Friday, March 07, 2014

Primary Leak

So this turtle looking thing is a part of the catalytic converter and boy was it a bitch to get to and remove. I swear everything on this car seems to want to prevent me from completing any goal that I set for myself. When I started I was unable to fully remove this part from the exhaust system because my sockets could not reach the bolt. I then figured out that the silver part was a heat shield and those 4 bolts that can be seen in the picture had to be loosened in order for me to wiggle my socket into place for the bolt. I don't know of all this stuff is tribal knowledge that real mechanics learn but man did I learn the slow and hard way.

Here is the view of the exhaust from the bottom with the catalytic converter removed. It's amazing how much visibility becomes available the second a part is removed. That's definitely something I don't like about working with cars. More than half the battle is getting to a set location and moving everything out of the way.

So after looking around and examining wetness patterns, I followed everything back to the oil filter, where there is a large circular piece of metal connected to it called the oil cooler which has coolant running through it. The larger majority of the leak originated from this area and not the turbo, which is the location I had originally believed the leak was coming from.

So the oil cooler area is split up into 2 separate parts, and each part has 2 rubber gaskets that need to be replaced. So much work to get these off. I have now ordered a bunch of parts needed to put everything together and then hopefully it will stop this leak.

I have to be honest and state that this is not as much fun as I originally had thought it would be. I have had a bunch of eurekas that have given me more insight as to car maintenance and car tinkering so that's good; but overall I am not thrilled with what I've discovered.

I'm getting to the point where I'd rather just pay someone to get the car back to an A-OK functioning state and just save the easier tasks for myself. But the annoying part is the cost of labor, and knowing that the labor isn't hard; it's just exhausting to need to remove x parts to get to one small-ass area and that you need x special tools to accomplish all of the needed tasks. I can't tell you how many times I've been to the tool store to get some random-ass part and then have the part not really work that well. On top of it there is no real room to work because you're under the car all contorted and have mere inches to move your fingers around. Let me tell you how much leverage you have in such a position; close to none. I wonder how much easier a car is to maintain if the engine located in the front because lemme tell you, this mid-engine crap sucks. Do mechanics just drop the engine to work on stuff if they discover their working room is too limited?