'all first, since you have been so helpful and patient with me. Thanks and Peace to all.
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Old 02-19-11, 02:03 PM   #2
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It sounds like your friend has messed up somewhere with the gasket replacement,did he use genuine Lexus/Toyota parts and were the valve covers torqued down correctly and gradually,if not they can twist or warp.Was all the old gasket cleaned off the mating surfaces?
i would be a little worried if I had "mechanic friend" who decided an oil leak was due to leaking coolant from the thermostat housing!
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Old 02-19-11, 04:23 PM   #3
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Default LS 400 oil leak

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Originally Posted by steve2006 View Post
It sounds like your friend has messed up somewhere with the gasket replacement,did he use genuine Lexus/Toyota parts and were the valve covers torqued down correctly and gradually,if not they can twist or warp.Was all the old gasket cleaned off the mating surfaces?
i would be a little worried if I had "mechanic friend" who decided an oil leak was due to leaking coolant from the thermostat housing!
Hi Steve, thank you for the timely reply. When he did the timing component kit job (because the water pump was leaking) and the valve cover gasket job (original oil leak) (97 with 200k mi) he said whoever (Lexus Dealer from 1st & prior owner) did the last work on it used silicone instead of "O" rings. O.K. Since I'm female and guys like to call me little lady I like to check out EVERYTHING before I talk to them. This one, while new to me, who I checked out him and his shop, is, as I like it, is afraid of me because of my contacts. So, do I trust his history and fear of me, or could he just have missed something? For the above mentioned jobs he charged $1155k. He knows that I will not pay ANYTHING more and is afraid to ask. As far as your questions go I will ask and let you know the outcome. Thank you and God bless, Peace and Rock n Roll!
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Old 02-19-11, 06:44 PM   #4
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Hey Kim, the amount he charged you is pretty decent for the work he did. Sorry to hear ya still have a leak. The oil leak you have could be coming from somewhere other than the valve cover gaskets, which he just changed. The "original" oil leak might not have been just the gaskets. There are 4 semi-circular plugs, 2 in each head, which are known to leak sometimes. Most mechanics wont change these when they do the valve cover gaskets, it's not considered part of that job, even though they should be done at that time. Even the best of us can miss them. I didn't change mine and now they're leaking. If the back semi-circular plugs are leaking, you can't see it without a mirror so it is easy to miss.
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Old 02-19-11, 08:21 PM   #5
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Can you snap us a pic of the newspaper and approximately where you park your car in relation to it? That way we might have an idea which location around the block it is originating.
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Old 02-26-11, 09:14 AM   #6
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Default update on 97LS400 oil leak

I finally got my car back from my mechanic after 4 days (he's slooow). After he had done the valve cover gasket job, it started leaking in 3 or more places with more oil. He came out to the house and said "the bleeder screw was leaking on the thermastat housing causing the leak". O.K. NOT! I called him back after "talking" to y'all, since you always give me timely and helpful advice (thank you) and told him (as always) what y'all said. I took it back in where he said he had done the valve cover gasket job "through the top instead of the bottom"? Does that make a difference? Anyway, the spark plug tube seals were leaking the oil and since the ?(sorry don't know what the under carriage cover is called) is cracked, that made it leak in so many places. At least he did it for free. As he told me; "I know Club Lexus would tell you if I lied and I know you wouldn't rest until you found out if you had been screwed". Ah, how well he knows me! But, the thanks goes to all of you who have helped, been patient with and taught me. God bless, peace and rock n roll!
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Old 02-26-11, 09:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lexuskim View Post
I finally got my car back from my mechanic after 4 days (he's slooow). After he had done the valve cover gasket job, it started leaking in 3 or more places with more oil. He came out to the house and said "the bleeder screw was leaking on the thermastat housing causing the leak". O.K. NOT! I called him back after "talking" to y'all, since you always give me timely and helpful advice (thank you) and told him (as always) what y'all said. I took it back in where he said he had done the valve cover gasket job "through the top instead of the bottom"? Does that make a difference? Anyway, the spark plug tube seals were leaking the oil and since the ?(sorry don't know what the under carriage cover is called) is cracked, that made it leak in so many places. At least he did it for free. As he told me; "I know Club Lexus would tell you if I lied and I know you wouldn't rest until you found out if you had been screwed". Ah, how well he knows me! But, the thanks goes to all of you who have helped, been patient with and taught me. God bless, peace and rock n roll!
I don't get what he meant by he "did the VC gaskets through the top instead of the bottom", they're on top of the engine, but, whatever. The spark plug tubes leaking should have been noticed right from the begining before he did the VC gaskets and should have been changed at the same time. Well, he can't pull one over on "the little lady" anymore. Glad to hear that it's fixed and that he did it for free. Any other questions, we're here to help.
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Old 02-26-11, 10:07 AM   #8
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Default ? Stupid or trying to be smart mechanic?

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Originally Posted by deanshark View Post
I don't get what he meant by he "did the VC gaskets through the top instead of the bottom", they're on top of the engine, but, whatever. The spark plug tubes leaking should have been noticed right from the begining before he did the VC gaskets and should have been changed at the same time. Well, he can't pull one over on "the little lady" anymore. Glad to hear that it's fixed and that he did it for free. Any other questions, we're here to help.
Hey, maybe he doesn't know "up from down" Haha! Question: How many mechanics does it take to notice leaking spark plugs? Answer: I'll never know. Glad y'all are always here for me.
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