Oily grime in undertray normal? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Oily grime in undertray normal?

I had a rattle comming from my diffuser because of one the big bolts was backing out. When I tried tightening it I found that the bolt was covered in oil. I then dropped the diffuser (not the undertray) last weekend and found it covered with oil and grime (as were the bolts) which I wiped away. I then put the diffuser back on with the intension of waiting a week to see if the oil builds up again.

When I pulled the diffuser today I found that it was clean though the smaller bolts up front were coated with oul and the rear edge of the undertray was full of oily grime again (pic below).

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My dipstick oil level seems normal. Is this grime normal or should I be running to the dealer asap?

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 02:08 PM
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Perhaps it's an accumulation of road-grime/tire-dust that can enter through the NASA vents.

You could call the dealer and talk to their tech if in doubt.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 03:21 PM
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Not normal. And no... tadts.

That is a sign that some fluid is leaking out. Probably not a fast leak. Probably from the undertray area and you are only seeing what is blowing back to the top of the diffuser. The design of the car tends to hide minor oil leaks.

A slow leak will not be obvious on thr dipstick and is not a reason to panic and go to the dealer. But it should be looked after.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 03:23 PM
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What does the bottom of the engine/gearbox look like? Any evidence of a leak? If you've got a leak, it should be pretty easy to find the source on a relatively new car.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 03:47 PM
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Oil leakage

I changed the oil at 875 miles (first change) and noticed some oily/dirt accumulation on the tray under the engine extending to the area around
the NASA vents. I traced it to a very small leak from the oil filter. This is the way it came from the factory. The filter, however, appeared to be tight. I'll check it again the next change. Take a look at your oil filter. There was a drop hanging from the bottom of mine.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 04:02 PM
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"NASA vents" = NACA ducts
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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I couldnt really see the bottom of the engine (didnt have ramps) but the differential (or at least thats what I think it was) seemed to have a thin film of oil on it when I first checked last week.

Rob Dietsch said that my filter had a small leak on it when he did my last oil change (about 1500 miles ago) but that he had cleaned it up after that. I guess I'll check again next week and also ask the dealer to have a look when I next get it serviced.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 04:21 PM
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I would check around the filter next time.
I have read where the oil seal plate can be defective and weap a bit of oil.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 05:05 PM
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I also had a bit of oil residue on the NACA duct panel directly under the oil filter after my first oil change. Have you tech check the filter plate and fittings.

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 05:52 PM
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+1 on the sandwich plate as a possible source. Two different companies supply this part to Lotus, one of which is an inferior design. My dealer replaced mine due to a leak while under warranty.
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 07:14 PM
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NASA = NACA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhnmdahl
"NASA vents" = NACA ducts
I stand corrected. I work with NASA....force of habit.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-09-2006, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VINSTA
I stand corrected. I work with NASA....force of habit.
I made the same mistake. The oil-change post at the sandsmuseum site called them NASA ducts. What does NACA stand for?

I had a tiny bit of oil near one of the ducts when I changed my oil. It was directly below the oil filter... I ran a papertowel around the filter and sandwich plate but didn't pick up any noticible oil. I'm not concerned yet. I guessed that maybe there was some residual oil that could have dripped from the bleeder valve??

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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-10-2006, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvrblu
What does NACA stand for?
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NACA_duct

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 08:14 PM
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Mine was filthy when I did the second oil change. The dealer did the first one and I suspect the spilled a lot of oil that dripped onto the diffuser and started collecting dirt.

I clean it good and haven't had any oil there since.

I did notice that it looks like the serpentine belt is splattering some extra muck on there, but it's definitely not related to what I first saw.

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 08:20 PM
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An update on mine too. Was still leaking since the last svc (about 4k miles ago) Dealer replaced the o-ring (i guess in the sandwich plate) today. Ran it awhile on the lift... no drips so far. Fingers crossed.

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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 10:06 PM
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I had a problem recently with the oil cooler lines needing to be tightened, problem seems to have gone away after some warranty work
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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I am getting mine serviced next week -will update once that is done.

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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC
An update on mine too. Was still leaking since the last svc (about 4k miles ago) Dealer replaced the o-ring (i guess in the sandwich plate) today. Ran it awhile on the lift... no drips so far. Fingers crossed.
I had the same problem, I replaced the O ring, and that did not fix it. The sandwich plate was warped and had to be replaced. Lotus got a bad batch of them.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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a certain awesome dealer in the bay area screwed my oil filter in too tight and the same thing happened.
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 06:00 PM
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Here's a pic of my NACA panel when I first caught it. You can see where all the residue has gathered, more or less under the filter area. My car is 06, #2410.
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