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I brought in my 2002 SE-SC 4x4 (90k miles) in for a routine oil change recently and the mechanic noticed a rear main seal oil leak. He said it wasn’t severe and didn’t necessarily need to be repaired now unless I was the type of owner who wanted everything perfect. I haven’t noticed any oil on the garage floor and have never come close to needing to add oil between oil changes.

Is there anything that could go suddenly wrong if I just keep an eye on my oil level? I haven’t seen any oil on the garage floor. Would I see some if the oil leak was more pronounced?
 

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Imo, if you are not even leaving spots or having to top off your oil, you're fine...just keep an eye on it.
 

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2003 Nissan Xterra Se Super Charged, auction project. It needs some love. Manifolds both
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You may want replace your PCV valve. Since that can cause oil leak problems too.
 

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I specifically like the "Blue Devil" line of leak sealer products. They are certainly expensive but I have found them to work best. Their main seal leak product stopped the rear main seal leak on my aged 1994 Ford F-150 V-8. No more oil spot on the driveway.
 

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2002 Xterra SE, Shock Blue, AT/4x4
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I wouldn't do the rear main seal at this point. That's a big job for a small leak. Check the valve cover gaskets, they are prone to leaking and could be running down the back of the block.
 

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The valve coder gaskets are prone to leaking. I'd suggest you make sure they are tightened down well. You may be surprised that you will probably easily be able to make a half turn or so on each screw that you can reach.
 

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Gen 2 service doc shows a torque spec of 74 inch pounds for the final torque on the valve cover bolts. Don't expect it could be much different if at all on the 2002 Gen 1. Depending on the valve cover gasket material, over tightening the valve cover fasteners can distort the gasket and create an oil leak.
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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Gen 2 service doc shows a torque spec of 74 inch pounds for the final torque on the valve cover bolts. Don't expect it could be much different if at all on the 2002 Gen 1.
VG33E and VG33ER torque spec on valve cover bolts is 9 - 26 inch pounds, so very different.
 
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