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Hello. I finally took all the plastic shields off that cover the 2.2L Ecotec. The main shield I threw in the recycling bin at my apartment building. I changed the oil. I had never seen a filter element outside of the std. metal can and installed it without the "O" ring. After driving a few days I noticed oil just to the right side of the filter housing on the flat metal area that is part of the engine or trans, not sure why it is there. There is a big metal seam in the engine block nearby.

In any case, I reinstalled the filter with the 'O' ring on the filter housing to make sure it Twas not leaking from the filter joint. I then reinstalled the filter a third time to make sure the 'O' ring was seated perfectly. The oil is not leaking from the filter assembly, I am quite sure. Also the oil leak has been going on for a long time before I owned the car as there is congealed and baked on oil in a trail down to the bottom of the Trans pan which I attempted to clean off with repeated sprays of engine cleaner/degreaser.

Could it be leaking from the seam in the engine block to the right of the filter housing? I cannot locate the leak but it has been going on for a long time. Otherwise the oil filter has been mounted without an 'O' ring many times before me leading to all the mess everywhere. But I still don't know where it is leaking from now. It is not from where the filter housing + gasket meets the threads below. Thank you.
 

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If the leak is not from the filter cap or the oring and the leak is not migrating from a higher location, it is possible you have a crack in the block near the oil filter housing. I remember reading years ago, probably around 2007 or so, of a guy who had that same leak and it ended up being a crack in the block due to over tightening the oil filter cap.
 

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Clean the area and check the oil pressure sending unit.
This is a common enough problem and will only cost you a few bucks for a new sending unit.
 

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Thank you for your input! I will keep my eye on the oil sending unit.

Clean the area and check the oil pressure sending unit.
This is a common enough problem and will only cost you a few bucks for a new sending unit.
Thank you. I have heard of leaks arising from the oil pressure sending unit. I will keep my eye on it. Appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

---------- Post added at 03:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:40 PM ----------

If the leak is not from the filter cap or the oring and the leak is not migrating from a higher location, it is possible you have a crack in the block near the oil filter housing. I remember reading years ago, probably around 2007 or so, of a guy who had that same leak and it ended up being a crack in the block due to over tightening the oil filter cap.
Thanks for the feedback! This is a weird leak because sometimes I clean up the engine and the leak is gone for a while! It seems to be dry now so I will wait to see if the leak comes back. I am pretty sure the oil filter cap is not the source. That looks to be in good shape and not overtightened, undertightened, etc. The gasket is in place, etc.

Thank you! Will let you know if the mystery leak returns. Best,
 

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At the rear of the oil filter housing there are spaces that will let the oil flow down and towards the transmission if the oil cap is leaking. Even if the cap looks good it can have hairline cracks that are almost impossible to see. My cap was leaking after an oil change and i didn't over tighten the cap, they just get old and brittle. Ac delco sells cap and filter for a few bucks more then just a filter so try changing it anyway.
 
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