Dodge Journey: Engine oil leak inspection

Begin with a thorough visual inspection of the engine, particularly at the area of the suspected leak. If an oil leak source is not readily identifiable, the following steps should be followed:

1. Do not clean or degrease the engine at this time because some solvents may cause rubber to swell, temporarily stopping the leak.

2. Add an oil soluble dye (use as recommended by manufacturer). Start the engine and let idle for approximately 15 minutes. Check the oil dipstick to make sure the dye is thoroughly mixed as indicated with a bright yellow color under a black light.

3. Using a black light, inspect the entire engine for fluorescent dye, particularly at the suspected area of oil leak. If the oil leak is found and identified, repair as necessary.

4. If dye is not observed, drive the vehicle at various speeds for approximately 24 km (15 miles), and repeat inspection.

5. If the oil leak source is not positively identified at this time , proceed with the AIR LEAK DETECTION TEST METHOD as follows:

  • Disconnect the fresh air hose (make-up air) at the cylinder head cover and plug or cap the nipple on the cover.
  • Remove the PCV valve hose from the cylinder head cover. Cap or plug the PCV valve nipple on the cover.
  • Attach an air hose with pressure gauge and regulator to the dipstick tube.

CAUTION: Do not subject the engine assembly to more than 20.6 kPa (3 PSI) of test pressure.

  • Gradually apply air pressure from 1 psi to 2.5 psi maximum while applying soapy water at the suspected source. Adjust the regulator to the suitable test pressure that provides the best bubbles which will pinpoint the leak source. If the oil leak is detected and identified, repair per service Information procedures.
  • If the leakage occurs at the crankshaft rear oil seal area.

6. If no leaks are detected, turn off the air supply. Remove the air hose, all plugs, and caps. Install the PCV valve and fresh air hose (make-up air). Proceed to next step.

7. Clean the oil off the suspect oil leak area using a suitable solvent. Drive the vehicle at various speeds approximately 24 km (15 miles). Inspect the engine for signs of an oil leak by using a black light.

NOTE: If oil leakage is observed at the dipstick tube to block location; remove the tube, clean and reseal using Mopar Stud AND Bearing Mount (press fit tube applications only), and for O-ring style tubes, remove tube and replace the O-ring seal.

CAUTION: Do not exceed 20.6 kPa (3 psi).

CAUTION: Use extreme caution when crankshaft polishing is necessary to remove minor nicks and scratches. The crankshaft seal flange is especially machined to complement the function of the rear oil seal.


Since it is sometimes difficult to determine the source of an oil leak in the rear seal area of the engine, a more involved inspection is necessary. The following steps should be followed to help pinpoint the source of the leak.

If the leakage occurs at the crankshaft rear oil seal area:

1. Disconnect the battery.

2. Raise the vehicle.

3. Remove torque converter or clutch housing cover and inspect rear of block for evidence of oil. Use a black light to check for the oil leak. If a leak is present in this area, remove transmission for further inspection.

  1. Circular spray pattern generally indicates seal leakage or crankshaft damage.
  2. Where leakage tends to run straight down, possible causes are a porous block, oil gallery cup plug, bed plate to cylinder block mating surfaces and seal bore. See proper repair procedures for these items.

4. If no leaks are detected, pressurize the crankcase as previously described in step 5 under ENGINE OIL LEAK INSPECTION.

CAUTION: Do not exceed 20.6 kPa (3 psi).

5. If the leak is not detected, very slowly turn the crankshaft and watch for leakage. If a leak is detected between the crankshaft and seal while slowly turning the crankshaft, it is possible the crankshaft seal surface is damaged. The seal area on the crankshaft could have minor nicks or scratches that can be polished out with emery cloth.

CAUTION: Use extreme caution when crankshaft polishing is necessary to remove minor nicks and scratches. The crankshaft seal flange is especially machined to complement the function of the rear oil seal.

6. For bubbles that remain steady with shaft rotation, no further inspection can be done until disassembled.

7. After the oil leak root cause and appropriate corrective action have been identified, replace component(s) as necessary.

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