View Full Version : 89 3SFE Oil Leak

02-19-2007, 03:43 PM
'89 Celica GT with the 3SFE 2.0.

130k miles.

From the top of the engine you can't see any loose oil. The first time I noticed was when I changed the fuel filter...it was fairly coated. I got under the car and there's oil all over the place, enough to collecting for a drip at the bottom of the drain plug and on the back of the pan. With a flashlight I looked up into the engine from underneath and it's just coated in oil.

With that much oil, it's pretty much impossible to tell where it's coming from without having a lift. Add to that the fact that I'm an engine noob... Is there any common point/part that I should check/replace before taking it to a mechanic? I really dread to see how much they would charge to even diagnose this one.

02-19-2007, 03:48 PM
To accurately pinpoint it you have to clean it first, then look for the leak.

However, there are 2 common culprits that leak onto the back of the engine.

Valve cover and head gasket.

02-19-2007, 04:22 PM
How would you clean it without a lift? Would it be safe to take it to a car wash and degrease and and use high pressure on the back of the engine? Kinda scary considering I'm 50 miles from home.

02-19-2007, 07:14 PM
You want to be VERY careful with high pressure and old plastic.
It can easily break something.

Get a GOOD spray on degreaser. Fast Orange, Simple Green, Royal Purple.
Spray on, let sit on cool engine.
Run HOT water on it.
The hotter the better. Hot water works 1000000000000000000 X better than cold water on grease.

It might take a few tries to get 20 yrs of grime off, but you gots to be patient.

02-19-2007, 09:43 PM
I'm having a similar oil leak that I can't find due to location and grime. It's on the back side of a 5sfe on a 5th gen; Next to impossible to see it; all I know is droplets are forming on the underside of the intake manifold, so i'm thinking it's valve cover.

02-21-2007, 06:32 PM
If you need valve cover gaskets, we just put some on sale in the Group Buy forum..