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Discussion Starter #1
Lately I have found a oil spot on the garage floor under my lotus. It looks like it leaks for a bit and then stops. Maybe only after the car was driven. Now the strange thing is the location. It is on the passenger side halfway between the rear wheel and the door. When I look underneath, there is the underbody there and in the center it does have oil on it. The oil is clear, and I checked the engine oil which is fine. Any idea where this is coming from? :confused:
 

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Carbon Fiber
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Possible transmission leak? I know when the oil line blew in the back the oil still ran down the car to where your saying...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it ran down it would make sense I guess but it is so far forward of the transmission. This is probably a dumb question but is there a dip stick to check the transmission oil level?
 

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Mine was leaking in about that same spot, turns out it was oil running back from the turbo down the intake hose and leaking out right at the fuel distributor. Not sure if the placement is exactly the same on the SE cars.
 

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Could be the ac compressor. When i inspected my car before I bought it, the ac compressor was leaking oil out of it. The dealer replaced the compressor before i purchased.


That would be clearer than engine oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Could be the ac compressor. When i inspected my car before I bought it, the ac compressor was leaking oil out of it. The dealer replaced the compressor before i purchased.
Well it is exactly under the ac compressor, although there is a cover under it, but that is the cover that has the oil on it. I thought the oil was mixed with the freon. Is there a separate oil for the compressor. It would also make sense since it seems to only leak when the AC was run.
 

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Well it is exactly under the ac compressor, although there is a cover under it, but that is the cover that has the oil on it. I thought the oil was mixed with the freon. Is there a separate oil for the compressor. It would also make sense since it seems to only leak when the AC was run.
I just noticed that you have a 93 SE. Mine is a 93.5. might not be a coincidence if it is the AC compressor. :(
 

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There is no tranny dipstick. To check open the fill and add till it starts to come out the fill hole.
I doubt it is tranny oil from the location you describe.
If it is clearer than your engine oil, then it would more likely be the compressor. Also could be brake fluid. Best to remove the tray to better see where it is from.
A slight engine oil leak is often not a big problem, but any other fluid is a problem even if small.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The AC works fine but thanks to your help I am almost positive it is the compressor. The area around the front of the compressor where the belt goes has a lot of residual oil, like it's being spun off there. Strange that the AC is still cold since the oil and freon are mixed.

Can the compressor be fixed or will I need a new one? How expensive a they?
 

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The compressors are pretty cheap, like a couple of hundred bucks. My car also needed a new dryer and an expansion valve. When the compressor crapped out, it sent all sorts of crud into the system.
 

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Actually that's a good sign. Someone once said about British cars, if it stops leaking it's time to check the fluid levels! You are probably low!
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I finally took it into the mechanic to get the compressor fixed. They checked it out but could not find a leak. The freon was low, but no leak. I know I saw the oil spot under the car several times. I'm sure the location was from the AC compressor. Any ideas? They are keeping it an extra week to see if they can find the leak, but so far nothing. They have been looking for ANY leak they can find too. It's very strange!
 

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If it is the shaft seal on the compressor it is not all that expensive or difficult to change it. Typically if you see refrigerant oil you are also losing Freon. Rare to see a puddle of it though. The whole system only holds a few ounces. You may be seeing condensate with a little oil mixed in. The shop should use leak dye to verify the leak. If the system is low on Freon the only way that can happen is a leak, the A/C does not consume refrigerant. Clear oil would not come from the motor or the transmission. As long as you are checking things, you should have the transmission level checked. BTW, brake and clutch fluid would look clear. Check the brake and clutch fluid levels too.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Common that the Sanden A/C compressors leak from the front seal especially If the cars sit for long periods and then are driven.

Have changed a couple of front seals only to have them go bad again, so I now just treat the gas/oil as a consumable and top up the A/C when it stops blowing cold.

Ester oil is clearish, you could always get your A/C guy to put some green dye in the system If you want to be 110% sure thats where your leak is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
LOL I brought it in for other stuff but asked them to check this too figuring I needed a new compressor.
darn.....bring the car for a small drip?
i wish I only have a small oil leak -- its not a lotus if no oil leak
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The shop found a small leak on the compressor. It's $700 to replace. OUCH I guess I will just recharge it every couple years.
 

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If you are going to get it recharged every year make sure to tell them to fill it with oil as well and not just freon. If the AC compressor seizes it will blow metal shavings throughout the system and its a mess to flush out. More than likely when you install your new AC compressor after this, the metal shavings from the old are still in the system and over time will kill the live expectancy of your new compressor.
 
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