took my 01SE to NTB today to get my tires rotated and oil changed.
I told the guy i was down almost a half quart when i checked it 2 days ago and noticed slight oil spots in the driveway. Im figuring its just the seal on the drain plug. However he did say that oil was everywhere and i know i changed the oil pan gasket 30,000 miles ago when i bought the car. He also mentioned the threads on my plug were wearing thin and the next change i should bring a new plug.
The leaks started right after i put mobil 1 synthetic in, i no longer feed the car synthetic and have been running with conventional oil for 3 changes now.
Where do i check for leaks and are there any chemicals that show the source of a leak? what do i do?
It can be hard to track down an oil leak when the engine is dirty. Clean the engine really well first. Then, you can check around the valve covers, oil filter, rear engine cover, LIM ends, etc. for leaks. Spreading something white, like flour, around the engine can help show where the leak is.
Be careful not to spray water on a hot engine. Cast plastic and metal components can break from thermal shock. If you go the speedy wash route, go to the nearest one, and vacuum and wash the car first to give the engine a chance to cool down some. Some pressure washers are very powerful and will force water into places that would normally remain weather-tight. So, keep the wand back away from electrical components and connectors.
Do not spray water into the alternator. Don't get the tip of the wand close to soft materials like the hood insulation or the insulation material around the exhaust manifolds.
Another alternative is to use an engine cleaner product like Gunk to loosen any grease and oil and then use a lower pressure hose like a garden hose. Doing this at home makes it possible to clean the engine when it is cold and where you can let it completely dry before you attempt to start it.
The newer the car, the less chance for problems using the power wash as the connectors, gaskets and seals are strong and tight. The higher pressure water and warm engine will result in a cleaner engine, but you should realize there are risks involved.