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I have a 1997 V-6 that has an oil leak right above the power steering pump. Got to looking at some diagrams out of the online manuals and noticed that the timing belt tensioner is right above the P/S pump. I wondered if this might be the source of my leak. But I'm a bit confused about how the tensioner actually works and how it might be a leak point. The manual says:

3. INSPECT TIMING BELT TENSIONER​
(a) Visually check the seal portion of the tensioner for oil leakage.
HINT:
If there is only the faintest trace of oil on the seal on the push
rod side, the tensioner is all right.
If leakage is found, replace the tensioner.

Does the tensioner use oil pressure to put tension on the timing belt. Or, does the tensioner actually seal into a cavity that seals in engine oil? Might this be the source of my leak?

Any other suggestions as to where this leak might be coming from would be appreciated.

Regards,

Robert K​
 

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It has nothing to do with the oil system, it simply has oil & nitrogen under extreme pressure inside it.
valve cover leak, cam seal leak, external head gasket leak.
 

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My 96 V6 had similar sympton and it was the rear valve cover leaking.
The oil went down to the PS pump.

You can check that by wiping the rear valve cover seam with your hand.

-SZ
 

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No its not the belt tensioner device. There's hardly any oil in that little thing and it is not even engine oil inside it. The tensioner is bolted to the engine and is totally seperate, and does NOT draw on the engine oil supply at all.

The best way is to clean the engine like new, (i use simple green and seems to work very well). Then look for the leak.

valve cover leak, cam seal leak, external head gasket leak.
He is right, also check the oil pump too. If it is very hard to find you may want to remove the timing belt covers and look there too. Oil leaks are truly a pain in the a$$ but if they are leaks (not burning), dont leak on any drive belts or the clutch plate, and less than one qt per gas tank alot of times in the past i just let em go and simply add oil.
 
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