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Engine cleaning?

my kids saturn vue with 3.0 opel V6 has a good oil leak. i did the valve cover gaskets and the top of motor seems dry. no more drips on exh manifolds. but the bottom of motor is wet. even has oil drip on a/c compressor. i did not change cam seals when i did the timing belt 4 yrs ago but i dont see how a leaky cam seal would let the oil travel forwards to the a/c compressor body? local shop will degrease motor and use dye to try and track down leak. is $90 or so a fair price for this work? motor is a mess from oil.

If you did the cam belt on this engine yourself I am sure you are capable of cleaning the oil off and observing the running engine from beneath to see where it is leaking from. Only you can decide if it is worth $90 to you.

Look very closely at where the oil pan meets the transmission, it takes careful observation to determine if a leak is coming from the oil pan or the rear main seal. Wipe it off as many times as you need to to be sure.

i pulled the heads on my other identical vue this spring. unbolting a new exhaust from manifolds is nice vs a rusty old exhaust. i am positive the former owner had the motor cleaned . it was beyond spray/wiped off. it was spotless. do i want to crawl under motor now in late nov in my cold garage to do this? not really but i want to find out what is leaking

Had my engine cleaned this summer and it smelled like burning toasts for 2 weeks after that.

I guess I wouldn’t say that’s a bad price but I’d just be concerned that things like the alternator and electronic components are properly covered. I’ve just used Gunk sprayed on and then a hose sprayer with hot water but it can make a mess of the driveway.

I never cleaned an engine in my life, and never had negative consequences due to a dirty engine, of course none of my cars have been in a show.

Don’t you even clean your lawn mower engine?

I have to admit as an undercover OCD, I have washed plenty of engines, including new cars. Just don’t use a power washer, try and cover the electronics, use your detergent of choice and gently hose down. Ideally you can dry the open spots and let the car sit under the sun before starting it.
Also, when I was buying my brand new Veloster, the engine bay was pretty dusty. The thing was the car was manufactured 3/2016 and I was buying it 1/2017, so had spent some time being shipped from Korea and then on the dealer lot. I asked the salesperson if I am going to get it as it was. She said no, they will wash it. The did wash and detail the car/engine bay and nothing happened. The service manager said they always do it.

I have driven Suburbans since 1987, on more than several occasion I have used solvents to loosen the grime from under the hood and engine after that using a PW to blast the stuff away. I was carful not to soak any sensitive parts. I started the engine cold before the rinse, quickly rinsed and let it run to temp before I was done. Have yet to have a problem. I got lazy three months ago and paid 50.00 to have it done but they failed to get it clean. After 150 to 250 K anything gets too dirty to want to work on!

How much oil are you now losing? Is the amount of loss worth the $90 to track it down plus the $$$ it is going to cost to repair?

I would just clean around the oil pressure sending unit and the oil filter and check for an oil leak there. A little carb cleaner or brake cleaner should clean them enough to see if they are leaking. You can use the dye without cleaning the engine first.