Has anyone used a fluorescent tracer to track down an oil leak? I have a car that has recently developed low engine oil pressure problem at operating temperature. Due to old engine oil leak accumulation and mess it would be a little difficult to spot any new leaks. Short of scrubbing down the engine I was thinking a tracer might help me out to see if there were any new significant leaks.
Works pretty good. But the tracer dye isn’t cheap. And you’ll need these to locate the leak. http://www.toolking.com/tracer-products-tp8620cs-opti-lite-cordless-economy-6-led-leak-detection-flashlight
you should spray the worst of the old oil off with brake cleaner. then use the tracer dye/blacklight and that might help. tis a good product but pricey.
I have used the tracer systems a lot, more so for A/C issues but I have used them for engine leaks. They work great, they are pricey and the UV light is just as important as the dye. Clean the area first to help with the troubleshooting and If you decide on this route, follow the instructions of the product.
I have also used them to find AC leaks. The leaks are very obvious with yellow glasses and a black light. The leak will appear to be glowing green.
Be warned, however. The oil pressure problem may be due primarily to engine wear, not oil leakage.
Oil leakage won’t give low oil pressure unless it runs the engine out of oil. At that point if the oil pressure doesn’t come back up with the right amount of oil added, the damage is done.
Using degreaser or engine cleaner is easier and cheaper than dye, goggles and black light.
I will throw out another option. If you have low oil pressure, and you have topped the engine off with the adequate oil, you know it is not low on oil. So it is possible that your engine is old and the bearings are worn. It is also possible that you may just have a bad oil pressure sensor. If you locate this, you can basically disconnect the wire, unscrew the sensor, screw in the new one (maybe use teflon tape to ensure good reseal), reconnect wire. It can be that simple and voila, no low oil pressure signal anymore. Just an idea.
Thanks for all the replies.
First thing I’m going to do is get a hold of a oil pressure test gauge and test it as described in my factory service manual. I’ve gotten to the point with auto repairs that I would rather try to properly diagnose the problem than throw money at parts.
Just wanted to follow up-
I tested the oil pressure. At operating temp of ~220F per my scan tool at idle it was about 20 psi and at 3000 rpm it was steady at 60 psi. Both well within spec, so I replaced the oil pressure sensor and everything is working as ti should.