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View Full Version : rear window & liftgate covered in sticky film - oil or gas leak?


auswee
July 14th, 2010, 19:16
Howdy all,

Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed that my back window was getting covered in these little droplets of what I thought was water or something, but after smearing them around with the rear wiper, I noticed that the droplets are oily in nature. They are transparent or opaque, but I have no idea what is causing them. After realizing what was happening I noticed that the entire rear liftgate is covered too.

The front windshield, the sides, and the roof of the XJ are all clean and residue-free, so I'm really confused as to what could be causing this and am concerned that it could be something I need to take care of. I don't notice any smoke coming from the tailpipe, but my concern is that maybe there is some kind of fluid that's coming out when I run it down the highway, like oil or gas or something, and it's spraying the droplets on the rear end.

I am not noticing any spots under the truck when I park it which is even more confusing.

Anybody have any ideas? I'd at least like to see if I can tackle it before I take it to the shop.

Many thanks in advance!

CharlesS
July 14th, 2010, 19:34
You definitely have an oil leak of some sort.
To diagnose the problem further you will need to climb under the Jeep and look for dampness or dark areas.
The description you provided is exactly what a friend of mine encountered on the way to Moab several years ago when his rear main seal let loose.
The entire underneath of his Jeep was coated in oil...
Next time you post concerning a problem on your Jeep it would be advantageous for you to provide us information on your Jeep (year, make, model, transmission, transfercase, front or rear differential) depending upon what applies to the problem at hand.

auswee
July 14th, 2010, 19:44
Hey Charles thanks for the response and sorry about the lack of specifics. I edited my signature to reflect that info.

It's a 2001 XJ with the axles from a 2005 TJ Rubicon swapped in, air lockers, & 2.5" OME suspension. Most everything else is stock.

I've been checking the oil and the levels seem to be OK. As I said I'm not noticing any spots under it in the morning.

auswee
July 14th, 2010, 19:47
I'm going to head to a gas station and climb under to see if I can spot any damp spots as you suggest, thanks again for the tip.

auswee
July 14th, 2010, 20:47
The bad news is that the transfer case seems to be leaking, there is a LOT of stuff in the area where the e-brake cable is exposed, in the region between the front and rear doors on the driver's side, that is really wet with some kind of oil. Now I'm freaking out and plan on taking it to the dealership first thing in the morning.

I'll post what the final result is just in case anyone else searches for this problem.

CHARLES! THANK YOU!

johnnyc
July 14th, 2010, 21:22
Also check your rear axle tube breather hose. The hose may be disconnected or torn.

CharlesS
July 14th, 2010, 22:03
The bad news is that the transfer case seems to be leaking, there is a LOT of stuff in the area where the e-brake cable is exposed, in the region between the front and rear doors on the driver's side, that is really wet with some kind of oil. Now I'm freaking out and plan on taking it to the dealership first thing in the morning.

I'll post what the final result is just in case anyone else searches for this problem.

CHARLES! THANK YOU!

Can you tell what color the oil is?
Rear differential gear lube will be a brownish color depending upon how old it is; it could be a dark brown.
The transfercase ATF is usually red to redish brown...
The transfer case has a vent on top that could have come loose or the rear output shaft seal where the rear driveshaft attaches... Also a possibility it could be the front shaft seal....
You be able to tell more once you wipe the area and look for fresh leaks.

JeepCherokeeGuy99
July 15th, 2010, 00:04
definitely check your rear diff. i had the same problem

kastein
July 15th, 2010, 07:51
My usual leak detection method is to check the fluid levels every few days and see which one is going down :dunno:

answer: ALL OF THEM!

I wouldn't take it to the dealership for a seal like that, they're going to ream your wallet out, the seals on the transfer case aren't too difficult to replace yourself.

FordGuy
July 15th, 2010, 08:04
My money is on the trans blowing out fluid. How hot has it been? Exactly.

bdahlg
July 15th, 2010, 08:12
When mine had oil on the liftgate/rear windshield only, it was a leaky axle seal. but then again, I don't have mudflaps...

joe_peters
July 15th, 2010, 13:45
The last time I got oil on the rear hatch the CCV filtered air intake hose--"J" shaped hose--had absolutely failed and collapsed completely, screwing up the CCV system. Hose looked fine on the outside, but the inside was rotten.

auswee
July 15th, 2010, 14:00
Thanks to EVERYONE for their replies. I'm a newbie at this stuff so I was intimidated by my lack of knowledge.

It turns out that the transfer case was leaking. I took it to Bob Allen Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep in Frankfort KY and the good folks there had me re-sealed and cleaned up in a few hours, and for only 1 hour of labor ($89).

They said that the seal didn't look like it was shot, and based on my perception that they'd try to up-sell me at the dealership, I'm going to take them for their word.

But I will be sure to keep an eye out for other leaks, and I hope that everyone's advice helps someone in the future!

:cheers: