Saturn Vue with a rear main seal leak

#1

I have an '03 Saturn Vue with 41,000 miles on it that’s been running pretty well (apart from the transmission that had to be replaced last summer and the catalytic converter that went out a month ago). Saturn covered both under warrany, but when the dealership was working on the CC, they say they found that my rear main seal is leaking oil.



I do all the regular maintenance and no mechanic has ever mentioned any fluids being too low nor have I noticed any oil on my driveway.



The repair is going to cost over $900 and Saturn won’t help me with this one.



Has this happened to anyone else? Do I have a lemon? My car’s almost paid off and I was getting pretty happy about not having a car payment…

#2

Skip it until it gets noticeable. If neither you nor any other mechanic has noticed it, this dealer may be shopping for unnecessary work to butter up the warranty work. You may want to try some high-mileage oil on the next oil change after you or your mechanic notices a possible leak. Even though you have low miles, seals can get dried out and leak a little. High-mileage oil has an additive to soften those seals.

#3

Since your car has very low mileage for the age you should consider inspection and replacement of the PCV valve if needed.

A stuck or sludged up PCV valve will cause the crankcase to pressure up and this can force oil out past the seal.
These are dirt cheap and easy to replace. They should also be the first thing considered when a complaint about a seal leak exists.

#4

Thanks! That’s great information. Just this past weekend I have started to see some little oil spots on the driveway, but the oil level hasn’t dropped a millimeter. It’s still on Max…

I’m taking it to a family mechanic this week and I’ll have them check the PCV valve for sure. I thought it was odd that they immediately lept to the worse case scenario. Of course, they initially suspected the transmission for the CC symptoms.

Thanks for the great tips!

#5

Many Saturns have oil leaks. If it leak is small, an old cookie tray with kitty litter on it placed under the car is the most cost-effectve solution.