The Nissan 350Z is a future classic, and for good reason. Quickness, eye-catchiness, reliability, and cost-effectiveness – it has everything a petrolhead wants in a car. There are many reasons you should purchase one. Likewise, there are also some issues with it. One of them is the 350Z Leaking Oil.
There are many reasons for the Nissan 350Z oil leak problem. Damaged seals and gaskets are some of the more common causes. Bad oil filters and drain plugs can also be responsible for oil leakage. There are also more complicated causes such as the oil cooler and the rear main seals leaking out.
While you may be tempted to ignore a few drops of oil on your driveway, it’s always a bad idea. Left unresolved, a small oil leak can grow into a larger, much more costly repair. Regardless, you might be able to diagnose your 350Z’s oil leakage yourself, by checking out the 6 common reasons listed below.
Gasket leaks are a common reason for the 350Z Leaking Oil. This is usually the oil pan gasket – the barrier between the oil pan and the engine block. Your valve cover gasket can also leak out. This prevents engine oil from escaping the valve cover. The head gasket can also leak out.
Symptoms: Black smoke and overheating indicate that your oil pan gasket has gone bad. For the valve cover gasket, your 350Z will misfire and run roughly. A bad head gasket will have several symptoms such as white smoke and a loss of engine power.
Solution: You’ll have to identify and replace the bad gasket.
Cost: Replacing the oil pan gasket will cost you around $200. You can replace this valve cover gasket for around $200-280. A bad head gasket will be expensive to replace at around $1100-1200.
There are countless O-rings in your 350Z. These seals prevent oil from leaking out. Primary culprits for the Nissan 350Z oil leak problem include the ones on the camshaft position sensor. Another set of bad seals includes the ones found at the bottom of the sparkplug wells. This causes internal leakage.
Symptoms: For a bad camshaft oil seal, you should expect the engine to stall. With time, it can also lead to a Check Engine light. For the bad O-rings below the sparkplug wells, you can see oil in the sparkplug wells. You can also expect misfires from the engine.
Solution: You have to identify and replace the O-rings in both cases. In the case of the camshaft sensor seals, you can still drive around, unless you get the aforementioned symptoms. For the sparkplug oil seals, you can try to clean the wells. If the leakage continues, then change the valve cover.
Cost: The average cost for replacing the cam sensor O-rings is around $400-500 dollars. The O-ring is much cheaper though at around $5-20 if you want to go DIY. Replacing the valve cover will cost you about $200.
Oil Cooler Leakage
Damaged oil cooler lines can also cause the Nissan 350Z oil leak. The oil cooler hose is mostly the culprit in this case. You should have the car towed in this case. However, you can find the oil cooler gasket/O-ring leaking out as well. It’s not as serious, but it can be troublesome if you have to drive rough.
Symptoms: A loss of power is one of the symptoms of this. When experiencing oil leakage, always take a look at the oil cooler lines. You can easily identify the damaged ones as the oil leakage will be visible. You can find oil deposits around the cooler.
Solution: On identifying the bad lines and/or gasket, you can have them replaced.
Cost: Parts to fix the 350Z oil cooler leak are quite cheap. But getting a professional to do it should cost you around $300-350.
Oil Filter Leakage
Another cause for the 350Z leaking oil is leakage in the oil filter assembly. This usually happens when the filter’s housing is damaged. It can also occur when the filter is loose or if it has been installed improperly.
Symptoms: You’ll be able to spot the oil dripping from the filter. Your 350Z will also act up with low oil pressure.
Solution: Ensure that your oil filter is in a good condition and that it is properly fitted.
Cost: An oil filter is pretty cheap at $5-6 and you can get it changed with your oil.
Crankshaft Rear Main Seal Leak
Aka the rear crankshaft seal, it prevents oil leaks between the crankshaft and the rest of the engine. You can expect a lot of oil leakage if this is damaged. This is a rarer, yet troubling cause for the 350Z Leaking Oil.
Symptoms: You can expect the Low Oil light to come on. You’ll also notice that the car’s underside has saturated oil on it.
Solution: The seal will have to be replaced, which is quite a difficult task.
Cost: Getting the seal replaced is pricey and should cost you at least $650. The seal is cheap though at $20-35 if you’d like to do it yourself.
Drain Plug Issues
This is the plug taken out to remove the oil from your car. Despite being related to the aforementioned oil pan, the drain plug still has its own set of issues. These include not being installed properly, worn-out threads, and/or a bad drain plug washer.
Symptoms: You’ll notice the oil leak from the drain plug underneath your car.
Solution: You can check if the plug has been fitted properly. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace it or the washer. Ensure that you save the car’s oil and that it doesn’t get wasted.
Cost: This is more of a DIY situation as drain plugs and washers are very cheap (less than $10). However, a whole drain plug replacement will cost you around $350.
So, these were some of the reasons for your 350Z Leaking Oil. The true source of an oil leak is difficult to diagnose. But the aforementioned symptoms will give you a head start. Ensure that you keep them in mind before visiting an automotive technician.
How Much Oil Does A 350Z Need?
Your Nissan 350Z needs about 5 quarts of oil.
Are Oil Leaks Worth Fixing?
If your 350Z is leaking oil then it’s worth getting it fixed as soon as possible. Lack of oil will lead to your engine heating up and will increase wear and tear. This will usually lead to a more expensive repair bill further down the line.
How Do I Find the Oil Leak on My 350Z?
Apart from observing the symptoms, you can use methods such as using a dye and UV light, or a smoke machine to detect an oil leak.
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