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Discussion Starter #1
A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Well, I bought a 2003 ZX3 last weekend, and since I have gotten it, there has been a oil spot that has gradually gotten bigger over time.

On the engine itself, on the plastic cover, on the lower left hand side, an oil spot about 1-2 inches wide that goes the entire height of that half panel.

Is this normal?

Should I have it checked?

The car has about 200 miles on it.

Thanks

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

deffinatly have it checked
when you say lower left, where are you looking at it from? front bumper hood up, or from the driver seat? left and right is always looked at from the driver's seat
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

go to dealer its free!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

I am looking at the top of the engine. I am looking at it looking in from the front bumper.

The plastic shield on the engine that says "Ford" and "Zetec" on it. It has oil on it. It had a splotch when I popped the hood when I got home, and it has gradually gotten a bit larger.

Is it easy to pop that plastic part off to look at the engine on the underside to see if te problem is there?

I would goto the dealer, except it is in Portland, and I am in Corvallis, and it is a 85 mile drive that I don't have time to make.

Since I have the 5 year/100,000 mile drivetrain warranty from Ford, can I bring it to any authorized Ford dealer, or do I have to bring it to the one I bought it from?

Thanks

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

That plastic shield is the valve cover. If you remove that, you'll be staring at the cams, which shouldn't show you a problem. The only problem you'll face is replacing the gasket so no more oil leaks from the cover.

- Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Originally posted by focus_rs:
That plastic shield is the valve cover. If you remove that, you'll be staring at the cams, which shouldn't show you a problem. The only problem you'll face is replacing the gasket so no more oil leaks from the cover.

- Matt
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Replacing a gasket? huh? I am new to cars. Where is the gasket, and what does it do?

I should take a pic tomorrow morning and post it...

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Taking a pic will definitely help. I no mechanic, but I know that the gasket is a forming layer that you place between the valve cover and the head to keep oil in and dirt and the such out.

- Matt
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Originally posted by Jamie Herrington:
<snip>
I would goto the dealer, except it is in Portland, and I am in Corvallis, and it is a 85 mile drive that I don't have time to make.

Since I have the 5 year/100,000 mile drivetrain warranty from Ford, can I bring it to any authorized Ford dealer, or do I have to bring it to the one I bought it from?

<SNIP>
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Yeah you can go to any Ford dealer, no problemo.

Hope it's nothing serious and that they can fix it quickly...

[ 10-23-2002, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: Mutnat ]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Will they get pissed off if they see my custom cold air intake that I added where my air filter resonator used to be?

Crap...

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Originally posted by Jamie Herrington:
Will they get pissed off if they see my custom cold air intake that I added where my air filter resonator used to be?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">my very limited understanding of our warranty with ford is that its only void if something you did intentionally is proven to have caused the problem. in this case, i highly doubt they would refuse service on an oil leak because of your custom intake, but if youre worried about it theres nothing stopping you from just swapping the resonator back on to take it in for service.
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Nobody gave me trouble for that mod. On the back side of the engine on the drivers side there is a breather tube that leads to the air box, check to make sure it is still attached.
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Could it be that they spilled oil on your valve cover when they were filling it? Oil spreads out over time also. Try wiping/cleaning it off and seeing if it comes back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Well, upon further inspection on my last break, it doesn't seem to be oil.

It is now on both the top and bottom plastic valve cover on the left side near the belt thingy. I touched the spots, and nothing came off, other than a tad bit of dust. No oily feeling, no wetness, nothing, but darker black plastic.

Is it a possibility, since it is a new car, that the black plastic covering is being "cured" and is just breaking in, and during this changing from a light black to a darker black?

Weird... No oil though...

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Could it be the PCV hose leaking a little where it connects to the valve cover?

This is very common and not harmful. I used a small hose clamp to stop the leaking on mine, because I generally like to keep my engine detailed nicely and didn't like that spot.

Unfortunately it would be in the TOP right corner, so... I dunno...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Well, just went out and checked again, and it seems that there is no different of a texture between the two colors. I touch the darker side and slide my hand from one side of the engine to the other, and it feels like the same rough plastic the whole way across. No oily residue, or anything. I smell it, nothing. I even licked my finger, and nothing.

It is definately getting much bigger too. Started at the edge, and now it is at least 1/3 of the way across on both the top and the bottom panels. Weird as hell...

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Replacing a gasket? huh? I am new to cars. Where is the gasket, and what does it do?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">i cant touch that ... take it to the dealer
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

A little oil does go a long way so the leak probably isn't "life threatening". Still needs to be fixed, though.

I have headers, Volant, throttle body, exhaust and other mods on my Focus. My Ford dealer hasn't said a word and I did have warrenty work done. I did take mine back to the dealer from which I bought it, but from my experience I'm not getting any warrenty back lash.
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

When you say Top and Bottom, do you mean intake and exhaust side?

The "intake side" of your valve cover is the one closer to your windshield, and the "exhaust side" is the one closest to the front of the car.

So you are saying you have a different color 1/3 of both "humps" on the LEFT meaning Passenger's side??
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Okay, so to better explain the situation, I took some pics, only one of which came out okay. I'm not about to go back out in the freezing weather when I really need to goto bed..



So, in the pic there, you can see the darker splotch around the ford logo. It has no oily texture like I said before.

Unless you guys say otherwise, I am gonna bring it to a local for dealer friday morning. Luckily, the dealer is a block from my house!

Anyways, what do you guys think it is? Oil? What?

Thanks

-=J=-
 

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Re: A semi-large oil spot has appeared on my brand new ZX3\'s engine...

Looks like there "COULD" have been oil on there that was wiped away, and now it's just settling?

I dunno.

I do know that you should not be liking your finger after touching the spot!
 
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