2001 Ford Ranger Engine Oil Leak Problem

(3.0L, 2wd 2001 Ranger XLT, Automatic, 160K miles). An oil leak (maybe a drop every day or two) is coming from the back of the engine (basically at the interface with the transmission.) I can?t tell if the oil is coming from the oil pan gasket since the very back portion of the engine oil pan is hidden behind a thin metal cover that, I believe, covers the cone portion of the front of the transmission. I?m trying to figure out if this is a typical oil pan seal leak or a leak of an interface seal, or gasket, etc., between the engine and transmission. Appreciate anyone?s insight/suggestions as to what might be causing the leak (and any solutions) and what might the range of costs to repair the problem.

Oil pan gasket leaks are not as common as often diagnosed and I would suspect a leaking engine rear main seal at that mileage.

You might inspect the PCV valve and make sure that’s operative. It’s cheap and easy. Just shake it and if rattles like a rock in a beer can it’s good. If stuck or rattles erratically this could be causing the crankcase to pressure up and a rear main seal is one of the most prone areas to leak because of this.

If the PCV is good you may be able to remove the cover and check for residual oil on the face of the transmission torque converter. If it has an oil film then the rear main seal could be leaking. Over time the seal can wear a groove into the crankshaft journal. Depending on the severity of any groove this can be fixed with a Speedi-Sleeve.

The transmission would have to come out for this of course and once out it would be a good idea to reseal the transmission front pump and replace the torque converter seal.
It’s easy to do once the trans is out and Murphy’s Law says if you don’t do this the trans will leak a week after being reinstalled. Hope that helps.

Thank you very much for time and information/suggestions. I’ll take the simple path first, that is the PCV. After that I see how Murphy is feeling:) Have a great holiday.

If I remember correctly, the oil sender on the 3 liter is located at the back of the engine on top behind intake.