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  1. #1
    Bald Tire
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Scary Code and a Leak

    New member to the forum, although I have been creeping around the site for quite some time. I have a 2008 H3 with the i5.

    Couple of days ago my wife and I were out shopping and my check engine light came on. I happened to be passing by an Autozone and stopped in and got them run the codes on it. Although the kid didn't tell me the exact code, he said it was a camshaft position sensor and said possibly causes were low oil, dirty oil, or issues with timing chain. After a little research, I think the code was either p0014,16,or17. I checked my oil and it was strangely enough a little lower than normal. I added a couple quarts of oil and disconnected the battery and drove around a bit to see if the light would come back on. It did not. So i was assuming it was just a low oil issue and scheduled an oil change for this week. (I am capable of changing my own oil. lol. However the bi-laws at our condo do not allow car servicing on the properties...) Anyway, I get to work this morning and notice the ole gal is dropping a good bit of oil. So i rushed over to my mechanic and he said the rear main seal had a sever leak and would be about a $14-1500 fix. He ran the codes and although the light wasn't on the camshaft code did come up as well.

    My question i suppose would be do any of you experts on here suspect the code was just a result of the leak that turned into a gusher today? Or are these really not related? Its probably informative to add that I have not experienced any terribly rough idling or reduced performance as I have seen other people describe with this code. My main concern is kbb only values my car at 8k for a private sale. And after a 1500 dollar investment im down to 6500. If i could actually get that. She have 160k miles and up until now has ran like a top. I'm fairly easy on her with just an occasional trail ride. Nothing any worse than an old county road though. I just don't want to spend the 1500 to only find out that I have to replace a motor or even another 3000 dollar ticket item. At that rate, I would just sell for parts and buy this alpha i found. Any thoughts? Thanks for helping out a noob.

  2. #2
    All Terrain
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Santa Maria
    Thanked 91 Times in 82 Posts
    That's a difficult call if you're just looking at the value in dollars. I wouldn't spend $1500 on a 160K mile engine without considering just replacing the engine with a lower mile/ new engine replacement. Then you're looking at a triple dollar project and keeping the vehicle long term to get your money's worth out of it. There was a previous discussion on the camshaft position sensor and after a bit of investigation it looks like that part is upgraded and relatively inexpensive. I think I'm going to replace mine and I'd suggest you could replace yours easily too.
    Perhaps you could try one of the max-life oil blends recommended for older engines. Maybe that oil would swell the seal a bit and slow down the leak. I'd try the cheapest options first.
    Last edited by Mr_Rich; 02-19-2018 at 02:49 PM. Reason: added comments

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    United States
    Thanked 214 Times in 144 Posts
    My opinion only, but I would say if you were truly 2 quarts low, that was the cause. If it comes back with proper level, you can remove the VVT solenoid and clean it, which I did for quite a while whenever that code would pop up, but ultimately just replaced it and the problem was gone for good. At this point, thinking of major engine work or replacement is premature.


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