Scope Cam found exact Oil Cooler Leak Location - ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-09-2015, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Scope Cam found exact Oil Cooler Leak Location

The only way to see the exact point where the Oil Cooler is leaking was using Scope Cam with 45 degree viewer attachment.
It is likely the location where many others are noticing a leak around the cooler as well. Sometimes the dealer replaces gaskets or O-rings and then the owner reports the problem was not fixed. In that case it may be because the leak is actually occurring in the oil cooler "end cap that looks like a freeze plug" right near the top of the cooler adjacent to where the inlet/outlet fitting attaches to the oil pan. The location makes it appear like it is a gasket or oil pan leak. But using the scope with the angle fitting I was able to see it was really the end cap fitting (which is a pressed-in cap).

The following pictures show location.
First is a picture showing areas where oil drips are noticed. These are the most common points I've seen other threads report oil dripping - near blue arrows.




The next picture shows a blue arrow at the exact point where the end cap that looks like a freeze plug is pressed into the oil cooler. It is leaking at the margin of the end cap in one location. This picture is one I stole from the internet and shows a good view of the pan with oil cooler attached that has been removed from the engine. Blue arrow at top is where the leak occurs:




This next picture was taken off the screen of my scope cam using my camera phone - that is why pixels show up.
The shot shows the end cap margin where the oil leak/seepage is occurring.



Here is another view of the leaking end cap:




Before I took the pictures I cleaned up this area. Then let the car run for a few minutes and I could see the oil seepage was starting to flow out from the margin of the end cap again.

As mentioned, this end cap is completely hidden and can only be viewed with scope with angle attachment or by removing the oil cooler. It faces toward the back of the car toward the bell housing/block area and very little clearance at that spot. Notice that the end cap is almost at the same level as the pan gasket, and oil drips look like it is coming from the gasket or where the oil cooler attaches to the pan. But I checked all those locations and only sign of oil leak is right at the end cap on my car.

It looks like there may be some kind of sealer that is in the margin which the factory applies before pressing in the end-cap ... difficult to say if there is sealer or it is a dry fit. I'm guessing there are a huge number leaking at this same location. From what I see the only remedy is a new oil cooler or it needs an Oil Catch Can!!! There are actually two components to the assembly, the cooler itself which is double triangle shaped housing (rhombus) which bolts to the platform the oil and water lines flow through -- the combined assembly is fastened to the side of the oil pan with many bolts.

Here is a view of a cooler from another angle that I stole from internet, this shows the radiator coolant lines adjacent to the double-triangle Rhombus:



This oil leak started at 7,000 miles (or maybe day1 but that is when I first noticed), well within warranty. Good thing because the complete assembly costs hundreds of dollars.
Wish the engineers would look at this, needs a redesign to come up with a better way to close off the end-cap to avoid leaks (maybe a threaded plug would be a good approach).
Ron

2014 2SS/RS, Factory installed ZL1 5.1:1 Ratio Short-Throw Shifter and NPP Dual-mode quad tip exhaust. Z28 strut tower brace, ZL1 splash guards,
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Last edited by ron123; 11-09-2015 at 05:36 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-09-2015, 06:37 AM
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I would think the one oil spot is from the filter being suspended over it and drops coming from the gasket to the filter.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-09-2015, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianchevelle View Post
I would think the one oil spot is from the filter being suspended over it and drops coming from the gasket to the filter.
I followed the leak from the end-cap and it flows down to those two points I marked with blue arrows in the first picture. Then cleaned everything off and watched for leak ... the only location of oil leak on my engine is the end-cap. The oil filter gasket is isolated from that area and is not leaking at all, not one bit from the filter area, the gasket is dry. - Checked everywhere and used the scope cam. As mentioned this is a design flaw with the end-cap.
Others have reported a mystery leak with these same symptoms ... difference is I was able to track it by using the scope (notice in the first picture, top blue arrow shows the end cap is completely hidden from view requiring a lighted 45 degree scope attachment to see that leak location).
Ron

2014 2SS/RS, Factory installed ZL1 5.1:1 Ratio Short-Throw Shifter and NPP Dual-mode quad tip exhaust. Z28 strut tower brace, ZL1 splash guards,
Camaro LED Cup-holders with footwell Lighting option, Leather visors, and Leather E-brake boot.

Last edited by ron123; 11-09-2015 at 10:53 AM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-09-2015, 11:46 AM
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Nice find ron, I'm sure it took some effort!

I loathe oil leaks... but at least you're under warranty!! If the unexplained oil leaks are a common problem I'd say this needs a sticky in the DIY section, doubt a whole lot of folks have access to a scope cam/expertise to diagnose such an occurrence.

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post #5 of 10 Old 11-10-2015, 06:16 AM
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I had a 2010 SS that had that exact leak that nobody was able to figure out. Great job !!!

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post #6 of 10 Old 11-10-2015, 09:10 AM
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Found oil under Camaro yesterday before going to work, went by Classic Chevrolet quick lube where I always get it changed and they said that the new Delco oil filters tend to unscrew themselves all the time? They just tighten it up and wiped off any oil and then topped it off with half a quart.

Might want to keep an eye on yours if you use Delco filters.

The suburban did the same thing last month but I was out at the ranch, 5 miles from any paved road and barley made it to the house and shop where I jacked it up and turned the filter one full round and had to add 2 quarts.

Could have been very bad.


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post #7 of 10 Old 11-10-2015, 11:36 AM
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this is good information...Thanx...!!

but mine is not dripping yet...!!

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post #8 of 10 Old 11-12-2015, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWD621 View Post
Found oil under Camaro yesterday before going to work, went by Classic Chevrolet quick lube where I always get it changed and they said that the new Delco oil filters tend to unscrew themselves all the time? They just tighten it up and wiped off any oil and then topped it off with half a quart.

Might want to keep an eye on yours if you use Delco filters.

The suburban did the same thing last month but I was out at the ranch, 5 miles from any paved road and barley made it to the house and shop where I jacked it up and turned the filter one full round and had to add 2 quarts.

Could have been very bad.
Not the filter on mine. I checked 360 degrees around the filter and gasket is completely dry. As mentioned in my first post ... only leak is at the cooler end-cap (looks like a freeze plug) way above the filter area and continuous oil film from end-cap location down to the points it drips from where two lower arrows are in first picture.
This is the best place to check for others that report replacing gaskets, oil pan, o-rings, and filter when that did not fix the problem. In fact, this end-cap is highest up out of all those parts and the place I would recommend checking first if a cam/scope is available. Could also maybe get a look at the end-cap using a dental mirror and bright lights. Read other posts saying there is a bulletin on this and Chevy's first step is to replace gaskets, o-rings ... if that does not stop leak then they replace the oil cooler assembly. I think they should instead start with the diagnosis process I diagrammed in OP.
Ron

2014 2SS/RS, Factory installed ZL1 5.1:1 Ratio Short-Throw Shifter and NPP Dual-mode quad tip exhaust. Z28 strut tower brace, ZL1 splash guards,
Camaro LED Cup-holders with footwell Lighting option, Leather visors, and Leather E-brake boot.

Last edited by ron123; 11-12-2015 at 06:07 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-12-2015, 09:33 AM
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Good work!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-21-2015, 07:36 AM
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Yeah well if under warranty its one thing, me I would just fill that whole end with two part epoxy and I guarantee their would be no leak when I was done....lol

2013 2ss/rs NPP CRT, Forged 428 ls3 stroker, Mast windage, GMPP ported heads, Katech chain, Trunnion upgrade, Cam motion stage 3, SP headers, Vmax PTB, Monster c7 dual clutch, Mgw shifter, Fluidampr 25%UDP, CAI induction, rocket racing wheels, clutch reservoir, bmr toes and trailing arms, Lpw diff cover , scanner, drl's led /fogs, elite catch can, MRT louvers, tint, ZL1 spoiler, stripes & badging, etc....
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