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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I’m new here, not necessarily new to taking care of my own cars but new to owning a Buick Enclave, (8 months). I do all my own work and never take a vehicle anywhere for service with two exceptions, an alignment and mounting and balancing tires. This is my wife’s vehicle and she loves it, we both like the way it drives and rides.

Some history, about 4 months ago I noticed a small drip of oil on the garage floor from under the front passenger side of our newly purchased 2011 Enclave from Florida with 74000 rust free miles. We’re in PA. As I investigated I found the steering rack was leaking into the tie rod boots and the front right strut was also leaking.

I swapped in new Bilstein front struts and put a new AC Delco steering rack and power steering pump in the vehicle. I am aware that most cars like their OEM parts and dislike the cheap chinese crap. C.R.A.P. (Chinese replacement auto parts)

The struts no longer leak and the steering rack seems to be tight and without leaks, also the groan that was present when turning the steering wheel is gone.

However I still have this leak from elsewhere. It covers the passenger side of the engine behind the pulleys. The ac compressor is covered, the bottom of the alternator is likewise soaked. There is also oil on the top ac hose that leads from the condenser to the compressor. The drip comes off the oil drain plug on the oil pan.

After fixing the struts and the steering rack , I have these possibilities left, ac hose leaking PAG oil, valve covers, power steering resivor, front cover of engine, transmission hose.

The ac seems to work great so I think I’m ok there, I’ve never seen an ac system with that much PAG oil in it anyway. The power steering fluid level seem to be exactly where it was after changing out the rack and pump. One month and 1000 miles ago. The transmission fluid level seems to be stable.

The oil level has dropped on the dip stick about one notch in 4K miles, so I don’t have a bad leak just an annoying one. I have searched the forums but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

I have about decided it’s engine oil. Is there a common leak area on these Enclaves that would involve the area behind the pulleys, cover the ac compressor and the bottom of the alternator, seemingly wick up a couple of hoses and drip off the drain plug of the oil pan?
 

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I haven't read of many oil leaks in these vehicles. I have had a 08 Outlook and now a 15 CPO Enclave. I had a OIL Filter leak when I picked up the Enclave, tightened it and no more leak. I did have a oil seal leak on the 08 when the PCV system was restricted, too much crankcase pressure, I cleared the PCV barb and the seal leak went away.
 

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+1 on checking into the PCV system. Pull the air filter and see if there's oil in there as well, another sure sign the PCV is clogged.
 

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The area you are talking has the Power Steering lines running from the reservoir to the PS cooler in front of the condenser. Since the PS was just worked on, I'd be looking there, make sure all clamps are tight, and hoses are good. I just replaced both my AC lines off my compressor, and the PS lines run right in that area you are talking about. Pull your oil cap, then yank your engine cover, and you will see the PS reservoir there and the lines coming off it, work from there. Sounds like its coming from the top down.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the suggestions, I pulled the pcv valves and lines and cleaned them. While there was a small amount of oil and a sticky wax like substance in the air intake accordion hose the intake hose was not coated with oil. I did clean that waxy substance out.

I drilled out the rear valve with the small holes, even that was not plugged and only had a small amount of oil residue around it.

Do the valve covers leak on these engines as they do on other engines?

I saw an Acadia with a leaking front seal and so I inspected mine. If it was leaking that would certainly be capable of slinging oil in all the places I’m seeing it, however it appears only slightly oily and my serpentine belt is dry along with the harmonic balancer pulley, so I don’t think it’s that.
 

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Hey guys, I’m new here, not necessarily new to taking care of my own cars but new to owning a Buick Enclave, (8 months). I do all my own work and never take a vehicle anywhere for service with two exceptions, an alignment and mounting and balancing tires. This is my wife’s vehicle and she loves it, we both like the way it drives and rides.

Some history, about 4 months ago I noticed a small drip of oil on the garage floor from under the front passenger side of our newly purchased 2011 Enclave from Florida with 74000 rust free miles. We’re in PA. As I investigated I found the steering rack was leaking into the tie rod boots and the front right strut was also leaking.

I swapped in new Bilstein front struts and put a new AC Delco steering rack and power steering pump in the vehicle. I am aware that most cars like their OEM parts and dislike the cheap chinese crap. C.R.A.P. (Chinese replacement auto parts)

The struts no longer leak and the steering rack seems to be tight and without leaks, also the groan that was present when turning the steering wheel is gone.

However I still have this leak from elsewhere. It covers the passenger side of the engine behind the pulleys. The ac compressor is covered, the bottom of the alternator is likewise soaked. There is also oil on the top ac hose that leads from the condenser to the compressor. The drip comes off the oil drain plug on the oil pan.

After fixing the struts and the steering rack , I have these possibilities left, ac hose leaking PAG oil, valve covers, power steering resivor, front cover of engine, transmission hose.

The ac seems to work great so I think I’m ok there, I’ve never seen an ac system with that much PAG oil in it anyway. The power steering fluid level seem to be exactly where it was after changing out the rack and pump. One month and 1000 miles ago. The transmission fluid level seems to be stable.

The oil level has dropped on the dip stick about one notch in 4K miles, so I don’t have a bad leak just an annoying one. I have searched the forums but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

I have about decided it’s engine oil. Is there a common leak area on these Enclaves that would involve the area behind the pulleys, cover the ac compressor and the bottom of the alternator, seemingly wick up a couple of hoses and drip off the drain plug of the oil pan?

I had minor struts leak and after tightening, no issues. Suggest placing a piece of cardboard under the car. I had similar issue and it was a leak from the transmission pan. Took off and replaced the seal. No further problems.
 

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Any updates? I noticed a similar leak on my wife's 2015 Enclave. We recently had it serviced. I wiped everything down and I will be looking again to see if it was just the tech being sloppy or if it is a leak.
 

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Any updates? I noticed a similar leak on my wife's 2015 Enclave. We recently had it serviced. I wiped everything down and I will be looking again to see if it was just the tech being sloppy or if it is a leak.
Yours is likely just the oil spilled from the filter. Terrible filter placement that makes it impossible to remove the filter without getting oil all over several cross members.
 

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Yours is likely just the oil spilled from the filter. Terrible filter placement that makes it impossible to remove the filter without getting oil all over several cross members.
I hope you are correct. However, I did see oil around the crankshaft pulley. Would oil from the filter (or spillage from filling) make it that far around the side of the engine? On our old 2008 Enclave I would service them myself and I never had issues. But then again when you're DIY you tend to to a much better job than most places, LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The oil filter can be an issue especially if the old O ring stuck to the seal area and was not removed when a new filter was installed.

In my case the timing chain cover is the culprit. From what I have read I do not want to pull an engine to change a gasket. So I tried some of this stuff.


I removed the front tire and inner fender so I could access the top of the timing cover, sprayed it down liberally with brake/carb cleaner and then applied five coats of the spray sealant to the problem area per the instructions. The whole process took less than an hour and I let it set overnight. My leak is not entirely gone but I was able to lessen it to the point it no longer drips on the garage floor.

I am going to reapply in an effort to stop the leak completely. However my enclave was recently in a hunting accident. The vehicle successfully bagged its first whitetail deer, a doe but did not emerge from the experience unscathed. The front drivers corner came away a bit worse for wear to the tune of $7000 .
 

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Thank you for this information! I am going to look again today to see if what I wiped off has returned. I am hoping it was just spillage.

That sucks about your Enclave! Maybe one day those pesky deer will learn to use the crosswalk like civilized animals....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That sucks about your Enclave! Maybe one day those pesky deer will learn to use the crosswalk like civilized animals....

We just got the enclave back today, good as new.

About 6 years ago the state built a 4 lane and carved out a section of hillside to do it. Someone , no doubt a Harvard grad thought they ought to have an under pass for animals. Yup I kid you not. Nice and wide located in a spot that was no doubt decided on after a very expensive study. During the first 30 day after that 4 mile section of road opened over 80 deer and around 10 bear failed to get the email about the under pass location. Or perhaps the state didn’t post signs in the correct language. At any rate the local food bank was kept well supplied.

One funny story that emerged was some traveling woman from the city was witness to one of the bear hits. She stopped her car and jumped out intending to run up and lend her assistance, fortunately some local red neck stopped her before she got close enough to be a last meal. She about lost her mind when a trooper showed up and put the poor thing out of it’s misery. She kept insisting it needed to be taken to the vet hospital. It takes all kinds.
 

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I got back under there this weekend and it is definitely a leak :cry: I am 98% sure it is the crankshaft seal. I will be adding some Lucas leak stop and I will also check the PCV valve. We bought this 2015 used and it has almost 180K miles on it so it has had a hard life, LOL!
 

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Wife’s 2009 engine began leaking left front around ac compressor/timing cover about 120k. now 45k later it’s a huge black stain encompassing ac compressor, oil filter adaptor and side of timing cover. used a putty knife to scrape it off - i let it go for a bit

Motor and tranny are currently separated and sitting in my garage. pulled for timing chains and multiple other problems......

My front engine mount blew for second time giving a source of oil.

obviously the filter change dumps oil, but that’s a 24-48 after oil change drip

ac leaked 134a. i recharged it more than a dozen times to limp it through until i took car the of service. i didn’t refresh pag. replacing comp anyway, so i did t care. never dye tested system. i just assumed shaft seal was leaking andy nee comp would handle it. have heard other report so of leaking comp high pressure hose, replacing that as well.

power steering was not loosing fluid, i didn’t focus on that area

my valve cover gaskets appeared pliable and had compressive strength remaining. don’t believe was source, pretty clean on top of head

i just assumed it was timing cover and related crank/cam solenoid seals. and would fix issue w engine pull

my cam solenoid seals were very stiff as compared to the new ones and believe that’s was a leak path.

my crank seal was ok, but assumed a leak path as well

point is, several leak sources. the longer i waited, the more crap failed on this car- but it’s is high mileage and a 2009. i just waited over the 40k miles and let it add up so i could repair it all in one swoop since most of this was not an easy individual repair

i pulled the oil filter adaptor plate and replaced the seal and oil pressure sensor there as well. i don the think this was a serious source, but replaced anyway

my tranny seals and rear main were tight and clean. opposite side of engine. not a source here anyway

i drilled out the pcv years ago. really don’t capture mush oil inside the intake tube

unfortunatley, i’d assume it’s pulling the timing cover/related seals..... a dye test would pinpoint for you


that area so hard to get to, to clean well. imo.
 

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appeared most of my mess was around compressor and oil filter. but car continuously left oil slicks where ever she’s parked. i’m certain hers was engine oil as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A further update. My accident with the deer involved a replacement ac condenser and the hose leading from the top of the condenser to the ac compressor. That hose was leaking. Apparently it had a smallish leak before the accident and the accident put a significant break in an already weakened fitting at the top where it hooks to the condenser. It appears there is enough PAG oil in the system to show up consistently on the garage floor over a significant amount of time.

That hose was replaced as part of the insurance settlement from the accident. My leak seems to be gone. Between the replacement of the ac hose and the perm a tex spray gasket solution I described in post #10 above my oil leak seems to have disappeared....for now at least. What I thought was a major timing cover leak turns out to have been coming mostly from a broken ac line and a tiny bit from the timing cover.

Just to provide a reference for the solution to my particular problem so this thread is not left hanging, with folks who may have a similar issue in the future wondering what happened.
 
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