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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm not mechanically knowledgeable, was hoping someone on here can give some guidance.

Dealership claims that they found oil in and around oil pan and rocker cover. They suggest replacing the gasket and 3 sparks plugs to alleviate the issue. Quoting me $1000.

Does this sound correct and reasonable? I'm thinking maybe I'll take it to an independent shop for repairs.

Anyone else run into this issue? I have a 2017 Murano Platinum.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hey all,

I'm not mechanically knowledgeable, was hoping someone on here can give some guidance.

Dealership claims that they found oil in and around oil pan and rocker cover. They suggest replacing the gasket and 3 sparks plugs to alleviate the issue. Quoting me $1000.

Does this sound correct and reasonable? I'm thinking maybe I'll take it to an independent shop for repairs.

Anyone else run into this issue? I have a 2017 Murano Platinum.

Thanks in advance.
I would get it checked by an Indy shop. Or you could keep an eye out on the engine oil levels. If it's not dropping then you're fine. For all we know it could be oil spilt by the mechanic who did the last oil change on your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would get it checked by an Indy shop. Or you could keep an eye out on the engine oil levels. If it's not dropping then you're fine. For all we know it could be oil spilt by the mechanic who did the last oil change on your car.
Awesome. Thanks for the advice. I'll monitor it.

In the meantime. Anyone on here had this gasket fail? Just curious.
 

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Awesome. Thanks for the advice. I'll monitor it.

In the meantime. Anyone on here had this gasket fail? Just curious.
Not a very old car to have a leaking valve cover gasket. As @MuranoSL2003 asked, how many miles does your car have.

The thing with oil leaks is if you're not loosing oil quickly and it's not leaking on anything important (e.g. alternator or something else electrical) then you can usually just let it go and keep an eye on it. Oil leaks also can double as excellent corrosion proofing. ;)

One thing about the dealership's recommendation though is changing all the spark plugs on that bank--did they find oil in the tube seals? If so, you should address that as soon as possible since that can eventually lead to damaged ignition coils and misfires down the road (misfires are bad for the catalytic converters). BTW, $1,000 for a single valve cover gasket and 3 spark plugs is highway robbery, IMO. If you need to have the work done then take it to a reputable independent shop.
 

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Bank 1 or Bank 2? With labor rates being $100-150 an hour that sounds like it would be Bank 1, especially if they are adding 3 spark plugs. Bank 1 is under the intake so all of that has to be disassembled to get to the valve cover. The intake also has to be removed to do the spark plugs on Bank 1 so you might as well do them while you are taking the same stuff off. I would think they would include all 6 though if they are doing spark plugs, the plugs on bank 1 are easy to get to.

My mom’s Altima had the 3.5. I found the valve cover on bank 1 was leaking after she passed away so I replaced it and all the spark plugs before I sold the car to a friend. It only had 72,000 on it but might as well since it was apart. It took maybe 4 hours, just lots of difficult-to-reach/ manipulate plugs and hoses to get off.

 

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Had gasket leaks almost never cause oil leaks. They cause coolant leaks, either externally or into the cylinders.

An oil leak is almost never an indication of a head gasket problem. It is possible, but it's way down the list of probabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bank 1 or Bank 2? With labor rates being $100-150 an hour that sounds like it would be Bank 1, especially if they are adding 3 spark plugs. Bank 1 is under the intake so all of that has to be disassembled to get to the valve cover. The intake also has to be removed to do the spark plugs on Bank 1 so you might as well do them while you are taking the same stuff off. I would think they would include all 6 though if they are doing spark plugs, the plugs on bank 1 are easy to get to.

My mom’s Altima had the 3.5. I found the valve cover on bank 1 was leaking after she passed away so I replaced it and all the spark plugs before I sold the car to a friend. It only had 72,000 on it but might as well since it was apart. It took maybe 4 hours, just lots of difficult-to-reach/ manipulate plugs and hoses to get off.

Yeah it's the bank 1 side. They are recommending replacing the plugs.

I'm just baffled that a 5 year old engine is already leaking...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here are some photos they sent me. I cannot make out any information. Don't even know what I'm looking at. Based on the photos, does it look serious?
 

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I'm not baffled. Plastic rocker covers can crack. Gaskets can leak. It's earlier than usual, but parts are not perfect and occasionally one fails. 5 years of heating and cooling, vibration from running and driving over different types of terrain...60K miles is enough so that it can happen. We'd all like for it not to happen, but life happens ad sometimes it costs money.

I find it very hard to judge severity from the photos. I've seen engines leaking enough oil from bad rocker arm gaskets that a 5-minute stop would leave a pool of oilt he size of a silver dollar. That's a lot of oil to lose, fast, but the problem isn't mechanically serious as long as you keep adding oil.

What I think I see in the photos doesn't look bad. I'd have to see it with my own eyes. I could tell more from a shot of the lower portion of the oil pan....at least in terms of how much oil is leaking. If it's not in the spark plug tubes, it's not that big a deal yet, IMO.

I think it's worth quoting @I Need Coffee above (my emphasis added):

"The thing with oil leaks is if you're not loosing oil quickly and it's not leaking on anything important (e.g. alternator or something else electrical) then you can usually just let it go and keep an eye on it. Oil leaks also can double as excellent corrosion proofing. ;)

One thing about the dealership's recommendation though is changing all the spark plugs on that bank--did they find oil in the tube seals? If so, you should address that as soon as possible since that can eventually lead to damaged ignition coils and misfires down the road (misfires are bad for the catalytic converters). BTW, $1,000 for a single valve cover gasket and 3 spark plugs is highway robbery, IMO. If you need to have the work done then take it to a reputable independent shop."
 
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From what I can see in the photos, I don't see much going on...
 

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Here are some photos they sent me. I cannot make out any information. Don't even know what I'm looking at. Based on the photos, does it look serious?
Just some observations based on the pics you posted:
  • The first pic you posted that has the PCV valve in view shows oil residue on top of the valve cover. If it was the valve cover gasket that was leaking and nothing else, I would expect the valve cover to be mostly dry (perhaps some wicking upward) with oil residue on/around/below the edges of the valve cover where it mates to the cylinder head. In fact, it looks like there may be residue on/around the PCV valve so I would take it out and inspect the condition of the o-ring that seals it.
  • Related to the first point...the other pics show a dry (at least to my eyes) cylinder head right underneath the valve cover although you can see crude on the valve cover itself. If the valve cover gasket was leaking then gravity would pull the oil down so I would expect to see oil and crude on the cylinder head, but it looks pretty clean aside from some oxidation.
  • If these are the pics the dealership sent you then they didn't do much for the diagnostic fee you paid other than take some pics, and apparently, quoted you on work based on all the things they think could be faulty. Also, they said something about oil around the oil pan, but I don't see a picture of the oil pan.
A final thought--the leak is not bad at all and as long as there is no oil in the spark plug tubes of that cylinder bank then no need to do anything about it. I'm not sure any shop would agree to go through with the labor to pull all those ignition coils to check just on payment of a diagnostic fee though. If the tube seals are leaking then I think the whole valve cover may need to be replaced as I'm not sure the seals themselves are serviceable--someone with a 3rd gen can correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Let me add emphasis to the three points above, especially the last one. That dealership didn't do much but run it up a lift, walk underneath and wave a camera around. Not bothering to throw in a pic of the oil pan seems like a strange omission. I would take no action until I had someone else look it over. And frankly, I don't see evidence that you have much of a problem in any case.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Let me add emphasis to the three points above, especially the last one. That dealership didn't do much but run it up a lift, walk underneath and wave a camera around. Not bothering to throw in a pic of the oil pan seems like a strange omission. I would take no action until I had someone else look it over. And frankly, I don't see evidence that you have much of a problem in any case.
Thanks. That's what I was thinking. This was a free "complimentary" inspection.... so it's only assumed they want to make some sort of money and bring up any and all issues they may or may not think needs repairs. I'll have an independent take a look. But feel good to know it doesn't look too serious from the photos.
 

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If it were my wife's Murano, 1.) I would get a can of brake cleaner and spray it around the valve cover where it appers there may be a leak, get under the car around where it appers there is a leak at the pan / residual and 2.) keep checking these areas for leaks and document (take pictures) the oil level via the dip stick over time. If you can not do this , take it to a trusted Indy for their recomendation.
 
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