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2001 Nissan Pathfinder oil drip

My Pathfinder was in perfect condition at 100,000 miles except for a minor oil drip on the garage floor that upset my husband who insisted that I have it fixed. I paid a lot to have it fixed at the dealership and developed a much larger oil drip shortly thereafter. I went back and was told by the service technician that there are three points that may leak oil in an older vehicle and that when one is fixed it puts pressure on the other points “downstream.” They offered to fix the new leak for $1300 which is far more than the car is worth with no guarantee that it would fix the problem since there is a third place that may start to leak after the repair. Is this explanation correct or did they fail to fix the original leak properly? I am still driving the car with some cardboard on the garage floor catching the oil to satisfy my husband and I do not have to add oil between regular service. I am now at 112,000 miles and the car is still in perfect condition. If this phenomenon is correct, shouldn’t the dealership service department have advised me not to have the original small drip repaired? I don’t know what to do at this point. Should I have the new leak fixed before it becomes much worse? I like this car because it doesn’t have all of the new technology to repair. I am 75 years old and have heard that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” What would you do?

Trying to stop oil leaks is almost a waste of time. In a 17 year old vehicle stopping one might cause another one. You asked for the leak to be fixed and that is what they did . The problem is your husband not accepting the fact that this is not a major problem.

Get as big piece of cardboard to park over. That may keep the husband happy.
If not, then either he buys you a new car…or you get a different husband.


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The problem with offering advice on this is that we do not know what was fixed and what is needed at this point.

What you were told about fixing one leak and putting pressure on other points downstream is not necessarily true. That would be true only if the problem was related to a leaky oil filter seal, filter adapter seal, or oil pressure sending unit.
It would not apply to things like oil pan gaskets, valve cover gaskets, front an rear crank seals, etc.

Drive the vehicle and start using a high mileage oil.

These oils are designed to stop oil leaks from seals that wear out from heat and wear.

Don’t expect that a vehicle with over 100,000 miles isn’t going to leak fluid from somewhere.

All you need to do is keep up with the leaks.


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I’d replace the cardboard with a rubber mat.

Next time you need major work done, like a timing belt, water pump, head gasket, or something else that requires removing the accessories, ask them to also replace any leaky seals they find. The cost of the additional repair should be a lot more reasonable than doing such a repair by itself.

Cars are a lot like people; they tend to drip a little as they age.

I’ve only had 3 cars in the last 60 years that did not leak any oil. Our solution is a baking cookie sheet with some kitty litter on it placed beneath the car. A cheap and effective remedy.

Just visit any supermarket paring lot and you will see dark oil stains on nearly every parking stall.

Your husband is over-reacting and dealers just love to do all this expensive work. My Toyota sweats slightly, the oil pan looks moist but does not drip. Just the same, the dealer wants to “reseal” it for only $550, in spite of never had a drop of oil actually fall on the garage floor. And it would likely be worse after they finish with it.

The only repair we ever ,made was on my wife’s Nissan which had a badly leaking rear engine bearing seal. That cost $900 but it had to be done.

I’m not saying Benzes are reliable or cheap to maintain . . .

You guys know I’m not that impressed by them . . . nice to drive, but expensive to maintain

Anyways . . . one good thing about them is that they tend to have rather large splash pans, multiple splash pans, in some cases.

They sure do a good job preventing fluids from dripping on the driveway, or at least they minimize it