Could an Oil Leak Cause Starter Problems?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Hi Bob,
I have a 14-year-old Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer. The starter began acting up a couple of days ago. The car just wouldn't start. I sat awhile (knowing it wasn't the battery or alternator as these were just checked) and it did start. A little while later, it got hot and quit. A seemingly trustworthy mechanic came and got under the car and hammered on the starter. It started. I drove it to his shop, he put it on his lift, and said some wires were loose. He asked if I was using a lot of oil? No, about a quart a month. After this, the car acted perfectly normal until today. It rained (as it had done the first day). After I turned it off, it wouldn't start. The mechanic said that he had to fix the oil leaks before putting a new starter on because the oil was leaking onto the starter. Does this sound right?

It sounds like it could be right. If you really don't want the oil leak fixed, then he most likely will not warranty the starter. My guess is that the valve cover gasket is leaking oil down the side of the engine and it is dripping onto the starter, which may short it out.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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